About Forestry

The Department of Forestry began in 1954 when the Mississippi Legislature created the School of Forestry within the College of Agriculture. In 1955, the first two professional forestry degrees were awarded. Thus began a long tradition of training professional foresters to manage the state and nations vast timber resources. In 1961, the School of Forestry became a separate entity from the College of Agriculture. In 1967 the School of Forestry was renamed the School of Forest Resources and the forestry undergraduate education program was accredited by the Society of American Foresters. The department began offering master’s degrees in 1968 and doctoral degrees in 1979.

The department has been first in a number of research, education and service endeavors. See our points of pride below.


  • Forestry scientists were pioneers in the field of photogrammetry and the first on campus to establish methods to interpolate satellite photos, ground truth observations and computer data.
  • Scientists in the Department of Forestry were the first in the nation to develop a software program to determine where the forest inventory resources are available in the state. Through the use of satellite imagery and ground analysis, the software allows forest products companies to determine the exact economically-feasible location to place a plant or mill with the closes access to the raw materials and workers.


  • 16 years and counting! The Society of American Foresters student chapter has been nationally ranked in the Top 3 for the last 16 years.
  • The Department of Forestry is one of the only programs in the nation to offer hands-on experience in applied forest management through the intensive, 9-week Summer Field Program.
  • Faculty and students in the Department of Forestry lead the Campus Tree Advisory and recently received the designation of Tree Campus USA as designated by the Arbor Day Foundation. There are over 10,000 trees on campus.


  • MSU Extension Forestry provides the economics of forestry and forest products by county and congressional region within the state. A two-page publication was created for each of the state’s 71 predominately forested counties. Each report explains how county economies benefit from forestry and forest products industries.
  • MSU Extension Forestry won the 2014 Family Forests Education Award presented by the National Woodland Owners Association and the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs. The team also received the award in 2012. The MSU Forestry Extension team includes 14 educators operating from six locations. Team members use traditional educational programs, publications and media to reach and educate as many family forest owners as possible each year.
  • Forestry scientists developed software based on 33 years of research which provides expected yields and future growth values for the red oak-sweetgum forest mixture that is widely distributed across Mississippi river bottoms.

Forestry in Mississippi

  • 19,244,571 acres
  • 125,000 forest landowners
  • $1.12 billion value of production in timber harvest
  • $13.12 billion dollar industry
  • 61,619 jobs (full and part-time)
  • $2.96 billion in wages
  • #1 for Tree Farms in the entire United States

Contact Information

The Department of Forestry
Box 9681
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9601

Room 105 Thompson Hall

Phone: 662-325-2949
Fax: 662-325-8726


Forestry Links