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Undergraduate Programs - Wood Science & Technology

About Our Program

The University of Maine is the only Wood Science and Technology program in the county that offers a complete accredited 4-year degree with an option for hands-on training in Wood Design and Craftsmanship while also providing a strong basic education in the use and properties of wood. We also offer students an unparalleled option to learn about the use of wood as an advanced material for “built environment” applications. In our program we stress hands-on skills and experience and students have a choice of working with world-class instructors either for furniture design and craftsmanship, or in our state-of-the-art AEWC facility for advanced Material Science and Engineering applications. Students can also elect to combine these areas for a truly unique and valued educational background. With an accredited Bachelor of Science education that is highly sought after by employers, our graduates enter a strong job market. Alternately, graduates can choose to start their own independent businesses as designers, wood craftsmen, or consultants.

We have an excellent student to professor ratio, insuring personal attention for all students in the program. Our curriculum provides an in-depth, cross-disciplinary education. All students learn the basics of wood structure, how wood is produced, and how it can be combined with other materials. Students can then elect to focus on Wood Design and Craftsmanship ranging from hand tooling and sculpture to artistic furniture design with our unique partnership with the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. Alternately students can choose a more industrial path focusing on topics such as creation of the next generation of structural composites, state-of-the-art extrusion engineering, and the latest in advanced computer control technology. In this area, students learn that wood is the core for many advanced materials; from the floor of the new Corvette Coupe to high-end racing Yachts, to the cowling of state-of-the-art Jet Fighters. Students in our Wood Engineering elective sequence learn how to use wood with a variety of polymers, plastics, and composite materials to create Advanced Engineered Composites.

We stress in all our courses that Wood Science and Technology is the key to natural resource conservation as it is the only field that provides an education for the proper use of our country’s most widely used natural resource. Whether your interest is the creation of beautiful and unique furniture pieces from wood, or use of wood in advanced structural applications, our graduates have a choice ranging from independent employment to many other well-paid career opportunities. Our students are highly sought after by employers.

Wood Science & Technology Curriculum Guide

Within the Wood Science and Technology program students can select curriculum concentrations in:

Wood Design and Craftsmanship

Students who desire a better understanding of wood tooling, furniture design and how to fashion wood through skills such as carving, turning and joinery can select the WSC Professional Electives option in Wood Design and Craftsmanship. Students in this option take courses in Wood Sculpture, Topics in Studio Art, Design of Wood Structures, and Computer-Aided Design (CAD).


Wood scientists try to find new techniques for processing and utilizing wood and wood products to maximize the output for each tree. Career opportunities with an education in Wood Science include: product developer, quality control supervisors, research scientists, and production managers.


Forest products are traded globally. These products range from building materials to furniture to paper products. Advanced business and marketing techniques are taught in our program at UMaine. Students learn marketing and business strategies pertaining to both traditional and new high-tech products. Students completing this option have the opportunity to qualify for a minor in Business Administration and will be well prepared to pursue an MBA.


Wood chemists examine the molecular structure of wood and wood components and try to develop new products as well as improving on processing techniques of existing products. Some of these products include paper, rayon, vanilla flavoring, and turpentine. New wood-based composites are being created using adhesives and polymers. Advanced technologies in these fields are helping to maximize our natural resources.

It’s Not All Studying

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Stephen Shaler, Program Leader
5793 AEWC Bldg, Orono, ME 04469-5755
(207) 581-2886; fax (207) 581-2875

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