2017-18 Academic Catalog

Forestry

Department Head and Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Andrew W. Ezell
105A Thompson Hall
Box 9681
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9681
Telephone: 662-325-2949
E-mail: a.w.ezell@msstate.edu

Graduate study is offered in the Department of Forestry leading to the degrees of

  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Forestry (Main Campus and Distance Campus) and
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Forest Resources with a concentration in Forestry.

Specialized areas of study include the following.

  • Ecohydrology
  • Forest biometrics
  • Forest business and finance
  • Forest ecology
  • Forest ecophysiology
  • Forest genetics
  • Forest harvesting and operations
  • Forest hydrology and soils
  • Forest management and economics
  • Forest recreation
  • Forest restoration
  • Silviculture
  • Spatial technologies in natural resource management
  • Urban and community forestry
  • Wildlife and other natural resource economics

Graduate teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified students.

Admission

M.S. in the Department of Forestry

Admission to the M.S. program in the Department of Forestry requires:

  1. a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university;
  2. a grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher for the last 60 hours of undergraduate study (for regular admission) or a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 (for provisional admission);
  3. a TOEFL score of 550 PBT (79 iBT) or IELTS score of 6.5 or higher for regular admission of international students or a TOEFL score between 477 and 549 (or IELTS equivalent) for conditional admission; and
  4. acceptance by a faculty member who will serve as the student’s major professor. 

In addition, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores may be requested of applicants who do not meet regular-admission requirements or international students applying from non-accredited universities or colleges.

Ph.D. in the Department of Forestry

Admission to the Ph.D. program in the Department of Forestry requires:

  1. a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and an M.S. degree in a related field (or approval for exceptions to the Master’s requirement);
  2. a GPA of 3.10 or higher on prior graduate courses or 3.25 or higher for the last 60 hours of undergraduate study (for exceptions to the Master’s requirement);
  3. a TOEFL score of 550 PBT (79 iBT) or IELTS score of 6.5 or higher for regular admission of international students or a TOEFL score between 477 and 549 (or IELTS equivalent) for conditional admission; and
  4. acceptance by a faculty member who will serve as the student’s major professor. 

In addition, GRE scores may be requested of international students applying from non-accredited universities or colleges. There is no provisional admission to the doctoral program.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission does not apply to doctoral applicants.  Only Master’s degree applicants who have a GPA between 2.50 and 2.99 for the last 60 semester hours of their undergraduate program may be admitted under provisional status, if accepted by a faculty member in the department.  

The provisionally-admitted student is eligible for regular status after receiving a 3.00 GPA on the first 9 hours of graduate courses at Mississippi State University (with no grade lower than a C). The first 9 hours of graduate courses must be within the student's program of study.  Courses with an S grade, transfer credits, or credits earned while in Unclassified status cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.  If a 3.00 is not attained, the provisional student shall be dismissed from the graduate program.  A student admitted with provisional status should contact the graduate coordinator for the program’s specific requirements.  While in provisional status, a student is not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship.

Academic Performance

A graduate student must maintain a 3.00 GPA to remain on a graduate assistantship and must have a 3.00 GPA or greater to receive his/her degree.  A main campus student who begins the program in regular status and falls below a 3.00 cumulative GPA at any time following the start of the program will be placed on probationary status in the following semester and must regain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 within the next two subsequent semesters or within 9 credit hours of graduate coursework, whichever comes first (providing that the student attains a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all semesters during the probationary period).  A distance education student who begins the M.S. program in regular status and falls below a 3.00 cumulative GPA at any time following the start of the program will be place on probationary status in the following semester and will be allowed 9 credit hours of graduate coursework to bring his/her cumulative GPA back to 3.00 regardless of the number of semesters (providing that the student attains a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all semesters during the probationary period).  If this is not accomplished, the student will be dismissed from the graduate program.  A student admitted on provisional status will not be allowed a probationary semester but will be dismissed if the GPA falls below 3.00.

