Soil Science Minor

Minimum 15 credits in Soil Science (PLSCS) and related coursework.

A minor in Soil Science prepares students for work on agricultural and natural ecosystems by learning to identify, understand and manage soils in agriculture and forestry in an environmentally responsible way. The soil science minor is available to students with any major at Cornell University; transfer credit can be used to meet requirements. Graduates with soils training can choose from a range of excellent professional opportunities and challenging careers, including those with government agencies.

Advisor: Toni DiTommaso
903 Bradfield Hall
ad97 [at] (ad97[at]cornell[dot]edu)


Required Course

  • PLSCS 2600 - Soil Science (Fall, 4 credits)

Additional Courses

Two courses, minimum 8 credits in soil science:

  • PLSCS 3210 - Soil and Crop Management for Sustainability (Fall, 3 credits)
  • PLSCS 3630 - Soil Genesis, Classification, and Survey (Fall, 4 credits)
  • PLSCS 3650 - Environmental Chemistry: Soil, Air, and Water (Spring, 3 credits) 
  • PLSCS 4660 - Soil Ecology (Spring, 4 credits)
  • PLSCS 4720 - Nutrient and Carbon Cycling and Management in Agro-Ecosystems (Fall, 3 credits)
  • ANSC 4120 - Whole-Farm Nutrient Management (Spring, 4 credits)

At least one course in environmental information sciences:

  • PLSCS 2200 - Introduction to Mapping and Spatial Analysis with GIS (Fall, 3 credits)
  • PLSCS/CEE 4110 - Applied Remote Sensing and GIS (3 cr)
  • PLSCS 4200 - Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Concepts and Application (Spring, 3 credits)

Students qualify for the Civil Service classification as Soil Scientist (GS-0470) if they take an additional 12 credits in biological, physical, and earth sciences. Civil Service classification as Soil Conservationist (GS-0457) is achieved with the minor plus 12 credits in natural resources and agriculture and 3 credits in applied plant science. For a complete list of requirements and eligible courses, contact the minor advisor.

To learn more about these courses,  visit the Courses of Study website.


How to Apply

Visit the Plant Science undergraduate minors webpage for more information about how to apply for this and related minors.