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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 management and marketing option provides students with the skills to manage organizations or devise new marketing strategies to compete in the global wood products industry.

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 90 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 Basics2
MTH95Intermediate Algebra4
WR90RAcademic Literacy (or placement in higher writing course)4

Program Guide

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
CHEM221 General Chemistry I 5
F111 Introduction to Forestry 4
WR121 English Composition 3
Required Program Course 1 3
CHEM222 General Chemistry II 5
CIS125S Spreadsheet Applications 3
F250 Forest Biology 4
Specific Elective 2 3
SP111 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
WR227 Report Writing 3
PE231 Wellness for Life 3
Required Program Course 1 5
Specific Elective 3 3
Second Year
MTH111 College Algebra 4
BA250 Small Business Management Entrepreneurship 3
CIS125P Presentation Applications Microsoft Powerpoint 1
ECON201 Microeconomics 4
BA212 Principles of Accounting II 4
ECON202 Macroeconomics 4
Calculus for Bus and Soc Science I
or Calculus I Differential Calculus
Internship: Forestry
or Internship: Natural Resources
BA213 Principles of Accounting III Managerial Accounting 4
BA230 Business Law 4
CIS125IL Computer Applications: Illustrator 3
F241 Dendrology 5
 Total Credits90


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.