A student receiving any grade of D or F in any course taken after admission to the graduate program will be placed on academic probation and will be required to maintain satisfactory academic performance in all subsequent semesters of his/her graduate program or will be dismissed from the graduate program and lose eligibility for readmission.  A student receiving a grade of U will have one semester to bring his/her performance back up to satisfactory or will be dismissed from the graduate program and lose eligibility for readmission.

Prerequisite and Core Courses

There are no prerequisite or core graduate-level courses required of all graduate students in the Department of Forestry.  Each area of emphasis, and each student’s research or professional paper assignment, will influence what courses are required.

Master of Science in Forestry - Thesis

Graded graduate-level forestry courses12
Graded 8000-level coursework12
FO 8000Thesis Research/ Thesis in Forestry6
Total Hours30

In addition to passing all courses on the approved program of study with a GPA of 3.00 or higher, requirements include passing a comprehensive oral examination on coursework taken, completion of a thesis, passing a final comprehensive defense of the thesis, and securing final approval of the thesis.

If a minor is chosen in another field, at least 9 hours in the minor area must be taken, and a committee member from the minor area is required (refer to individual departmental requirements for minors).  In conjunction with the student, the student’s graduate committee will determine what courses are best suited for the program of study.

Master of Science in Forestry - Non-Thesis

Graded graduate-level Forestry courses12
Graded 8000-level coursework15
FO 8293Professional Paper3
Total Hours30

In addition to passing all courses on the approved program of study with a GPA of 3.00 or higher, requirements include passing a comprehensive oral examination on coursework taken, completion of a professional paper, passing a final comprehensive defense of the professional paper, and securing final approval of the professional paper.

If a minor is chosen in another field, at least 9 hours in the minor area must be taken, and a committee member from the minor area is required (refer to individual departmental requirements for minors).  In conjunction with the student, the student’s graduate committee will determine what courses are best suited for the program of study. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry

Graduate-level coursework (beyond the Bachelor's degree) including 12 credit hours of coursework in the area of emphasis (preferably Forestry)24
FO 9000Dissertation Research/Dissertation in Forestry20
Additional graduate-level courses and/or dissertation/research credit hours10
Total Hours54

A doctoral student’s graduate committee will determine the number of course hours required for the Ph.D. degree based on the student’s academic background and courses currently available at MSU.  This must include a minimum of 24 graded coursework hours beyond the Bachelor's degree, the MSU requirement of at least 20 hours of FO 9000 Research/Dissertation credit, and any requirement of full-time enrollment for an assistantship. 

If a minor is chosen, at least 12 hours in the minor area must be taken, and a committee member from the minor area is required.

Completion of the Ph.D. program requires passing all courses on the approved doctoral program of study with a GPA of 3.00 or higher after admission to the program, passing a preliminary/comprehensive examination for admission to candidacy when within 6 hours of completing coursework, writing a dissertation, passing a final comprehensive defense of the dissertation, completing all required changes, securing final approval of the dissertation, and securing final approval of the dissertation.

FO 6113 Forest Resource Economics: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: AEC 2713 or equivalent). Three hours lecture. Basic principles of forest resource valuation; economics applied to production, conversion, marketing and consumption of forest products and benefits

FO 6123 Forest Ecology: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: FO 3012). Three hours lecture. Four hours laboratory. Natural principles governing establishment, development, and functioning of forest ecosystems. Includes ecology, genetics, physiology, tree growth, reproduction, site, stand dynamics, energetics, hydrology, nutrition, and succession

FO 6213 Forest Biometrics: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: ST 2113 or equivalent or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Applications of mensurational and statistical principles and techniques in determination of forest growth and yield. Advanced topics of forest resource inventory

FO 6221 Practice of Silviculture Laboratory: 1 hour.

(Prerequisite: FO 4123/6123 or WF 4223; co-requisite: FO 4223/6223). Four hours laboratory. Application of silvicultural practices and operations under given forest land management objectives

FO 6223 Practice of Silviculture: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: FO 4123/6123, FO 4121/6121 or WF 3133 and WF 4223; co-requisite: FO 4221/6221). Three hours lecture. Manipulation to obtain desired reproduction and to attain optimum development under given forest land management objectives

FO 6231 Introduction to Wood Supply Systems: 1 hour.

