Forest Ecosystem Management, B.S.

Program Code: FOREM_BS

Program Description

The mission of the B.S. program in Forest Ecosystem Management is to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and professional ethics for understanding and managing forest ecosystems and living as responsible members of society.

The Forest Ecosystem Management major provides for the education necessary for students to pursue professional careers in one of the following options:

  1. Forest Biology
  2. Forest Management
  3. Community and Urban Forest Management
  4. Watershed Management

These options also will prepare students for graduate studies in continuing professional education.

Forest Biology Option

This option provides a strong background in the biological and ecological aspects of contemporary forestry and establishes a sound foundation for professional employment and graduate-level study in forest and environmental sciences.

Forest Management Option

This option provides professional training in the management of forest lands consistent with the needs of ownership objectives. Employment opportunities include forest management positions with public agencies, industry, and private consulting.

Community and Urban Forest Management Option

This option helps prepare students to manage community trees and green spaces. It emphasizes technical expertise, communication abilities, and skills for working with diverse people. Employment opportunities include municipalities, arboricultural companies, utilities, and government agencies.

Watershed Management Option

This option focuses on water resources and the integrated management of natural resources with emphasis on water. Graduates qualify for federal employment as hydrologists and for water-related careers in municipal watershed management, state and local government, and environmental/engineering consulting.

What is Forest Ecosystem Management?

Professional foresters are challenged with the conservation, restoration, and sustainable provision of a wide range of forest ecosystem services, including timber and nontimber forest products, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, clean water, healthy soils, carbon sequestration, recreational opportunities, and the aesthetics of both rural and urban landscapes. Foresters need specialized knowledge to manage for this wide range of ecosystem services. The Forest Ecosystem Management program teaches students to identify, measure, and quantify a variety of forest ecosystem attributes; communicate effectively with diverse groups; analyze and interpret natural resources information in an ecological, economic, and social context; and integrate the relevant ecological, economic, and societal aspects of contemporary problems in natural resources management and use this understanding to develop, support, and implement effective solutions.

You Might Like this Program If...

  • You enjoy working outdoors
  • You have a concern for natural resources and an appreciation of nature
  • You have an analytical mind to manage complex ecological systems and resolve environmental, economic, and social challenges
  • You have an aptitude for innovation and strategic thinking

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Ecosystem Management, a minimum of 120 credits is required for the Forest Biology, Forest Management, and Watershed Management options, and a minimum of 123 credits for the Community and Urban Forest Management option:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 2-11
Requirements for the Major 88-100

21-24 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3-6 credits of GS courses; 0-3 credits of GA courses; 3 credits of GWS courses.

Students should be aware that, in most cases, completion of the Forest Ecosystem Management degree in four years requires enrollment at the University Park Campus beginning the fall semester of the sophomore year.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Common Requirements for the Major (All Options)

Prescribed Courses
CHEM 110Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 111Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course1
FOR 421Silviculture: Applied Forest Ecology3
SOILS 101Introductory Soil Science Keystone/General Education Course3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
FOR 200The Profession of Forestry1
FOR 203Field Dendrology3
FOR 255GPS and GIS Applications for Natural Resources Professionals3
FOR 266Forest Resources Measurements4
FOR 308Forest Ecology3
Additional Courses
Select one of the following:3
Economic Principles of Agribusiness Decision Making Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 202D Effective Writing: Business Writing Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3-4
Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Biometry Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course
Requirements for the Option
Select an option55-66

