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Forest Finance & Investment

Forestry is one of the largest resource-based industries in the state, region, and country and includes diverse businesses such as forest and land management firms, individual and institutional forest landowners, wood suppliers, product manufacturers, timber harvesting companies, and forestry consultants.

The forestry industry has grown more complex in the last century with the impacts of increasing environmental issues, economic opportunities, technological advancements, and changing land ownership. Today’s professionals must have the ability to understand and assimilate these factors within their financial and operational decision-making to best manage and leverage forest assets.

Whether you are a recent graduate, a seasoned forestry professional, another type of professional (such as a real estate broker, banker, accountant, attorney, or appraiser) with interests in forest operations or forest investments, or if you just have a general or personal interest in learning more about forest operations and investments, the Auburn University Forest Finance and Investment graduate certificate program is designed to provide you with the tools necessary to make sound forest finance and investment decisions.

This program will enhance the knowledge base of students who possess technical forestry skills but may wish to grow their understanding of forestry business practices to be considered for advancement or those who may have a strong foundation in business but wish to become more familiar with the unique aspects of forestry finance and economics to become more competitive in the job market or operate their businesses more successfully.

Key Learning Outcomes

The Forest Finance and Investment online certificate program provides a convenient platform for students to receive valuable in‐service training which stresses critical thinking and problem‐solving skills that are required by many employers today for the operation of a successful forestry-related business.

The program is designed to help students:

  1. Develop advanced knowledge in the area of forest finance and investment
  2. Improve their ability to identify critical issues faced in forestry-related businesses and improve capacities for financial decision-making
  3. Enhance their oral and written communications skills to better engage potential underwriters and clients, as well as the scientific community and the general public
  4. Prepare students for new professional responsibilities or perhaps advance to graduate school


To obtain a Forest Finance and Investment graduate certificate from Auburn University, students must complete fifteen (15) credit hours of online coursework. Students with a forestry background are required to complete FORY 7400, FORY 7650, FORY 7620, FINC 7640, and BUSI 7110.  Students without a forestry background are required to complete FORY 7320 and any four of the other courses for a total of 15 credit hours.

Course CodeCourse NameCredit HoursFallSpring Summer
FORY 7320Forest Growth, Silviculture, and Management3XX
FORY 7400Forest Valuation and Economics3X
FORY 7650Forest Operations and Wood Supply Chain Management3X
FORY 7620Forest Finance, Accounting and Taxation3X
FINC 7640Advanced Investments **3XXX
BUSI 7110Financial Analysis **3XXX

*Tentative: check course schedule or contact CFWE for an updated schedule for confirmation
**non-CFWE course: check the course schedule or with the instructor for confirmation

Students who obtain this certificate may go on to earn a master of natural resource degree in forest finance and investment with additional 18-19 hours of coursework, mostly online.


To participate in the Forest Finance and Investment graduate certificate program, students must apply to Auburn University (   Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required.

Entrance to the certificate program and AU Graduate School requires a 2.75 GPA.  However, exceptions can be made if sufficient justification for the exception is provided to the CFWE Graduate Program Office.

Graduate certificate applicants must submit the online application to be admitted as non-degree students, pay the online application fee ($60 or $70 domestic vs. international, respectively), and submit transcripts.  They must also submit an official transcript for their highest degree.  International applicants must also submit an English proficiency score.

Students may enroll three times yearly to begin their coursework in the spring, summer, or fall semesters. All application materials must be received no later than 45 days before the first day of class of the semester. For deadlines and other details, visit


The Forest Finance & Investment graduate certificate program requires 15 credit hours at $900 per credit hour for a total cost of $13,500. Please be aware that students pursuing graduate certificates are not eligible for financial aid.

Need help getting started?

For guidance regarding curriculum choices, admissions policies, and deadlines, please contact Dr. Jessica Daniel at or (334) 844-1077 or submit a request for information about our online programs.

Specific questions concerning the Forest Finance and Investment certificate and courses can be addressed to Dr. Adam Maggard at (334)844-2401.

Now Accepting Applications

Through distance education and online learning, our expert faculty prepare students to address complex natural resources-related topics and issues that are highly impactful to our society and environment. Our curriculum is convenient and flexible for students of diverse academic backgrounds who wish to advance professionally.

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Quick Facts

  • May be completed in less than 3 years
  • Tuition fees are roughly half the cost of a graduate degree
  • Only 15 credit hours required
  • Credit may be applied to a graduate degree
  • No GRE required for enrollment
  • Enrollment open spring, summer and fall!

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