College of Agriculture, Food & Environment

Forestry

14

weeks outdoor

hands-on learning

1

accredited

forestry program in KY

15K

acre

outdoor classroom

Restart your search

The forestry major is a professional degree program and is the only one in Kentucky accredited by the Society of American Foresters. We are looking for students who share our passion for forests, wildlife, and other natural resources, and who wish to learn how to manage them for future generations. Learn more about forestry and what you can do with a forestry degree

Career Outcomes

We want you to grow your future and pursue your passion. Our students come from all across Kentucky, as well as other states throughout the region, but one thing that unites them is a love for the outdoors. Whether they like to hunt and fish or simply hike in the woods, our students have found a place they can get a college degree that will lead to many different outdoor careers, and pursue their passion at the same time.

Our classes cover topics like forestry, wildlife, water, fire, forest economics, forest products, and GIS/GPS. We teach land-management techniques using the latest technologies and because many of our classes are actually conducted outdoors, our motto is “small classes, BIG classrooms”.

Here are a few examples of employers of forestry majors: U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Kentucky Division of Forestry or other state forestry agencies, forest products companies, non-profit organizations, and forestry consulting firms. Many forestry graduates continue their education in graduate school. Job opportunities for forestry graduates include:

  • Forester
  • State and federal forester
  • Land Manager
  • Urban Forester
  • Consulting Forester
  • Wildland Firefighter
  • Utility Forester
  • Arborist
  • Forest Biologist
  • GIS Specialist
  • County Extension Agent
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Water Quality Specialist
  • Researcher
  • Naturalist
  • and many more. 
In May 2019, UK students visited Eastern Kentucky to teach local high school students how to reforest local land that had been used for logging and coal mines. Thanks to a careful selection of native trees, grasses and other plant life, the land shown in this photo will be full of wildlife within two years.

Courses You Will Take

Access Major Map

source: myUK: GPS

Forestry (BS) 120 - 124 hours
Freshman Year
Sophomore Year
Junior Year
Senior Year
«
»

Total Freshman Year Credit Hours : 28 - 30

Fall Semester
13 - 14 Credit Hours
CHE 104 or CHE 105
3 - 4
UK Core - Comp. & Comm. I
3
FOR 100
3
FOR 100 - FORESTS AND FORESTRY

FOR 100

3 credit hours

This course covers the interrelated components of forests as well as their growth and importance. Also covered are the general fields of professional forestry including policies, management practices and utilization.

FOR 285
1
FOR 285 - COMMUNICATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES I

FOR 285

1 credit hours

Course provides students with the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively in a variety of professional situations. Leaders from the forestry sector will meet with students in open seminar settings to discuss various internship and career opportunities, job requirements, and career paths. A key component of these presentations will emphasize the ideas, concepts, and skill sets students need to succeed in various forestry careers.

GEN 100
3
GEN 100 - ISSUES IN AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT

GEN 100

**UK Core - Community, Culture and Citizen**

3 credit hours

An introductory course requiring critical analysis of the major social, economic, political and scientific issues in agriculture and related disciplines. The historical development of agriculture will be surveyed, followed by discussions of major issues related to agriculture, food and environment. Development of skills in information gathering, critical analysis of issues, and written and oral communication will be emphasized. Satisfies the U.S. Citizenship area of UK Core. Prereq: Students enrolled in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; freshmen only in fall semesters and transfer students only in spring semesters.

Prereq: Students enrolled in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; freshmen only in fall semesters and transfer students only in spring semesters.

Spring Semester
15 - 16 Credit Hours
BIO 103 or BIO 148
3
UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II
3
FOR 240
2
FOR 240 - FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCE ETHICS

FOR 240

2 credit hours

A study of the key ethical concepts of conservation, preservation, deep ecology, land ethic, spiritualism/religion, and multiple value systems as applied to forestry and natural resource issues. Students will gain an understanding of the ethical dilemmas faced by natural resource professionals, and will be able to identify ways of handling these dilemmas, including application of professional associations’ codes of ethics.

