Bachelor of Science in Forestry (BSF)

The undergraduate forestry degree at Northern Arizona University, accredited by the Society of American Foresters, is distinct from other forestry programs.

Being located in Flagstaff, our natural environmental positioning offers access to:

  • the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in North America
  • the oldest experimental forest and research station in the United States
  • six climate zones that range from low Sonoran desert to alpine tundra

Our Student Services Coordinator and extensive faculty job contacts offer you access to forestry and other related positions all over the country and abroad. We’ll help you find:

  • internships
  • seasonal positions
  • full-time employment upon graduation

And with our required certificate programs, you can specialize to add resume-building knowledge to your education.

Applying to the School of Forestry

Upon admission to the university, you must do the following:

  1. take pre-professional classes to prepare you for entering the two-year Professional Forestry Program
  2. submit an application for admission to the program during your sophomore year—contact our Student Services Coordinator for more information
  3. download Application (PDF)

Upon admission to the two-year professional program, you complete a prescribed course of study—a certificate—in your junior and senior years in addition to the prescribed professional program courses.

The first two years

You will take classes to meet pre-professional forestry and general university requirements. These are required for entrance into the junior and senior year’s professional forestry program.

Preparatory courses include:

  • introductory forestry courses
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • precalculus
  • statistics
  • English
  • GIS
  • public speaking
  • economics


As a freshman, you should visit regularly with the Student Services Coordinator and use the Forestry Degree Progression Plan to determine what classes you should take and when.

Transfer students

Transfer from within Arizona

If you want to transfer into the School of Forestry from an institution within Arizona, you should:

  1. learn about the Arizona Transfer Articulation standards 
  2. review the Arizona Course Equivalency Guide.
  3. complete forestry pre-professional courses at Arizona community colleges. To do this, contact the Student Services Coordinator as early as possible for help planning your course sequencing.

Transfer from outside Arizona

If you want transfer into the School of Forestry from an institution outside Arizona, there are some things you need to know.

After being admitted to the School of Forestry

Once you’ve completed your two years of prerequisites and have been accepted into our professional forestry program, you’ll spend your junior and senior years in intensive study.

The first semester (Semester A)

Semester A emphasizes the study of:

  • forest ecology
  • forest products and services
  • silviculture (the development and care of forests)
  • wildlife ecology
  • watershed hydrology
  • range ecology

The second semester (Semester B)

Semester B continues with the study of:

  • wildlife management
  • recreation management
  • harvest planning
  • forest policy
  • ecosystem management
  • case study in integrated resource management

Senior year (Semesters C and D)

You will work with real-world clients to collect field data on natural resources like:

  • forests
  • wildlife
  • range
  • wildland fire

You will use the data you collect to create a specialized management plan for a particular client and location. You’ll gain real-world experience in resource management and collaboration, which will give you an edge when looking for that first job after graduation.

More information

You can also view more information on our degrees in our academic catalog.