Forestry Graduate Degree Program


Website: Forestry Graduate Degree Program's website

Phone: 608-262-9926

284B Russell Labs


The Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology offers graduate education and training in a number of areas leading to the master of science and/or the doctor of philosophy in forestry or wildlife ecology. The program takes pride in its outstanding research reputation and the success of graduates working throughout the world. The wildlife ecology program was founded by Aldo Leopold in 1939, and has maintained his vision and legacy of excellence in current research and graduate training activities. Leopold’s career spanned two professions, forestry and wildlife conservation, so the program strives to maintain excellence in both fields.

Master’s and doctoral work in forestry is offered in the following areas: forest ecology, silviculture, forest ecosystem analysis and management, landscape ecology and planning, forest stand dynamics, forest restoration ecology, tree physiology, remote sensing of forests and natural resources, natural resource policy, social forestry, forest management, ecosystem services, and economics of forests and natural resources.


Applications to graduate studies act as the application for financial support.

Offers of financial support accompany most offers of admission for students admitted to Forestry and Wildlife Ecology.


We strongly recommend that applicants contact individual faculty in the department who work in their area of interest to determine if they are accepting applications before submitting a formal application to the Graduate School or review the positions posted on the Graduate Training Opportunities page.  Most successful applicants have

  1. had contact with their prospective advisor
  2. developed a research focus
  3. prepared a student ‘statement of purpose’ in the area of interest
  4. the ability to relate their desired area of study to that of a particular faculty member

Personal contact is very important. Applicants should make this contact at least 6-12 months prior to their anticipated admission, which can be anytime during the year (not only fall semesters). Note: such contact does not ensure admission; it merely serves to initiate a dialog between a student and a potential advisor.The applicant can learn whether there will be openings when they wish to apply.

Tips for contacting prospective graduate faculty advisors

Generally, the Department does not routinely accept new graduate students into the program unless they meet all admission requirements. In the vast majority of cases students will only be admitted when:

  1. financial support for the student is currently in the hands of a faculty member, or is assured by the time a student begins, or
  2. a student brings independent funding and has contacted a faculty member who agrees to serve as advisor.

Thus, it is to the applicant’s advantage to contact potential advisors before applying because they may be able to save the application fee if no support is available or faculty are not accepting applications for the term they wish to enter the university.