Soil Science Option

Why study soil science? Soil links terrestrial life with water, geology, and the atmosphere. Soil is crucial to food production, climate systems, and water, nutrient, and waste cycling.

For prospective students and those enrolled since Summer 2018:

For students enrolled prior to Summer 2018:

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In the Soil Science option, you can apply natural and physical sciences to real-world problems related to environmental protection and sustainable management of natural resources. Our students use biology, hydrology, earth science, chemistry, and ecology to study soil processes that shape, preserve, and protect our environment.

The Soil Science option requires 120 credits. A general education component builds natural science, quantification, and communications foundations while allowing students the freedom to choose courses to fulfill University arts, humanities, and social and behavioral science requirements.

The core courses in the major develop student competence in soil ecology, mapping, genesis, physical properties, and chemical properties. They also include applied courses in soil remediation, groundwater hydrology, and geographic information systems. In addition, students develop an 18-credit unit tailored to each students unique interest, or to a specific career goal.

Dig in and discover the critical role that soils play in ecosystems and environmental health. Explore soils in the field, in the lab, and in the classroom with our hands-on approach to teaching and learning. As a student in the Soil Science option, you can acquire skills to prepare you for careers with government agencies, private companies, or nonprofit organizations.

Graduates work in sustainable agriculture, site reclamation, mapping, environmental protection, and other related fields. This option can also help prepare you for graduate school and research.

Potential Careers

  • environmental consulting
  • hydrological assessment
  • nutrient and pasture management
  • wetland delineation
  • sustainable agriculture
  • remediation of contaminated soils

As a student you can develop specialization areas or minors to match your own goals and interests. These include soil conservation, engineering, agronomy, soil geology, geotechnical soils, geographic information systems, international agriculture, and more.

Students completing the Soil Science Option are eligible to apply for certification as a soil scientist, soil specialist, or a soil classifier through the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).