Soil Science Academic Programs

Soil Science Academic Programs

Our department is always looking for good students, and we are fortunate to have some of the best and brightest currently enrolled. During your time at NC State University, the faculty and staff in the Department of Soil Science are dedicated to providing you the best education possible as we train you, one of the future managers of one of our most vital resources, the soil.

As you advance through your degree, we encourage you to take advantage of both the formal and informal learning opportunities within our department. The formal opportunities are obvious, and are listed in the menu to your left. On that menu you will see resources listed that will assist you with selecting courses for your plan of work, determining requirements for various degrees, as well as links to distance education opportunities.

Informal opportunities present themselves in a variety of forms. First, most of the faculty maintain an open-door policy. Have a question? Just stop by for a friendly chat. Secondly, there are opportunities to participate and assist with continuing education opportunities delivered to a variety of audiences. What better way to polish your skills as a soil scientists than to teach someone else a new skill. Sound interesting? If so, contact one of the faculty members in the Soil Science Extension office to inquire how you can assist.

Completing your degree is only the beginning. The real works begins after the diploma is in hand. As you prepare for the work force, know that our network of graduates are ready to assist in the transition. Perhaps you will find your way to research program managed by one of the soil science family. Or perhaps you join a consulting firm started by one of our graduates. Regardless of the path you take from Williams Hall, you will always be one of us, so we want to make sure we stay in touch. If you haven't already, I encourage you to visit our mailing list system ( to register yourself for future announcements about seminars, jobs, and continuing education.


Soil science undergraduates receive a broad education in the basic sciences at North Carolina State University (chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology), in addition to courses in soil fertility, soil classification, soil physical properties and soil-crop management, students can study water management, forestry, crop management, geology, resource management, and turf management. The curriculum is strengthened with courses to improve speaking and writing skills along with economics, statistics, and computer science. The study of soil science at NC State University can take a couple of forms by selecting the soil science option within the plant and soil sciences or natural resources degree. Within the natural resources degree you have the choice of a concentration in soil resources or soil and water systems. By carefully choosing elective courses, students may tailor their academic training to specific backgrounds, interests, and job interest. Career opportunities range from environmental or agricultural consultants to soil conservationists.

Graduate Students

The Soil Science Department offers several graduate education opportunities to prepare for careers with public and private organizations in soil and environmental sciences. In addition to thesis-based Master of Science and Doctoral programs, three non-thesis Master options are also available for those who prefer to expand their education of soil science without a research emphasis: the Soils option in a Master of Natural Resources is a campus-based program, whereas a Master of Soil Science is available as both a campus-based and a distance education program. Our students find employment opportunities with consulting firms, government organizations, or academia.