The Ph.D. in forestry symbolizes the mastery of a special field of learning and indicates the ability of the recipient to independently complete original research and the highest levels of scholarly work. The recipient must demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the specialized field by successful completion of a prescribed course of study, planning and conducting original research, preparation and defense of a well-written dissertation, and passing qualifying and final examinations. The Ph.D. in forestry is a research degree awarded in recognition of the student’s ability to think and work independently as a scholar and to contribute to society original research in a chosen field of natural resource management.
Admission Requirements for the Ph.D. Program
- Hold or qualify for a master’s degree in an appropriate area of knowledge from an accredited college or university
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) on the master’s degree coursework and an acceptable score on the GRE
Exceptions to the above admission requirements may be made on the recommendation of the Graduate Council in the ATCOFA to the dean of the College of Forestry and Agriculture following a written appeal by the applicant to the ATCOFA Graduate Council.
Degree Requirements for the Ph.D. Program
Beyond the master’s degree, a student must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate coursework, six of which will be a research tool, plus six credit hours of dissertation (FOR 699 ) for a total of 42 credit hours.
Approved research tools include:
- Statistics (6-9 hours)
- Computer science (6-9 hours)
- Foreign language (6-9 hours or by examination, or other research tools as recommended by the committee)
Required core courses for Ph.D.:
Although a student’s native language is not acceptable as a foreign language, a student whose native language is not English may use English as a foreign language. In such a case, the student will demonstrate proficiency by a score of 550 or greater on the paper version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language or a score of 213 or greater on the computer-based TOEFL.
Graduate courses required for achieving proficiency in a research tool may not be counted in the total hours required for the degree and each must be completed with a grade of B or higher. Guidelines regarding acceptance of transfer courses are stated in the Research and Graduate Studies section earlier in this bulletin.
No residency required.
No terminal time limit is imposed for the doctoral degree. All completed graduate coursework included in the candidate’s degree program must have been taken within six years of admission to candidacy, exclusive of a maximum of three years of military service. If the degree is not completed within three years after admission to candidacy, the candidate’s work is subject each year thereafter to an annual review by the advisory committee.
The qualifying examination (required of all students within approximately six semester hours of completing the formal coursework specified on the official degree plan) determines the student’s mastery of the subject matter in all fields of her/his program and helps to determine whether she/he is to be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D.