Undergraduate Degree Programs

The Study of Soil Science at North Carolina State University

The soil resource plays a vital role in all human activity. This thin layer covering on the earth’s surface produces our food and fiber, supports our living and work places and provides for outdoor recreation and scenic landscapes for our enjoyment. Soil serves as a filter to protect groundwater supplies from chemicals and wastes whether accidentally or deliberately applied to the land. Such diversity in the role of the soil resource generates the opportunity for several types of soil specialists and career opportunities. Some of these include:

Become Licensed Professional Soil Scientists
  • perform soil evaluations for waste management
  • delineate wetlands
  • land planning for residential and commercial development
  • environmental inventories and assessments
  • erosion control

USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • Soil Conservationist
  • Soil Scientist

State and Local Regulatory Agencies.
  • waste disposal
  • water quality
  • wetlands
  • erosion control

Department of Transportation
  • erosion control
  • wetland mitigation

NC Department of Agriculture
  • agronomist
  • soil test lab technician

Fertilizer and chemical companies
  • sales
  • research

University research
  • field studies
  • lab studies

At N. C. State University the Department of Soil Science offers two Bachelor of Science degree programs with a focus on Soil Science.
These are PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCES and NATURAL RESOURCES.


BS IN PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCES

Plant and Soil Sciences (Agronomy) is concerned with the basic development and practical application of plant and soil sciences to produce abundant high quality food, feed and fiber crops. As a discipline, it represents the integration of crop, soil and related sciences. The soil science concentration is one of the options within the Agronomy curriculum. It stresses the understanding of physical, chemical and biological properties of soil as they relate to plant growth and soil/crop management. The latest degree requirements can be obtained at:
( http://www.ncsu.edu/reg_records/curricula/cals/ )
An example of a typical 8 semester sequence of courses can be viewed at:
( http://oucc.dasa.ncsu.edu/CALS-11PSSBS-11PSSSST-2097 )
 

BS IN NATURAL RESOURCES

Natural resources encompass soil, water, air, mineral, flora, fauna and people. This curriculum offers a broad base in resource management with an opportunity to select one of several specializations. Two of these specifically address soil science and are entitled: (1) soil resources and (2) soil and water systems. The soil resource concentration prepares students to understand basic soil properties and to relate soil capabilities to a broad spectrum of land uses. The soil and water systems concentration integrates the role of soil with the importance of surface and groundwater hydrology. The latest degree requirements can be obtained at:
( http://www.ncsu.edu/reg_records/curricula/cals/ )
An example of a typical 8 semester sequence of courses for each of these concentrations can be viewed at:
( http://oucc.dasa.ncsu.edu/CALS-11NATRLBS-11NATRLNRS-2097 )
( http://oucc.dasa.ncsu.edu/CALS-11NATRLBS-11NATRLNRW-2097 )
 

BS IN SOIL AND LAND DEVELOPMENT

The Soil and Land Development Degree is a new undergraduate major that prepares students for careers in the real estate industry. It offers the business-oriented Land Development concentration as well as the science-oriented Soil Science Concentration. Students completing a degree in Soil and Land Development can use their knowledge of business and science to make land use decisions that are both economically and environmentally sound. The latest degree requirements can be obtained at:
( http://www.ncsu.edu/reg_records/curricula/cals/ )
An example of a typical 8 semester sequence of courses for each of these concentrations can be viewed at:
( http://oucc.dasa.ncsu.edu/CALS-11SLDBS-11SLDLDEV-2111 )
( http://oucc.dasa.ncsu.edu/CALS-11SLDBS-11SLDSSCI-2111 )