men working with computer in the forest

Forest Finance & Investment

Forestry is one of the largest resource-based industries in the state, region and country and includes diverse businesses such as forest and land management firms, individual and institutional forest landowners, wood suppliers, product manufacturers, timber harvesting companies, and forestry consultants.

The forestry industry has grown more complex in the last century with the impacts of increasing environmental issues, economic opportunities, technological advancements, and changing landownerships. Today’s professionals must have the ability to understand and assimilate these factors within their financial and operational decision-making to best manage and leverage forest assets.

Whether you are a recent graduate, a seasoned forestry professional, another type of professional (such as a real estate broker, banker, accountant, attorney or appraiser) with interests in forest operations or forest investments, or if you just have a general or personal interest in learning more about forest operations and investments, the Auburn University Forest Finance and Investment graduate certificate program is designed to provide you with the tools necessary to make sound forest finance and investment decisions.

This program will enhance the knowledge-base of students who possess technical forestry skills, but may wish to grow their understanding of forestry business practices to be considered for advancement; or those who may have a strong foundation in business, but wish to become more familiar with the unique aspects of forestry finance and economics to become more competitive in the job market or operate their businesses more successfully.

Key Learning Outcomes

The Forest Finance and Investment online certificate program provides a convenient platform for students to receive valuable in‐service training which stresses critical thinking and problem‐solving skills that are required by many employers today for the operation of a successful forestry-related business.

The program is designed to help students:

  1. Develop an advanced knowledge in the area of forest finance and investment
  2. Improve their ability to identify critical issues faced in forestry-related businesses and improve capacities for financial decision-making
  3. Enhance their oral and written communications skills to better engage potential underwriters and clients, as well as the scientific community and the general public
  4. Prepare students for new professional responsibilities or perhaps advance to graduate school


To obtain a Forest Finance and Investment graduate certificate from Auburn University students must complete twelve (12) credit hours of online coursework.   Students are required to take Forest Accounting and Taxation (FORY 7626), Forest Valuation and Economics (FORY 7406), and Advanced Investments (FINC 7640/7646). Depending on the student’s background, they may choose one of the following electives, Forest Growth, Silviculture, and Management (FORY 7326) or Financial Analysis (BUSI 7110/7116). Students who obtain such a certificate could go on to have a master of natural resource degree in forest finance and investment with additional 18-19 hours of coursework, mostly online.


To participate in the Forest Finance and Investment graduate certificate program, students must apply to Auburn University, (   Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required, and there is no minimum GPA prerequisite.

Need help getting started?

For more information on Graduate Admissions Policies and Deadlines please contact Audrey Grindle at or (334) 844-9250.  Specific questions concerning the Forest Finance and Investment certificate and courses can be addressed to Dr. Adam Maggard at (334)844-2401.

Pending approval, we anticipate enrollment for this certificate program will begin fall 2018.


Quick Facts

  • Earn a certificate in less than 3 years
  • Only 12 credit hours required
  • Credit may be applied to Master’s of Natural Resources Graduate Degree (MNR Non-thesis)
  • No GRE required for enrollment
  • No minimum GPA requirement