University Catalog 2023-2024

Soil Science (Certificate)

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

The Undergraduate Certificate in Soil Science enables students to obtain the course credit hours in soil science necessary for advancement in soil related careers. To become a Soil Scientist in the U.S. Federal Government, the Office of Personnel Management requires 15 credit hours in subjects such as soil genesis, pedology, soil chemistry, soil physics, and soil fertility. In states like North Carolina and others with a soil scientist licensing program, 15 credit hours of soil science related coursework is required to qualify for the licensing exam. Nationally, to become a Professional Soil Scientist certified by the Soil Science Society of America, individuals must have completed 15 course credit hours in soil science or a related area. Those who complete this program will meet the soil science coursework requirement for all three career advancement opportunities. 

You can learn more about North Carolina’s licensed soil scientist program on their website.  To learn more about the national certification program, visit their website.

This program may be completed totally online. For more information, visit our Distance Education website.

Program Coordinator

Dr. David Crouse
Director of Undergraduate Programs and Coordinator of Distance Education Programs
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Admissions Requirements

This program is open to current undergraduate students and those outside of North Carolina State University pursuing continuing education credits.

Contact Person

Undergraduate Programs Office
Crop & Soil Sciences Department
2234 Williams Hall
Campus Box 7620

Academic Structure

Term Effective: 1/2017
Plan Code: 11SSCTU, 32SSCTU
CIP Code: 01.1201
Description: Undergraduate Certificate in Soil Science
Offered via on-campus and Distance Education format

Plan Requirements


To pursue the certificate, students must have the following training in basic sciences:

  • 2 semesters of chemistry
  • 1 semester of physics
  • 1 semester of biology
  • mathematics through algebra and trionometry
Required Courses 1
SSC 200Soil Science 23
Elective Courses 2
Select four of the following:12
Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management 2
Soil Fertility
Wetland Soils 2
Soil Microbiology 2
Environmental Soil Microbiology
Role of Soils in Environmental Management
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Soil Science and Agriculture 2
Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry
Soil Morphology, Genesis and Classification 2
Soil Classification
Soils, Environmental Quality and Global Challenges
Soil Physics 2
Soil Physical Properties and Plant Growth
Special Topics in Crop and Soil Sciences
Environmental Applications Of Soil Science 2
Special Problems in Soil Science
Total Hours15

A grade of C (2.0) or higher in each course is required.