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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Forest Sciences

Majors Overview April 2, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in forest sciences and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Forest Sciences

Forest science features the scientific study of conservation, ecology, animal and plant life, and forest planning and management. Those who seek a career in the forest sciences can take the first step toward that goal by earning a bachelor’s degree. Schools also offer advanced degree programs for students interested in this highly scientific area of study.

Additionally, the Society of American Foresters offers professional certification for interested graduates. Entomology (insects), geology, soil science, wood science, botany, wildlife, agriculture, and silviculture are among the subjects studied by students in a bachelor’s program.

Hands-on experience is gained by students through working in the forest environment via participation in internships and field trips; the curriculum also includes lab work. Concentrations in ecology, forest management, and conservation are also offered by many schools. Graduates are ready for active participation in the conservation of the plant life, wildlife, and forests that impart vitality to the ecosystems of the planet.

Education Requirements

While no standard educational requirements are expected to be met by incoming students, a strong science and math background will prove helpful as the coursework requires a strong foundation in these subject areas. Ideally, applicants should have completed high school-level laboratory science, chemistry, mathematics, and biology.


While coursework varies by school, core coursework may commonly cover topic areas such as:

•Soil science

Career Choices

Those who complete a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Forest Sciences may seek employment with government agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Forest Service, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Those who successfully graduate from the program often become doctors or teachers. They may choose from popular career options such as:

•Research scientist

Continuing Education Choices

Advanced degrees are a requirement for many careers in forest sciences. Graduates of the bachelor’s program may seek continuing education by earning a master’s degree; many opt to earn a Ph.D through enrollment in doctoral programs.

Membership benefits, including the opportunity to participate in community groups and e-learning courses, are offered by the Society of American Foresters. Career assistance is also offered by the organization through career fairs, in addition to a certified forester credential program for forest science professionals.

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