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Natural Resources Stewardship Master of Natural Resources Stewardship (M.N.R.S.)

Forest Sciences

Online forestry degree specialization for natural resource experts

The M.N.R.S. degree in forest science explores an interdisciplinary field that addresses resource management challenges related to forests around the world. According to the USDA Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis National Program (2012), forests cover 766 million acres of land in the United States. As well as providing a sense of place and natural beauty, forests provide a myriad of tangible benefits to society; e.g., raw materials, places for recreation, oxygen production, and a sink for carbon. Additionally they can reduce erosion, enhance aquifer recharge, filter out pollutants, and provide habitats for wildlife.

This online forestry degree applies the physical, social, and biological sciences to the field of forest sciences, a methodology that allows individuals to make fact-based decisions in managing these environments. Proper resource management can help reduce the impacts of wildfires, insect and disease attacks, and deforestation, which pose threats to forests and the communities they benefit.

Gain applicable skills in forest management and a foundation in theory

CSU's faculty take an applied and broad-based approach to education, covering the technical and human dimensions aspects of forestry. This means you learn theory, as well as complete coursework and assignments that prepare you to immediately apply what you learn to the actual situations you'll face at work.

Take forestry courses online in a flexible format that lets you study from wherever you are. Knowledge gained applies to forests all over the world, which means you'll be trained to work globally, wherever you find yourself.

Study in a forestry graduate program with a legacy

Colorado State University was one of the first forestry schools in the nation, dating back to 1904. This long tenure and accomplished history has elevated CSU's reputation in this field as an authority throughout the world. With this comes an ability to recruit some of the nation’s top forestry scientists to inform curriculum, as well as an opportunity for students to become a part of a large professional network.

Gain practical skills in forest management

Within the context of forestry, you will gain technical skills in:

  • Inventory and monitoring
  • Assessment of ecosystem health
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Forest planning
  • Policy analysis
  • Forest and fire ecology
  • Developing appropriate goals and objectives for forest ecosystems
  • Forest management practices (silviculture)
  • Accounting for change over time (modeling)

Additionally, you will learn about topics such as scarcity, the aesthetic benefits of forests, biological diversity, and gain foundational skills that will prepare you to work in any forest environment.


The natural resource stewardship degree requires completion of 30 credits, including 11 credits of required core coursework, 9 credits in the focus area (forest sciences), and 10 credits of electives. This is a coursework-intensive degree and does not require completion of a thesis.

Required Courses

Specialization Courses: Forest Sciences


To further diversify your curriculum, choose a minimum of 10 elective credits. These courses can be from any of the specialization areas or from other credit courses that pertain to your professional and education goals. Electives must be above the 300 level and be approved by an academic advisor.

The following course is also available as an elective:
NR 565 – Principles of Natural Resource Ecology (3 cr.)
NR 565 is a required course for students who have not taken a college-level ecology course.

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