Exploring Forestry Education in BC: A Guide to Post-Secondary Programs

Photo source: Vancouver Island University


British Columbia is a hub for forestry education, offering a range of post-secondary programs to nurture the next generation of forestry professionals. These programs equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to address the complex challenges facing the forest industry. From sustainable resource management to advanced technological applications, here’s an overview of the major post-secondary forestry programs available in the province.


Photo source: University of British Columbia


University of British Columbia (UBC)

The Faculty of Forestry of Forestry at UBC in Vancouver offers a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources. This comprehensive program covers a broad spectrum of forestry topics, including forest conservation, forest sciences, and wood products. UBC Forestry is internationally recognized for its research and offers students access to cutting-edge facilities. UBC also provides graduate programs for those seeking advanced degrees, such as Master’s and Ph.D. programs in Forestry, allowing students to specialize in areas like forest resource management, conservation science, and forest ecology.


British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

BCIT, situated in Burnaby, stands out for its practical and hands-on approach to education. BCIT also provides a Forest and Natural Areas Management program, preparing students for careers in sustainable resource management. These programs focus on applied learning, preparing graduates for real-world challenges in the forestry industry.


Photo source: Thompson Rivers University


Thompson Rivers University (TRU)

Located in Kamloops, Thompson Rivers University offers a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science. TRU’s program emphasizes the integration of natural resource science with hands-on field experiences. Students gain practical skills through field camps and lab work, ensuring they are well-prepared for the diverse roles within the forest industry.


Vancouver Island University (VIU)

VIU, located in Nanaimo, offers a Forest Resources Technology program that provides students with comprehensive training in forestry and natural resource management through a blend of classroom instruction and hands-on field experience. The program emphasizes the recognition and appreciation of all the major values of the forest including timber, recreation, wildlife, range, fish, water, and visual landscapes. Graduates are prepared for various technical roles in the forestry sector, with strong connections and opportunities for professional development and certifications.


Photo source: Selkirk College


Selkirk College

Selkirk College, with campuses in Castlegar and Nelson, provides a unique Forest Technology diploma program. Focused on technical skills and fieldwork, this program is designed to prepare students for careers as forest technologists. The curriculum covers a range of topics, including forest measurement, inventory methods, and geographic information systems (GIS). With a strong emphasis on outdoor education and practical training, Selkirk College’s program is tailored for those seeking hands-on experiences in forestry.


The diverse post-secondary forestry programs in the province offer aspiring professionals a range of options to specialize in various aspects of the field. Whether students are interested in sustainable resource management or technical forestry operations, the province’s institutions provide comprehensive education and practical experiences to prepare them for fulfilling careers in the dynamic forest industry. As the industry evolves, these programs play a crucial role in shaping the future of sustainable and responsible forest management in BC and beyond.