Introducing Online Hybrid Degree

MSU Forestry is excited to announce a new hybrid online master’s degree program. The program is uniquely tailored to learners that need flexibility, with the majority of the courses delivered in an online format.

MSU Forestry is excited to announce a new hybrid online master’s degree program. The program is uniquely tailored to learners that need flexibility, with the majority of the courses delivered in an online format.

The degree, available starting spring semester 2022, is intended for individuals with baccalaureate degrees in a field other than forestry who are interested in making a career change to forestry.

Students may join the program directly following a BS degree, however, the main focus of the program is on learners already in the workforce looking to explore a new career path. The hybrid structure is designed to attract these students, keeping in mind many will have rigid schedules and existing personal and professional commitments.

MSU aims to be the first forestry program to offer a master’s degree in forestry in a hybrid, online format, opening up a much broader market for potential students. The hybrid online MS was designed to be consistent with accreditation requirements of the Society of American Foresters (SAF). Per SAF procedures, the hybrid online program will be considered for accreditation after the program is up and running. Other universities (e.g., Yale, Duke) offer in-person accredited master’s degrees aimed at students with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than forestry that have comparable curricula, but none offer a largely online option. 

The structure of the new Hybrid-Online Plan B option will consist of:

  • One nine-day intensive, field-based face-to-face short course 
  • a series of asynchronous, online courses
  • a final, intensive, face-to-face capstone project and examination (nine days)

Students will need to travel to Michigan for the face-to-face short courses at the beginning and end of their programs. The remainder of the program will be delivered in an online format to allow students flexibility in scheduling their studies around work or family obligations.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, forestry courses have been taught online, allowing instructors to develop techniques for delivering field-heavy education remotely. As part of this hybrid program, an entire semester block of field-based classes with be delivered online. Students will spend the bulk of their time that semester in forested areas where they live completing exercises in dendrology, mensuration, ecology and silviculture.

There is tremendous employer demand for professional foresters, as evidenced by near 100% placement rates of our graduates. At the same time, there are limited options, especially for working professionals in other fields, to obtain the education necessary to pursue a career in forestry. MSU Forestry is confident this new hybrid degree offering will open up options for potential forestry professionals who previously didn’t have a way of making the career change and meet the forestry sector’s growing demand for professional foresters.

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