In the past, professionals who wished to advance their careers in forest business and investments would pursue a traditional Master of Business, or MBA, degree.
However, a traditional MBA does not typically provide the background and understanding of the forestry-based skills and applications that forest investment and finance companies need to function effectively.
In addition to the knowledge gap presented with an MBA, attendance at a major university can be problematic for working professionals.
The new online Forest Business and Investment, or FBI, Master of Science degree offered by Auburn University’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, or CFWE, was created to provide these professionals with an opportunity to remain competitive in the industry while enhancing their understanding of timberland and forest land investment – all from the comfort of their home or office.
This master’s degree is a non-thesis program collaboratively taught with Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business that enables students to succeed in the forest industry’s business, finance, and investment sectors.
Jessica Daniel, professor of practice in online graduate programs within CFWE, believes that the FBI program will benefit students by allowing them to take classes and complete assignments online, helping them to achieve a reasonable work-life balance.
“The degree is flexible and customizable to the student’s pace and interests with whatever they have going on outside of school. We know that most of these students are full-time professionals, and they need that flexibility,” said Daniel.
“That is why the program allows students to progress at their own pace, with the option to take as few as one class per semester if that works best for their schedule.”
The FBI program applies to many different types of students. “If you’re early in your career, in the field, in the industry, or at a higher-level executive position, the degree will be suitable for any of those stages within your career development,” said Daniel.
The enrollment process begins with completing an application through the Auburn University Graduate School. Those who have completed a bachelor’s degree must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 to apply. Those who have previously completed graduate studies must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, though some exceptions to the GPA requirement are allowed with justification and approval.
“Applicants will write a letter of intent and provide three recommendations and their official transcripts. Students will also connect with a major professor who will provide a letter of support and help them through the program upon acceptance,” said Daniel.
Before enrollment, Daniel feels that applicants should consider where they are in their career, what they are looking for in a degree program, and how it will help them progress through their career.
“If they need certain coursework, if they’re looking at a specific job, I always recommend students figure out what sorts of skills, classes, and experiences they need to help them move forward. They can look up our classes, ask us questions, and figure out how they want to use the degree to reach their goals,” said Daniel.
To learn more about the online FBI master’s program, visit the CFWE website.
(Written by Avy Elmore)
- 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!