This is an archived copy of the 2015-16 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Soil Science

Soil Science is a field-oriented discipline that defines, investigates, and utilizes one of the most important of our natural resources. All terrestrial life depends upon the soil for food and clean water. Knowledge of soil science is critical to address environmental problems, such as wetland protection, habitat restoration, and waste disposal, and it is vital to ensure sustainability of agricultural and forest products. Soil expertise is also essential in the emerging fields of urban and sustainable agriculture. Soils are complex and constantly evolving natural systems, hence the curriculum accentuates physical, biological, and earth sciences. A soil science degree prepares a student with the training to enter careers in both traditional agriculture and the environmental sectors, including: environmental consulting, soil conservation and resource management, production agriculture, and state and federal research and regulatory agencies.

Major Requirements

Major: Soil Science

Degree Type: B.S.
Required Degree Credits to Graduate: 128

General Education Requirements

First Year Experience (F):
AGRI 189Skills for Academic Success (Students transferring in 24 or more credits do not need to take AGRI 189.)1
Communication (C):
ENGL 110College Composition I3
ENGL 120College Composition II3
One Course in Upper Level Writing: Select one of the following:3
Writing in the Technical Professions
Writing in the Sciences
Researching and Writing Grants and Proposal
COMM 110Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
Quantitative Reasoning (R):
STAT 330Introductory Statistics3
Science & Technology (S):
CHEM 121
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
CHEM 122General Chemistry II3
PLSC 110World Food Crops3
Humanities & Fine Arts (A): Select from current general education list6
Social & Behavioral Sciences (B): Select from current general education list6
Wellness (W): Select from current general education list2
Cultural Diversity (D): Select from current general education list
Global Perspectives (G):
PLSC 110World Food Crops3
Total Credits40

Major Requirements

General Education Requirements40
Required Courses for Soil Science
AGRI 150Agriculture Orientation (Students transferring in 24 or more credits do not need to take AGRI 150.)1
GEOG 455Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
or RNG 452 Geographic Information Systems in Range Survey
PLSC 225Principles of Crop Production3
or RNG 336 Introduction to Range Management
SOIL 210Introduction to Soil Science3
SOIL 217Introduction to Meteorology & Climatology3
SOIL 264Natural Resource Management Systems3
SOIL 322Soil Fertility and Fertilizers3
SOIL 351Soil Ecology3
SOIL 410Soils and Land Use3
SOIL 433Soil Physics3
SOIL 444Soil Genesis and Survey3
SOIL 462Natural Resource and Rangeland Planning3
Supporting Courses
BIOL 150
General Biology I
and General Biology I Laboratory
BIOL 151
General Biology II
and General Biology II Laboratory
or PHYS 212
College Physics II
and College Physics II Laboratory
BOT 380Plant Physiology3
CHEM 122LGeneral Chemistry II Laboratory1
Select one of the following:3-5
Survey of Organic Chemistry
Elements of Biochemistry
Organic Chemistry I
Analytical Chemistry I
and Analytical Chemistry I Laboratory
Introductory Microbiology
and Introductory Microbiology Lab
General Microbiology
and General Microbiology Lab
GEOL 105
Physical Geology
and Physical Geology Lab
MATH 103College Algebra3
MATH 105Trigonometry3
MATH 146Applied Calculus I4
or MATH 165 Calculus I
PHYS 211
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
Agriculture Electives: Select 9 credits of agriculture electives9
Degree Electives: Potential of 10 credits to reach 128.10
Total Credits128

Minor Requirements

Soil Science Minor

Minor Requirements

Required Credits: 18

Required Courses
SOIL 210Introduction to Soil Science3
SOIL 322Soil Fertility and Fertilizers3
SOIL 444Soil Genesis and Survey3
Elective Courses
Select three of the following:9
Natural Resource Management Systems
Soil Ecology
Soils and Land Use
Soil Physics
Wetland Resources Management
Soil And Plant Analysis
Total Credits18

Minor Requirements and Notes:                                                                   

  • A minimum of 8 credits must be taken at NDSU.
  • Students must earn a minimum 2.00 GPA for the minor requirements.