Renewable Materials is a multidisciplinary program that prepares students to work with renewable, plant-based materials to solve challenging world problems. Renewable materials such as wood, bamboo, canes, and agricultural fibers are examined to understand their characteristics and how to make useful products. Students gain broad perspectives on current issues associated with the sustainable utilization of renewable materials, including global trade, business innovation, energy production, and environmental impacts.

The science and engineering option focuses on science, technology and engineering when it comes to working with wood products. Students gain a strong understanding of where wood products come from, and test renewable materials to determine how we can use them in new and innovative ways. Students learn in woodshops, labs and even test materials in our climate rooms and earthquake testing room.

Check out the Forestry/Natural Resources program website!

The forestry field is projected to have many career opportunities coming up in the next decade as many forestry and natural resources professionals retire in the next few years. Students who enjoy working outdoors and want to have a career that focuses on managing our valuable forest lands to conserve and protect resources as well as produce valuable products for society should consider this degree.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 94 credit hours with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better. All courses must be completed with a grade of 'C' or better. Twenty-four (24) credits must be completed at Southwestern before the AS degree is awarded.

Courses that are developmental in nature, (designed to prepare students for college transfer courses), are not applicable to this degree.

Complete the graduation application process one term prior to the term of completion (e.g., spring term graduates must apply during winter term).

Pre-Program Courses

Students are required to take the following courses prior to the program courses, depending on students' college placement information. See advisor for details:

CIS90Computer Basics (or demonstrate proficiency)2
MTH95Intermediate Algebra (or placement in higher math course)4
WR90RAcademic Literacy (or placement in higher writing course)4

Program Guide

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
BA211 Principles of Accounting I 4
CHEM221 General Chemistry I 5
F111 Introduction to Forestry 4
WR121 English Composition 3
ENGR211 Statics 3
CHEM222 General Chemistry II 5
CIS125S Spreadsheet Applications 3
F250 Forest Biology 4
Specific Elective 1 3
SP111 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
WR227 Report Writing 3
PE231 Wellness for Life 3
CHEM223 General Chemistry III 5
Specific Elective 2 3
Second Year
BA230 Business Law 4
ECON201 Microeconomics 4
MTH251 Calculus I Differential Calculus 4
Gen Physics I: Mechanics
or General Physics w/Calculus I
ECON202 Macroeconomics 4
MTH252 Calculus II Integral Calculus 4
General Physics II: Heat, Waves, Relativity
or General Physics w/Calculus II
BA213 Principles of Accounting III Managerial Accounting 4
MTH254 Vector Calculus I 4
General Physics III: Electricity and Magnetism
or General Physics w/Calculus III
Specific Elective 2 3
 Total Credits97


Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of wood and similar renewable materials that make them challenging to utilize as industrial and building materials.
  • Demonstrate command of renewable material moisture content and specific gravity calculations.
  • Demonstrate ability to find, compile, analyze, and communicate technical communication.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the diverse complexity of the Renewable Materials industry, and the challenges it faces with balancing business and environmental goals.
  • Demonstrate a combination of technical and business acumen that allows effective management of process and people.
  • Demonstrate ability to creatively self-direct learning outcomes within the classroom environment and/or through independent undergraduate research.
  • Gain information and knowledge to become a better global citizen.