Major in Forestry

The forestry major prepares students to apply scientific principles to forests, including management, conservation and restoration of forest ecosystems as well as provision of wood and non-wood products from forests. Students first enroll in courses in biology, math and environmental sciences to prepare for upper-level courses in forestry. As they become more familiar with forests and forest management, students can choose one or more of four options in which to pursue advanced coursework. The educational programs in Forestry (Options in Forest Ecosystem Management, Natural Resource Conservation and Restoration, and Urban and Community Forestry) leading to the degree B.S. in Forestry are candidates for accreditation by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) under the forestry standard.

Degree Requirements

In order to graduate, students must complete a set number of credits that includes their general education coursework, the requirements of whichever option they've chosen, and any credits they still need to get to that total, i.e., free electives.

Total Credits to Graduate: 128 credits

  • General Education Requirements: 80 credits
  • Option Requirements: 30-33 credits
  • Free Electives: 15-18 credits
  • NREM 104: 400 hours of career-related Experience

Program Learning Outcomes

Current General Education Requirements

Current Forestry Student Required Coursework by Catalog Year


Forestry has four (4) emphasis areas that students choose from. One (1) is required. More than one is optional.

Academic Planning

Reach out to an academic advisor to get started on planning for your degree! You can view sample 4 Year Plans for each option at the link below:

Not sure which Option is best for you? Select an area that sounds interesting to you:

Forestry camp

Forestry Camp

Forestry camp is an immersive, integrated, and hands-on experience that introduces students to forestry professionals and management practices in ecosystems outside of Iowa.

Minor in Forestry

The NREM Department also offers a minor in Forestry. Each of the minors has it's own requirements, but must also meet all University requirements.

  • Must take at least fifteen (15) credits.
  • Six (6) of the 15 credits must be taken at Iowa State University, at the 300-level or above.
  • At least nine (9) of the 15 credits can only be applied towards the minor. They cannot be used to meet any other university, college, or major/department requirement. They can be used as free electives.
  • Courses cannot be taken as pass/not pass.

15 Credits Required

FOR 3024crSilviculture
FOR 3563crDendrology
FOR 416 (+Lab)3-4crForest Insect & Disease Ecology
FOR 442*3crDynamics of Forest Stands
FOR 4514crForest Resource Economics & Quantitative Methods
FOR 4523crEcosystem Management
FOR 4753crUrban Forestry
NREM 1203crIntroduction to Renewable Resources
NREM 3014crNatural Resource Ecology & Soils
NREM 3453crNatural Resource Photogrammetry & GIS
NREM 3903crFire Ecology and Management
NREM 4074crWatershed Management
NREM 4463crIntegrating GPS & GIS for Natural Resource Mgt.
NREM 471*3crAgroforestry Systems

*Courses offered only every other year

Declaring a Minor

To declare one of our minors, complete the curriculum change form linked below. For help on how to fill this out, view the instructions page linked at the top of the document or contact your academic advisor.

E-mail the completed form to your advisor for signatures and processing.

Curriculum Change Form

Ready to join the forestry program in NREM?

Learn next steps for the NREM admissions process or apply now to start your adventure!