(Co-requisite: FO 3015). Investigative field and laboratory exercises used to gain practical knowledge into the structure and performance of wood supply systems

FO 6233 Forest Operations and Harvesting: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: FO 3015, FO 4231/6231, or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Study of practical, managerial, and logistic considerations associated with harvesting and other forest operations, as well as their social, environmental, and legal influences

FO 6253 Timber Procurement: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: FO 4231/6231, FO 4233/6233). Lectures and field exercises dealing with the problems of timber procurement to include planning for harvest, methods of handling and transport, legal and safety considerations

FO 6313 Spatial Technologies in Natural Resources Management: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: FO 3015 or GR 2313 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Three hours laboratory.Fundamentals of scale, area, height, and stand volume determinations from aerial imagery; planimetric and topographic mapping; image interpretation; GPS and GIS; applications to natural resources

FO 6323 Forest Resource Management: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: FO 4113/6113, FO 4223/6223, FO 4233/6233, FO 4231/6231, FO 4213/6213). Three hours lecture.Three hours laboratory Application of quantitative decision making techniques to to stand-level and forest -wide management problems. Topics include land classification, forest production, optimal rotation analyssi, and harvest scheduling

FO 6353 Natural Resource Law: 3 hours.

(Perquisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. A comprehensive study of the laws relating to natural resources and forestry with emphasis on tort law, real property law, environmental law, taxation law and contract law

FO 6411 Remote Sensing Seminar: 1 hour.

(Prerequisites: Junior Standing). One hour lecture. Lectures by remote sensing experts from industry, academia, and governmental agencies on next-generation systems, applications, and economic and societal impact of remote sensing. May be repeated for credit up to four credits. (Same as PSS 4411/6411, ECE4411/6411, GR 4411/6411)

FO 6413 Natural Resources Policy: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Senior standing). Three hours lecture. Current topics relating to natural resources policy which affect management decisions and practices in the public and private sectors of natural resources use

FO 6423 Professional Practice: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: FO 4323/6323) Three hours lecture. Four hours laboratory. Forest resource data collection and analysis. Development of forest resource alternatives and recommendations for a specific forest property

FO 6443 International Forest Resources and Trade: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. A study of the world's wood consumption, marketing arrangements, community forestry, and forestry in economic development

FO 6453 Remote Sensing Applications: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: A basic image interpretation or mote sensing course or consent of instructor). Two hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. An introduction to remote sensing with emphasis on analysis and application of digital image data in inventory, monitoring, and management of renewable natural resources

FO 6463 Forest Hydrology and Watershed Management: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: PSS 3303, FO 3012, FO 4123/6123, FO 4121/6121, or consent of instructor).Three hours lecture. Synthesis of current information on the fundamental properties and processes of forest soils, hydrology, and water quality with emphasis on watershed and ecosystem management factors

FO 6471 GIS for Natural Resource Management Lab: 1 hour.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing; Co-requisite: FO 4472/6472). Three hours laboratory. Computer laboratory exercises that stress development, management, and use of digital geographical data for management of natural resources. management of natural resources

FO 6472 GIS for Natural Resource Management: 2 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing; Co-requisite: FO 4471/6471). Two hours lecture. Introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) with emphasis on collection, encoding, storage, retrieval, and analysis of spatial data for use in management of natural resources

FO 6483 Forest Soils: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: PSS 3303, FO 3012, FO 4123/6123, FO 4121/6121, or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Synthesize current information on fundamental properties and processes of forest soils with emphasis on applications to silviculture, soil conservation, and sustainable management of forested ecosystems

FO 6513 Forestry and Conservation for Educators: 3 hours.

