Soil science students take measurements in a soil pit on upper campus

Soil Science (Minor)

Soils are an essential but often overlooked part of our environment. They modify the atmosphere, filter and purify water, provide habitat for life, and serve as the foundation for human civilization through agriculture and engineering.

Program Contact
Chair & Professor of the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences
Assistant Professor of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences
illustration of Carver Hall

Yet ...

Soils all over the world are being degraded at unsustainable rates due to exploitation and mismanagement of these valuable natural resources.

Student gauges where the next dig should be for soil judging on upper campus

You can be the difference.

Soil scientists are needed in Pennsylvania and beyond to protect our soil resources and ecosystems. They work in industry as environmental consultants, in federal, state, and local governments as regulators and researchers, and in academia as teachers and researchers as well.

The soil science minor will prepare you with the educational qualifications needed for you to become a Certified Professional Soil Scientist after graduation, which would open up these many career opportunities.

Becoming a Certified Professional Soil Scientist

Certification defines the profession through standards. These standards describe the knowledge, skills and conduct that clients, employers and government agencies can use to identify appropriate professionals. SSSA's Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS) certification program sets and maintains the high standards that benefit you and your clients in your chosen career. It begins with a bachelor's degree with five years of soils experience and having at least 15.0 semester credits of soils specific coursework and 45.0 semester credits of supporting coursework.

Benefits of Certification — Earning certification brings you credibility, opportunity, motivation, ability, and validation. As a professional working in soil science, you care as much about serving your clients as you do about furthering your career. The CPSS certification provides you with the tools you need to succeed in both areas.

Courses and Curriculum

The Husky Difference

$66K
Median Pay
Average annual salary for soil scientists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
EGGS students get to work in a soil judging competition

Soil Judging Team

Soil judging is an inter-collegiate academic competition. Students who join BU’s Soil Judging Team learn field-based soil description, classification, and interpretations for land use. These technical and critical thinking skills are highly valued by employers and can be directly applied to an environmental career. Soil judgers also benefit from the social and professional networking aspects of being part of the team.

Soil Science Contacts

Michael Shepard

Michael Shepard, Ph.D.

  • Chair & Professor of the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences

Applying to this Program

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