Forest science is the scientific study of forest planning and management, animal and plant life, ecology and conservation. Students in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Forest Science program may study silviculture, agriculture, wildlife, botany, wood science, and more. They gain hands-on experience through field trips, internships (required for graduation) and lab work. As many schools offer concentrations in conservation, forest management and ecology, graduates are prepared to actively participate in these areas. While there are no standard educational prerequisites for this degree program, students should have a strong math and science background because the course content relies on a foundation in these subjects.
Bachelor of Science in Forest Science
While coursework varies by institution, typical topics in a bachelor's-level forest science program include:
- Soil science
Graduates with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Forest Science may be employed by government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Forest Service or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Those who go on to receive advanced degrees often become teachers or doctors. Popular careers in forest science include:
- Research scientist
Employment Outlook and Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), conservation scientists and foresters are expected to see 7% growth in employment over 2014-2024. The mean annual salary for foresters was $60,650 as of May 2015.
Since many forest science careers require advanced degrees, graduates often enroll in a master's or doctoral degree program. The Society of American Foresters offers membership benefits, including e-learning courses and the opportunity to participate in community groups. The organization also offers career assistance through fairs and a foresters' certification program for professionals (www.safnet.org).
A bachelor's degree in forest science covers a wide range of topics in biology, ecology, and geology. Graduates can pursue careers in research or further education and certification.