Soil forms an essential part of the environment—affecting or controlling most living things. Soil science studies the soil system to find the best ways of producing food, fuel, and fibre while still preserving soil for use by future generations.
- 4 year degree
- Full or part-time program
- You can enter this program directly from high school
- You can begin this program off-campus
What you will learn
Soil science draws from biology, ecology, geography, geology and a variety of other natural and life sciences. The soil science program at the University of Saskatchewan provides an in-depth understanding of the physical, biological and chemical processes that occur in soil and the role soil plays in plant production and environmental management.
A first-year schedule sample
Although there is a great deal of overlap between first year courses for most AgBio programs, it is important to consult the Course and Program Catalogue and contact an academic advisor for information about course selection prior to registration. Here's an example of what a first year in the degree program might look like:
|Scientific Literacy and Communication for the Agricultural Sciences
|Discovery in Plant and Soil Sciences
|History of Indigenous Agriculture in Canada
|The Nature of Life
|General Chemistry I Structure Bonding and Properties of Materials
|Animal Agriculture and Food Science
|Agri Food Issues and Institutions
|The Diversity of Life
|Introduction to Organic Chemistry
|The History of Country Music
* These are elective courses. You'll have a large number of courses to choose between.
The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.
Here are just a few of the classes you might take while you complete this degree:
EVSC 380: Grassland Soils and Vegetation
A five-day field course, plus tutorials early in the term, to study the landscape, soils and vegetation of the prairie ecozone. Emphasis will be on the environmental factors controlling soil and plant distribution, and characterizing relationships among vegetation, soils and landscapes. Basic field skills will be taught, including soil and vegetation classification and sampling.
SLSC 312: Soil Fertility and Fertilizers
The forms, flows, and transformations of plant nutrients in soils are examined, with emphasis on Western Canadian agricultural systems. The fate of applied nutrients as commercial fertilizers and manure is stressed, especially as to how agronomic practices affect the utilization of soil and fertilizer nutrients by plants. Techniques for soil fertility evaluation and the development of suitable fertilizer recommendations and nutrient management plans are covered.
SLSC 460: Forest Soils
Forest soils and forestry practices are discussed, with emphasis on boreal soils. Attention will be given to forest soil development, forest land capability and the effects of management practices (harvesting, fertilization, and site preparation) on soil properties. Interrelationships among natural occurrences (fire), nutrient and carbon cycling and environmental concerns will be examined. A required three-day field trip takes place early in the term.
You will graduate with excellent industry-endorsed scientific training and a foundation of marketable career skills. Our strong ties with industry and our reputation for producing well-rounded, quality graduates means that many businesses look here first when hiring employees.
Small class sizes
AgBio offers a setting that combines the advantages of a full-scale university with the benefits of a small, specialized program. The small class sizes in third and fourth year and supportive atmosphere allows you to get to know your instructors and fellow students, and to build a network of personal and business contacts.
We are committed to finding solutions to sustainably feed a hungry and growing world. Our five departments provide a foundation for our broad array of research activities, both basic and applied. We have over a century of innovative products and practices that have transformed the world.
Opportunities to get involved
AgBio has one of the campus’s most active and spirited student bodies. There are several student clubs in the college to join to enhance your university experience.
Our faculty and researchers actively collaborate across the university, as well as nationally and internationally. We have created strong, productive partnerships with numerous governments, private enterprises, producer groups, research centres, and industry associations to develop a sophisticated network for applied science, business and policy development. Outreach, technology transfer and information sharing is an important part our research.
Graduates of degree programs in the College of AgBio are eligible for Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) membership in the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists, allowing them to engage in the practise of Agrology.
A growing demand for scientists and professionals equipped to deal with agricultural and environmental issues means a wide variety of career choices for graduates specializing in environmental science or soil science. Graduates pursue careers as
- environmental consultants
- land reclamation specialists
- surveyors, foresters
- agricultural producers
- land appraisers
- hazardous and non-hazardous waste specialists
- laboratory technicians and managers
- laboratory or field researchers and educators.
Opportunities abound in the private and public sectors, in Canada and abroad. Many graduates also find fulfilling careers in international development work.
Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay in your first year if you enroll in a full course load, the maximum number of courses allowed (2023-2024 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,500 per year.
Admission requirements and deadlines
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