Master of Soil Science Requirements

The Master of Soil Science is a non-thesis professional program that is available as both an online, distance education program and an on-campus program. This is considered a terminal degree and is well suited to professionals requiring further education in soils for their careers.  

For more information take a look at our Master of Soil Science FAQ page.

Requirements for the degree and graduation are:

  • Core requirements completed
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours
  • Complete 3 credits of SSC 675 – Project in Soil Science
  • At least one credit of SSC 601 – Seminar, and you may take up to two credits
  • No more than six credit hours of 400-level undergraduate courses may be used in the 30 hour requirement and those courses must be from outside soil science
  • At least 21 credit hours must be letter grade courses (i.e., A, B, C, etc) at the 500 and 700 level earned while the student is in the graduate program – these must be NC State courses or inter-institutional courses
  • Complete all requirements within six calendar years after the student first enrolls in a graduate course applicable to the program

We do not require the GRE Exam for admission to the program.

Core Requirements for the Master of Soil Science Degree

The table below shows the core requirements for all Soil Science graduate students. All Master of Soil Science students are required to demonstrate competence in four of the five core courses and to complete at least 1 credit of SSC 601 Seminar. The required competencies can be achieved using relevant course work from a previous graduate degree program and/or completing these courses at NC State. In rare cases, relevant professional experience may be considered. When a students Advisory Committee agrees that prior coursework, or in rare cases relevant professional experience, satisfies one or more competencies, a written request must be submitted to the Director of Soil Science Graduate Programs for approval.

CourseCourse TitleCredits
SSC 511Soil Physics4
SSC 521Soil Chemistry3
SSC 532Soil Microbiology4
SSC 541Soil Fertility3
SSC 551Soil Morphology, Genesis and Classification3
SSC 592Soil Mapping – concurrent with 5511
SSC 601/801Seminar1

Elective Courses

The following are examples of courses that can be used in your program. Other courses may work as well, so consult with your advisor. Note that not all of these are available as online courses and would require you to attend face to face. A Statistics course is highly recommended.

CourseCourse TitleCreditsAvailable Online?
SSC 535Root and Rhizosphere Processes for Plant Nutrition3No
SSC 540Geographic Information Systems in Soil Science and Agriculture3No
SSC 562Environmental Applications Of Soil Science3Yes
SSC 570Wetland Soils3Yes
SSC 590Special Problems1-6 (arranged with a faculty member)Yes
BAE 578Agricultural Waste Management3Yes
CS 528Advanced Regulatory Science in Agriculture3Yes
GIS XXXMany available3Yes
ST 511Statistical Methods For Researchers I3Yes