Graduate study in forestry leads to the Master of Natural Resources (MNR), Master of Science (MS), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. In addition to meeting Graduate School admission requirements, applicants are evaluated and recommended for admission by the graduate faculty of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences based on their previous academic record, experience, and recommendations. TOEFL tests are required for international students. While exceptions may be made, the faculty generally expect a minimum GPA of 3.0 in previous academic course work. Course deficiencies are identified by the student’s advisory committee and approved by the GPO with due consideration for the student’s previous training and experience.
- Master of Natural Resources – The MNR is a non-thesis degree (no research, courses only) and is offered online or as a combination of online and on-campus courses.
Natural Resource Management is available for individuals with a baccalaureate degree who are interested in careers in the natural resources arena. This degree can be completed in 3-4 semesters depending upon coursework selected and requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate courses.
Professional Forester track is for individuals with baccalaureate degrees in fields other than forestry and those who are interested in becoming Registered Foresters in Alabama. This track is a two-year program which begins with a 10 week summer Field Practicum and requires a minimum of 64 semester hours (34 hours of specified undergraduate course work plus 30 hours of graduate course work).
The MNR Professional Forester degree program is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). SAF is the accrediting body recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation as the accrediting agency for forestry education in the United States. Graduation from such SAF-accredited programs is required of all applicants for Registered Forester status in Alabama and several other states.
Requirements for the MNR degree include 30 semester hours at the 6000-8999 level.
- Master of Science (MS) A research proposal and thesis based on original research are major components of the MS degree. The program normally requires 2 – 3 years for completion, and can be tailored for students with interests in forest management, ecology and environmental sciences, economics, engineering, or business. The MS degree program requires a minimum of 30 hours beyond the bachelor degree at the graduate level, 21 hours of which must be in the major. A minimum of 4 but not more than 6 hours in Research and Thesis (FORY 7990) is required. All MS students are required to take Research Methods (FORY 7510) and Seminar (FOWS 7950).
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) may be tailored for any of the topical areas listed under the M.S. A research proposal and dissertation based on original research are required as major components of the PhD degree program. The degree requires 60 semester hours beyond the bachelor degree. There must be a minimum of 30 semester hours in graded coursework at the 7000-level or above. Of the remaining 30 semester hours, 10 hours must be Research and Dissertation (FORY 8990) and 20 hours of 6000-level or above. While some of these 60 hours can be from previous graduate work, such as a MS degree, a minimum of 25 hours of graded coursework at the 6000-level or above must be completed at Auburn. All PhD students are required to take Research Methods ( FORY 7510) and Seminar (FOWS 7950). Oral and written preliminary exams are required for advancement to candidacy; The preliminary exams must be completed no less than two academic terms prior to graduation. The written and oral preliminary examinations for PhD students will normally consist of questions from each committee member regarding technical competency and other related issues.
An urban forestry minor, administered in cooperation with the Department of Horticulture, is available for MNR, MS, and PhD degrees.