Master of Forestry

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 4+1 program

Students currently enrolled on the UC Berkeley campus may apply for the Master of Forestry 4+1 (or 5th year) program. This will allow students who plan to graduate with a bachelor's degree in one of the ESPM majors  to apply to the program. If admitted, students could take up to three courses in the final term of their senior year which may apply to the master's degree (provided the class is not also a requirement of their undergraduate program). This program will allow students to earn their degree in one academic year instead of two years.

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.

Course work

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.


Students may seek out internship opportunities with a public or private forestland management organization. Internships provide direct experiences in the application of theory to professional land management.

Professional paper

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.

Oral Exam

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.

See the Graduate Programs FAQ. For more information on the Master of Forestry degree, please contact the Forestry Advisor.

Care to learn more about student resources and experiences. Check out the ESPM Wiki Page for Master of Forestry found here.

Faculty Advisor: Rob York

Staff Advisor: Ryann A. Madden