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Graduate Programs

Forest Resources (MFR, MS, PHD)

The Forest Resources (FORR) Program is housed within the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation. The Program offers three degree options: Master of Forest Resources (MFR), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Enrollment in these programs is open to students who have earned a baccalaureate degree in forestry, forest products, or a related field.

  • The MFR is a non-thesis, terminal degree that may be suited for students who will pursue a career in business, education, or other areas that do not require substantial research experience.
  • The PhD and MS are research degrees that require a dissertation and thesis, respectively.
  • Specialization & Research Emphasis

    Areas of specialization within FORR are aligned with those of the major advisor (advisory committee chair). The most common areas of specialization include research topics in:

    • forest ecology
    • forest health
    • wood products
    • forest economics
    • silviculture
  • Admission Requirements

    (in addition to Graduate School requirements

    A Bachelor of Science in a FORR-related discipline is desirable, but not required. The candidate may be required to satisfy undergraduate deficiencies before being admitted to full status. 

    GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores are not required for application.  Prospective major advisors may, however, choose to require the GRE for admission.

    The following items are required as part of the application: (1) Online application, (2) Official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores for international students, (3) Unofficial transcripts (official transcripts will be required upon admission), and (4) two letters of recommendation.

  • Requirements for Degree

    The FORR Program follows Graduate School minimum degree requirements for credit hours (including research credits), time limits, and theses/dissertations. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Policies and Procedures handbook.

    Complete departmental requirements of the FORR program can be found in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation’s Graduate Student Handbook.

    Students pursuing the MFR degree must successfully complete at least 36 credit hours of graduate coursework, which cannot include thesis research, and must include at least 18 hours selected from courses numbered 7000 or above. In addition, students who do not have a bachelor’s degree in forestry (from an accredited forestry program) must also complete the coursework required for a bachelor’s degree in forestry, including summer camp. All students must also complete a research project (non-thesis). 

    With regard to MS degree credit requirements, the Graduate School requires a minimum of thirty hours beyond the bachelor’s degree for any master’s degree, to include a minimum of 24 hours of graduate credit and a minimum of six hours of master’s thesis research. At least one-half of the total graduate credit hours required by the advisory committee, exclusive of thesis research, must be selected from courses numbered 8000 or above. 

    With regard to PhD degree credit requirements, the Graduate School requires that a doctoral degree comprise a minimum of 30 credits beyond the master’s degree and at least 60 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. A minimum of 12 credit hours of non-research coursework and a minimum of 18 hours of dissertation research are required for any doctoral degree. 

    Plan of Study

    The Plan of Study varies by degree and is tailored to each student's needs and interests. Students within all Forest Resources graduate degrees take two semesters of Graduate Seminar (FNR 8080 or equivalent). Beyond that, the student works with his or her advisory committee to identify courses that will help develop proficiencies in experimental design, statistical analysis, and the areas in forest sciences that are relevant to their research topics. Students may be required to correct deficiencies in their academic background by auditing or by enrolling in supplemental courses.

    MFR students are required to present an exit seminar and final report in accordance to the guidelines set by the advisory committee during the first committee meeting.
  • Financial Information

    Most students in our research-based degree programs (MS, PhD) are supported through Research Assistantships (RA). These assistantships are made available to students at the discretion of individual FEC department faculty members. Therefore, we recommend you contact faculty whose research interests you, and inquire about the availability of such assistantships prior to submitting a formal application. Our faculty have expertise in a wide variety of forest-related disciplines and are dedicated to providing a quality education for students and to pioneering forestry research both locally and around the world.

    Many faculty members post opportunities for RAs on the FEC Graduate Research Assistantship Openings web page. 

    There are a small number of College and University fellowships available to incoming students, that would provide a stipend. Some of those can be browsed at the Graduate School's Fellowship and Awards web page.

    Prior to applying, it is the applicant’s responsibility to identify a faculty member willing to serve as their advisor. Applicants can then email faculty members with a brief description of your interests, prior experience, and inquire about availability of funding and opportunities.

    Please note that aspiring students will need to connect with a faculty advisor and be accepted into the Department’s Graduate Program to be eligible for the assistantship. Students that feel qualified for this award should consider mentioning it when communicating with potential faculty advisors. Students on these assistantships will be expected to TA for the Master of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources (online) degree program one semester each year.

    FEC grad faculty FEC Grad Research openings
  • Job Placement

    A Forest Resources degree from Clemson is designed to provide students with advanced training for scientific-based management of forest resources, products, and services. Graduates from the program are working in both private and public spheres to help ensure sustainability and quality of resources including timber, water, and recreational value on natural lands. Our graduates are employed by:

    • Private consulting firms (such as American Forest Management and Corblu Ecology)
    • The Nature Conservancy
    • Forestry Association of South Carolina
    • Federal and state agencies (such as US Department of Agriculture and South Carolina Forestry Commission)  
    • Forest products industry (such as Industrial Paper and Milliken Forestry)
    • University professors (e.g., University of Arkansas and University of Missouri)
    • Plantation managers for landowners
  • Contact Information

    Toni Becker, MS
    Student Services Manager
    Office: 265 A Lehotsky Hall
    Clemson, SC  29634-0317
    Phone: 864-656-1645
    Fax: 864-656-3304

    Dr. Patrick Jodice
    Graduate Coordinator
    Office: 238 Lehotsky Hall
    Clemson, SC 29634-0317
    Phone: 864-656-6190
    Fax: 864-656-3304

College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences
College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences |