Ph.D. Degree in Forest Resources

The objectives of the PhD degree are:

  1. to attain the highest level of scholarship and independent research in one of the three subject matter areas within the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management,
  2. to conduct original research in a scholarly manner which represents a significant contribution to knowledge within the scope of the Department's programs, and
  3. to develop a proficiency in a basic scientific discipline in relation to one of the Department's subject matter areas.

The PhD candidate must develop and demonstrate the ability to conceive and conduct independent research. The degree is designed to produce a scientist proficient in scientific principles and capable of academic teaching and/or scholarly research.

Following admission to residency, even if course work and thesis research have been initiated, full acceptance in the PhD program requires passing the Qualifying Examination early in the residency period. The student must be registered during the semester that the Qualifying Exam is administered.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program is oriented towards research, education, and scientific technology in the professions of forest products and forestry.

Faculty expertise, laboratories, and outdoor facilities are available to support specialization in a variety of fields. Possibilities for specialization are indicated in part by the courses listed under wood products, forestry, and wildlife and fisheries, and by related courses in:

  • agricultural economics,
  • agronomy,
  • animal nutrition,
  • biology,
  • business administration,
  • chemical engineering,
  • computer science,
  • ecology,
  • economics,
  • entomology,
  • environmental pollution control,
  • environmental resource management,
  • genetics,
  • horticulture,
  • industrial engineering,
  • landscape architecture,
  • meteorology,
  • physiology,
  • plant pathology,
  • polymer sciences,
  • recreation and parks,
  • regional planning,
  • statistics.
Admission Requirements

The minimum admissions requirements established by Penn State University's Graduate School and the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

Degree Requirements

The degree requirements stipulated by the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, in conjunction with the Graduate School of Penn State University.

Graduate School Requirements

The requirements set forth by the Graduate School policies for Ph.D. research students.


Information about the Dual-Titles available to Ph.D. Forest Resources students.

Advisory Committee

Ph.D. Advisory Committee appointment, membership, and responsibilities information.


Ph.D. Dissertation Research information.

Qualifying Examination

Information pertaining to the Qualifying Examination.

Comprehensive Examination

Information pertaining to the Comprehensive Examination.

Final Oral Examination

Ph.D. Final Oral Examination (Dissertation Defense) information.

PhD FOR Checklist.pdf

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Summary of Graduate Coursework for Ph.D. Degree in Forest Resources.pdf

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