Forestry and Wood Science
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
The master's degree program in Forestry and Wood Science focuses on the sustainable management of forest resources.TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan
Information on Degree Program
What does this program cover?
As complex ecosystems, forests feature worldwide among the most significant biodiversity hotspots and fulfill numerous functions. They offer habitats for plant and animal species, produce wood – the most important renewable resource in terms of surface area and quantity – and make a fundamental contribution to the common good of society. Forest ecosystems must therefore satisfy numerous demands and, as such, are increasingly in the focus of sociopolitical discourse.
In order to balance these diverse and, in part, conflicting interests, careful, long-term and calculated planning is essential. In addition to well-founded knowledge of the forest ecosystem, this demands a comprehensive understanding of systems and far-reaching methodological competence. To this end, the master's program "Forestry and Wood Science" offers the required specialization. The program's goal is to convey the scientific basis for sustainably managing the forest ecosystem and, in the process, to cover the entire value-added chain, from production in the forest to finished wood products.
As such, the focus is equally on the scientific foundations of forestry as well as the technical aspects of exploiting and marketing raw materials produced in the forest. The four supporting pillars of the program – "Environment", "Production", "Society" and "Wood" – are reflected too in six available specialist areas: "Wood as raw/building material", "Mountain forestry", "Forest management", "International forestry", "Site assessment and use", as well as "Landscape development and nature conservation". The course content can be combined and therefore offers, together with an extensive catalog of elective modules, a high level of flexibility in creating one's own individual study profile.
For a comprehensive description of the program, please refer to the degree program documentation:
How is the program structured?
- The degree's central areas of study are "Production", "Environment", "Society" and "Wood". These reflect the four principle fields of professional employment toward which the program is geared and indicate the breadth of academic training.
- The first semester deals with the fundamentals of the discipline and its methodologies. These are complemented by an internship and "cross-disciplinary competencies".
- In the second and third semesters, students choose three of the six available specialist areas: "Wood as raw/building material", "Mountain forestry", "Forest management", "International forestry", "Site assessment and use" as well as "Landscape development and nature conservation". In addition to the choice of specialist areas, the extensive range of available elective modules offers flexibility and the opportunity to create an individual profile without neglecting the breadth of training.
- The fourth semester is devoted to the master's thesis.
What is the language of instruction?
Required language skills for admission:
You need sufficient German language skills if you wish to apply for this program. Evidence of your language proficiency has to be submitted before the end of the application deadline. Learn more about recognized certificates and other ways to prove your German language skills.
This evidence of your language proficiency confirms that you comply with the minimum language requirements for admission to the program. Depending on the program and your individual background, it may be necessary for you to keep working on your language skills during your studies. Be sure to take a look at the services of our Language Center.
Language of instruction:
The language of instruction for this program is German.
Which further expertise and skills will I acquire?
Our graduates have at their disposal an advanced technical training in the economics of forestry and wood and can conduct scientific work independently, as well as plan, realize and lead complex projects. They are able to think through systems, take on responsibility, and incorporate the latest scientific developments into their work. Given the practical nature of the program, graduates are in a position to analyze and assess business and organizational structures, and to independently plan.
Graduates understand complex ecological phenomena and can describe how they relate to one another. They can assess the reactions of ecosystems to biotic and abiotic environmental factors and deduce the consequences for ecosystem conservation as well as forest management. They are in a position to evaluate various forms of land use and make judgments about opportunities for, and limits to, sustainable uses.
Graduates are able to assess biogeographic, technical and commercial production conditions, and to analyze concepts for the production of forestry resources in accordance with current standards, as well as to develop such concepts independently. They are able to conduct forestry business analysis and planning that takes into account economic, social and ecological factors. At the same time, they are capable of factoring in the demands of the wood industry. Moreover, they are familiar with the market structures of the wood industry and able to distinguish between its production processes.
In addition, they can identify diverse interests at play in the use of the forest as resource and analyze actor constellations. They are able to conduct conflict analysis and formulate possible courses of action that are solution-oriented and take into consideration legal and political conditions. They are able to take into account affected interest groups and to communicate their findings in an appropriate manner.
Which professional opportunities can I take up with this qualification?
The degree prepares graduates for diverse areas of employment in the field of forest and wood management, paving the way for activity in science and business. It also offers the opportunity to acquire the necessary technical training for admission to the fourth tier in the state training program for the German forest service. Here, a bachelor's degree in forestry is a requirement. Upon completion, the degree also offers openings in NGOs and development aid, or as a freelance expert.
Binding Regulations for Progression of Studies, Examinations and Application
Application and Admission
How does the application process work?
Minimum requirements to apply for a Master's program at TUM are a recognized undergraduate degree (e.g. a bachelor’s) and the successful completion of the aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment allows the TUM school or department to which you are applying the opportunity to evaluate your individual talents and motivation for study.
You must apply online using the TUMonline application portal. After completing the online application process, you will receive a list of documents you must submit to TUM in hard copy by the application deadline.
- Applying for a master’s program: Application, admission requirements and more
Which application documents do I need to submit?
- Online Application Print-out (signed)
- Degree Certificate and Diploma or Subject and Grade Transcript of Studies to Date (certified copy)
- Transcript of Records (certified copy)
- Letter of Motivation
- Complete and Current Résumé (CV)
- Passport (copy)
- Most Current Photo (as for ID)
- Student Health Insurance Certificate
- Proof of German Language Proficiency (certified copy) - international applicants only
- Preliminary evaluation by uni-assist for graduate certificates (i.e. a bachelor's degree) obtained in a country outside of the EU/EEA
We may require additional documents depending on the type of secondary school diploma you earned and your country of origin (e.g. GRE, GATE, APS). After completing the online application process, you will receive a list of documents you must submit to TUM in hard copy by the application deadline.
What application periods and deadlines do I need to meet?
Application period for winter semester: 01.01. - 31.05.
Our online application portal TUMonline will create an application form and a checklist with the documents you have to hand in. The checklist shows which documents you need for admission and which for enrollment.
You must submit the signed application form before the application deadline. We also ask you to submit the documents you need for admission within the application deadline. If individual documents for admission are not available to you in time, you can hand them in until 15.08.
Please also submit the documents we need for your enrollment as soon as possible. If individual documents for enrollment are not available to you yet, you can hand them in up to five weeks after the start of the lecture period. However, we recommend that you submit all required documents well before the semester begins, as you will not be enrolled until all documents have been received.
Please check your TUMonline account regularly, to see if we have any queries to your documents or if you have to amend one or more documents.
On what basis does TUM select applicants for admission?
Selection takes place through an aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment is a two-part procedure after the submission of an official application to a program. In this procedure, the TUM school or department determines whether you meet the specific requirements for its master’s degree program.
In the initial stages, the grades you obtained during your bachelor's program, as well as your written documents, will be evaluated using a point system. Depending on the amount of points accumulated, applicants are either immediately admitted, rejected or invited to an admissions interview.
Where can I find the online application portal?
The online application process takes place through our application portal TUMonline.
Do I have to complete an internship?
An internship is not required in order to gain admission to the master's degree program. In the course of the degree program, an internship of 8 weeks (10 ECTS) in a field related to the program needs to be completed until the end of the 4th semester.
What are my options after earning this degree?
You have earned your master’s degree and are ready to start your career? TUM Alumni & Career can assist you with questions regarding professional orientation, job search and job application.
If you are interested in continuing your studies, you will find information of doctoral studies at TUM, here.