Degree Requirements

To earn a B.S. in Forestry at the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, you must complete general degree requirements and choose one of two degree options: Forest Operations or Forest Resources Management and complete required courses in that option. The forestry degree is accredited by the Society of American Foresters.

A total of 120 credits are required to graduate from the University of Montana. Of these, 39 credits must be upper-division (300-level or higher). A total of 36 traditional letter-graded semester credits are required in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, of which a minimum of 20 credits must be taken while enrolled in an approved major within the college. Forestry majors are required to fulfill 400 hours of approved work experience. We will help connect you with employers that will allow you to meet this 400-hour work requirement and will add depth to your academic experiences. View student jobs


The Forestry curriculum is organized as a core set of courses that all Forestry majors take. This core includes foundational math and science courses (biology, chemistry, trigonometry, public speaking, economics), foundational natural resource courses (field skills, applied statistics, professional writing, dendrology, soils, and geographic information systems), forestry knowledge areas we feel are core to the practice of forested land management (forest economics, forest ecology, silviculture, forest products manufacturing, harvesting and roads, watershed hydrology, natural resource policy), and a capstone experience that pulls together all of these topic areas into a single planning exercise within a service learning project. 

In addition to the core Forestry courses, all Forestry students are required to select an option. These options are described in further detail below and allow you to customize your degree based on your intended career path and interests.

4 Year Plan Button

This four-year plan includes all core requirements on the first page. The second page lists the requirements for each of the two options. It is this advising sheet (commonly referred to as the “green sheet”) that you will use when you meet with a Forestry advisor and when scheduling courses to ensure you remain on track to earn your degree.

Forest Resources Management Option

The Forest Resources Management option is the more flexible of the two available options within the Forestry degree. In addition to the core Forestry classes (see the four-year plan above), you will take a forest planning course and 18-credits of professional electives that are distributed within four broad content areas of biophysical sciences, management applications, policy and social sciences, and measurement and analysis. This option is designed to allow you to either specialize in a particular sub-field of forestry or to broaden your knowledge base.

Degree requirements listed in the UM catalog   

Forest Operations Option

This option gives you the basic forestry and technical skills needed to develop and implement forest management plans. These skills include location, design, and management of low-volume forest road systems; physical and economic evaluation of alternative harvesting systems; applications of forest operations to address a wide variety of management objectives; and methods to minimize impacts of roads and operations on soil, water, scenic, social, and wildlife values. In addition to the core Forestry classes (see the four-year plan above), you will take advanced content in forest road and harvesting system design, market and non-market economic evaluation techniques, and additional background in forest resources and ethics/social sciences.

Degree requirements listed in the UM catalog