Programs for aspiring arborists are available at community and 4-year colleges and universities. Students interested in related programs can attain a degree at the associate, bachelor's, master's and Ph.D levels.
Schools with Arboriculture-Related Programs
Here's a list of schools with applicable programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition 2015-2016*|
|University of Tennessee||Knoxville, Tennessee||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate:
|Purdue University||West Lafayette, Indiana||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate:
|University of Wisconsin||Madison, Wisconsin||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate:
|Yale University||New Haven, Connecticut||4-year, Private||Master's, Doctorate||$38,700|
|University of Missouri||Columbia, Missouri||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate:
Out-of-state $25,166 Graduate:
In-state tuition $8,402
|The Ohio State University||Columbus, Ohio||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate:
|Stephen F. Austin State University||Nacogdoches, Texas||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate:
|Mid-State Technical College||Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin||2-year, Public||Associate's||In-state $4,211
|University of Maine||Orono, Maine||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate:
Graduate: In-state $7,524
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for arborist schools:
- Look for accreditation by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) or the school's state division of forestry.
- A program for aspiring arborists should incorporate fieldwork experience in addition to classroom work.
- The study of silviculture, an emerging field that involves analysis for conservation and sustainability, should also be part of the curriculum.
Associate's Degree Programs
Many of these 2-year programs are designed to be transferable to local universities for completion of a bachelor's degree program. Associate's degree programs teach students the basics, such as dendrology, plant health care and plant identification.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
These programs advance students through environment-related fields such as resources, geographic systems and ecology. Some schools offer many of the required courses that lead to forester and arborist certification. Many offer different tracks that are relevant to arborists, such as forest conservation, forest ecology and forest management. An internship may be required.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degrees are pertinent to arborists who want to work with government municipalities or in education. Some schools offer the thesis as optional - only those looking to pursue a Ph.D. need to complete one.
Arborists interested in university-level research or teaching will need a Ph.D. Most programs require an on-campus residency of at least one year as well as the completion of oral and written examinations and a dissertation. Some programs also require students to fulfill teaching requirements.
When researching degree programs for arborists, such as forestry or forest science, students should verify accreditation, experiential learning components and units in silviculture.