Master of Science (MS)

Research-intensive with thesis

Our relationships with forestry agencies provide you with opportunities to do real-world research:

Our faculty does nationally-ranked research

  • Ranked tenth nationally in an index measuring faculty scholarly output.
  • NAU ranked top 40 out of over 300 universities for academic institutions in the United States and Canada for research productivity in the field of conservation biology.

Who should apply?

Motivated people looking for:

  • a master’s program focused on research
  • a traditional (thesis option) master’s program
  • an individually tailored plan of study
  • an opportunity to conduct  research
  • two years of academic work to begin in the fall or spring term

Admission into the MS program is competitive

  • It requires the sponsorship of a faculty member to serve as research mentor and collaborator.
  • It usually requires funding for a research project.
  • It is limited by faculty time and research funding.

Admissions requirements

  • GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale in all college and university work
  • GRE scores
  • If English is not your native language:
    a score of at least 80 on the internet-based TOEFL or
    550 on the paper-based TOEFL
    213 on the computer based TOEFL

Thesis requirements

A final oral defense of your thesis will be required. In preparing your thesis, we expect you to demonstrate your:

  • ability to work independently on a problem
  • wide familiarity with the literature in your field
  • command of the techniques and principles of research
  • ability to form valid generalizations from the data you use

If you don’t have an undergraduate degree in forestry

You’re still eligible for admission to our graduate program; however, you must take 15 hours of remedial coursework in forestry after being admitted.

Faculty mentors/advisors

For the MS degree, you cannot be admitted until a faculty member agrees to serve as your mentor/advisor. To choose an advisor:

  1. Read about faculty research interests on our Forestry Faculty Page to identify faculty whose interests match yours.
  2. E-mail, write, or call individual faculty members about opportunities to work with them.

More information

For more information on the degree, check out the School of Forestry Graduate Handbook and the NAU Catalog description of the degree.

Apply now

To apply to our graduate programs, you must:

  1. apply to the Graduate College 
  2. mail the following materials directly to:
  3. Postal Mail
    Graduate Coordinator
    NAU School of Forestry
    P.O. Box 15018
    Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5018 

    Graduate Coordinator
    NAU School of Forestry
    200 East Pine Knoll Drive
    Room 116
    Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5018

    • three letters of recommendation are required as part of the online application.
    • statement of research interests and professional/career goals (250 to 500 words in length)—this may also be submitted with the online application
    • resume—this may also be submitted with the online application

  4. You also must arrange to have these items sent to the Graduate College 
    • official transcripts (by postal mail)
    • official GRE scores (electronically)

Late applications

Applications received after the deadline will only be considered after applications received by the deadline have been reviewed.