Academic Degree Programs

Soil and Land Development Degree


The Soil and Land Development Degree is a new undergraduate major that prepares students for careers in the real estate industry. North Carolina is a rapidly urbanizing state where land that was historically used for agriculture is now being converted to new housing developments, golf courses, and shopping centers. Such developments require that the land be evaluated first for its suitability for on-site waste disposal and the presence of wetlands. In North Carolina, such evaluations can only be performed by a soil scientist licensed by the State, which means graduates of this program will be prime candidates for some jobs. There are two concentrations in the Soil and Land Development degree:

- The Land Development concentration is business-oriented. It is designed for students that will focus their future efforts on the business and financial aspects of the development of the land. Students planning to earn an MBA should consider this concentration.

- The Soil Science concentration is science-oriented. It is designed to prepare students to work as soil scientists, either for a consulting company or for a state or federal government. Students wanting to pursue masters or Ph.D. degrees in soil science should consider this concentration.

Course Work/Curriculum

Land developers work in an industry that is one part business and one part science. To be successful in this chosen career, students will need a blend of courses in mathematics, natural science, writing, and humanities. They will also need additional courses specific to their selected concentration. For example, the soil science concentration requires an organic chemistry course, while the land development concentration requires a course in entrepreneurship. In addition, students in the land development concentration are also encouraged to minor in business administration. Depending on the concentration chosen, there also opportunities for students to complete courses in the areas of accounting, ecology, economics, engineering, environmental policy, finance, geographic information systems, plant science, site assessment, and wetland science.

Co-Curricular Activities

The Department of Soil Science conducts research in all the ways that land can be managed. The Department has a long history of interdisciplinary cooperation providing basic and applied information on land management techniques that minimize environmental degradation. Because of the department's breadth of programs and national and international reputations, it has attracted outstanding undergraduate and graduate students from around the world. These students have been attracted to the Department’s state-of-the-art chemical, physical, and biological analytical instrumentation, as well as to its computer technologies that facilitate research and education programs.

Career Opportunities

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.

Careers in the Land Development concentration include: consulting soil scientist, real estate developer, city planner, and entrepreneur. Graduates of the Land Development concentration will be prepared to enter an MBA program. Careers in the Soil Science concentration include consulting soil scientist, wetlands mapper, soil surveyor, and sediment control specialist. Graduates of the Soil Science concentration are also prepared to enter soil science graduate degrees such as a Master of Science or Doctorate of Philosophy.

This concentration offered by the Department of Soil Science provides students with a framework for understanding those land management factors that will influence the quantity and quality of water that runs off the land and reaches surface waters or filtrates and becomes groundwater. In addition to the basic soil science courses, other selections will include surface hydrology and hydrogeology, oceanography, and limnology. These water management science courses provide the framework for understanding the soil and water system.

For more information contact Dr. Stephen Broome, Undergraduate Coordinator, Department of Soil Science, Box 7619, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27695, Phone 919.513.2555.

Career Development and Placement Services

In addition to departmental faculty advisers, students also receive assistance from the Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Development and Placement Office. Undergraduates are informed about summer internships and co-op opportunities, and are given personal assistance in applying for these opportunities. Students also are provided help with resume preparation and the improvement of their interview skills. On- and off-campus interviews are arranged for prospective graduates, and employment opportunities are publicized widely. Alumni may also take advantage of these valuable services and are informed about employment prospects through a monthly placement bulletin.

To learn more about jobs available for students in Soil and Land Development visit