Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science, Policy and Management

Entirely Online Professional Certificate

August 15 - May 30, 2015 Host Michigan State University Location Online Online, Online Online United States




The Michigan State University Department of Forestry is pleased to promote the 2014-2015 offering of the Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science, Policy and Management.

The Certificate equips students with the interdisciplinary tools and conceptual background to plan, implement, manage, and evaluate forestry-based, climate-change mitigation projects. As professionals, Certification provides an edge in competing for opportunities in forest carbon project development, REDD+ policy, and carbon mitigation investments of corporations, governments, and non-governmental organizations.

Students in the Certificate program learn the scientific foundations of climate change and forest-climate interactions, how forest management affects forest carbon balance, the ins and outs of forest carbon markets, the social context of forest carbon sequestration, and the tools for measuring, monitoring, and accounting for forest carbon – including satellite imagery, remote sensing, and integrated carbon sequestration models.

Delivered entirely online, the program is geared for participation from anywhere in the world with a highly practical program closely linked to the science, methodologies, and practices used in the field today.  Applicants from a broad range of professional and disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including current M.S. and Ph.D. students, recent graduates, and working professionals. Students in the Certificate Program must hold a Bachelor’s Degree.

To earn the Certificate, students must complete four on-line courses:

   Forest Biogeochemistry and Global Climate Change (FOR 831)

   Human Dimensions of Forest Carbon Management (FOR 833)

   Forest Carbon Policy, Economics, and Finance (FOR 835)

   Measurement and Monitoring of Forest Carbon (FOR 837)

FOR 831 and FOR 835 are offered during Fall Semester, and FOR 833 and FOR 837 are offered in Spring Semester. Students may take 1 or 2 courses per semester.

Enrollment is now open for 2015 Spring Semester. Applications received by December 5th will be given full consideration. U.S. domestic students must complete the application and deliver transcripts; international students must complete the application, deliver transcripts, and submit TOEFL scores. Additionally, all students must pay the application fee.

To apply, visit and complete the online application.  Be sure to select “Graduate Certificate” from the first drop-down menu.  

For more information, visit or contact Lauren Cooper at  


Opportunity for Sponsors

The MSU Department of Forestry is currently seeking partners or sponsors to provide direct funding to students. As a non-traditional program, access to funding can be especially difficult for both domestic and international students. Because of the importance of educated professionals in ensuring the highest quality projects and policies possible, providing assistance can support education activities to improve the level of expertise as soon as possible.

Once students have completed the certification, they maintain access to the program alumni network, which tracks and distributes news on policies and methodologies, facilitates internal networking, and shares research and work opportunities.

We have many creative options, including sponsoring a single student for one semester, more elaborate multi-year support, or hosting a recent graduate with a paid internship. Please contact Lauren Cooper at to discuss possible arrangements.



April 2018