You are here: Home M.Sc. Program
Document Actions

Masters Program

black forest spruce in the sun setThe concept of sustainability has become the prevailing paradigm in the management of forests and other natural resources.

However, in a world where both the environmental conditions as well as the aspirations of society for itself and future generations are highly dynamic, the environment cannot be managed according to predefined formulae. Adaptive management, a key concept of ecosystem management, addresses this uncertainty. Management plans are regarded as hypotheses, which need to be tested. To determine whether management actions have achieved the intended goals, they need to be quantified and monitored, which in turn allows previous assumptions to be critically assessed and, if necessary, adapted.

This requires a scientifically based approach to the management of ecosystems, a sound understanding of ecosystem characteristics and processes, and a strong focus on methodologies for inventory, monitoring and also the simulation of future development of natural resources.

Based on a sound understanding of fundamental properties and processes of ecosystems, students of this MSc course will learn to assess, manage and monitor forests and other natural resources according to the principles of ecosystem management.

Using the strength and the international experience of the Faculty of Forest and Environmental Sciences, students in this MSc programme will focus on forest ecosystems from boreal and temperate, to subtropical and tropical climatic regions. Students will acquire the knowledge, methods and skills necessary in order to understand and manage highly complex ecosystems.

The study programme comprises:

  • an understanding and analysis of the direct, through management, and indirect effects, through environmental changes, of mankind on forests and other terrestrial ecosystems,
  • an in-depth understanding of ecological and environmental processes at the various levels: cells, individuals, populations, ecosystems, landscapes and global systems, and
  • the provision of methodological knowledge and competence needed to design and evaluate management and accompanying research plans for a range of natural resources.

To achieve this, the MSc course features a wide range of learning environments to impart the theoretical knowledge and the resources to apply this in practical situations through case studies and internships/practicals.

The programme does not limit itself to a special regional context, but focuses on representative ecosystems providing a worldwide perspective.

Freiburg, Germany’s solar city, located at the base of the Black Forest and surrounded by forests, which are managed according to close-to-nature principles, provides the perfect environment for this course. Snow covered mountain tops in winter and Mediterranean-type vegetation in the Rhine valley are in close proximity. The multicultural environment, pleasant climate and excellent public transport system help to make student life in Freiburg an enjoyable experience.

Basic information


Forest Ecology and Management


Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Language of Instruction:



2 years / 4 semesters

Total number of credits:

120 ECTS

accredited by: Acquin-Logo

Personal tools