Requirements for the Option

Forest Biology Option (57-58 credits)
Prescribed Courses
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course4
BIOL 220WBiology: Populations and Communities Keystone/General Education Course4
CHEM 202Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I3
FOR 204Dendrology2
FOR 409Tree Physiology2
FOR 410Elements of Forest Ecosystem Management3
FOR 430Conservation Biology3
FOR 450WHuman Dimensions of Natural Resources3
HORT 445Plant Ecology3
SOILS 102Introductory Soil Science Laboratory1
WFS 209NWildlife and Fisheries Conservation Keystone/General Education Course3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
FOR 350Forest Ecosystem Monitoring and Data Analysis3
Additional Courses
Select 4-5 credits from the following:4-5
Introduction to Entomology
Invasive Forest Plants: Identification, Ecology, and Management
Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 110Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course4
or MATH 140 Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 15 credits from department list in consultation with adviser15
Forest Management Option (57-60 credits)
Prescribed Courses
ENT 313Introduction to Entomology2
FOR 204Dendrology2
FOR 440Forest and Conservation Economics3
FOR 470Watershed Management3
FOR 480Policy and Administration3
PPEM 318Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees2
WFS 209NWildlife and Fisheries Conservation Keystone/General Education Course3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
FOR 320Forest Fire Management2
FOR 350Forest Ecosystem Monitoring and Data Analysis3
FOR 455Remote Sensing and Spatial Data Handling3
FOR 466WForest Management and Planning3
Additional Courses
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course3-4
or BIOL 127 Introduction to Plant Biology Keystone/General Education Course
FOR 401Urban Forest Management3
or FOR 450W Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
FOR 410Elements of Forest Ecosystem Management3
or FOR/WFS 430 Conservation Biology
Select one of the following:3
Tree Physiology
and Introductory Soil Science Laboratory
Rural Road Ecology and Maintenance
Timber Sale Administration
Principles of Forest Soils Management
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select one of the following:4-6
College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
and Mathematics for Sustainability Keystone/General Education Course
College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
and The Mathematics of Money Keystone/General Education Course
College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
and Agribusiness Problem Solving Keystone/General Education Course
Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course
Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
In consultation with adviser, select 12 credits from department list approved for the option. Six credits must be 300-to 400-level.12
Community and Urban Forest Management Option (62-66 credits)
Prescribed Courses
ENT 313Introduction to Entomology2
ENT 314Management of Insect Pests of Ornamentals1
FOR 480Policy and Administration3
GEOG 430Human Use of Environment3
HORT 138Ornamental Plant Materials3
HORT 301Principles of Arboriculture3
HORT 408Landscape Plant Establishment and Maintenance4
PLANT 217Landscape Soil and Water Management3
PPEM 318Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees2
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
FOR 204Dendrology2
FOR 401Urban Forest Management3
FOR 450WHuman Dimensions of Natural Resources3
Additional Courses
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course3-4
or BIOL 127 Introduction to Plant Biology Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
Analysis of Human Settlements: Cities Keystone/General Education Course
Cultural History of Designed Places Keystone/General Education Course
Built Environment and Culture: Examining the Modern City Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
Recreation Resource Planning and Management
Principles of Environmental Interpretation
Recreation Facilities Planning and Management
Recreation and Park Management
Select one of the following:3
Remote Sensing and Spatial Data Handling
Geographic Information Systems
Environmental Geographic Information Systems
Select one of the following:3
Tree Physiology
and Introductory Soil Science Laboratory
Rural Road Ecology and Maintenance
Timber Sale Administration
Principles of Forest Soils Management
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
FOR 495Forestry Internship3
or FOR 496 Independent Studies
Select one of the following:4-6
College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
and Mathematics for Sustainability Keystone/General Education Course
College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
and The Mathematics of Money Keystone/General Education Course
College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
and Agribusiness Problem Solving Keystone/General Education Course
Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course
Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 8-9 credits from department list In consultation with adviser8-9
Watershed Management Option (55-59 credits)
Prescribed Courses
FOR 450WHuman Dimensions of Natural Resources3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
FOR 470Watershed Management3
FOR 471Watershed Management Laboratory1
Additional Courses
MATH 111Techniques of Calculus II Keystone/General Education Course2-4
or MATH 141 Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
Tree Physiology
and Introductory Soil Science Laboratory
Rural Road Ecology and Maintenance
Timber Sale Administration
Principles of Forest Soils Management
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
MATH 110Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course4
or MATH 140 Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 6 credits of GS social sciences from the following:6
Introduction to Energy and Earth Sciences Economics Keystone/General Education Course
Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis Keystone/General Education Course
Social Legacy of Pennsylvania Coal Keystone/General Education Course
ENVST 100
Human Geography: An Introduction Keystone/General Education Course
Environment and Society in a Changing World Keystone/General Education Course
Mapping Our Changing World Keystone/General Education Course
American Politics: Principles, Processes and Powers Keystone/General Education Course
PLSC 135
Select 6 credits of physical sciences from the following:6
Environment Earth Keystone/General Education Course
EARTH 103
Water: Science and Society Keystone/General Education Course
Physical Geography: An Introduction Keystone/General Education Course
Climates of the World Keystone/General Education Course
Physical Geology
Geology of the National Parks Keystone/General Education Course
The Sea Around Us Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Meteorology Keystone/General Education Course
Atmospheric Environment: Growing in the Wind Keystone/General Education Course
Elementary Microbiology Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Microbiology
Select 6-8 credits of GN from the following:6-8
The Science of Physics Keystone/General Education Course
Technical Physics I Keystone/General Education Course
Technical Physics II Keystone/General Education Course
General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course
General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Physics II Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3 credits in geospatial analysis from the following:3
Remote Sensing and Spatial Data Handling
Image Analysis
Geographic Information Systems
Spatial Analysis
Environmental Geographic Information Systems
Select 6 credits of resources management from the following:6
Soil and Water Resource Management
Introductory Environmental and Resource Economics
Environment and Society
Natural Resource Economics
Economic Analysis of Environmental and Resource Policies
International Development, Renewable Resources, and the Environment
Legal Aspects of Resource Management
Resource Systems Analysis
Case Studies in Ecosystem Management
Elements of Forest Ecosystem Management
Forest and Conservation Economics
Forest Geography
Human Use of Environment
Geography of Water Resources
Natural Resources Conservation and Community Sustainability
Select 9 credits of water sciences (3 credits must be at the 400-level) from the following:9
Measurement & Monitoring of Hydrologic Systems
Fluid Mechanics
Introduction to Environmental Engineering
Water and Wastewater Treatment
Water Supply and Pollution Control
Hydrology
Contaminant Hydrology
Limnology
Stream Restoration
Wetland Conservation
Introduction to Global Climatic Systems
Landscape Ecology
Climatic Change and Variability
Water Resources Geochemistry
Techniques in Environmental Geochemistry
Marine Geology
Hydrogeology
Introduction to Physical Oceanography
Introduction to Micrometeorology
Hydropedology
Ecology of Fishes
Select 3 additional credits at the 300-to 400-level from the lists above3

