Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions commonly asked about the Sustainable Forest Management graduate program and guidance for finding your way through the application and admissions process.


Q1:  How do I apply to the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) graduate program?
A:  If you are not already an OSU graduate student, you will need to complete the “Online Graduate Application” and submit your application, with all required documents, which clearly shows that you meet the OSU Graduate School's minimum requirements for all applicants.
Q2:  When are the SFM program and Graduate School applications due?
A:  Application deadlines for the Department are different than those of the Graduate School.  Although applications will be received at any time, to ensure full consideration for admission and financial assistance, applications should be completed by the designated dates for the desired academic term of admission.

Completed applications should be received for admission by the Department on or before:

Fall Term (for Fellowship consideration): December 31 of the preceding year
Fall Term (without Fellowship consideration): April 1 of the same year
Winter Term: July 1 of the preceding year
Spring Term: October 1 of the preceding year
Summer Term: January 1 of the same year

  Q3:  How do I apply as an International graduate student?
  A:  You can find more information at the Admissions website and International Applicant Admissions website. 

Q4:  Can I apply without first identifying a major professor?
Prospective students may apply directly to the graduate program without contacting potential major professors.  The Sustainable Forest Management faculty and Department Head will then attempt to locate a suitable major professor and financial support, but this approach may entail a significantly lower possibility of acceptance.
     Instead, we recommend and strongly encourage prospective students to communicate directly with potential major professors prior to initiation of the application process.  The likelihood of admission is greatly improved by discussing study interests with potential advisors before submitting application materials.  The major professor serves as the student's primary advisor in developing a program of study and in selecting a thesis topic.  The advisor is also commonly the primary source of financial assistance through graduate assistantships with research or teaching assignments.  Once the prospective student and professor are satisfied that they are interested in working together, and that necessary financial support is available (if applicable), the student can apply for acceptance by the Graduate School.

Q5:  What is the Admission Process?
A:  The Graduate Program Coordinator is notified by the OSU Graduate School as soon as an online application has been submitted.  The Graduate Program Coordinator will then notify the applicant if any application materials are missing and/or when all materials have been received and the application is ready for review.  When the application is complete, it is forwarded to the Sustainable Forest Management graduate faculty for evaluation.  The Department will not review an incomplete application.
     Notice of acceptance by the Department is typically sent within two months of the application deadline date for admission in a given term (see Q2 above).  Applicants occasionally confuse notices of fellowships, assistantship offers, letters of acceptance from the Department, or correspondence from graduate faculty as equivalent to admission.  However, only the "Notice of Admission" issued solely by the Graduate School is the official University notice to the applicant that all application and review procedures have been completed and that the student may enroll in the term for which they applied.

Q6:  What documents are required by the department for a complete application?
A:  The following documents are required before our Department faculty can review your application to the SFM program.  You may also submit additional documentation.
  • Graduate School online web application for Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, or Spring 2019.
  • Official college academic transcripts: Our department will accept unofficial transcripts for preview, which can be uploaded via the Graduate School online web application.  However, official transcripts are required by the Graduate School before matriculation.
  • Statement of Objectives: Your Statement of Objectives should express your interests towards a graduate degree and the SFM graduate program.  Please be as specific as possible because the Graduate Chair and Graduate Program Coordinator rely heavily on your letter to determine appropriate reviewers for your application.
  • GRE scores: Information regarding the times, locations, and administration of the GRE is available at http://www.ets.org/gre or:

Counseling and Testing                             or                   Graduate Record Examinations
Oregon State University                                                   Educational Testing Service
322 Kerr Administration Bldg                                            P.O. Box 955
Corvallis, OR 97331                                                         Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: 541-737-2131                                                       Phone: 609-771-7670
Phone: 510-873-8100 (Oakland, CA)                    
Fax: 609-771-7906

NOTE: When indicating recipients of scores on your GRE registration form, please specify the Oregon State University institution code 4586 to ensure that we receive your scores.  Take the GRE far enough in advance so your scores will reach the University before application deadlines.

All applicants must submit current scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test.  GRE scores must not be older than five (5) years.  We do not require a minimum score for admission.  The GRE score is considered along with all other application materials in making admission decisions.

  • TOEFL/IELTS scores: International students whose native language is not in English must provide their TOEFL or IELTS scores in their web application.  TOEFL or IELTS scores must not be older than two (2) years.  This requirement is waived for international applicants who have completed a bachelor's or advanced degree from a U.S. University and earned a minimum GPA of 3.0The minimum TOEFL score is 550 (paper-based) or 80 (internet) with minimum sub-scores of 18 in each category.  The minimum IELTS score is 6.5.  Applicants with lower scores may be admitted conditionally.
          If admitted conditionally, international students may be required to take a test for spoken and written English after arrival at Oregon State University.  If this test indicates that remedial work is needed to successfully complete the requirements of the graduate program, the student may be required to take the needed remedial work at her/his own expense through INTO.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation: References should be from instructors in courses related to your major, forestry employers, or others who can critically evaluate your potential as a graduate student.  An applicant with a master's degree should include a letter from her/his major professor.  Applicants are encouraged to give thoughtful attention to their choice of references.  As part of the online application system, you may provide names and email addresses of your references.  The system then triggers an email to each reference and enables them to submit an electronic letter for you.  Alternatively, your reference may mail a confidential letter to the OSU Graduate School (address identified below).  References may address their letter to the Department Graduate Program Coordinator.  
Q7:  Where should I have my letters of reference sent?
A:  The Department cannot accept letters of reference in any form - this includes email.  Your references may upload their letter via the online services link mentioned in your online web application or they may choose to mail them to the Graduate School (hard copy reference letters must be on official letterhead) at:

Graduate School
Heckart Lodge
2900 SW Jefferson Way
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331


Q8: Does the Department require "official" college transcripts?
A: No.  Our Department will accept unofficial transcripts for application review, which can be uploaded and included in the online web application.  However, official transcripts are required by the Graduate School before an applicant may be accepted into the University.
Q9: What if I applied to the wrong graduate program?  Can I update my submitted application or receive some sort of fee waiver?
A: No.  Applicants who apply to the "wrong" graduate program will need to complete a secondary application for the appropriate graduate program.  The cost for a secondary application decreases to $35.  Exceptions may be made on very rare occasions associated with financial need, disabilities, or Veteran status.

Q10: How can I change my application term?
A: If you have already applied for admission, but have not yet registered for any classes, you may use this form to request a change of term start with the Graduate School.  One term change within the academic year is allowed, but applications cannot cross academic years.  For example, if you were to apply for Spring 2019, you would be applying for the final term in the 2018-2019 academic year.  Summer 2019 begins the 2019-2020 academic year.  If you later decided to change your admit term to Fall 2019, you would then be required to submit a new application (for the 2019-20 academic year).  Requesting more than one term change or term changes to new academic years requires a new application and fee.

Q11:  How can I verify that all of my documents have been received?
A:  You may view the status of your application and documents by logging into your Admissions Account or you can contact the Graduate Program Coordinator:

Madison Dudley
Phone: (541) 737.1349


Thank you for reading our Frequently Asked Questions!
If you have additional questions regarding the Sustainable Forest Management graduate program, please review our Advising Guide or contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.  
For more information about general Graduate Admission, please visit the Graduate School’s web page.