(Two hours lecture; two hours lab). Importance of forestry and natural resources conservation, application of forestry and conservation principles and practices to educational settings. For non-forestry majors

FO 6573 Ecology of Managed Forests: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Graduate standing, upper-level FO undergraduate student, or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Examination of the ecological factors that influence silvicultural practice in North America

FO 6663 Consulting Forestry: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: FO major, senior or graduate standing and consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Review of business, legal, and economic issues integral to applying the science of forestry as a service based enterprise

FO 6683 Introduction to Urban and Community Forestry: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Addresses urban forest management issues and opportunities as well as educational extension/outreach program strategies within the urban forest context

FO 6990 Special Topics in Forestry: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

FO 7000 Directed Individual Study in Forestry: 1-6 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

FO 8000 Thesis Research/ Thesis in Forestry: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

FO 8111 Graduate Seminar: 1 hour.

Credit in 2 semesters allowed. Review of and discussion of current forestry issues. Presentation of student reports

FO 8143 Advanced Forest Economics: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Application of current theory and techniques of economics to forestry. Emphasis is on the use of quantitative tools to improve decision-making in forest resource management

FO 8153 Quantitative Forest Ecology: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: MA 1723 and ST 8114 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Analytical models, fitting model coefficients to data, life tables, spatial patterns, interspecific competition, and species diversity

FO 8163 Nonmarket Forest Values: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: FO 4113 or equivalent or consent of instructor). The course will deal with the valuation or nonmarket, non-timber outputs or amenities derived from the forest

FO 8173 Advanced Spatial Technologies: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: an introductory course in remote sensing and/or geographical information systems or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Group discussion and application of integrated remote sending, image analysis and GIS software tools for assessment of natural resources

FO 8211 Graduate Seminar: 1 hour.

Credit in 2 semesters allowed. Review of and discussion of current forestry issues. Presentation of student reports

FO 8213 Advanced Silviculture: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: FO 4223 or consent of instructor). Three hours of lecture and/or field trips once per week. Spring semester. Silvicultural practices in context of the total ecological principles in decision making process. Emphasis on silviculture of bottomland hardwoods

FO 8233 Advanced Forest Inventory: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Design and analysis of forest resource inventories. Growth functions, yield tables, measures of site quality and stocking, and advanced sampling topics

FO 8243 Advanced Forest Resource Management and Planning: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: FO 8143). Three hours lecture. Emphasis is on the assessment of multiple-use alternatives. Data needs, resource trade-offs, and economic and policy implications are discussed

FO 8293 Professional Paper: 3 hours.

(For Master of Science non-thesis option students only). Demonstration of ability to compile, synthesize, and evaluate information, and to effectively communicate analyses and conclusions

FO 8313 Spatial Statistics for Natural Resources: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite:ST 4313/6313, and an introductory GIS course, or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Concepts and methods of spatial statistics as applied to natural resource monitoring and management

FO 8353 Ecological Modeling in Natural Resources: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: ST 8114 or ST 8253 or equivalent).Three hours lecture.This course introduces the concepts and methods of ecological modeling as applied to natural resources monitoring and management

FO 8443 International Forest Resources and Trade: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. A study of the world's wood consumption, marketing arrangements, dynamics of deforestation, agroforestry and community forestry, country specific forestry issues, and forestry in economic development

FO 8571 Emerging Issues in Forest Ecosystems: 1 hour.

(Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor). One hour seminar. Overview of the major biological, ecological, and socio-economic issues facing forest conservation

FO 8673 Planning and Evaluation in Natural Resources Outreach Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Presents methods for needs assessment of forestry extension/outreach education, development of programs to meet client needs, and evaluation of the effectiveness of such programs

FO 8961 Nobel Topics in Physiology/Medicine and Chemistry: 1 hour.

(Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor). One hour seminar. The course will provide historic and current understanding of topics awarded with a Nobel Prize. (Same as CVM 8961 and GNS 8961). May be repeated three times for credit

FO 8973 Scientific Writing: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor) Three hours lecture. The course provides advanced training in research proposal, grant proposal,and manuscript writing. (Same as ADS 8973 and CVM 8973)

FO 8983 Advanced Biotechnology: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite:BCH 6603,BCH 6613,BCH 6713 or consent of instructor).Three house lecture. Advanced biotechnology course with an emphasis on environmental,biopharmaceutical,industrial, and medical technologies.(Same as CVM 8983)

FO 8990 Special Topics in Forestry: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

FO 9000 Dissertation Research/Dissertation in Forestry: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged