Graduate Study - Overview

The strength of UW-Madison’s graduate programs in Forest and Wildlife Ecology is based on an internationally recognized faculty, and on the excellence of supporting disciplines, including agricultural and applied economics, botany, statistics, soil science, zoology and others required for the development of a broad graduate curriculum.

The Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology offers two distinct graduate programs, MS and PhD degrees in Forestry and MS and PhD degrees in Wildlife Ecology. Each program has its own area of expertise and faculty advisors (though some interests and faculty advisors can be found in both). Students need to make certain that they are applying for the correct program based on their research interests and the research interests of the advisor with whom they are applying to work.


Some of the areas of expertise for Forestry include:

  • Forest and ecosystem ecology
  • Forest and environmental history
  • Forest and environmental policy
  • Forest products processing and marketing
  • Landscape ecology
  • Remote sensing and land use change
  • Social forestry
  • Silviculture and forest stand dynamics
  • Tree physiology
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Some of the areas of expertise for Wildlife Ecology include:

  • Wildlife population dynamics
  • Physiological ecology and ecotoxicology
  • Conservation genetics and biology
  • Ecology and management of game, non-game and endangered species
  • Human-wildlife interactions
  • Urban wildlife management
  • Wildlife disease ecology and management
  • Landscape and ecosystem management

The Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology department follows the guidelines for the Master’s and PhD degrees established by the Graduate School in terms of minimal course requirements and grade point average and related admissions criteria.

Why Choose UW-Madison for Graduate Study?

Exceptional Academics

The tremendous breadth of academic programs at UW-Madison offers students a wide selection of supporting course work and interdisciplinary opportunities. More than 30,000 doctorates have been awarded by UW-Madison!

Excellence in Research

UW-Madison ranks as one of the most prolific research universities in the world, placing second among American public universities for research expenditures.

Incredible Campus and Community

One of the many excellent things about Madison is that it’s a medium-sized city with a small town feel. The UW–Madison campus sits on an isthmus between two lakes—Mendota and Monona. You’ll find beautiful, historic campus buildings; wide open spaces for playing sports, exercising, or lounging; running, hiking, and biking trails; restaurants, shopping, movies, and more. 936 acres are at your disposal. The campus rolls along Lake Mendota, which leads to the busy streets of downtown Madison. Madison is small enough to navigate easily, but with cultural resources and amenities that rival those of cities many times its size.

The Lake Mendota shoreline is pictured in an aerial view of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus looking toward the downtown Madison skyline. On the horizon is the Wisconsin State Capitol and Lake Monona. Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison

We aren’t the only ones who think so. We’re rated highly and frequently top many “best” lists—best place to live and work, noted as one of America’s safest cities, and a top green city. Grab a pastry and some cheese curds at the Saturday Farmers’ Market around the capitol square. Browse the shops along State Street. Pick up groceries at one of numerous campus grocery stores. Venture away from downtown to Henry Vilas Zoo or Olbrich Botanical Gardens. City buses will take you anywhere you want to go in Madison.

Whether you’re from a large city or a small town, the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus is here to meet your needs and work with you.