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Prospective Grads

The College of Forestry and Conservation (CFC) offers Master of Science degrees in Forestry, Wildlife Biology, Resource Conservation, and Recreation Management, and Doctorate degrees in Forestry and Fish and Wildlife Biology.  For more information on the specific degrees:

View our Graduate Degree Programs                            Graduate Handbook and Forms

We encourage you to contact CFC faculty members who have similar interests to yours before you apply.  Under no circumstances are applicants accepted without the approval of a faculty member who will serve as their major professor.  Following the link above will help you find faculty members with similar research interests as your own.

Visit our Beautiful Campus

Schedule a campus tour online, or call the Admissions Office at 406.243.6266.  The University offers daily visits, UM Days (open house program), and group visits.

During your campus visit you may:

  • meet with an Admissions Counselor;
  • tour the campus with a current student;
  • ask questions about admissions, student life, academics, and residence halls;
  • enjoy a complimentary lunch in the Food Zoo, UM’s award winning dining hall (during available Food Zoo Hours)
  • meet with a faculty member in your area of academic interest.


Apply online now!

Prospective graduate students should send application materials to: for Statement of Interest and for unofficial transcripts. 

If you are accepted, you will need to submit offical transcripts.  If your university offers official electronic transcripts, those can be sent to  Any universities which do not yet offer official transcripts in an electronic version must send physical copies to:

College of Forestry and Conservation
Attn:  Grad Applications
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812

Letters of Recommendation can be submitted electronically by entering the email addresses of your references into the online application.

We are attempting to go paperless with the application process, so anything that can be sent electronically would be greatly appreciated!

Application Materials

  • Graduate School Application and fee
  • Statement of Interest - This statement should outline the applicant's area of desired specialization and include the names of faculty members previously contacted regarding graduate study opportunities.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts of all college work - Unofficial transcripts can be submitted for the application review process.  If you are accepted, you will then need to provide us with an official transcript showing all degrees received.  (If you are already enrolled in or have received your degree from UM you do not need to submit a transcript.)
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores - The code for The University of Montana is R4489.  You must take the GRE by January 15 (for Fall applications) or August 15 (for Spring applications) to ensure we receive the scores by the deadline.  We cannot review an application without GRE scores.
  • Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores if applicant’s native language is not English

The applicant is responsible for completion of the application file.  Please note that applications sent to us by fax are not acceptable.  It typically takes 3 to 4 weeks from the date of your GRE or TOEFL examination for the scores to be reported.  Application files are checked periodically and the applicant is informed of any materials that are lacking.  No action will be taken on any incomplete application files.  If your name has changed since you completed your degree or since you last took the GRE, please be sure to let us know so that we can match applications with submitted materials.

The deadline for applications for fall admission is January 31.  For spring admission, the deadline is August 31.

Students should consult The UM Graduate School homepage for additional information on transfer credit policies and residency requirements.

Admission Requirements

Preliminary decisions regarding acceptance will be made using the following criteria: minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for MS programs and 3.5 in graduate work for PhD programs and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores of 153 Verbal, 148 Quantitative, and 4.0 Analytical for tests taken after August 1, 2011.  For GREs taken prior to August 1, 2011 the minimum scores are 500 Verbal, 600 Quantitative, and 4.0 Analytical.  For applicants whose native language is not English, the minimum TOEFL score is 79 for internet-based tests, 215 for computer-based tests, and 550 for paper-based tests.

Further evaluation is made of Letters of Recommendation and the applicant’s Statement of Interest.  The latter is important because the final criterion for accepting an applicant is the willingness of a faculty member to serve as an advisor.  The Statement of Interest is used to identify faculty members whose interests most closely match those of the applicant.  Under no conditions are persons accepted without the approval of a faculty member who will serve as the major professor.

Students must enroll in the semester stated in their acceptance letter or in the subsequent semester.  If students need to defer, they can do so for up to one year and must get approval from their major professor.  They then need to contact the Graduate School to make sure the correct paperwork is done.  Unless prior arrangements have been made, students not initiating degree work within this time period must reapply for admission.

Committee Selection

An advisor is assigned to the student at the time of admittance to the program.  The advisor, who will serve as committee chair, must be a faculty member in the College of Forestry and Conservation.  The student and advisor will jointly select a committee as soon as practical.  The committee shall consist of the advisor as Chair and two or more additional faculty members, one of whom must be from another school of department in the University.  Half of each committee must be faculty members in the College of Forestry and Conservation and have attained at least the degree level sought by the candidate.  Exceptions require approval of the Dean of the College of Forestry and the Dean of the Graduate School.  If committee members are selected from non-University organizations, care must be exercised to insure that no possible conflict of interest exists.  Under no circumstances shall an off-campus employer or work supervisor of the candidate serve as a voting member of the candidates committee.  The same restriction applies to the off-campus agency individuals who have direct responsibility for the funds supporting the student’s research.

After verbal agreement has been received from the prospective committee, the student will complete the committee appointment form that can be obtained from the main Forestry Office.  The Dean will consider the appropriateness of the committee, resolve any perceived difficulties with the advisor, and submit a formal request to the Graduate Dean for approval.

Degree Requirements

All students must be familiar with the requirements and procedures established by the UM Graduate School and the CFC for their particular graduate degree. These requirements can be found here.