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Bachelor of Science in Forestry

SIU Students working in stream

Accredited by the Society of American Foresters, our program offers hands-on, experiential learning in natural environments. We have a science-based curriculum with focused training and teaching both in the outdoors and the classroom. Our program provides a unique diversity aspect with faculty specializing in a wide variety of topics.

You will participate in a summer field camp to witness first-hand the challenges and rewards of forestry careers. You’ll visit national and state forests and parks, wildlife preserves, and natural and recreation areas across the country – from Acadia to Yellowstone. You’ll learn about multi-use outdoor recreation areas, conservation, forest site interpretation, and the relationships people have with the nature around them.

Degree Requirements

Students will choose from one of five specializations are offered within the forestry program. University Core Curriculum requirements and a core of professional courses are similar for each specialization. Students may not take courses specifically required in the various specializations for pass/fail credit.

  • Total degree requirements: 120-123 credit hours
  • University core curriculum: 39 credit hours
  • Specialization Requirements: 79-81 credit hours

Compass IconCheck out the Course Requirements and view the five specializations for this program. Also you can view all related Forestry courses.


Our undergraduate forestry program offers five specializations to choose the best course of study based on your career goals.

  • Forest Hydrology
  • Forest Resources Management
  • Forest Recreation and Park Management
  • Urban Forest Management
  • Wildlife Habitat Management and Conservation
Conservation Law Enforcement


The Conservation Law Enforcement certificate is designed for those students studying Forestry or Criminology and Criminal Justice who look to go into law enforcement. Conservation law enforcement officers protect wildlife and state resources, support responsible outdoor recreation, enforce fishing and hunting laws, and serve as ambassadors for the public.

The Conservation Law Enforcement certificate is fully endorsed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Conservation Law Enforcement

Summer Camps

Our students can partake in two unique summer "camps," which are month-long adventures at naturally diverse locations across the country.

Simply, our students spend a month learning about the great outdoors by being in the great outdoors.



There is no better place to study forestry than Southern Illinois! We are uniquely positioned at the intersection of several ecological regions. Experience forests, bluffs, wetlands and grasslands – right in your own backyard!

We are nationally recognized for our 3,000 acres of university land and farms, including our Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center. Our students get outside for field labs and demonstration programs at these sites and beyond!

Student Organizations

You can get involved in activities, network, gain valuable experience and enhance your education through hundreds of registered student organizations on campus and student chapters of professional organizations related to your academic interests.

  • AgBassadors
  • Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS)
  • Fire Dawgs
  • Forestry Club
  • Saluki Bassers
  • The Saluki Environmental Educators
  • Society of American Foresters
  • Shooting Team
  • Wildlife Society


Forestry students are eligible for a variety of scholarship opportunities through the University.

We also offer forestry specific scholarships available explicitly for students in the program, including the Leon S. Minckler Memorial Scholarship in Forestry that awards $1,000 every year to 8-10 students.

Program Learning Outcomes



SAF logoSIU Forestry's Bachelor of Science degree has been accredited by the Society of American Foresters since 1975.

SAF's Code of Ethics

SIU forestry students on camp trip out west

Contact Information

Karl Williard
Program Director
Agriculture Building 184 A
1205 Lincoln Dr.
Carbondale, IL 62901

Kathy Elson
Academic Advisor
Agriculture 217 A
1205 Lincoln Dr
Carbondale, IL 62901

School of Forestry and Horticulture | College of Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences | 618-453-3341 |