Forestry Students FAQ

Are there any scholarships or fellowships available?

See "funding graduate education" for more information. Scholarship information can be found at Most scholarships are limited to undergraduate students, but a few accept graduate student applications. Students can also apply for travel grants to attend and present research at conferences:

Can I get a waiver for a prerequisite requirement?

Under certain circumstances waivers for prerequisites are possible, but not likely. Pre-requisites are pre-requisites for a reason. The CFR is committed to the success of its students. Pre-requisites are the foundation required to successfully complete the next course. Students interested in pursuing a waiver will need to discuss their situation with the course instructor.

Can I register for two classes that meet at the same time?

Normally, students are not allowed to register for classes which overlap in times. With the permission of both instructors, sometimes an exception can be made if the time conflict can be worked around. If both instructors agree to an override, you will need to complete an Override Request Form available on the CFR Current Students webpage. You should register for one course and complete the override form for the second course. You must secure all signatures required and turn the form into the Student Services Coordinator to process the override. If approved, you will be able to add the class to your schedule. Note: the class will not be added for you, only creating an open slot for you. You must register and secure the available slot.

Can I take more hours than the registration system will let me?

Students are limited to a certain number of hours based on classificaiton and GPA. Students seeking to take more than the limit can complete a Request for Waiver of Overload Policy form. Forms are found on the Registrar's Webpage and must be approved by the student's advisor and department head before being returned to the CFR Student Services Coordinator who will review on behalf of the CFR Dean.

Do I need to repeat a class I made a "D" in at MSU?

You are required to earn a C or better in certain classes based on your major. Your curriculum guide indicates which classes are considered "major core" courses and require the minimum grade.

Do I receive a grade if I drop a course after the 10th day of classes?

A "W" grade will appear on your official MSU transcript in place of a grade. "W" grades are not calculated into your GPA.

How can I register in a closed class?

Once a class is full, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get a seat. You will first check with the CFR STudent Services Coordinator to see if there is a wiating list for the class or if additional steps are required. THe CFR SSC works closely with the departments to prioritize any requests for overrides. If approved, you will be notified and will be able to add the class to your schedule. Note: the Office of Student Services will not add the class for you, but will only create an open slot for you. You must register and secure the available slot in a timely manner.

How do I request a substitution for a required course?

See your faculty advisor to determine the validity of your substitution request. Substitution forms are available on the CFR Current Students webpage. (

How is the GPA calculated?

Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of GPA hours. Quality points are based on a four-point system and are awarded as follows:

A = 4
B = 3
C = 2
D = 1
F = 0

Each department has its own set of classes that make up their core for calculating core GPA. Refer to the respective department for department-specific policies regarding GPA (See CFR Undergraduate Handbook).

How long do most students take to complete their thesis/dissertations?

Students should be working on their thesis/dissertations shortly after they arrive on campus and determine their research project. Literature review, methods writing, data analysis etc. should be done continually throughout a student's program and all contribute to the thesis/dissertation.

How long do most students take to graduate? How many years of coursework?

MS thesis - 2-2.5 years, PhD - 3-5 years, MS distance - 3-5 years Coursework: MS thesis - 2 years, PhD - 3 years, MS distance 3-5 years The time limit for completing a Masters degree is 8 years and the time limit for a PhD is 5 years after passing the written preliminary/oral comprehensive exam.

How much time are students expected to dedicate to classes vs. research/teaching assistantship duties?

Students on assistantships are required to dedicate 20 hours per week to their departmental duties (course TA work, thesis research, non-thesis research assistance, etc.). Students dedicate the rest of their time to coursework including thesis research credits (FO 8000/FO 9000; ie thesis research) which typically will comprise 20 hours per week. Students on grant funding should contact their advisors about research duties and expected time commitments.

I want to take a course at the local community college at home this summer. Can I do this?

Yes, with permission. Transfer request forms are available on the CFR Current Students webpage. ( Complete the form and return it to the CFR Student Services Coordinator. This process guarantees that the course will be applied to your MSU CFR program and that you will meet the 32 hour residency requirement.

I want to withdraw from all of my classes this semester. What do I need to do?

A student may submit a withdrawal request in Banner under their Registration tab. The deadline is listed in the Academic Calendar. A withdrawal will drop ALL classes for the current term and campus requested but does not affect future enrollment. It is recommended that students considering withdrawing discuss their options with their advisor, undergraduate coordinator and/or the CFR Student Services Coordinator.

I would like to know more about minors. Should I get a minor?

Many departments offer minors. To find out more, you can search the MSU Bulletin or website and contact departments for more information. You can also discuss minors with your advisor to find out which minors are common for CFR students.

What are some things to do around town?

The website of Starkville, MS ( provides things to do around town as well as an events calendar ( in addition to MSU events on campus (

What are typical stipend amounts for graduate students?

Typical departmental stipends are $16,000 per year for on-campus M.S. students and $21,000 per year for on-campus Ph.D. students including tuition and fee waiver and health insurance reimbursement.

What is the cost of living in Starkville?

Rent in Starkville is approximately $475 - $750 for a studio/1 bedroom apartment. Food and other costs are about 86% of the national average: (

When is the deadline to apply for scholarships?

December 1 is the deadline for newly admitted freshman students to apply for MSU and CFR scholarships. March 1 is the deadline for transfer students and continuing MSU students to apply for MSU and CFR scholarships. External scholarships have other deadlines.

When should I have a graduation audit?

Students should initiate a graduation audit with the CFR Student Services Coordinator at least one semester prior to the expected graduation semester. For example, students who intend to graduate in the spring, should complete degree audits before or during the preceding fall semester. An appointment with the CFR Student Services Coordinator is required. A copy of the degree audit is kept in the student's file and copies are sent to the student and the student's faculty advisor. Completing a degree audit ensures the student acknowledges that all degree requirements are met. The student must also apply for graduation before the deadline listed in the Academic Calendar of the MSU Bulletin. All account balances must be paid by the published deadline or a student will not be allowed to graduate that term. Students removed from the graduation list will be required to reapply for graduation and pay another graduation fee during the next semester.

Where are public hunting and fishing areas around Starkville, MS?

See Starkville, MS website for details ( Locations include the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Wildlife Management Areas, Oktibbeha County Lake, and John W. Starr Memorial Forest

Where can I get a drop/add slip?

Drop/Add forms (and many other forms) are found on the Registrar's Webpage

Where can I get information on the Registered Forester's Exam?

For information of the Mississippi Board of Registration for Foresters, contact the Executive Secretary, Kathy Parker, at 662-325-2772 or by emailing her at

Where can I get scholarship applications?

You will apply for MSU and CFR scholarships through the scholarship portal in Banner. You will find the application under the "Financial Aid and Scholarships" tab.

Where do I apply for graduation?

The application for graduation is under the Academic Records tab in Banner.

Where do I get a copy of my records?

Mississippi State University (MSU) has authorized Parchment to provide our transcript ordering system via the Web. Through Parchment, you are able to submit a transcript request 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Students Currently Enrolled Or Within A Year Of Your Last Enrollment Period To order an official transcript(s), login to the MSU Student Information System:

Who do I see if I have a question about the coursework I transferred?

Contact Lanna Miller, Student Services Coordinator, Room 129 Thompson Hall 662-325-9376

Who is my advisor?

You will find your advisor's name and contact information on your MyState page. If you need assistance when your advisor is unavailable, contact the departmental undergraduate coordinator.

Who signs my add slip?

Your instructor, your advisor, and the Student Services Coordinator must sign an add slip before it is processed by the Registrar's Office.

Who signs my drop slip?

If the class is a CFR class (FO, NREC, SBP or WFA) you must secure the signatures of your instructor, your advisor and the CFR Student Services Coordinator. If the class you are dropping is not a CFR class, secure the signatures of your advisor and the CFR Student Services Coordinator. The form will then be processed by the Registrar's Office.

Whom do I contact when my ID card will not allow me access to Thompson Hall or the Forest Products Lab after hours?

After the 10th day of the semester currently enrolled CFR students are granted access to the entrance of Thompson Hall Annex and to CFR computer labs. Undergraduate students who need access to other Thompson Hall entrances for employment purposes must seek approval from the department head that employs the student. If your card access isn't working, you can notify the CFR Student Services Coordinator by sending an email including your name, netID and 9-digit ID number. If your ID card is damaged, you will need to contact the Campus Card Office for a replacement.

Why did a fellow student receive credit for a class that I did not?

Each student's record is like a different map. Crossroads are based on the institution the course was taken at, pre-requisites, order of courses taken, major requirements, grade earned, when a student started college, etc... Visit the Office of Student Services for an appointment to review your OASIS curriculum sheet or call 325-2624.

Will a "D" grade transfer?

D grades will transfer to MSU and may be applied to your CFR degree unless the course is a "major core" course. A grade of C or better is required in "major core" courses as indicated by your curriculum guide.

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