Program Learning Objectives

  • Basic Knowledge of Forest Flora and Fauna: Demonstrate knowledge of the biology, taxonomy, and ecology of flora and fauna associated with forested ecosystems
    • Identify the common tree species of North America (especially those of the northeastern US) and describe their silvics
    • Identify key understory plants, invasive species, pathogens, non-timber forest products, and fauna and describe their ecological roles in forest ecosystems
  • Forest Data Collection: Accurately identify, measure and quantify a variety of forest ecosystem attributes
    • Design, execute, analyze and report on a forest inventory to measure both timber and non-timber attributes: Demonstrate proficiency with a specified set of field equipment
    • Design and implement a plan to monitor key ecosystem resources and processes
  • Communication: Communicate effectively with diverse groups through listening, speaking and writing
    • Communicate clearly through email, letters and other forms of professional correspondence
    • Effectively present complex information in different formats to a variety of audiences: Use geographical information systems (GIS) to create a map showing features such as buffer zones on streams or roads or the layout of a timber sale
    • Conduct a clear dialog with a potential client to determine their needs
    • Use appropriate methods of communicating with diverse groups
    • Apply conflict resolution skills for consensus building, facilitation and negotiation
  • Data Analysis and Critical Thinking: Apply science-based knowledge to select, obtain, analyze and interpret natural resources information in an ecological, economic and social context
    • Acquire data from primary and secondary sources to describe and analyze ecological, economic and social relationships on both spatial and temporal scales
      • Use a geographical positioning system (GPS) to map features such as a hiking trail
      • Find relevant natural resources information, such as publicly available data sets, research reports, and management plans
    • Critically analyze the evidence on multiple sides of a contemporary natural resources issue
    • Assess the economic, social, and ecological opportunities and constraints of a given land parcel within a relevant spatial and temporal context and recognize appropriate and defensible land management objectives
    • Identify and evaluate the full range –ecological, social, and economic –of impacts of different forest management alternatives
      • Apply economic, financial and business management tools to assess alternative forest management activities
  • Data Synthesis and Critical Thinking: Recognize, identify, and integrate the relevant ecological, economic, and societal aspects of contemporary problems in natural resources management and use this understanding to develop, support and implement effective solutions
    • Based on an assessment of a property, develop, write and present a management plan, including silvicultural prescriptions, for the property that meet the stated land management objectives and implement the components of the plan
    • Describe the role of institutions such as markets, communities, governments, and non-government organizations in the management of natural resources
      • Describe and evaluate how a contemporary natural resources issue has been addressed by society
      • Identify a natural resources problem, evaluate the science and the politics behind the problem, engage the stakeholders involved, and propose a solution to the problem
  • Professionalism and Social Awareness: Synthesize knowledge, diverse values, and ethics for making, communicating and supporting decisions with confidence, respect, professionalism, and compassion
    • Demonstrate openness, tolerance, and appreciation for alternative points of view
    • Demonstrate awareness of global issues and cultural diversity
    • Be able to present and conduct oneself as a professional

