The Environmental Soil/Water Science major provides students with an understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that occur in the soil-water-atmosphere zone at the earth’s surface. USU is the only university in the state that offers degrees in soil science. USU’s program is unique in its focus on water issues in the arid West and has research emphasis in urban and rural land use, erosion, agricultural waste management, measurement of soil water, and the origins of soil.
Students graduating from this program will be well qualified for careers in the prevention, characterization, and improvement of environmental soil and water management. Soil scientists work with engineers, geologists, and ecologists, providing expertise on how to build strong structures in various types of soil, how to irrigate efficiently with different soil situations, etc. They also play a major role in ensuring that high-quality soil and clean water are available to current and future generations. The program features small class sizes where students receive individual attention from excellent faculty and the opportunity to research alongside them in labs as they gain valuable research experience.
With this degree, students must choose an emphasis from the following three choices:
Soil: This emphasis features a core curriculum of math and science courses and introductory soil science courses. Students then choose electives that are more in-depth and specific to soil science.
Water: The water emphasis requires higher levels in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, and students take elective courses to study soil science issues specific to water.
Plant: This emphasis features a core curriculum of math and science courses and introductory soil science courses. Students then choose electives that are more specific to plants.
To receive a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Soil/Water Science, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.