Natural Resources: Forestry (M.S.)

Natural Resources: Forestry (M.S.)
Natural Resources: Forestry

Why get a master’s degree in natural resources with a forestry option?

UNH’s M.S. in natural resources with an option in forestry will prepare you for work in a range of forestry-related fields, from sustainable forest management and conservation to policy development. Focus areas of the program include forest resource economics and management, forest measurements (biometrics), forest health, forest ecosystem ecology, and spatial data analysis (remote sensing and GIS). You’ll learn research and analysis tools to prepare you for evidence-based advanced practice. Graduates of our program have gone on to work for federal and state agencies, for private industry, and for non-governmental organizations.

Why choose UNH for your degree? 

In the forestry option graduate program, you’ll be supported by a productive and internationally recognized faculty. Most students in this option already have an undergraduate degree in forestry or natural resource management.  However, if you do not, it is possible to complete some additional basic forestry coursework as part of the M.S. program. UNH is located near the White Mountains with access to a diverse array of field sites, including woods, woodlots, fields, farms and a sawmill. UNH, which earned a Carnegie Classification R1, is ranked among the nation’s highest-performing research universities and has a research portfolio that brings in more than $110 million in competitive external funding each year.

Potential career areas

  • Conservationist
  • Forester
  • Forest steward 
  • Geospatial analyst 
  • Parks and recreation manager 
  • Private consultant 
  • Recreation manager
  • State and federal agencies 
  • Urban forestry manager

Academic Program Manager
Phone: (603) 862-3933
Office: Natural Resources & the Environment, James Hall Rm 114, Durham, NH 03824

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Curriculum & Requirements


Students in the Forestry option typically have an undergraduate degree in forestry or natural resource management. Those without this background may need to complete some additional coursework as part of their MS program. Areas of interest include forest resource economics and management, biometrics/measurements, forest health, forest ecosystem dynamics, and spatial data analysis (remote sensing and GIS).

Degree Requirements

An M.S. degree is conferred upon successful completion of a program of not less than 30 credits for natural resources and the environment options: forestry, environmental conservation and sustainability, environmental economics, ecosystem science, and wildlife and conservation biology.

Course Requirements or Equivalents

NR 903Approach to Research2
Choose one of the following additional research methods classes:2-3
NR 905
Grant Writing
BIOL 902
Writing and Publishing Science
BIOL 950
Scientific Communication
GRAD 834
Fundamentals of Citizen and Community Science
Or an alternative with approval from the Graduate Coordinator
NR 993Natural and Environmental Resources Seminar2
NR 996Natural Resource Education 12
or NR 900 Teaching Assistantship Practicum
Select one of the following Data Analysis courses: 23-4
ANFS 933
Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Experiments
BIOL 811
Experimental Design & Analysis
DATA 800
Introduction to Applied Analytic Statistics
ECON 926
Econometrics I
EDUC 904
Qualitative Inquiry in Research
ESCI 801
Quantitative Methods in Earth Sciences
MATH 835
Statistical Methods for Research
MATH 839
Applied Regression Analysis
MATH 840
Design of Experiments I
NR 909
Analysis of Ecological Communities and Complex Data
NR 913
Hierarchical Modeling in Ecology
PPOL 908
Quantitative Methods for Policy Research
PSYC 805
Research Methodology and Statistics I
PSYC 907
Research Methods and Statistics III
SOC 901
Sociological Methods I: Intermediate Social Statistics
SOC 903
Sociological Methods III: Advanced Social Statistics
SOC 904
Sociological Methods IV: Qualitative and Historical Research Methods
Select one of the following:
NR 899Master's Thesis 36
NR 998Directed Research 44

If you are supported on a Teaching Assistantship, you are required to take NR 900 Teaching Assistantship Practicum, during your first semester.


Or other alternative with approval from the Graduate Coordinator.


The thesis option will provide a research-based thesis that is the foundation for a peer-reviewed publication.


The directed research option is a professionally oriented body of work, most often geared to meet the needs of the stakeholder. The project, designed and conducted by the student, will culminate in a scholarly paper or report that is suitable for publication in the respective field of scholarship. 

An approved program of study plan is required during the first semester.

This graduate program is approved to be taken on an accelerated basis in articulation with certain undergraduate degree programs.

General Accelerated Master's policy, note that some programs have additional requirements (e.g. higher grade expectations) compared to the policy.

Please see the Graduate School website and contact the department directly for more information.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Knowledge and skills outcomes to ensure graduates of the MS program have mastered their discipline: demonstrate knowledge of theory and practice, as well as critical thinking skills and creativity, in conducting ecological, economic, and policy assessment of natural resource and environmental issues and developing solutions to environmental problems;
  • successfully employ the field, laboratory, data analysis, and social science skills necessary to perform research concerning natural resources and their management;
  • design, propose, and execute research addressing fundamental or critical issues in natural resources;
  • contribute to scholarship through publication and presentation of research findings using diverse media.

Professional outcomes to ensure graduates of the MS program successfully compete for jobs in the public and private sectors:

  • demonstrate mastery of theory and empirical knowledge in their research concentration and, more generally, in the relevant natural and/or social;
  • use written and oral skills to communicate effectively with colleagues, stakeholders, and the public;
  • integrate theory and practice to analyze, assess, and solve environmental and social problems and answer questions across diverse scales from local to global;
  • develop and employ interdisciplinary relationships and approaches to addressing environmental issues;
  • interact with professional peers honestly and ethically, and in ways that show cultural sensitivity, inquisitiveness, and propensity for teamwork.

Apply now


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: February 15
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes (for more details see the accelerated masters information page)

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

Applicants should visit the Natural Resources program website and review the list of faculty in their area of interest. The applicant should contact potential faculty advisors to discuss their interests and determine whether the faculty member(s) may be willing and able to serve as the student’s advisor before applying to the program. See the Natural Resources Faculty List for a current list of faculty.

GRE Optional

The GRE scores are optional, if you wish to provide scores please email the scores directly to the department once you have submitted your application online.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

Our graduate advising faculty and their research interests are listed here.

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