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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 for Baccalaureate Degree

  • A dynamic list of approved general education courses offered by term is available on the NDSU General Education Requirements website.
  • General education courses may be used to satisfy requirements for both general education and the major, minor, and program emphases, where applicable. Students should carefully review the major, minor, and program emphases requirements for minimum grade restrictions, if applicable.
First Year Experience (F)1
Skills For Academic Success (Also offered with the following prefixes: ABEN, AGRI, BUSN, HD&E, ME, NURS, PHRM)
Communication (C)12
College Composition I
College Composition II
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Upper Division Writing
Quantitative Reasoning (R) 3
Science and Technology (S) 10
Humanities and Fine Arts (A) 6
Social and Behavioral Sciences (B) 6
Wellness (W) 2
Cultural Diversity (D) *†
Global Perspectives (G) *†
Total Credits40

Major Requirements

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 110World Food Crops (May satisfy general education category S and G)3
PLSC 225Principles of Crop Production3
or RNG 136 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 121
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)
CHEM 122
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)
Select one from the following: (May satisfy general education category C)
Writing in the Technical Professions
Writing in the Sciences
Researching and Writing Grants and Proposal
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 (May satisfy general education category S)
MATH 103College Algebra3
MATH 105Trigonometry3
MATH 146Applied Calculus I (May satisfy general education category R)4
or MATH 165 Calculus I
PHYS 211
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory (May satisfy general education category S)
STAT 330Introductory Statistics (May satisfy general education category R)3
Agriculture Electives: Select 9 credits of agriculture electives9
Total Credits91

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.