Pre-Forestry program

Discover the science inside the forest

Trees enhance our quality of life. Their planting, sustainable management and protection in forests are key to supporting life on the planet. Professional foresters manage forested land primarily for the renewable resource of wood or biomass.

UWL offers a pre-professional program is pre-forestry. This is a statement of intent by the student, not an academic major. Students may fulfill pre-professional requirements in a variety of programs at UWL and then either transfer to other schools to complete their training or complete their undergraduate degree at UWL with the intention of going to a graduate school in forestry.

Why forestry?

Wisconsin has millions of acres of forested land. These lands are used primarily to produce wood for timber, combustible energy, ornamental trees or other products. In the process of growing and harvesting trees, lands must be preserved and protected so this renewable resource can continue. For the modern professional forester, this profession also involves natural resource management and activities related to soil, water and wildlife conservation.


Recommended electives
  • BIO 302 Introductory Plant Identification
  • BIO 337 Plant Physiology
  • BIO 404 Plant Taxonomy
  • BIO 405 Aquatic Vascular Plants
  • BIO 412 Mycology
  • BIO 429 Evolution
  • BIO 442 Plant Microbe Interactions
  • MIC 230 Fundamentals of Microbiology
Recommended support courses
  • CHM 301 Analytical Chemistry
  • GEO/ESC 345 Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • GEO/ESC 385 Intro to Geographic Information Systems
  • MTH 305 Statistical Methods
Additional elective recommendations
  • BIO 437 Plant Growth and Development
  • ECO 110 Microeconomics and Public Policy
  • ESC 101 Earth Environments
  • PHY 103 Fundamental Physics I
  • PHY 104 Fundamental Physics II

Foundational science courses in the pre-forestry program provide a basis for understanding the science inside the forest. Students can choose from an array of biology, geography, chemistry and other sciences courses in the program.

Embark on your path

Careers in forestry
  • Timber buyer
  • District or city forester
  • Natural resource manager
  • Forest supervisor
  • Forest engineer
  • Insect and disease specialist
  • Tree improvement forester
  • Park ranger
  • Pulp and paper chemist
  • Fire control officer
  • Land use planner
  • Forest ecologist
  • University faculty
  • Arborist
  • Silviculturist
  • Wood technologist
  • Forest pathologist
  • Forest entomologist
  • Environmental education specialist

This program is not a major

A pre-professional program is a statement of intent on the student’s part, not an academic major.

Choosing a major

Undergraduate students interested in forestry must declare an undergraduate major. UWL strongly recommends that students interested in pre-forestry should pursue a biology major with a concentration in plant and fungal biology or a concentration in environmental science.