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Ellen A. Rom
Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs and Alumni Relations
114 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-0362
exr2@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Forest Biology Option: Forest Ecosystem Management, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
First-Year Seminar1-3AGBM 101, ECON 102, or ECON 1043
BIOL 1104CHEM 1103
MATH 110 or 140‡†4CHEM 1111
ENGL 15 or 30H‡†3STAT 200, 240, or 250*‡†3-4
General Education Course 13CAS 100‡†3
 WFS 209N3
 15-17 16-17
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 200*1FOR 2042
FOR 203*3FOR 266*4
FOR 255*3CHEM 2023
BIOL 220W4SOILS 1013
General Education Course13SOILS 1021
 General Education Course13
 14 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 308*3ENT 313, FOR 403, or PPEM 318 (need 2)2-3
ENGL 202C or 202D‡†3FOR 350*3
FOR/WFS 4303FOR 4092
Supporting Course Selection from List3FOR 4103
General Education Course13Supporting Course Selection from List3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course (GHW)11.5
 16.5 14.5-15.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 4213ENT 313, FOR 403, or PPEM 318 (need 2)2-3
HORT 4453FOR 450W3
General Education Course13Supporting Course Selection from List3
Supporting Course Selection from List3Supporting Course Selection from List3
Elective3Elective1-3
 15 12-15
Total Credits 119-126

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Notes:

  • Students should be aware that, in most cases, completion of the Forest Ecosystem Management (FOREM) degree in eight semesters requires enrollment at Penn State University Park beginning the fall semester of the sophomore year.
  • All supporting course selections are listed in the FOREM Handbook, which is available on the department’s website under Undergraduate > Student Resources > Student Handbooks.
  • Many FOR classes are offered only once per year, in the fall or the spring; plan your schedule accordingly.
  • FOR 409 is offered only in spring of odd years.
  • Courses that are listed as both US or IL and GA, GH, or GS can count for both requirements (i.e., a course listed for both GA and IL will satisfy both Arts and International Cultures).
  • Students should monitor their academic progress by checking their degree audits on LionPATH.
  • Questions about FOREM academic plans or degree audits should be directed to academic advisers or to FOREM Program Coordinator Ellen Rom, exr2@psu.edu or 814-863-0362.

Forest Biology Option: Forest Ecosystem Management, B.S. at Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
First-Year Seminar1-3BIOL 220W4
BIOL 1104CHEM 1103
MATH 110 or 140‡†4CHEM 1111
ENGL 15 or 30H‡†3STAT 200, 240, or 250*‡†3-4
General Education Course 13CAS 100‡†3
 15-17 14-15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 200*1FOR 2042
FOR 203*3FOR 266*4
FOR 255*3CHEM 2023
SOILS 1013ENGL 202C or 202D‡†3
SOILS 1021AGBM 101, ECON 102, or ECON 1043
WFS 209N3General Education Course13
 14 18
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 308*3ENT 313, FOR 403, or PPEM 318 (need 2)2-3
FOR/WFS 430*3FOR 350*3
Supporting Course Selection from List3FOR 4092
General Education Course13FOR 4103
General Education Course13Supporting Course Selection from List3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course (GHW)11.5
 16.5 14.5-15.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 4213ENT 313, FOR 403, or PPEM 318 (need 2)2-3
HORT 4453FOR 450W3
General Education Course13Supporting Course Selection from List3
Supporting Course Selection from List3Supporting Course Selection from List3
Elective3Elective 1-3
 15 12-15
Total Credits 119-126

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Advising Notes:

  • Students should be aware that, in most cases, completion of the Forest Ecosystem Management (FOREM) degree in eight semesters requires enrollment at Penn State University Park beginning the fall semester of the sophomore year.
  • All supporting course selections are listed in the FOREM Handbook, which is available on the department’s website under Undergraduate > Student Resources > Student Handbooks.
  • Many FOR classes are offered only once per year, in the fall or the spring; plan your schedule accordingly.
  • FOR 409 is offered only in spring of odd years.
  • Courses that are listed as both US or IL and GA, GH, or GS can count for both requirements (i.e., a course listed for both GA and IL will satisfy both Arts and International Cultures).
  • Students should monitor their academic progress by checking their degree audits on LionPATH.
  • Questions about FOREM academic plans or degree audits should be directed to academic advisers or to FOREM Program Coordinator Ellen Rom, exr2@psu.edu or 814-863-0362.

