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 fifteen (15) credit hours of online coursework.   Students with a forestry background are required to complete FORY 7406, FORY 7516, FORY 7626, FINC 7626 and BUSI 7116. Students without a forestry background are required to complete FORY 7326 and any four of the other courses for a total of 15 credit hours.

Course CodeCourse NameCredit Hours
FORY 7326Forest Growth, Silviculture, and Management3
FORY 7406Forest Valuation and Economics3
FORY 7516Forest Operations and Wood Supply Chain Management3
FORY 7626Forest Finance, Accounting and Taxation3
FINC 7646Advanced Investments3
BUSI 7116Financial Analysis3

Students who obtain this certificate may 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.

Graduate certificate applicants are required to submit the online application to be admitted as a non-degree student, pay the online application fee ($60 or $70 domestic vs. international respectively) and submit transcripts.  They must submit an official transcript for the highest degree they currently hold.  International applicants must also submit an English proficiency score.


The Forest Finance & Investment graduate certificate program requires 15 credit hours at $850 per credit hour for a total cost of $12,750.

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.

Enrollment will begin fall 2018.


Quick Facts

  • May be completed in less than 3 years
  • Tuition fees are roughly half the cost of a graduate degree
  • Only 15 credit hours required
  • Credit may be applied to a graduate degree
  • No GRE required for enrollment
  • No minimum GPA requirement