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Mountain Forestry, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
University rank #567 (BCR) Vienna, Austria
With the establishment of a Master of Science in Mountain Forestry, BOKU University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, recognises the need for formal education in mountain research and science. The curriculum emphasises interdisciplinary work and learning by doing, and it fosters intercultural communication and team-work, participatory thinking and bottom-up approaches.
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Mountain forests fulfil a multitude of functions worldwide. They are ecologically complex and biologically diverse, and one currently finds nearly half of the world’s biodiversity hot spots there. Plants and animals which have evolved in the isolation of mountains demonstrate a special adaptability to the extreme variability of the topography, climate and soils. Many mountain forests have thus reached a high degree of endemism.

In recent years, mountain forests have come under increasing pressure in many parts of the world. The highest rate of deforestation worldwide takes place in tropical upland forests ( 1.1 percent/year). The increase in population and industrialisation in lowland and urban areas has led to a growing demand for timber, firewood and water as well as agricultural land and re-creation areas.

Mountain forests also provide important products for human welfare and survival, such as water, timber and non-timber products. Half of the world’s population depends on mountain water from the water reservoirs of this world. Mountain people have learned to utilise forests as an inseparable component of the complex land use systems of many mountain areas.

Mountain forests worldwide are threatened by overexploitation of resources and environmental degradation. To guarantee the protection and conservation of multifunctional mountain forests, a balance has to be found between the needs of mountain communities and the urban/lowland population, as well as between the productive capacity of mountain forests and their protection and conservation.

BOKU University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences - Master´s Programme Mountain Forestry

„We define Mountain Forestry as sustainable, science-based  management of forests and woodlands in mountain areas, taking specific ecological, ethical, technical, social, economical and political conditions of complex mountain systems into consideration.“

  • To provide a focussed and specialised education in managing mountain forest resources with a global perspective.
  • To teach students to recognise and solve problems occurring in forest management and conservation in mountain regions.
  • To strengthen interdisciplinary approaches in mountain forestry, integrating aspects of engineering, socio-economics, natural sciences and other subject-specific fields in mountain forest management.
  • To provide methods and approaches appropriate for complex social and economic environments with special emphasis on developing countries.
  • To strengthen international co-operation and to create a global network of mountain foresters.

After 2 years of intensive and successful studies you will be awarded the degree "Master of Science in Mountain Forestry" / "MScMF".

The study - program is only taught in english language.

Career prospects

As a graduate of the International Master's programme in Mountain Forestry students gain a wide range of technical, academic, and interpersonal skills enabling them to obtain top professional positions in both the national and international arena. Graduates are not only restricted to professional activities in highland or mountain regions but may be fully integrated into general forest sciences within research and development institutions, the public and private sector, non-government organisations or communitiy services. Graduates work in areas such as forest management, forest extension, wildlife management, forest policy and practice, research as well as administration.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Field camp I - introduction to mountain forestry and forest sciences
  • Methods of data collection, management and analysis
  • Scientific methods and writing skills
  • Master's thesis seminar
  • Mountain forest dynamics and fire ecology
  • Mountain forest soils and forest nutrition
  • Mountain forest climatology and headwater hydrology
  • Forest resource economics
  • Mountain forest policy
  • Participatory methods in development research and practice
  • Project management in development co-operation
  • Forest inventory
  • Modelling of mountain forest ecosystems
  • Remote sensing and GIS in natural resource management
  • Natural resource management in mountain forests
  • Agroforestry in mountain regions
  • The role of forests in mountain risk engineering
  • Forest protection
  • Harvesting systems for mountainous regions
  • Field camp III - integrated forest management applications
  • Road network planning
  • Cable yarding project

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

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General Requirements

Admission into Master programmes is conditional on the successful completion of a relevant Bachelor's programme or other equivalent degree programme at a recognized Austrian or foreign post-secondary institution.

Please include the following original (or certified copies) documents with your application:

Additional, copies of the required documents need to be submitted.

  • Completed Applicationform
  • evidence of previous studies (bachelor degree, diploma)
  • transcript stating subjects, marks, ECTS and contens of teaching
  • CV
  • Evidence of adequate proficiency of English (for English-language Master programmes)
  • evidence of adequate proficiency in German A2 or C1
  • Tuition Fee

    • International

      1454 EUR/year
      Tuition Fee
      Based on the original amount of 727 EUR per semester and a duration of 24 months.
    • EU/EEA

      726 EUR/year
      Tuition Fee
      Based on the original amount of 363 EUR per semester and a duration of 24 months.
    We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

    Living costs for Vienna

    • 861 - 1340 EUR/month
      Living Costs

    The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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