FOR 255
1
FOR 255 - FOREST FIRE

FOR 255

1 credit hours

Basic wildland fire behavior including factors that impact the start and spread of wildfires. Learn foundational skills needed for wildland firefighters. Topics also include an introduction to the incident command and incident management systems. A day-long field day is required as part of the course.

MA 109 or MA 123
3 - 4
UK Core - Arts and Creativity
3

Please login to http://myUK.uky.edu to access your major map and personalized degree audit via the myUK Graduation Planning System (myUK GPS).

Total Sophomore Year Credit Hours : 34

Fall Semester
17 Credit Hours
FOR 200
3
FOR 200 - BASICS OF GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY

FOR 200

**UK Core - Quantitative Foundations**

3 credit hours

A basic introduction to the various types of maps and their uses, field navigation skills, and map making. The course is heavily field and laboratory based, with an emphasis on hands-on learning and practice. Both traditional technologies, such as compasses, U.S. Geological Survey maps, and aerial photographs as well as newer technologies, such as global positioning systems and geographic information system databases will be employed in carrying out course exercises.

FOR 219
4
FOR 219 - DENDROLOGY

FOR 219

4 credit hours

A study of the basic concepts of botany related to woody species and their use, along with basic soil and site characteristics in the identification of trees and forest vegetation.

FOR 250
4
FOR 250 - STATISTICS AND MEASUREMENTS I

FOR 250

**UK Core - Statistical Inferential Reason**

4 credit hours

The application of statistical concepts, computations, and software to forestry sampling and inventory problems. Land, individual tree and timber stand measurement techniques will be covered as will the design and implementation of sampling systems to derive information necessary to meet landowner objectives.

Prereq: MA 109 or calculus.

FOR 280
3
FOR 280 - FOREST RESOURCE POLICY AND LAW

FOR 280

3 credit hours

This course provides a basic knowledge of United States policy and law as it applies to management and administration of forests and related resources on public and private land. Topics include the sources, development, and analysis of relevant laws, administrative regulations, and other policies. Judicial decisions addressing the management of National Forests, biodiversity, water resources, and other specific issues will be discussed.

UK Core - Humanities
3
Spring Semester
17 Credit Hours
FOR 260
4
FOR 260 - FOREST PRODUCTS AND WOOD SCIENCE

FOR 260

4 credit hours

An examination of basic material properties of wood, methods by which it is used, and issues and economic conditions in which domestic and global wood markets operate. Concepts covered include species identification, chemical and mechanical properties and their effect on utilization, utilization technologies and their linkage to silvicultural practices, and affiliated issues such as recycling, product certification, environmental concerns, and alternative products.

FOR 330
3
FOR 330 - GIS AND SPATIAL ANALYSIS

FOR 330

3 credit hours

Principles and operations of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applied to forestry and natural resources. Students will learn to collect necessary field data to create GIS maps and digital spatial data sets, perform basic spatial analysis, and integrate social and economic data to solve spatially related natural resource problems.

Prereq: MA 109 or Calculus, and FOR 200, or consent of instructor.

PLS 366
4
PLS 366 - FUNDAMENTALS OF SOIL SCIENCE

PLS 366

4 credit hours

Study of the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils and how these properties relate to plant nutrient availability and plant growth, land- use planning and management issues, and soil and water quality issues. Lecture, three hours; laboratory, three hours.

Prereq: CHE 105.

Professional Elective
3
UK Core - Social Sciences
3

Please login to http://myUK.uky.edu to access your major map and personalized degree audit via the myUK Graduation Planning System (myUK GPS).

Total Junior Year Credit Hours : 29

Fall Semester
16 Credit Hours
FOR 221
1
FOR 221 - WINTER DENDROLOGY

FOR 221

1 credit hours

Idnetification of 100 species of trees, shrubs, and lianas based upon bark, form, twig, and bud characteristics. Laboratory, four hours per week for one-half semester.

Prereq: FOR 219.

FOR 320
3
FOR 320 - FOREST VALUATION AND ECONOMICS

FOR 320

3 credit hours

Apply economic concepts to silvicultural practices, land values, and values affiliated with various forest uses. Apply supply and demand concepts and financial computations to identify and quantify economic consequences of silvicultural actions or management practices. Taxation and monetizing ecosystem services will be discussed.

