University Catalog 2023-2024

Soil Science (PhD)

Degree Requirements

Required Courses3
Seminar 1
Doctoral Supervised Research 2
Doctoral Dissertation Research
Core Courses34
Soil Physics
Soil Chemistry
Soil Microbiology
Soil Fertility
Soil Morphology, Genesis and Classification
Elective Coursestbd
"Elective Course" will be determined in conjunction with the academic committee
Total Hours72

Additional Requirements

All Doctoral students must demonstrate competence in the five soil science sub-disciplines listed below.

  • Soil Chemistry
  • Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition
  • Soil Genesis and Classification
  • Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry
  • Soil Physics

The required competencies can be achieved by any combination of the following:

  1. relevant course work from previous undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs;
  2. prior professional experience in the major sub-discipline(s); and
  3. graduate courses included in the student’s Plan of Work (POW) for their current degree program.
  • Completion of at least 72 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
    • If the student has an MS degree from another institution, a maximum of 18 hours of relevant graduate credit from that degree may be applied toward this minimum, upon the recommendation of the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee, and the minimum required will be 54 semester credit hours
    • If a student completes an MS degree at NC State and continues for a doctoral degree without a break in time, up to 36 relevant credit hours taken while in master’s status may be used to meet minimum requirements for the doctoral degree. If there is a break in time between completing the master’s (at NC State) and beginning the doctorate (at NC State), the allowance is limited to 18 hours. Either allowance may include those 400-level courses taken as an approved part of the MS degree.
  • Completion of preliminary written and oral examinations must be completed within six calendar years from the date of admission
  • Successful completion of an original research program
  • Success completion of the final oral examination
  • Completion of a non-credit exit seminar



Associate Professors

Assistant Professors

Practice/Research/Teaching Professor

  • Robert E. Austin
    Area of Research: Geospatial Information and Analytics in Soils, Agriculture and Environmental Science