OVERVIEW OF DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120
Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0
Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: Students must earn a minimum grade of “C-” in all required courses having the SFR course designator.
Other GPA requirements to graduate: None.
Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience: SFR 492
Contact Information: William H. Livingston, Associate Director for Undergraduate Programs, 201b Nutting Hall, 581-2990, WilliamL@maine.edu
Forestry is an applied science that involves conserving and managing forest ecosystems within increasingly complex social environments. It combines forest ecosystem sciences, management sciences, and communications skills for managing forest resources to meet society’s ever-increasing needs for desired products, services, and forest conditions.
A forester is a professional who must understand the many different aspects of managing natural and human elements of forest systems. Forestry requires a broad education. Biological and physical sciences deal with the complex interactions of forest ecosystems. Social sciences provide understanding of how humans value forest conditions and forest-based products and services. Computer tools, field skills, and quantitative methods provide the information necessary for foresters to make management decisions. Knowledge of forest operations and markets is another key element of sustainable forestry. Overall, a forestry student faces a challenging and stimulating education that matches human needs and desires with the sustainable capabilities of forests.
The University of Maine has the longest, continuously accredited professional forestry program in the United States. We celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the program in 2003. The B.S. in Forestry is accredited by the Society of American Foresters as a first degree in professional forestry. The goals of the degree are to combine instruction in 1) basic sciences and liberal arts that are fundamental to a college education, 2) practical forestry skills that will allow a graduate to compete for entry-level positions, and 3) fundamentals of applied forest resources and management sciences which graduates can build upon throughout their careers.
The Forestry program at the University of Maine retains a strong field orientation. Training in a forest setting begins with the first semester, and continues throughout the curriculum. The program utilizes the University’s 1,270-acre Dwight B. Demeritt Forest located next to the campus. In addition, the nearby Penobscot Experimental Forest and other properties owned and managed by the University, provide nearly 15,000 acres of living laboratories for forestry education and research. Large areas of public and private, industrial and non-industrial forestland near the University provide additional opportunities for a field-based education. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the numerous opportunities for summer employment with public and private land-management organizations.
Students in the Forestry program have an opportunity to study, interact, and often work with the large number of graduate students from around the world who have been attracted to forest-related studies at the University of Maine. The forestry faculty members have active research programs, and they are involved in various outreach activities for the profession. Students learn from faculty who continually explore and extend the latest knowledge in their areas of forest science, and students meet directly with these faculty for academic advising.
The Forestry program provides a very broad education that allows foresters to seek employment in a wide range of positions, but most graduates work with some aspect of forest resources management. In Maine, organizations that manage large private land holdings, are a major employer of foresters. An increasing number of forestry graduates become independent consultants, serving mostly non-industrial private forestland owners such as the thousands who own more than half of Maine’s timberland. Federal agencies, such as the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service employ many foresters. State natural resources agencies hire foresters to manage state forestlands and to provide advice to owners of small woodland properties. Non-governmental conservation organizations employ foresters to further the interests of their programs.
The Forestry program is part of the School of Forest Resources which has the largest scholarship endowment fund on campus for an academic unit, and the School awarded nearly $400,000 for the 2015-16 academic year to help support undergraduate studies.
Under the New England Regional Student Program, administered through the New England Board of Higher Education, the Bachelor of Science in Forestry is open to applicants who reside in Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island for reduced tuition (in-state tuition plus 50 percent).
The BS in Forestry curriculum requires completion of 120 credits of coursework. Students need to complete 30 credits in 400 level SFR courses at UMaine in order to earn the degree. In addition to the University’s general education requirements in science, human values, communications, mathematics, and ethics, the curriculum includes forest-oriented courses in ecology, silviculture, forest growth, biology, soil science, economics, policy, operations, administration, GIS and mapping, and protection. These are combined into an integrated approach to the management of forests for desired, sustainable conditions that respond to society’s demands for a healthy forest environment, wood-based products, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and water resources.