Soil and Water Science Specialization

The Soil and Water Sciences Specialization prepares students to understand, manage, and improve water and soil management and agro-ecosystem services.

Learning Outcomes


Explain and integrate soil chemical, biological, physical, and pedogenic concepts and methods to identify and quantify their impact on soil management and agro-ecosystem services.


Integrate concepts of water quantity and quality as a reflection of land management, mineralogy, and chemical as well as biological processes and of water movement, storage, and supply across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in agricultural landscapes.


Gain and integrate knowledge of soil and water required to select, design, and implement holistic soil-water-plant management strategies that ensure efficient and sustainable productivity of biodiverse agro-ecosystems and long-term protection of natural soil resources.

Foundational or Core Courses

Students specializing in Soil and Water Sciences select classes from each of the three Core Elective groups as guided by the major advisor, student committee and IDP.

Writing, Speaking and Teaching


M.S. and Ph.D. (min, 4 cr from STAT 801 or STAT 802 or demonstration of previous equivalent)

Water (core electives)

M.S. minimum 3 cr, Ph.D. minimum 6 cr

Soil & Water Management (core electives)

M.S. minimum 3 cr, Ph.D. minimum 6 cr

Courses for sub-specialization and customization (electives):

Students then customize career track by selecting Elective classes guided by the major advisor, student committee, and IDP.

Students free to select courses from one or both sub-specialization groups or to choose no sub-specialization. Students may also select classes from other graduate specializations. Core Elective Course guidelines may be waived with documentation of previously successfully completing equivalent courses, workshops, or short courses and/or demonstration of equivalent proficiencies pertaining to the student’s educational and career goals and will be identified as such in the IDP as deemed appropriate by the Student’s Supervisory Committee.