Graduate Programs

The College of Forestry at Oregon State University (OSU) enjoys a century-long reputation as a leader in forestry research, teaching, and extended education.  Currently the College has about 140 graduate students, including approximately 25 international students from all over the world.  The College offers graduate degrees in four distinct areas, administered by three separate departments. About 75 faculty members teach at the graduate level, and the College employs more than 300 faculty, staff, and support personnel.  

Graduate programs in the College of Forestry are administered at the department level and you can obtain more information about the program you are most interested in by visiting each departments’ website. 

Our Departments

The Department of Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management is comprised of a unique group of specialists in forest management, engineering, biometrics, hydrology, forest health, and silviculture working to support decisions for sustainable forests. Programs and research emphasize all aspects of active forest management and restoration from regeneration through harvest for multiple land use objectives, including wood production and management for values other than wood.

The Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society is dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge related to the interactions among forests, people and other organisms. Humans are dependent on forests in many ways. We seek to understand the diversity of benefits derived from forests and expand our knowledge of how forests function to provide those benefits.

The Department of Wood Science & Engineering  aims to sustainably meet the world's need for wood products by focusing on science, technology, business, and engineering.



Our Degree Programs

The Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees develop specialized  knowledge and research skills usually through a research-oriented thesis.  MS programs take about two years and PhD programs takes three or more years to complete.

The Master of Forestry (MF) degree, intended for professional forestry specialists and natural resource administrators, provides advanced technical professional education. Students complete a technical project rather than a thesis.

The Master of Natural Resources (MNR) degree, is an interdisciplinary degree program taught entirely online through Oregon State University Extended Campus. It is a professional degree offered as a non-thesis option only, similar to the Master of Business Administration, Master of Agriculture, or Master of Forestry.



Our Graduate Programs

Sustainable Forest Management  (MF, MS, PhD)

 Areas of Concentration

  • Forest Operations Planning and Management—Planning, organizing, and executing forest plans; enhancing supply chain efficiency and improving competitivenes

  • Forest Policy Analysis and Management—Analyzing tradeoffs in the forest and resource policy decision process; public land use policy; interpretations of regulations; markets for forest products; forest certification; theoretical and applied research related to ecosystem services

  • Forest Biometrics and Geomatics—Modeling tree and stand development; forest data sampling and monitoring methods; forest measurements and assessments; spatial data management and analysis technologies.

  • Silviculture, Fire, and Forest Health—Managing vegetation to achieve management objectives, from restoration to intensive timber production; fire ecology and fire management; forest ecosystem health.

  • Forest Watershed Management—Understanding watershed conditions and processes in forested ecosystems and the effects of management activities; evaluating and improving soil and water quality and related practices and policies for forest operations

  • Engineering for Sustainable Forestry—Designing forest operations to achieve sustainable forest management objectives; ecological restoration operations; road design and construction


Forest Ecosystems and Society (MF, MS, PhD)

Masters of Science and PhD

These research and thesis-based degrees combine a strong social science faculty with a strong biological and ecological science faculty and so provides, in addition to standard ecological and social science studies, an unusual opportunity to focus on the interface of social science and ecology. The FES graduate program provides specific disciplinary opportunities in both ecological and social sciences in the natural resource setting but also strives to develop interdisciplinary skills and knowledge. The students will be able to identify and contribute to collaborative solutions in ecology and natural resources-related social science.

 Areas of Focus

  • Forest, Wildlife and Landscape Ecology. The many dimensions of biodiversity are the topic of this area of concentration. Species and communities of species, act, react and interact at many spatial and temporal scales. These dynamics take place in an environment that can change gradually or quite rapidly and that can have a large impact on dynamics through direct and indirect effects on species and inter-specific relationships.

  • Genetics and Physiology. The genetic and physiological mechanisms, from the scale of molecules and tissues to whole organisms, populations, and species, that determine how plants grow, reproduce, respond to environment, and are managed and modified for human benefit.

  • Integrated Social and Ecological Systems. Many issues in the broad natural resources arena are truly interdisciplinary across the biophysical and the social sciences. This area of concentration focuses on the integration of these sciences in developing basic concepts and in resolving management issues.

  • Science of Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Management. The bases for these integrated sciences are found in the more basic biophysical and social sciences but their application to these complex goals generates new scientific challenges. This area of concentration seeks to develop these new scientific understandings.

  • Social Science, Policy, and Natural Resources. Exploration of social, human dimensions, and policy aspects of natural resource issues by examining linkages among humans, society, and the natural resources on which humans and society depend.

  • Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Continuum. The movement of energy and matter within and among ecosystems controls how these systems function and the services they provide. This area of concentration investigates the mechanisms controlling ecosystem behavior over a range of levels from the whole-plant to the globe.

  • Sustainable Recreation and Tourism. Social and/or ecological topics in sustainable recreation and tourism including recreation and tourism behavior; social and/or ecological impacts; and planning, management, and policy.

Master of Forestry (MF)

MF with emphasis in Forestry Biology: Management of natural resources is an increasingly complex and technical undertaking. In some cases, breadth or depth of specialization beyond the BS degree is required or is highly desirable in entry-level professional forestry positions or for advancement in non-research professional forestry positions. The MF in Forest Biology program emphasizes graduate course work in one of five areas of emphasis in forest biology, with supporting work in another area. The program can be completed in 12 months, but it may be extended in accordance with personal needs and the policies of the OSU Graduate School.

MF with emphasis in Silviculture: The MF in Silviculture program provides graduate-level preparation in the full range of disciplines essential for analyzing opportunities, solving problems, and making decisions in silviculture and forest resource management. Graduates from this program must demonstrate competence in the preparation of well-documented silvicultural prescriptions and in the supervision of prescription implementation. The program also provides the background for sustained career development in forest resource management.


Wood Science & Engineering Program

Areas of Concentration

  • Biodeterioration and Materials Protection (MS, PhD)
  • Chemistry and Chemical Processing
  • Forest Products Business & Marketing (MS, PhD)  
  • Physics & Moisture Relations (MS, PhD)
  • Renewable Materials Science & Engineered Composites
  • Wood Anatomy & Quality
  • Wood Engineering & Mechanics



Interdisciplinary Options

We participate in the following interdisciplinary programs: Master of Natural ResourcesEarth Information Science and Technology, Plant Physiology, Sustainable Natural Resources, Ecosystem Informatics, Water Resources Program, Environmental Science, Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Peace Corps Masters International Program in Forestry.



Scientists conduct research on a wide range of topics in the disciplines of biology, botany, ecology, engineering, forest management, manufacturing and marketing of wood products, the social sciences, wood chemistry and physiology, and many others.