Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry

In our PhD program, you’ll be mentored by faculty who share your passion for the environment and who conduct ground-breaking research you can participate in.

You’ll be prepared for public or private resource management or a related career in research and education. Our particular focus is on the problems and opportunities associated with the integrated management of forest ecosystems.

You’ll benefit from close interaction with practicing professionals and the involved supervision of enthusiastic and dedicated faculty members. You’ll be within twenty miles of forest types ranging from canyon hardwoods and pinyon-juniper to spruce and fir. Our location within the nation’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest provides convenient access to lands managed by:

  • the US Forest Service
  • the Bureau of Land Management
  • the National Park Service
  • Native American tribal organizations

To enhance these plans, we maintain well-equipped ecological and computer laboratories, a small full-time staff of research professionals, and our nearby Centennial Forest. Also on campus in Flagstaff is a research unit of the U.S. Forest Service, as well as the Colorado Plateau Research Station, which is a unit of the U.S. Geological Survey.

You will be offered three PhD emphasis areas:

  • Ecosystem Science
  • Forest Management Sciences and Economics
  • Forest Social Science

Visit our academic catalog for more information on the emphasis areas.

What will I do in the program?

  • coursework
  • written and oral exams
  • preparation and defense of a dissertation

PhD students are expected to demonstrate:

  • skill in the generation of original ideas
  • considerable command of the literature
  • skill at designing, analyzing, and interpreting research
  • skill in scientific writing, including the publication of research results in major professionally refereed journals
  • basic skills in teaching

Applying to the PhD in Forestry program

Admissions requirements

  • GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale in all college and university work
  • GRE scores in the top 40th percentile
  • 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 or
    213 on the computer-based TOEFL
  • A faculty member has agreed to serve as your major professor: 
    • Read about faculty research interests on our Forestry Faculty Page to identify faculty whose interests match yours 
    • Then e-mail, write, or phone 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 full consideration of completed applications received by the deadline.