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Soil Science

Degree or Minor: 
UA College: 
Agriculture & Life Sciences
Degree/Minor Description: 

Are you in your senior year and will soon be graduating with a BS in Environmental Science and have a strong background in Soil Science? 

Do your career plans include working as a consultant, regulator, researcher, or teacher in areas closely related to Soil Science? 

Then consider a path towards certification as a Professional Soil Scientist (Soil Classifier).


The Soil Science Certification is a program of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). This program is designed to foment, certify, and advance the standards of professionalism for active practitioners of soil science, a process that is also available to other professionals such as engineers and geologists.
To pass the fundamentals exam, you should have taken no less than three semester courses in soil science, but preferably five courses.


Program Steps:
Graduating seniors are encouraged to take the fundamentals exam during their last semester of undergraduate studies. The exam is given nationally (the UA is a test site), twice a year usually in May and November. Upon passing this exam, you will be an Associate Professional in Soil Science (APSS). If you continue to study and practice soil science and other related disciplines, after three-five years (in-training) you will be eligible to take the professional practice exam. After passing this exam, you will be a Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS) or Soil Classifier (see additional requirements).
Please, note that this certification will remain valid as long as you continue to practice soil science and periodically fulfill credit requirements.
If your career plans include moving after graduation, several states (Texas, Wisconsin, North Carolina…) now have license requirements for practicing soils scientists that require the CPSS certification.


For program information, including program description, exam dates and costs, and study guides, please link to:

Research Themes: 
Climate and Adaptation
Food Systems and Security
Natural Environment and Biodiversity
Public Health
Urban Environment