Forest Science

Master (Second Cycle) Degree in Forest Science 

Forest Science is a 2-year Second Cycle Degree equivalent to a Master of Science. The programme is completely taught in English and is conceived for Bachelor graduates with either forestry, agriculture, biological or environmental backgrounds. It forms high-profile graduates with a holistic and innovative vision, prepared to work on the management and conservation of natural resources at a national, European or international scales.

Forest Science offers two different specialization paths. 

The curriculum Forest and Land Management forms specialists in sustainable management, conservation and integrated valorization of forests and natural resources. Students acquire awareness and understanding of the functioning of forest ecosystems and skills for the sustainable management of forests and rural landscape, especially in a mountainous Alpine and Mediterranean contexts. 

The curriculum Forest and Nature for the Future forms specialists in the governance of forests and natural ecosystems in the context of issues such as climate change, deforestation, land use change and biodiversity conservation. Students acquire awareness and understanding of complex socio-ecological systems and skills for identifying innovative solutions for responsible forest management in line with the major global environmental issues.

In both curricula, the scientific and technical knowledge are complemented by of statistics, GIS and other mapping techniques, research and project management methods, and by development and enhancement of soft skills such as communication skills and group work capacity.

Teaching in Forest Science is based on problem-solving approaches, aimed at integrating theoretical knowledge with field experience: to this end, lectures, seminars and independent learning are supported by practicals, laboratory work and field visits. An opportunity for the students of the two curricula to meet and bridge their learning experience is the Joint Summer Module, an interdisciplinary field activity of 1-2 weeks in Italy or abroad, taking place in the summer between the first and the second year, during which students have also the chance to discuss about forest management and forest policy with various stakeholders of the forest and wood sector. 

Learning in Forest Science occurs in an international and multicultural environment, as the programme participates to three Erasmus Mundus Consortia for Master double degrees, namely SUTROFOR, SUFONAMA and MEDfOR and has close links with other international Forest Schools as well as with international forest and environmental organizations like EFIMed FAO, EFI, WWF and CIFOR.


Join us in Forest Science at the University of Padova and become an expert in sustainable management of Southern European and Mediterranean mountainous forests!

  What you will learn

Course details a.y. 2023/24

Forest Science offers two different curricula.

Forest and Land Management forms specialists in sustainable management, conservation and integrated valorisation of forests and natural resources and is characterized by an interdisciplinary approach to forestry. Subjects taught include applied ecology and functioning of natural ecosystems, management of wildlife and insects, biotic and abiotic disturbances and related mitigation tools, applied forestry and forest operations, forest pathology, bio-economy and resource valorization, hydrology, fluviomorphology, integrated management of erosion in steep slopes of mountainous areas. Students acquire awareness and understanding of the organization of forest and mountain ecosystems and skills for sustainable management of forests and rural landscape, especially in an Alpine and Mediterranean environment.

The curriculum in Forest and nature for the Future forms specialists in governance of forests and natural ecosystems in the context of international issues such as climate change, deforestation, land use change and biodiversity conservation. Subjects taught include dynamics of natural ecosystems and climate change, natural habitat management, forestry, forest planning and operations in fragile environments, production, evaluation and enhancement of ecosystem services also through participatory approaches, international forestry policy, conflict management, corporate social responsibility, forest certification. Students acquire capacity to interpret complex socio-ecological systems and to identify innovative solutions for responsible forest management in line with the major global environmental issues.


Forest policy for a bio-economy strategy

Forest ecology and management

Natural disturbances ecology and management

Insect ecology and management

Wildlife conservation and management

Forest pathology and wood alterations

Geology of Mountain Areas

Forest transportation

Forest hydrology and erosion control

Mountain River Morphology and Restoration

Stand history and dynamics

Applied Silviculture and Forest Management

Reduced Impact Timber Harvesting

Global change and forest ecosystems

Natura 2000 management

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Forest

Integrated watershed management

Forest policy, governance & conflicts: from global to local

Environmental resource valuation

Market-based instruments for Ecosystem Services

Social responsibility and certification

Introduction to GIS

Joint Field Module

Communication skills

Research planning

Guidelines to develop your master thesis

  Career opportunities

A Forest Science graduated will find career opportunities in public and private institutions, agencies, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations working as planner, designing, manager and supervisor in the field of sustainable and responsible management of forests, natural and semi-natural habitats, land management and protection, landscape management, use and valorisation of forest resources and ecosystems services nationally or internationally. In addition, this high profile education facilitates access to basic or applied research or to doctoral programmes in Italy or abroad.

  International mobility (Erasmus+, International Double Degree)

Many destinations are available for students' exchanges in the framework of the Erasmus+ programme.

Forest Sciences also participates to 3 International Erasmus Mundus International programmes:

  • MEDfOR: Mediterranean Forestry and Natural Resources Management, from 2012-2013; Partner Universities: Viterbo (Italy), Lisbon and Porto (Portugal), Lleida and Valladolid (Spain), Karadeniz (Turkey)
  • SUFONAMA: Sustainable Forests and Nature Management, from 2007-2008; Partner Universities: Copenhagen (Denmark), Goettingen (Germany), Bangor (UK), Alnarp (Sweden)
  • SUTROFOR: Sustainable Tropical Forestry from 2006-2007; Partner Universities: Copenhagen (Denmark), Dresden (Germany), Bangor (UK), Montpellier (France)

The course participates in the TRANSFOR-M (Transatlantic Master Programs leading to a European and a Canadian degree in Forestry, Environmental or Conservation Sciences) Programme. Further information at

For further information visit the page of the Erasmus office

  International scholars

A.Y. 2017-2018

Prof. Anna Lawrence, University of the Highlands and Islands, Honorary Professor of Human Dimensions of Forestry, Course on Social Forestry

A.Y. 2016-2017

Prof. Paul Vantomme, FAO and KU Leuven, Course on Policy and market development for Non wood forest products

A.Y. 2015-2016

Prof. Mark Adams, University of Sydney, 6 ECTS Course on Forest Ecology and Management in Mediterranean Climates


Prof. Ayse Filiz Sunar, Istanbul Technical University, 6 ECTS Course on Remote Sensing of Vegetation


Prof. Alejandro Solla Hach, Universidad de Extremadura, 6 ECTS Course on Forest pathology and Wood alteration 


A.Y. 2014-2015




Prof. Greg Biging, University of California, Berkeley, 6 ECTS Course on Spatial Analysis for Forest Resources


Prof. James Nathan Long, University of Utah, 2 ECTS Course on Management and treatment in mountain and Mediterranean forests

  Field trips and activities

The course organizes many field trips and practical activities (eg. Joint field module in Denmark and Sweden - summer 2016).

  Application procedures and admission requirements

If you have an international entry qualification, please follow the instructions available on HOW TO APPLY

If you have an Italian entry qualification, please refer to the Italian website - INFO ON ENGLISH REQUIREMENTS (B2 LEVEL)

Check the admission requirements here.

  Scholarships and other facilitations for students

The University of Padova offers different types of scholarships and fee-waivers to international students.

For detailed information:

  Our campus

Click here to discover Agripolis Campus!