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Auburn University leverages forestry, business expertise to expand graduate education for industry

By April 3, 2023 No Comments

To meet the needs of an increasingly complex forest industry, Auburn University has created a new online Forest Business and Investment, or FBI, Master of Science degree within the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, or CFWE.

Collaboratively taught with Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, this non-thesis program enables students to succeed in the fast-growing forest industry’s business, finance, and investment sectors.

Jim Parrish, executive director of Graduate Business Programs in Auburn’s Harbert College of Business, is excited about the program’s growth from a graduate certificate in Forest and Finance Investment to a full-fledged online degree.

“The two colleges entered a partnership to create this opportunity for students to earn a degree that involved the science background of forestry along with the technical knowledge of the business degree,” said Parrish.

By leveraging the interdisciplinary expertise of both colleges, the program will be a more robust asset to the marketplace for employees and businesses alike, said Parrish.

Because the program merges two different colleges and curriculums, Parrish feels it is important for students to understand the difference in structure between business and forestry courses.

“On the business side, many of our online courses, such as finance, supply chain, and statistics, will be group- and project-based. So, there’s a lot of collaboration between the other online students, and those connections will allow you to strengthen your network and promote yourself throughout the industry.”

Forestry courses often emphasize independent work, and Parrish thinks it is especially important for students to create a network within those classes.

To complete the degree, the CFWE will offer a capstone experience for students.
This one-credit hour student seminar will allow students to meet face-to-face with faculty, colleagues, stakeholders, and industry professionals.

“The strength of this program is the network you build. I encourage all students to engage in and embrace this experience fully. Your chance to talk with different students, learn from them, and collaborate with them will make a real difference as you pursue this degree and implement it into your career,” said Parrish.

Students should be aware of the additional resources within the Harbert College of Business. “A great resource for students in this program is student services coordinator April Hurley, who will work with you on your plan of study, which courses you should choose, as well as how it fits with the other courses you’ll be taking with your master’s program. We also have a team of graduate career specialists that’ll work with you to develop your current career or prepare you to enter a new field,” said Parrish.

The Harbert College of Business provides three credentials within supply chain management. “We have a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Planning, a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Operations, and a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Innovation. That’s an additional credential that these students can earn. So, when they leave Auburn, they have both the master’s degree and their graduate certificate,” said Parrish.

To learn more about the online FBI master’s program, visit the CFWE website.

(Written by Avy Elmore)

Quick Facts

  • Non-thesis (no research, courses only)
  • Convenient, online courses
  • 31 credit hours required
  • No GRE required
  • Learn from expert faculty and industry leaders
  • Enrollment open spring and fall!

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