Prereq: MA 109 or Calculus.

FOR 340
4
FOR 340 - FOREST ECOLOGY

FOR 340

4 credit hours

The study of the forest as a biological community, covering ecosystem concepts such as energy flow, forest nutrition, nutrient cycling, and decomposition. Interrelationships between trees and other organisms comprising the community is also examined through concepts of disturbance, succession, population dynamics, biological and ecosystem diversity, ecosystem management, and ecosystem services.

Prereq: BIO 103 or BIO 150

FOR 350
4
FOR 350 - SILVICULTURE

FOR 350

4 credit hours

A study of ecologically based manipulations of forests to achieve desired management objectives. Develop and apply silvicultural prescriptions and learn the effects of these prescriptions on timber and non-timber forest benefits, forest health and biodiversity, soil, and water resources as well as their effect on broader social, economic, and ecological issues.

Prereq: FOR 219 and FOR 250

FOR 370
4
FOR 370 - WILDLIFE BIOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT

FOR 370

4 credit hours

Applications of basic biological concepts such as physiology, energetics, nutrition, digestive systems, and anatomy to the study of wildlife and wildlife management. In addition to basic wildlife biology, students will also learn taxonomy and identification of wildlife and the principles of wildlife management as well as applied field techniques such as trapping and radio telemetry.

Spring Semester
13 Credit Hours
FOR 286
1
FOR 286 - COMMUNICATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES II

FOR 286

1 credit hours

The course provides students with the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively, written and orally, in a variety of professional settings. Students will meet with forestry and natural resource professionals at their place of business, professional conferences, and in class.

Prereq: FOR 219, FOR 250, FOR 330, FOR 340, FOR 350, FOR 370, and PLS 366, or consent of the field semester coordinator.

FOR 310
1
FOR 310 - INTRODUCTION TO FOREST HEALTH AND PROTECTION

FOR 310

1 credit hours

Introduction to common forest health challenges in the central Appalachians. Identify symptoms associated with common biotic agents (e.g., hemlock woolly adelgid, emerald ash borer, chestnut blight, etc.) and abiotic stressors that affect the health of forested ecosystems. Understand and assess the effects these problems have on ecosystem processes and different methods for conserving forest resources while addressing the impacts. Course incorporates components of forest entomology, forest pathology, abiotic stressors, and invasive species.

Prereq: FOR 219, FOR 250, FOR 330, FOR 340, FOR 350, FOR 370, and PLS 366, or consent of the field semester coordinator.

FOR 356
1
FOR 356 - FOREST SOILS AND HYDROLOGY

FOR 356

1 credit hours

Students will learn to assess the physical environment of forested ecosystems by examining soil-plant-water relationships across a variety of landscape settings.

Prereq: FOR 219, FOR 250, FOR 330, FOR 340, FOR 350, FOR 370, and PLS 366, or consent of the field semester coordinator.

FOR 357
2
FOR 357 - INVENTORY AND MEASUREMENTS II

FOR 357

2 credit hours

This is a practical course designed to provide students with knowledge and skills related to the collection of forest inventory data and the preparation of a forest inventory report required to manage forests and natural resources. Students will become familiar with statistical concepts used in forest measurements; use mapping and navigation procedures to locate sampling areas; conduct forest inventories; and develop inventory reports.

Prereq: FOR 219, FOR 250, FOR 330, FOR 340, FOR 350, FOR 370, PLS 366 or consent of the field semester coordinator.

FOR 358
3
FOR 358 - SILVICULTURAL PRACTICES

FOR 358

3 credit hours

A study of the silvicultural practices for altering the forest canopy and regenerating the forest. Students will learn to apply these practices to meet multiple use objectives such as forest products, wildlife, health and protection, watershed, and recreation and develop silvicultural prescriptions.

Prereq: FOR 219, FOR 250, FOR 330, FOR 340, FOR 350, FOR 370, PLS 366 or consent of the field semester coordinator.

