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The Master of Science in Forestry program requires you to successfully complete a thesis within the field of forestry and to select a minor. It emphasizes the resources of North Carolina and the southern United States, but candidates may also address forestry problems throughout North America or choose an area of study that leverages FER’s expertise in tropical pine species and other international arenas.

Pollinating loblolly pine, Tree Improvement Program

In general, the Master of Science in Forestry (MS-Forestry) degree requires that a student develop and conduct a research project, then present their methodologies and results of the test or experiment as a thesis. The MS-Forestry degree is the preferred track for students who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or who anticipate conducting or reviewing research in their future work. The degree requires a minimum of 30 credits, following all rules of the Graduate School. Two courses are required, FOR 601 (Seminar) and FOR 603 (Research Methods in Forestry and Environmental Resources).

MS-Forestry students can focus on topics ranging from basic scientific inquiry to broader applied management issues. Degrees are available in wide array of areas, including:

  • Forest genetics and tree breeding
  • Propagation of commercial trees species
  • Forest nurseries, nursery soils and regeneration
  • Biotechnology and gene transfer in commercial forest species
  • All facets of forest management and operations
  • Forest economics and policy
  • Forest nutrition
  • International forestry
  • Restoration ecology
  • Silviculture
  • Hydrology and watershed ecology
  • Forest extension and education

Many NC State MS-Forestry graduates have gone to work in the international forestry industry. Others have enjoyed academic or field careers, accepted positions with public and private environmental agencies, started their own companies or continued their studies.

Sample Thesis Topics

Past thesis topics for MS-Forestry students at NC State include:

For the full text of these dissertations as well as a look at other topics FER graduate students have pursued, please visit the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Library of the NC State Graduate School.

Declaring A Minor

You must declare a minor as part of your MS-Forestry program. A minor may be declared within any established curriculum at NCSU or as “interdisciplinary minor.” A minor generally consists of at least nine graduate credits approved by your advisory committee’s minor faculty member. The courses must be taken during your degree program and all must be within a given curriculum or among the appropriate departments to satisfy a logical interdisciplinary minor.