College of Agriculture, Food & Environment



weeks outdoor

hands-on learning


only SAF

accredited program in KY



outdoor classroom

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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

we grow careers

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. 
I chose to pursue a degree in Forestry because of my love of being outdoors. Forestry isn’t just about cutting down trees for wood products, but what I have learned is how to utilize our resources responsibly today, so that the generations of tomorrow may also enjoy those same resources.


Forestry Student

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

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. 

Student Involvement

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.  

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