Urban Forest Management

The IAT Urban Forest Management certificate program at Muskegon Community College offers online and in-person classwork blended with applied lab and field experiences. This program provides students with the competencies and technical skills necessary to sustainably manage trees in an urban environment.

Students will connect with local employers for paid summer internships and network with urban forestry leaders at professional meetings.

Forestry has a long history at Michigan State University and continues to prepare educated, experienced graduates who are in high demand by a variety of industry and agency employers.

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Areas of study include:

  • Tree identification
  • Tree selection, planting and pruning
  • Climbing and aerial work
  • Tree health care and risk assessment
  • Equipment use and worker safety
  • Community engagement
  • Crew leadership and management

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Career Opportunities

Following graduation, students earn a certificate preparing them for immediate employment in a wide range of careers with municipalities, private companies and utility companies, as well as federal, state and county agencies. If interested, students can also transfer into Michigan State University to earn a bachelor degree in forestry or another related degree.

Some career paths include:

  • Tree trimmer and pruner
  • Tree planting coordinator
  • Commercial arborist
  • Municipal or utility company arborist
  • Vegetation mapping coordinator
  • Urban forest technician

The MSU Department of Forestry lists job opportunities that may be of interest to Urban Forest Management IAT students.


The Urban Forest Management certificate program is available at our partner location at Muskegon Community College in Muskegon. A list of program requirements and courses can be found in the MSU Academic Programs Catalog.

Program requirements:

  • 60-61 credits (minimum of 36 MSU credits)
  • 4 semesters of classroom instruction
  • 1 semester internship (primarily during the summer May-August)

Online and in-person classwork is blended with applied lab and field experiences. Class sizes are small and students receive individualized instruction in addition to experiences at local facilities and field sites.


Muskegon Community College and IAT coordinators help students find and secure organizations to mentor them as part of their required certificate program internship. Not only does this provide immediate on-the-job experience, but internships also help with networking and industry connections.

Request information about the Urban Forest Management program


This program is supported by the Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program (Grant No. 2020-70003-32298; Accession No 1023471) from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.