Higher Education Programs in Forestry
Community - Oct 07, 2021

Higher Education Programs in Forestry

Degrees Programs for Future Foresters of Louisiana and Mississippi

Why Forestry Education

Timber is big business in our neck of the woods (no pun intended). If you’re interested in a career related to forestry, opportunities abound. Before you apply, you’ll need to make sure you’re qualified for the position. 

Professional foresters have deep institutional knowledge of the forestry industry, in addition to expertise on forest ecology and management. Having an associate degree in forestry technology or a bachelor’s degree in forestry will demonstrate to employers that you’ve acquired additional training.  

Careers in Forestry

Forestry technicians and professional foresters can take many professional routes in Louisiana and Mississippi. Some employers include:

Browse more job opportunities at forestryusa.com 

Forestry Education Paths

Generally speaking, if you’re interested in a career in forestry and want to earn a degree, there are different paths you may take:

  1. Community College

The first option is to attend a community college. Many community colleges in Louisiana and Mississippi offer a two-year associate degree in forestry technology. When you graduate from an accredited community college forestry technology program, you can officially put “forestry technician” on your resume.

  1. Transfer

Many community colleges in both Louisiana and Mississippi can help you earn an associate degree at a community college and then transfer to a four-year college or university.

  1. Four-Year Colleges and Universities

Graduate from an accredited four-year college or university in order to be qualified to be a professional forester. 

Forestry Programs in Louisiana and Mississippi


Louisiana has three universities and two technical community college programs for forestry. 

Community Colleges

Central Louisiana Technical Community College

Huey P. Long Campus
Winnfield, LA 

“The Forest Technology program prepares students to produce, protect, and manage timber; maintain and operate related equipment; and select, grade, harvest, and market forest raw materials for converting into a variety of consumer goods.”

Students may earn the following:

  • Technical Diploma in Forest Technology
  • Certificate of Technical Studies in Forest Harvesting & Planting Assistant
  • Certificate of Technical Studies in Forest Technician Site Assistant
Sowela Technical Community College

Main Campus
Lake Charles, LA

“The Forest Technology program prepares students to produce, protect, and manage woodland resources. Coursework also includes how to maintain and operate related equipment and harvest raw forest materials for converting into a variety of consumer goods.”

Students may earn the following:

  • Technical Diploma in Forest Technology
  • Certificate of Technical Studies in Forest Harvesting & Planting Assistant
  • Career and Technical Certificate in Resource Management Assistant

Four-Year Colleges

Louisiana Tech University
School of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry

Ruston, LA

Louisiana Tech’s Forestry program is accredited by the Society of American Foresters. The program offers two concentration options:

Forestry Management Concentration

“This broad field incorporates biological, physical, ecological, and managerial sciences to help future foresters earn and grasp and appreciate the deep commitment required to understanding and appreciating—and conserving—the world’s forest resources.”

Wildlife Habitat Management Concentration

“This academic program and specific focus on wildlife habitats is designed for students who want to learn about conservation and management techniques that support sustainable wildlife populations and their habitats.”

Louisiana State University
School of Renewable Natural Resources

Baton Rouge, LA

Students at LSU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in natural resources ecology and management and can choose an area of concentration. Six areas of concentration are accredited by the Society of American Foresters:

  • forest resource management
  • forest enterprise
  • wildlife habitat conservation and management
  • conservation biology
  • ecological restoration
  • wetland science
Southern University and A&M College
Agricultural & Mechanical College

Baton Rouge, LA

Students at Southern University may earn a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Urban Forestry. 

“Today, the Department of Urban Forestry and Natural Resources at SU has the most comprehensive Urban Forestry Higher Education Program in the nation and has been recognized as a leader in graduating the diverse, talented next generation of urban forestry and natural resources professionals for the country.”


Community Colleges

East Mississippi Community College

Scooba, MS Campus

“Forestry Technology is an instructional program that prepares individuals to produce, protect, and manage timber and other forest crops. Students enrolled in the program will participate in a variety of learning experiences related to land and forest measurements, growth processes of timber stands, tree identification, timber and forest products harvesting, timber stand management, forest protection, and forest products utilization.

“Forestry Technology is a two-year technical program. An Associate of Applied Science degree is awarded upon successful completion of the curriculum. Enrollment is open in either the fall or spring semesters.”

Itawamba Community College

Fulton, MS Campus

“The Forestry Technology program prepares individuals to assist foresters in the management and production of forest resources. It includes instruction in woods and field skills, tree identification, timber measurement, logging and timber harvesting, forest preparation and regeneration, forest firefighting, resource management, equipment operation and maintenance, recordkeeping, sales and purchasing operations and personnel supervision.”

Northwest Mississippi Community College

Desoto Campus, Southaven, MS

“Forestry is designed for a student who wishes to major in forestry or one of its two divergent areas of study—Forestry or Wildlife and Fisheries Science. A student will receive an Associate of Arts degree upon completion of this two-year program of study.”

Jones County Junior College

Ellisville, MS Campus

“Classroom work, outdoor labs, and Jones County Junior College are utilized to provide learning experiences for the students in all phases of applied forestry. This Program will also provide students with the necessary scientific skills, mathematical theories, and field techniques which will allow them to professionally perform the duties of a forestry technician. Upon completion of all course work, a Technical Certificate or the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) degree is awarded.”

Holmes Community College

Goodman, MS Campus

“The Forest Technology program is designed to immerse students in various natural resources topics, including tree identification, forest protection and management, wildlife management, timber harvesting, and forest product utilization, volume estimation, environmental protection, forestry certifications, mapping, and navigation. This applied science prepares individuals to work alongside foresters and other natural resource professionals to achieve a wide array of management objectives. Forestry Technology is a two-year technical program. An Associate of Applied Science degree is awarded upon successful completion of the curriculum.”

Four-Year College

Mississippi State University

College of Forest Resources, Department of Forestry
Starkville, MS

MSU is Mississippi’s only four-year university training for forestry professionals. They offer a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and offer six concentrations:

  1. environmental conservation
  2. forest business
  3. forest management
  4. forest products
  5. urban forestry
  6. forestry / wildlife management

“Graduates of the major are qualified to become a Registered Forester in Mississippi after successfully completing an examination for this purpose with the Board of Registration for Foresters (BORF) in Mississippi. Graduates are also qualified to become Society of American Forester Certified Foresters by successfully completing an exam.”

MSU also offers an M.S. in forestry and a Ph.D. in forest resources.

Adjacent Programs

Hinds Community College’s Logging Academy

Raymond, MS Campus

“Hinds Community College is offering a Logging Academy Program in partnership with Mississippi Logging Association and Mississippi Forestry Commission. The academy is an 8- to 16-week program designed to equip students with little or no experience to become a logging equipment operator with safety certifications as well as Professional Logging Manager (PLM) status.”

Timberland Property Financing

Southern AgCredit is a major supporter of the timber and forest industry in Louisiana and Mississippi. If you’re a new timber owner starting out or an existing business, we offer financing for property, equipment, operating lines of credit, and more. To learn more about how we can help your timber business, please contact the office near you.