Faculty Advisor: Kevin O'Hara
ESPM’s Master of Forestry degree is the only “M.F.” program in California and the only graduate degree program in California that offers qualifying credit for meeting education/experience requirements for licensing as a Registered Professional Forester in California. The M.F. degree gives those persons with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry additional experience for licensing as well as a foundation in the essentials of professional forest management. For more information on licensing, consult the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection. The M.F. degree is also an option for persons with related, but non-forestry, backgrounds to enter the forestry profession. Recent M.F. students have had backgrounds in urban forestry, fire science, forest policy, or liberal arts backgrounds. Students with non-forestry background generally take longer to complete degree requirements.
Master of Forestry Curriculum
The M.F. program has four components: course work, an internship, a professional paper, and an oral examination, and typically takes about two years for completion.
24 semester units of upper division and graduate courses, of which at least 12 units are at the graduate level. The Forestry Graduate Advisor and the student’s Guiding Professor must approve the program of study to assure advanced specialized training in professional forest resource management. Advanced courses in forest measurements, silviculture and management are required.
Normally with a public or private forestland management organization, the internship provides direct experience in the application of theory to professional land management.
The paper demonstrates a student’s ability to assemble and analyze data and to recommend a resolution of an applied forest problem. The paper may be based on the internship or on another supervised professional work experience, or may be a report based on independent analysis. The paper must have Guiding Professor and Forestry Graduate Advisor acceptance and approval.
A comprehensive oral examination covering forest management is taken after completion of course work and approval of the professional paper. Primary emphasis will be on work done in the period of residence, but students should also be prepared to demonstrate mastery of the general field of forestry.