Organizational Issues of Studies at the Undergraduate Level
The training activities are temporally structured in two semesters every academic year. Each semester is consisted of at least thirteen (13) full weeks available for teaching and a respective amount of weeks for examinations. At least seven (7) compulsory courses are taught every semester, whose instruction usually includes three hours theory and 2 hours laboratory practice or supplementary teaching (‘frontisteirio’) every week. The total number of teaching hours for these courses should not exceed 5 hours on a weekly basis. Elective courses are an integral part of all study semesters that students attend and they aim at students’ further specialization with respect to the Direction that students will finally choose to attend.
During the first four semesters, English or French is taught as a compulsory course.
Duration of Studies
Out of the total 10 study semesters, five of them (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th) are Winter semesters while the rest 4-5 semesters (2nd,4th, 6th, 8th and 10th) are Spring semesters.
The sequence of the courses, within the timeframe just described above, presupposes the student’s regular participation in the educational procedure for the completion of his/her studies, which, consequently, lead to the receipt of a bachelor’s degree within 5 years after his/her entrance to the department.
Such programs are the standard study programs and illustrate students’ educational obligations in its entirety.
There are three examination periods: (i) January-February exam period, (ii) June exam period and (iii) September exam period. There is a provision for a written examination for all taught courses at the end of every Semester. Students can re-sit examinations for all courses taught in both Winter and Spring semester.
- During January-February exam period, students can take examinations for all courses taught in Winter semester only.
- During June exam period, students can take examinations for all courses taught in Spring semester only
The final grading mark for every course is the average of student’s performance in theory and laboratory or supplementary practice. Grading is assigned from 0-10, with 5 being the minimum passing grade.
Compulsory as well as elective courses have been distributed over the 10 study semesters in such a way so as students can be advised over the sequence of courses they are obliged to follow and successfully complete their studies.
Students have to register for the Direction they wish to attend. The registration should be made at the beginning of the 3rd semester, with every student retaining the right to change their initial selection up until the beginning of the 6th semester, and only for once. Out of the total twelve (12) elective courses that a student needs to attend, he/she has to select seven (7) courses from the Direction of his/her choice, while for the remaining 5 courses he can either select from the Direction he/she is registered or from another one.
In each semester 1-10, the student can select one elective course, with the exception of semesters 7 and 8 where the number of elective courses selected must be two. Students are allowed to change their initial selection for one elective course up until one (1) year after his/her registration.
In the case where a Direction does not provide seven (7) elective taught courses and, hence this can be a cause of concern for the students, they will register for the courses of their Direction and they can also take the rest of the courses from other Directions to complete the maximum 7 of courses they are required to attend.
The Direction that a student chooses to follow is written in the Transcript or, alternatively, following an application form to the Departmental Secretary, students can also be provided with a certificate with the Direction of their choice written on it.
With respect to the course instruction, there are exercises (in the labs or outdoor) as well as educational trips.
In reference to the educational trips:
- they can be carried out during the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year of studies, i.e. during the 4th, 6th, and 8th semester
- their number is confined to one trip per year of study that will take place around May 20th every academic year
- these trips will form part of the course syllabus but without corresponding to teaching units
- the organization of these trips will the responsibility of a Departmental Committee. Teaching Staff members are asked to state their willingness to participate in the Committee at the beginning of every academic year.
The abovementioned planning does not hinder the undertaking of other short trips that meet the educational purposes of other courses (e.g. Lab courses). In all cases, the planned trips will always be preceded in so far as the distribution of funding resources allocated by the Rectorate for the realization of the Departmental trips.
- The completion of a dissertation is a prerequisite for the receipt of the Bachelor’s Degree (BA)
- The topic of the dissertation has to coincide with a study area that is related to the fields of forestry science, protection and management of the natural environment and natural resources. It can be either a research or theoretical thesis.
- Dissertation can be undertaken by individual students or by pairs of students (i.e. max. 2), with equally distributed workload among the students.
- Students must state that they wish to undertake a dissertation when they are in the 7th or 8th semester of their studies. In their application form, they should clearly state the field of study and their supervisor’s name in the Department. The application form should have both the student’s and supervisor’s signatures.
- In case a student is not able to submit an application form for his/her dissertation within the abovementioned timeframe, he/she has to submit a request to the General Departmental Assembly to be allowed to do so in the remaining years of his/her studies.
- Change of both the field of study and of the supervisor is possible only once and within one academic semester after the initial application. If otherwise, the approval of the General Departmental Assembly is required.
- All dissertations are examined and graded by a committee that consists of three members, i.e. the supervisor, and two Professors who belong to either the Departmental Staff or are staff members of other Departments in the Democritus University of Thrace and whose research interest are the same or akin to the field of study of this Department.
- The committee members responsible for the examination of the dissertation decide on the final grade after taking into consideration the supervisor’s proposal. If a dissertation is characterized as ‘inadequate’, it is sent back to the student for additional processing and resubmission, and, the whole examination process is repeated.
- Dissertations can be publicly presented, once there is consent by the three-member examination committee.
- Dissertations have to be submitted in four (4) paper copies, three (3) of them for the members of the examination committee and one (1) for the Departmental Library. They should also be submitted in an electronic form but only to the supervisor.
- Every Professor of the Department can supervise seven (7) students maximum per academic year for the completion of dissertation.
Students’ traineeship is carried out in forestareas that belong to the University and forestry agencies of the country when:
- They have completed the attendance of the 6th semester: in University forests, forest nurseries and torrents, during the summer months up until 2 months, under the guidance of the Departmental Staff and according to the program approved by the General Departmental Assembly. On completion of the traineeship, the person responsible for the traineeship in a field of study should inform the Departmental Secretary about the successful completion of the traineeship for every student.
- They have completed the attendance of the 8th semester: in University forests based on the program approved by the General Departmental Assembly, in Forestry Agencies and other forestry services, for a month during summer holidays under direct surveillance ofthe Heads of these Units, with the primary objective being the students’ debriefing about all activities of the forestry profession.
The realization of this traineeship is sent to the Departmental Secretary in the form of a report that is compiled by the Head of the Forestry Agency where traineeship took place.
Those students who have registered to attend the courses of the traineeship program, are the only ones who have the right to participate in traineeship. Their participation in these practical exercises is considered to be necessary for the award of the Forester’s degree.
Bachelor’s Degree (BA) Grade
The grade for the Bachelor’s Degree (BA) is the result of the sum of the product of teaching units in every course against the corresponding passing grade divided by the sum of the teaching units.
Traineeship in the University Forests and forestry agencies is not taken into consideration in the final BA grade.
Finally, if a student wishes to be awarded with a BA degree in Forestry, he/she has to fulfill the following prerequisites:
- He/she has to attend all compulsory and elective courses.
- He/she has to successfully complete his dissertation.
- He/she has to receive traineeship in the University Forests and Public Forestry Agencies.
Award of Degrees
When students meet all the requisites (written examinations, dissertation, traineeship), he/she can participate in the Oath and Degrees Awards Ceremony. The ceremony is a public event and takes place in the Ceremony Room of the Institution. After the Oath, degrees are awarded by the Rector himself or by his/her legal representative.