FOR 359
3
FOR 359 - FOREST OPERATIONS AND UTILIZATION

FOR 359

3 credit hours

Plan and design timber harvests, mark a stand for harvest, and describe the effects of harvesting. Use herbicides and pesticides to eradicate invasive species, perform tree planting, conduct thinnings, and participate in prescribed burns. Learn timber utilization technology and determine value added in converting trees to lumber.

Prereq: FOR 219, FOR 250, FOR 330, FOR 340, FOR 350, FOR 370, PLS 366 or consent of the field semester coordinator.

FOR 365
2
FOR 365 - WILDLIFE ASSESSMENT

FOR 365

2 credit hours

An experiential learning opportunity designed to introduce students to basic concepts of forest wildlife management. Become familiar with common techniques to determine wildlife presence and relative abundance. Learn how forest management practices can directly and indirectly impact many wildlife species and their habitats in Kentucky. Understand how forestry and wildlife professionals manipulate forests to meet wildlife management and biodiversity conservation objectives at various spatial scales. Learn the direct and indirect impacts of some wildlife species on forest management.

Prereq: FOR 219, FOR 250, FOR 330, FOR 340, FOR 350, FOR 370, and PLS 366, or consent of the field semester coordinator.

Please login to http://myUK.uky.edu to access your major map and personalized degree audit via the myUK Graduation Planning System (myUK GPS).

Total Senior Year Credit Hours : 28 - 31

Fall Semester
16 Credit Hours
FOR 400
3
FOR 400 - HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES

FOR 400

3 credit hours

In an issues based format, students will study and write about societal trends and their impact on natural systems, the disconnect between society and nature, wildlife-human interactions, as well as problems related to globalization and urbanization. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.

Prereq: This course is approved to fulfill the Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) for forestry majors. To receive GCCR credit for this course, you must 1) already have sophomore status (completed 30 credit hours), 2) earn an average grade of C or better on the designated Composition and Communication intensive assignments, and 3) complete this course and the other approved GCCR course, FOR 480. This course provides partial credit for the written component of the GCCR for the forestry major in conjunction with FOR 480.

FOR 502
3
FOR 502 - FOREST ENTOMOLOGY

FOR 502

3 credit hours

Lectures primarily address principles and concepts. Laboratories use a hands-on approach to demonstrate insect collecting and identification techniques, ecological concepts and management approaches, and use of reference materials.

Prereq: a minimum of 3 credits of basic biology (BIO 103 or BIO 148 or equivalent) or consent of instructor.

FOR 425
4
FOR 425 - FOREST MANAGEMENT

FOR 425

4 credit hours

The principles of sustained yield forest management, management objectives, forest regulation, allowable cut, and timing of timber harvests. Students will identify management objectives for various properties and ownership types and integrate scientific knowledge and both timber and non-timber considerations with landowner objectives to derive management decisions.

Prereq: Completion of the Spring Field Semester or consent of instructor.

FOR 460
3
FOR 460 - FOREST HYDROLOGY AND WATERSHED MANAGEMENT

FOR 460

3 credit hours

Principles and techniques involved in watershed management as it relates to the practice of forestry. Emphasis is placed on understanding the hydrologic cycle, plant-soil interactions from a land-use and landscape perspective, and the need for implementation of forestry best management practices.

Prereq: Forestry spring field semester, or NRE 320, or consent of instructor.

Professional Elective
3
Spring Semester
12 - 15 Credit Hours
FOR 435
3
FOR 435 - CONSERVATION BIOLOGY

FOR 435

**UK Core - Global Dynamics**

3 credit hours

Review the ethical foundations of conservation biology, discuss the scientific evidence that illustrates recent rapid loss of biological diversity at multiple spatial and temporal scales, identify and elaborate on the causative factors of biodiversity loss, discuss various strategies for conserving biodiversity, and discuss ways that various human cultures and associated resource use influence non-human life and the human societies that depend on them. Conservation biology is multidisciplinary in scope and discussion topics include wildlife management, restoration ecology, economics, ethics, geology, evolution, philosophy, phylogeny, taxonomy, genetics, behavioral ecology, population ecology, disease, sociology, sustainable living, and human dimensions. Conservation topics will be global in scope, with well- studied case examples used to support class activities.

