About

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.


Quick facts
  • 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:

CourseDescription

Fall Term
AGRC 111 Sustainable Plant and Soil Management
BIOL 120 The Nature of Life
CHEM 112 General Chemistry I Structure Bonding and Properties of Materials
ECON 111 Introductory Microeconomics
GEOG 130* Space Place and Society An Introduction to Human Geography

Winter Term
AGRC 112 Animal Agriculture and Food Science
AGRC 113 Agri Food Issues and Institutions
BIOL 121 The Diversity of Life
CHEM 250 Introduction to Organic Chemistry
INDG 107* Introduction to Canadian Indigenous Studies

* 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 480: Soils and Boreal Landscapes 
A four-day field course with a follow-up tutorial to study boreal soils and landscapes the week prior to the fall term. Focus will be on the examination, description and classification of northern soils within various landscapes. This course also provides an introduction to basic air photo interpretation, ecological classification and forest measurements, as well as an artistic interpretation of landscapes.

Research
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.

Collaborative environment
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.

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.

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.

Career skills
You will not only leave with excellent industry-endorsed scientific training, but also with a foundation of marketable career skills. Our strong ties with industry and our reputation for producing well-rounded, quality graduates means that many businesses turn here first when recruiting employees.

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.

Careers

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
  • ecologists
  • 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 estimates

Canadian studentsInternational students
Tuition $6,121 $15,914
Fees $835 $835
Books $1,500 $1,500
Total $8,456 $18,249

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).
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 $1,000-$2,000 per year.

Program option

The Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (B.S.A) Soil Science degree is offered by University of Saskatchewan's College of Agriculture and Bioresources:

  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Four-year

Admission requirements and deadlines

Deadlines

Start term Application Deadline
Fall
September 2018
Feb 15, 2018
Documents due: Mar 1, 2018

You can also begin this program in May or July. The deadlines for the Fall (September) term apply.

Ready to apply?

A non-refundable application fee of $90 CDN is required before your application will be processed.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

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