University of Montana Catalog 2023-2024

Forestry M.S.


Degree Specific Credits: 30

Required Cumulative GPA: 3.0

The specific courses (program of study) that a graduate student enrolls in will be tailored to each individual based on their academic background, professional interests, and the focus of their thesis work. The minimum requirements include:

  • At least 30 graduate semester credits. Specific courses determined by the student’s graduate committee.
  • At least 20 credits in coursework (not including thesis or research credits), with at least half (minimum 10 credits) of the 20 coursework credits at the 500-level or above. 400-level courses used to fulfil this requirement must be approved to offered for graduate credit.
  • At least 20 credits (including coursework, research, and thesis credits) within the major discipline.
  • A maximum of 10 credits of research and/or thesis.
  • At least one credit of graduate seminar per semester (FORS, NRSM, PTRM, or WILD 594).
  • A research methods course related to the student’s field of study.
  • A graduate-level statistics course (or comparable analytical course).
  • Thesis or Professional Paper Options:
    • The thesis option includes:
      • A formal research proposal presenting the conceptual and empirical framework of the research.
      • A thesis – written thesis, seminar, and defense. 
    • The professional paper option includes:
      • A formal project proposal presenting the conceptual and empirical framework of the professional paper.
      • A professional paper – written paper, seminar, and defense.

Course Requirements

In addition to these specific requirements, a list of required/suggested coursework must be approved by the committee no later than the second semester in residence, but earlier if possible.  Other suitable courses (e.g., emphasizing analytical skills) can be substituted at the discretion of the student’s committee.

Graduate Seminar
Complete at least 2 credits of the following courses. Students typically complete 3-5 credits.2
Graduate Seminar
Conservation and Social Science Seminar
Graduate Seminar in Wildlife Biology
Research Methods
Complete one of the following courses:3
Sampling Methods
Conservation and Social Science Methods
Research Design
Complete one of the following courses:3-4
Any Statistics (STAT) or Mathematics (M) course.
Sampling Methods
Ecological Statistics
Wildlife Habitat Modeling
Estimation of Demographic Parameters
Electives, Research, and Thesis or Professional Paper
Complete 21-22 credits of graduate-level coursework in consultation with your advisor or committee.21-22
Total Hours30