Forest Management Option: Forest Ecosystem Management, B.S. at University Park Campus and Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
First-Year Seminar1-3CHEM 1103
MATH 22 and MATH 33, or MATH 22 and MATH 34, or MATH 22 and AGBM 106, or MATH 110, or MATH 140*‡†4-6CHEM 1111
BIOL 110 or 1273-4CAS 100‡†3
ENGL 15 or 30H‡†3AGBM 101, ECON 102, or ECON 1043
General Education Course13STAT 200, 240, or 250*‡†3-4
 General Education Course13
 14-19 16-17
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 200*1FOR 2042
FOR 203*3FOR 266*4
FOR 255*3PPEM 3182
SOILS 1013ENT 3132
General Education Course13ENGL 202C or 202D‡†3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course13
 14.5 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 308*3FOR 320*2
FOR 4403FOR 350*3
FOR 401 (or Supporting Course)23WFS 209N3
General Education Course13FOR 450W23
Elective 2FOR 455*3
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 14 15.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ERM 448, FOR 439, or FOR 47523FOR 409
SOILS 102 (or Supporting Course)2
3
FOR 4213FOR 466W*3
FOR/WFS 43023FOR 41023
Supporting Course3FOR 4703
Elective0-4FOR 4803
 12-16 15
Total Credits 117-127

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Notes:

  • Students should be aware that, in most cases, completion of the Forest Ecosystem Management (FOREM) degree in eight semesters requires enrollment at Penn State University Park beginning the fall semester of the sophomore year.
  • All supporting course selections are listed in the FOREM Handbook, which is available on the department’s website under Undergraduate > Student Resources > Student Handbooks.
  • Refer to both the FOREM FMGT Supporting Course list and the FOREM FMGT checksheet in the FOREM Handbook for clarification about how FOR 401, FOR 450W, FOR 475, FOR 409, and SOILS 102 satisfy degree requirements in the FMGT option.
  • Many FOR classes are offered only once per year, in the fall or the spring; plan your schedule accordingly.
  • FOR 409 is offered only in spring of odd years.
  • Courses that are listed as both US or IL and GA, GH, or GS can count for both requirements (i.e., a course listed for both GA and IL will satisfy both Arts and International Cultures).
  • Students should monitor their academic progress by checking their degree audits on LionPATH.
  • Questions about FOREM academic plans or degree audits should be directed to academic advisers or to FOREM Program Coordinator Ellen Rom, exr2@psu.edu or 814-863-0362.

Community and Urban Forestry Management Option: Forest Ecosystem Management, B.S. at University Park Campus and Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 22 and MATH 33, or MATH 22 and MATH 34, or MATH 22 and AGBM 106, or MATH 110, or MATH 140‡†4-6CHEM 1103
BIOL 110 or 1273-4CHEM 1111
ENGL 15 or 30H‡†3AGBM 101, ECON 102, or ECON 1043
General Education Course13CAS 100‡†3
First-Year Seminar1-3STAT 200, 240, or 250‡†3-4
 General Education Course13
 14-19 16-17
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 200*1FOR 204*2
FOR 203*3FOR 266*4
FOR 255*3HORT 3013
SOILS 1013ENT 3132
LARCH 60, 65, or ARCH 3163ENT 3141
General Education Course (GHW)1.5ENGL 202C or 202D‡†3
 14.5 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 308*3PPEM 3182
HORT 1383PLANT 2173
ERM 448, FOR 439, or FOR 475 (or Supporting Course)23FOR 409
SOILS 102 (or Supporting Course)2
3
RPTM 320, 325, 435, or 4703FOR 455, GEOG 363, or SOILS 4503
Supporting Course3General Education Course13
 Elective0-5
 15 14-19
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 4213GEOG 4303
FOR 495 or 496*3FOR 4803
FOR 401*3HORT 4084
Supporting Course3FOR 450W*3
General Education Course13Elective 2
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 15 16.5
Total Credits 120-131

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Notes:

  • Students should be aware that, in most cases, completion of the Forest Ecosystem Management (FOREM) degree in eight semesters requires enrollment at Penn State University Park beginning the fall semester of the sophomore year.
  • All supporting course selections are listed in the FOREM Handbook, which is available on the department’s website under Undergraduate > Student Resources > Student Handbooks.
  • Many FOR classes are offered only once per year, in the fall or the spring; plan your schedule accordingly.
  • FOR 409 is offered only in spring of odd years.
  • Courses that are listed as both US or IL and GA, GH, or GS can count for both requirements (i.e., a course listed for both GA and IL will satisfy both Arts and International Cultures).
  • Students should monitor their academic progress by checking their degree audits on LionPATH.
  • Questions about FOREM academic plans or degree audits should be directed to academic advisers or to FOREM Program Coordinator Ellen Rom, exr2@psu.edu or 814-863-0362.