Prereq: Introductory biology course, or consent of instructor.

FOR 480
5
FOR 480 - INTEGRATED FOREST RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

FOR 480

5 credit hours

Capstone course. Students will be presented with a real life management scenario in a forested location in Kentucky. Working in teams, students will collect data, determine management objectives, and develop action plans for managing the forest according to the desires of the owner, subject to realistic legal, economic, ethical, and social constraints. Students will be required to produce a professional management plan and present the plan in a public forum at the end of the semester. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.

Prereq: Completion of Field Semester, FOR 425, FOR 460, and Senior Standing

Professional Elective
3
Elective
1 - 4

Please login to http://myUK.uky.edu to access your major map and personalized degree audit via the myUK Graduation Planning System (myUK GPS).

what you'll study

A forestry degree will prepare you to work with a diversity of landowners, agencies, wildlife, and a wide range of forest industries to help manage the benefits of and threats to forests throughout the region. As a forestry major, you will learn:

  • how a forestry degree is an effective background for managing forests and a wide range of natural resources
  • wildlife and watershed management
  • how to enhance the health and integrity of our forests
  • forest policy and ways to address complex socioeconomic issues involved with practicing forestry
  • fundamental forestry concepts such as dendrology, ecology, silviculture, and forest measurements

Imagine Your Future

Conservation Scientists and Foresters

Conservation scientists and foresters manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$61,340

per year in 2018

Work Environment

Conservation scientists and foresters work for governments (federal, state, and local), on privately owned lands, or in social advocacy organizations.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Agricultural and Food Scientists
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
  • Firefighters
  • Forest and Conservation Workers
  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Experiential Education

There are very few majors that offer as many different opportunities to “learn by doing”, and even fewer that focus on learning in outdoor classrooms and laboratories. For example, during the spring semester of the junior year, forestry majors participate in a semester-long, field-oriented immersion into the practice and application of forestry, wildlife, and natural resource management techniques. The first half of the Spring Field Semester is spent traveling throughout Kentucky and the surrounding region to learn about different ecosystems, land uses, landownership types, and wood industry facilities. The second half of the semester is spent at the university’s 15,000-acre experimental forest in southeastern Kentucky to give students additional hands-on field experience. Click here to learn more about the Spring Field Semester. 

Clubs and Organizations

There are numerous volunteer and community service opportunities geared toward restoring and maintaining forests that forestry students can get involved with. The Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters (Forestry Club) is a student organization where students can participate in tree plantings, service projects, professional development, UK Fire Cats, and timber sports.  

Apply for Our Scholarships

In addition to automatic and competitive scholarships from the University of Kentucky, Forestry students are also eligible for a variety of awards from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. With one of the largest college-based scholarship programs, we have awarded more than $3 million over the past four years. These awards are based on a variety of criteria such as hometown, major, career goals, high school extracurriculars, and more. 

The deadline to apply is December 1 for first-semester freshmen and January 31 for current students and transfer students. For more information, click here

Join Our Living Learning Program

Named after UK's first female graduate, Belle C. Gunn, this first-year program is open to all University of Kentucky freshmen.  We seek students who, like Gunn, have passion and determination.  Through field trips, professional development workshops, and service programs, we apply student passions to global issues at the intersection of food, economics, and environment.  All students in this program will also enroll in connected courses, share study groups, and have an assigned peer mentor - all to help with the transition to college life. 

While all students will enjoy the same benefits, some events and projects will be geared toward students' preferences and career goals. Depending on interests, each student will join one of the following tracks: 

  • Food & Health 
  • Family & Community 
  • Nature & Landscapes 
  • Livestock & Equine 

 

 

 

 

All students participating in our living learning program will live in Woodland Glen IV, one of UK's newest residence halls.  To apply, select the "Agriculture, Food and Environment" living learning program while completing the housing application. For more information, visit the University of Kentucky Housing website