Master of Forest Resources

The Master of Forest Resources (MFR) degree is a terminal, professional forestry degree for those interested in professional practice of forestry.  At Clemson, the MFR is not accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) but the BS in Forestry is accredited (this is pretty typical for many schools).

There are three MFR options at Clemson:

  • With an accredited BS in Forestry…

    • …the MFR has no specific requirements beyond foundation statistics courses; other course work is determined by the student’s committee.  

  • Without an accredited BS in Forestry…

    • …students complete substantially all the undergraduate forestry and related courses required of the accredited undergraduate forestry major.

    • …this requirement is mitigated by the predominance of senior-level (or 400-level) courses in the undergraduate major. Many of these 400-level courses can also be taken at the 600-level (graduate level).  Up to one half of the required 36 credits for the M.F.R. may be 600-level courses.  

    • …the required background course work usually includes:

      • FNR 204 – Soil Information Systems, FOR 205 – Dendrology, FOR 206 – Forest Ecology, FOR 221 – Forest Biology, FOR251/252/253/254 – Forestry Summer Camp, FOR 302 – Forest Biometrics, FOR 304 – Forest Resource Economics, For 308 – Remote Sensing in Forestry, FOR 341 – Wood Procurement Practices, FOR 406 – Forested Watershed Management, FOR 410 – Harvesting Processes, FOR 413 – Integrated Forest Pest Management, FOR 415 – Forest Wildlife Management, FOR 416 – Forest Resource Policy, FOR 417 – Forest Resource Management and Regulation, FOR 418 – Forest Resource Valuation, FOR 431 -  Recreation Resource Planning in Forest Management,  FOR 434 – GIS for Landscape Planning, FOR 425 – Forest Resource Management Plans, and FOR 465 – Silviculture.  These required courses include in excess of 18 credits of potential 600-level courses; thus foundation course work for these M.F.R. graduate students can represent up to half of the required 36 credits for the degree.

  • With a B.S. in Natural Resource or Wildlife Management…

    • …many of the foundation course requirements may have been met as part of that bachelor’s program.  For example, a course in natural resource policy (with an acceptable syllabus) may possibly substitute for a forest policy course.  These substitutions are decided by the graduate committee.

Program Requirements:  MFR graduate students are expected to complete 36 credits, with at least half at the 700-level or above.  Two one credit seminars and a professional paper or project is required that usually earns three credits.  The seminars and paper count towards the upper-level graduate credit requirement.

Assistantships:  Many MFR graduate students serve as graduate research or teaching assistants.  Half-time or quarter-time assistantships are available.  A half-time student is limited to 12-credits per semester; a student without an assistantship may take up to about 15 credits per semester.

Length of Program:  Typically an MFR for a student with an undergraduate forestry degree takes about 16 months to complete.  However, especially for graduate students without an assistantship with higher limits on credits allowed per semester, it is possible to complete an M.F.R. program in one calendar year.  Twelve credits over two semesters and a summer term equate to the 36 credit requirement.

One Popular Option:  A popular option is a forest business MFR.  Many of the MBA courses are offered at convenient times allowing for programs of study that easily accommodate a single year.  A typical student may take a few graduate forestry coursers, a core of MBA courses, and a few specialized technical courses in GIS, appraisal, or real estate, for example.

Program Completion:  The MFR must be completed within 6 years.