SFM Admission Information

Most information about your application and admission to the Sustainable Forest Management graduate program can be found through the Graduate School. However, some information is different:



Application deadlines for the FERM 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 15 of the same year
Winter Term: June 15 of the preceding year
Spring Term: November 1 of the preceding year
Summer Term: January 20 of the same year


Major professors

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.

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 OSU Graduate School.


Required documents

The following documents are required before our department faculty can review your application to the SFM program.  You may also submit additional documentation (e.g. personal statement, writing sample, etc.). 

  • Graduate School online web application.
    • Short-Answer Questions: The SFM graduate program has moved away from a statement of objectives and instead asks a series of questions designed as a means of geting to know the applicant through a holistic approach. The questions target topics we would expect to see in a typical statement of ojectives and provide a unique opportunity to evaluate and assess student attributes. Applicants are permitted to upload a cover letter/statement of objectives if desired, but it is not required.
  • Official college academic transcripts: Our department will accept unofficial transcripts for review, which can be uploaded via the Graduate School online web application. However, official transcripts are required by the Graduate School before matriculation.
  • Three 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 must provide names and email addresses of your references. The system then automatically routes an email to each reference that enables them to submit an electronic letter for you. References may address their letter to the department graduate program coordinator or OSU Graduate Admissions.
  • Resume/CV.
  • GRE scores*: Information regarding the GRE is available at http://www.ets.org/gre. Beginning academic year 2024-25 (i.e. Summer term 2024 - Spring term 2025) and forward, the GRE will no longer be required for the SFM graduate application. Applicants may still choose to upload available exam records, if desired.
    • All applicants interested in applying for Fall 2023, Winter 2024, or Spring 2024 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.

    • Exam waiver requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis through Spring term 2024. Contact the curriculum coordinator with questions.

  • TOEFL/IELTS scores* for international students. Additional information for international student applicants is available on the Graduate School's website.

*Exam scores may be sent to Oregon State University using our institutional code: 4586. 


Post-application process

The graduate program coordinator is notified by the OSU Graduate School after 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 departmental decision is typically sent within two months of the completed application received date. 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.

Once an application has been submitted, a student will not be able to change their application to a different major or graduate program. Instead, applicants must complete a secondary application, but the cost for a secondary application is reduced by about half. Exceptions may be made on very rare occassions associated with financial need, disabilities, or Veteran status. 

Applicants can, however, change their starting term.  If you have already applied for admission, but have not yet registered for classes, you may submit a change of term request form with the Graduate School.  One term change within the academic year is allowed, but requests cannot cross academic years. Requesting more than one term change or term changes to new academic years requires a new application and fee.


Madison Dudley, curriculum coordinator

Email: madison.dudley@oregonstate.edu

Phone: (541) 737.1349