Forestry PhD Program

Doctoral Graduation Requirements

The PhD degree in forestry is designed to prepare students for academic careers in research and teaching or other advanced scientific or professional careers.

Admission Requirements

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline from an accredited institution
  • GPA: 3.2 on a scale of 4.0
  • Graduate Record Exam score (GRE): no minimum scores required
  • Minimum TOEFL scores: 550 (paper-based test), 79 (Internet-based test)
  • 50th percentile or higher preferred in each category
  • Experience in research or management of natural resources. Practical skills are strongly considered.

Students whose GPAs do not meet the requirements will be evaluated individually. Applicants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Degree Requirements

  • A minimum of 72 hrs beyond the Baccalaureate degree for the PhD.
  • A maximum of 30 hours of post baccalaureate graduate credit from an accredited university can be transferred toward the PhD degree program, subject to committee approval.
  • The program must include a minimum of 15 hours of 8000 level course work, exclusive of problems, readings and research.
  • A minimum of two credit hours of graduate seminar must be included in each student’s graduate program.
  • PhD students are required publish their research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • The PhD degree is conferred only upon those students who, after extensive study, have demonstrated a high level of achievement in their particular specialization in forestry and have completed significant independent research in their field.

Doctoral Committee

The student pursuing the doctoral program is expected to pass qualifying, comprehensive and final examinations administered by the student’s doctoral committee. This committee is structured as defined by the MU Office of Graduate Studies and must have a minimum of 4 members, at least 3 members must be from the student’s doctoral degree program and 1 outside member from a program outside the School of Natural Resources. Natural Resources with Emphasis in Forestry strongly recommends a 5-person committee for Ph.D. students. At least 2 of the committee members must be MU doctoral faculty.

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination determines whether the student’s background is adequate to enter the PhD program. It also is intended to ascertain if there are areas of weakness in which a candidate will be required to gain background through appropriate course work or areas that prohibit entry into the program.

D-1 Qualifying Examination Results and Doctoral Committee Approval Form

Submission of the D-1 form follows a meeting of the student’s graduate committee and approval by the committee, of the student’s proposal and plan of research and coursework. This form is to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies within one month of exam completion.

D-2 Plan of Study

The D-2 form accompanies the D-1, and is also to be submitted to the MU Office of Graduate Studies within one month of exam completion.

Comprehensive Examination

Comprehensive exam must be take a minimum 6 months before dissertation defense. The objectives of the comprehensive examination are twofold:
1. to determine if a student has acquired sufficient depth and breadth of knowledge in selected areas of concentration
2. to evaluate the candidate’s capacity to apply that knowledge in solving applied or theoretical problems.

D-3 Doctoral Comprehensive Exam Result Form

The D-3 forms should be completed and filed with the Office of Graduate Studies within one month of exam completion.

Final Examination (Dissertation Defense)

The final examination is directed primarily toward exploration of the dissertation research project. The final examination is directed primarily toward exploration of the dissertation research project. An independent scholarly dissertation approved by the student’s advisor and doctoral committee must be completed. The announcement of public seminar for the dissertation defense must be made at least two weeks in advance of the seminar. It must be well advertised and open to the public. Every candidate should review the Dissertation & Thesis Guidelines from the Graduate School and should consult the Director of Graduate Studies for academic program style requirements.

D-4 Report of the Dissertation Defense Form

The D-4 form should be completed and filed with the Office of Graduate Studies as soon as possible after the defense.