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Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science, Policy, and Management



With a global focus, the Graduate Certificate in Forest Carbon Science, Policy, and Management is available completely online and supplements a wide range of vocations. The Certificate equips participants with the interdisciplinary tools and conceptual backgrounds 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 offset investment advising for corporations, governments, and non-governmental organizations.

Participants 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 focus on 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.


The Graduate Certificate is open to a wide range of participants, including recent graduates, those enrolled in an MS or PhD program, and lifelong learners. The only requirement for admission is completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year program. While a background in forestry, natural resources, environmental sciences, or a related field is favorable, resources will be made available to accommodate those with a limited scientific background. 


To earn the Certificate, students must complete all of the following courses, which are available online:

  • Human Dimensions of Forest Carbon Management (FOR 833)
  • Forest Carbon Policy, Economics, and Finance (FOR 835)
  • Measurement and Monitoring of Forest Carbon (FOR 837)

Each course is 3 credits. FOR 835 will be offered during Fall Semesters. FOR 833 and FOR 837 will be offered during spring semesters. See our Courses page for detailed course descriptions or visit MSU Schedule of Courses for more detail.


Cooper_headshot_fall 2016

Lauren Cooper 

Academic Specialist, Forest Carbon Curriculum 





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