Why Major in Wood Products?

If you’re interested in the materials science or business relating to a natural and renewable resource that is strong, lightweight, versatile, and a source of bioenergy, then Penn State’s Wood Products major maybe the right place for you.

Wood is one of the most important raw materials, accounting for about 25 percent of major industrial materials in the United States. As much wood is used annually as are all metals, plastics, and Portland cement combined.

There are many uses for wood. In home construction, it is used for framing members, insulation board, floor and roof decking sheathing, siding, frames, paneling, trim, finished floors, and cabinets. Most furniture is made of wood. As the raw materials for paper, it packages food and carries messages. Wood is even used in the production of photographic film, rayon fabrics, molded interior door panels for automobiles, and high-impact plastics. It also is an important industrial fuel, and its by-products provide chemicals for additives used in concrete, paints, and adhesives.

These advanced wood products efficiently utilize our renewable forest resource base and effectively contribute to sustaining the forest resource base for future generations.

Wood products professionals are continually challenged to develop, manufacture, and market engineered and technologically advanced wood-based products to meet the demands of society. Graduates from this unique program are responsible for the design, development, and marketing of an array of wood products on a worldwide basis. 

Demand for wood products students is high, and graduates find employment from Pennsylvania to Oregon and beyond in small, medium, and large companies located in urban, suburban, and rural settings. 

Find a career in materials science or applied engineering that focuses on researching, evaluating, and/or utilizing wood-based products. Explore sustainable business practices, green building standards, and entrepreneurship. Wood Products is a unique blend of training in business and manufacturing/engineering while working with a renewable natural resource that impacts all of our lives. Make a difference in the greenest of industries!

You may be interested in the Wood Products major if:

  • you are interested in applied engineering with a focus on development, processing, and manufacturing of new engineered wood products
  • you are interested in business management, marketing, manufacturing, sales, and service with a focus on a major U.S. industrial sector--the wood products industry
  • you enjoy supervising and interacting with other professionals, employees, and customers

Student Videos

Listen to some of our students talk about careers and why to choose the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.  You will need to download Quicktime to view these videos.

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