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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog

DEGREE: Bachelor of Science in Agriculture

MAJOR: Soil Science

Soil scientists are concerned with the physical, chemical and biological characteristics and behaviors of soils, their description and classification, and their management for both agricultural and non-agricultural uses. Career opportunities include: industry jobs; environmental consulting firms; and federal, state and local government careers working on various environmental, agricultural and ecological projects.


In addition to the courses listed for each major, you must take 35 credits in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. You must also meet university general education requirements. At least 24 credits of soil science related courses with a grade of C- or above including:

Required Courses:

SOIL 252Soils

3 cr.

SOIL 252 LSoils Laboratory

1 cr.

SOIL 312Soil Management and Fertility

3 cr.

SOIL 312 LSoil Management and Fertility Lab

1 cr.

SOIL 447Seminar

1 cr.

Four courses from the following:

SOIL 424Soil Chemistry

3 cr.

SOIL 456Irrigation and Drainage

3 cr.

SOIL 472Soil Morphology and Classification

4 cr. (2+2P)

SOIL 476Soil Microbiology

3 cr.

SOIL 477Environmental Soil Physics

3 cr.

Other required courses include:

Two Biology courses (6 credits) from the following

BIOL 111GNatural History of Life

3 cr.

BIOL 211GCellular and Organismal Biology

3 cr.

BIOL 311General Microbiology

3 cr.

CHEM 111GGeneral Chemistry I

4 cr. (3+3P)

CHEM 112GGeneral Chemistry II

4 cr. (3+3P)

One additional CHEM course above CHEM 200, except CHEM 310V

3-4 cr.

GEOL 111GSurvey of Geology

4 cr. (3+3P)


MATH 142GCalculus for the Biological and Management Sciences

3 cr. (2+2P)


MATH 191GCalculus and Analytic Geometry I

4 cr.


PHYS 211GGeneral Physics I

3 cr.

Soil Science Options

Three options are available in soil science. In each case, your academic advisor has a list of appropriate courses.

OPTION: Environment and Resource Management

Soil science is integrated into the management of the environment and natural resources. Students interested in careers of conservation, environmental management, urban planning, waste disposal and related fields in government and industry may choose from a variety of course offerings. The economic and social implications as well as the technological aspects of resource management are included in the option courses. You must select one course from each of the four following subject matter areas and a total of at least ten courses (30 credits): soil, water, wildlife, or range conservation and economics; ecology, plant biology, or crop production; earth, mineral, or climatic resources; math, statistical, or computer sciences.


Crop production and plant growth are emphasized in the general soils option. Soil management, soil conservation, and soil reclamation are related to plant growth for those students interested in both private industry and government employment opportunities as wells as farm management. You must select one course from each of the four following subject matter areas and a total of at least ten courses (30 credits): soil, water or range management; crop production or protection; farm and ranch management and economics; math, statistical or computer sciences.

OPTION: Soil and Water Science

The soil and water science option is for students interested in careers in water management and water quality. Employment opportunities exist with irrigation districts, consulting firms, and government agencies dealing with water management and quality. The optimum use of water in semi-arid areas is emphasized through selection of courses in the technical and social sciences. You must select one course from each of the four following subject matter areas and a total of at least ten courses (30 credits): soil and water engineering; ecology; crop production and protection; math, statistical, or computer sciences.