Watershed Management Option: Forest Ecosystem Management, B.S. at University Park Campus and Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
First-Year Seminar1-3CHEM 1103
AGBM 101, ECON 102, or ECON 1043CHEM 1111
MATH 110 or 140‡†4CAS 100‡†3
ENGL 15 or 30H‡†3MATH 111 or 1412-4
General Education Course13STAT 200, 240, or 250*‡†3-4
 14-16 12-15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 200*1FOR 266*4
FOR 203*3ENGL 202C or 202D‡†3
FOR 255*3PHYS GN Selection from List3-4
SOILS 1013Social Sciences GS Selection from List3
General Education Course13General Education Course13
General Education Course (GHW)1.5 
 14.5 16-17
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 308*3FOR 470*3
ERM 448, FOR 439, or FOR 475 (or Geospatial Analysis Selection from List)23FOR 471*1
PHYS GN Selection from List3-4FOR 409
SOILS 102 (or Geospatial Analysis Selection from List)*2
3
Resources Management Selection from List3Physical Sciences Selection from List3
Water Sciences Selection from List3Social Sciences GS Selection from List3
 General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 15-16 14.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
FOR 4213FOR 450W3
Physical Sciences Selection from List3Resources Management Selection from List3
Water Sciences Selection from List3Water Sciences Selection from List3
General Education Course13Three Additional Credits at the 300- or 400-level from Selections Lists3
Elective3-5Elective3-6
 15-17 15-18
Total Credits 116-128

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Notes:

  • Students should be aware that, in most cases, completion of the Forest Ecosystem Management (FOREM) degree in eight semesters requires enrollment at Penn State University Park beginning the fall semester of the sophomore year.
  • All supporting course selections are listed in the FOREM Handbook, which is available on the department’s website under Undergraduate > Student Resources > Student Handbooks.
  • Many FOR classes are offered only once per year, in the fall or the spring; plan your schedule accordingly.
  • FOR 409 is offered only in spring of odd years.
  • Courses that are listed as both US or IL and GA, GH, or GS can count for both requirements (i.e., a course listed for both GA and IL will satisfy both Arts and International Cultures).
  • Students should monitor their academic progress by checking their degree audits on LionPATH.
  • Questions about FOREM academic plans or degree audits should be directed to academic advisers or to FOREM Program Coordinator Ellen Rom, exr2@psu.edu or 814-863-0362.

Career Paths

Graduates become forest managers responsible for the flora and fauna on publicly owned forests and watersheds, including national and state forests and parks, game lands, and recreation areas. Others work as ecologists studying environmental factors that affect forests, or as consultants surveying timberlands and recommending harvest and reforestation practices. Graduates also work as community foresters managing urban trees and green spaces, consulting foresters assisting private landowners, industrial foresters ensuring a company’s need for raw materials, land managers for conservation organizations, and watershed managers responsible for the protection of municipal watersheds. The curriculum also provides a firm base for graduate study.

Careers

Graduates of the Forest Management and Forest Biology options may be employed by public agencies such as the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service, nonprofit organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, industries such as sawmills and bioenergy facilities, and environmental consulting firms. Graduates of the Community and Urban Forest Management option may be employed by municipalities, arboricultural companies, utilities, and government agencies to manage community trees and green spaces. Graduates of the Watershed Management option may find federal employment as hydrologists or pursue careers in municipal watershed management and in environmental/engineering consulting.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE FOREST ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Accreditation

Three options of the Forest Ecosystem Management baccalaureate degree program (Community and Urban Forest Management, Forest Biology, and Forest Management) are accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Degrees in forestry have been awarded at Penn State since 1907, and our program was among those first accredited by the Society of American Foresters in 1935.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SOCIETY OF AMERICAN FORESTERS

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF ECOSYSTEM SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT
Undergraduate Programs Office
113 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-4237

https://ecosystems.psu.edu