Locations | A - Z Index | Directory | Calendar   Search Icon
University Home » College of Natural Resources

Ph.D Natural Resources (Forest Resources)

Forest Sciences and Management, Ph.D.

Ecology and Biogeosciences of Forest and Rangeland Ecosystems, Ph.D.

The Ph.D programs in Forest Science and Management and Ecology & Biogeoscience of Forest & Rangeland Ecosystems stress interdisciplinary research and the understanding and management of natural resources in a broad context.

Ph.D students must earn a minimum of 78 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, with at least 52 credits in the 500 level courses or above and 33 credit hours in courses other than 600 level courses.

Application Information
If you are interested in graduate study in the forest resources, or a related program, you should reach out to professors who teach and conduct research in their specific interest area. Once the application and forms are completed they are to be routed to the Graduate Admissions Office for review. Faculty members generally offer a project stipend and agree to act as a major professor for the student; if successful the applicant will be accepted into the graduate program.
Details and Guidelines
  • Completed application
  • Statement of career objectives
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Area of Emphasis form
  • Official GRE scores (no subject area GRE tests are required)
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and/or universities previously attended
Financial Aid
Financial assistance within the program is largely in the form of graduate assistantships funded by individual research projects or teaching assistantships. Graduate student support is arranged between the major professor and the student. Graduate programs usually involve field work, data analysis, class work, a final thesis or dissertation, and a defense.

What You'll Learn
At the graduate level, you'll work closely with your advisor to focus your graduate course work in an area of specialization or in an area that will help you in your chosen career path. To give you an idea, our Ph.D. students have focused their studies in a variety of areas, including:

Ecology and Biogeosciences of Forest and Rangeland Ecosystems
  • Ecosystem Processes/modeling
  • Biometrics
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Hydrology and Ecohydrology
  • Remote Sensing and Geospatial Ecology
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Community Ecology
  • Population Ecology
  • Ecosystem Ecology
  • Disturbance Ecology
  • Paleoecology
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Ecophysiology
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Conservation Biology/Genetics
  • Molecular Plant Systematics
  Forest Sciences and Management 
  • Forest Mensuration
  • Forest Regeneration
  • Forest Ecosystem Management
  • Tree Physiology
  • Forest Pathology
  • Forest Operations
  • Silviculture
  • Forest Ecology
  • Forest Genetics

Leaders in Research
Opportunities for you to contribute to industry-leading research are plentiful. For example, Associate Professor and Director of The Intermountain Forest Tree Nutrition Cooperative, Mark Coleman is currently managing a substantial research effort studying synthesis of thinning by fertilization. Mark and his team are also interested in looking into forest management topics related to soil and root processes, controlling the supply and acquisition of nutrients. Bioenergy production from woody crops, biomass thinning and harvest residues are also top research areas.

Career Opportunities
An M.S. in forest resources generally increases employment opportunities and generally allows for more rapid opportunities of advancement. The Idaho Department of Lands, Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service for example have hired several of our graduates.

Private Land Owners Demand Forest Resource Pros
With this advanced degree you may also work with private companies or land owners. In these types of roles you may be responsible for preparing sites for the planting of trees or developing plans to regenerate forested lands or supervising harvests for optimal production. Land management forest scientists may also manage a controlled burn for a customer, regimenting herbicides used to clear weeds, brush and debris.

Regardless of your future employer, public or private, you will benefit from our graduate program’s coursework and research-requirements. We’ll teach you proven practices for securing forests for sustainable and productive growth as well as approaches to ensure the responsible use of our open spaces.

Required Courses
All graduate programs should include two semesters of seminar, at least one being FOR 501; and one 400-500 level quantitative course. The remainder of your course of study will be developed by you and your Graduate Committee, depending on your area of specialization for your graduate research activities.

What to Expect
Entrance into the College of Graduate Studies program generally requires completion of undergraduate course work in the area of forestry or related natural and social sciences. If you don’t have an undergraduate degree in one of these areas, you may be required to make up deficiencies as determined by your advisory committee.

The M.S. degree requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester credit hours, with 18 of those credit hours in 500 level courses. Doctoral students must earn a minimum of 78 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, with at least 52 credits in the 500 level courses or above and 33 credit hours in courses other than 600 level courses.

Please note that the forest resources program requires all applicants to take the GRE and international students to also take the TOEFL exam.