The graduate program in Forest and Natural Resources Management (FNRM) offers a dynamic array of professional development via coursework enriched by an active program of research. Faculty with nationally and internationally recognized expertise define the scope of subject matter within a study area and guide students through a course of study appropriate to students' goals and aspirations. Most students work directly with faculty as a team member on research projects or assist with teaching undergraduate students.
Faculty with nationally and internationally recognized expertise define the area of study’s subject matter and guide students through an individually designed program of study appropriate to student goals and aspirations. The FNRM graduate program prepares students for careers in resource administration, management, scientific research, professional education, and a variety of other specialized positions related to the sustainable management of forest ecosystems. Students with a non-natural resources bachelor's or master's degree and a strong interest in forests are encouraged to apply.
The Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management offers the master of science (M.S.), the master of professional studies (M.P.S.), the master of forestry (M.F.), and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.
The graduate program is organized in areas of study designed to provide students with a strong background within specific interest areas.
Many graduate students receive some funding through assistantships and fellowships.
To learn more about FNRM degree programs, you may wish to review the FNRM Graduate Student Handbook (PDF), which is provided to all new graduate students.
Areas of Study
The FNRM graduate degree program offers students opportunities to pursue individualized advanced study in four areas of study, each of which offers several options for focus on issues or problems ranging in scale from local to global. Visit the areas pages for descriptions, a sampling of faculty members' research interests and employment opportunities, and information on current graduate students:
- Construction Management
- Ecology and Ecosystems
- Economics, Governance and Human Dimensions
- Monitoring, Analysis and Modeling
- Sustainable Construction
Additional information about each of these areas of study is available by telephone, email, or written request to any of the professors listed.
The Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management offers four graduate degrees in forest resources management:
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
- Ph.D. brochure (PDF)
- Master of Forestry (M.F.)
- M.F. brochure (PDF)
- Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)
- Master of Science (M.S.)
- M.S. brochure (PDF)
FNRM encourages interdisciplinary graduate programs. This often involves selecting steering committee members from other ESF and Syracuse University departments, or more formally, by arranging for joint study with other college departments and with Syracuse University. Concurrent degree programs that provide the student with two masters degrees, one from ESF and another from Syracuse University, are available with the following SU schools: Whitman School of Management, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and School of Education.
Concurrent degree programs usually add at least an additional year to a master's program of study. To be eligible, a student must have been matriculated full time at the College for at least one semester, have a grade point average of at least 3.5, and be formally accepted into the concurrent degree program by the other school. Students who are interested in any of these programs must complete an application process through the ESF Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies within their first year of study.
Concurrent Degrees with Syracuse University
The Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management works with the Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies to also offer the following concurrent degrees with Syracuse University:
- Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) in Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
- Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management
- Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
- Master of Science (M.S.) in the School of Education
Admissions Information for Prospective Graduate Students
For applicants whose native language is not English, ESF requires official TOEFL score to have a minimum total score of 80 and at least a score of 17 on each individual section on the internet-based exam. If the old paper-based TOEFL is used the minimum score is 550 and if the old computer-based TOEFL is used the minimum score is 213. If these scores are not met, the college cannot authorize visa paperwork.If an accepted applicant scores is less than 100 on the internet-based exam, 600 on the paper-based exam, or 250 on the computer-based exam, they will be required to take the English Language Assessment Exam (ELAE) administered by Syracuse University. Based on results of that exam, students may be directed to enroll in preparatory courses in English language usage.
- Each admitted graduate student must have a major professor willing to provide mentoring through the graduate program. It is highly recommended that applicants contact and identify at least one possible major professor prior to submitting an application.
- Recent GRE test scores (or other type of graduate record exam scores, such as the LSATs or GMATs) are required as part of a complete application.
FNRM GPA and GRE Score Guidelines
- An academic record showing a minimum GPA of at least a B (3.0 on a scale of 4.0) average for the junior and senior year of a baccalaureate program.
- A combined GRE score of at least 1000 (verbal plus quantitative) for master’s level applicants and a combined GRE score of at least 1100 (verbal plus quantitative) for doctoral level applicants.
The GPA and GRE guidelines provided above are not requirements for admission, although good scores in these areas do correlate with success in graduate school (see Science 2007 Vol. 315, pg 1080-81). While GRE scores and GPA are important to our evaluation of graduate applications, other factors are also fundamental to the admission decision: strong letters of reference indicating the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate school, prior experience in the field, a well written statement of education goals, and other experiences or qualifications that may indicate potential for graduate study.
For additional admissions information, applications, and instructions, please visit Graduate Admissions.
Research Facilities and Faculty
FNRM students work with faculty in a variety of sophisticated laboratories. Graduate students have access to diverse analytical equipment and measuring devices, and comprehensive, investigative computing capabilities. FNRM faculty and students conduct research throughout the world, particularly in the northeastern United States. ESF's 25,000 acres on regional New York state campuses and field stations offer a broad diversity of forest ecosystems for teaching and intensive research that evaluates terrestrial and aquatic environments. Faculty and students also pursue research on lands managed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management. Many students also conduct research and serve internships in Washington, D.C., New York City, Albany, and other international, national, regional, and state resource management headquarters.
FNRM graduate students work closely with faculty recognized by their students and peers as among the best in the world. FNRM faculty include SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professors and Distinguished Service Professors, as well as recipients of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Professional Service, and the ESF President’s Public Service Award. More than a third of FNRM professors have been awarded the ESF Distinguished Teacher Award by the ESF student body, many more than once. ESF professors also serve in leadership roles in professional societies.
Graduate Education Coordinator - FNRM
310A Bray Hall, One Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210-2788
Phone: (315) 470-6561
Fax: (315) 470-6535