Soil Science


Program Information:

Program Statement:
    At ISU we are dedicated to your success as a graduate student. As a first step, we have collected information on application requirements as well as links where you can find further information. We encourage you to explore.
Degrees Offered:
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.)
Area(s) of Specialization: (may appear on ISU transcripts after graduation)
  • Soil Chemistry (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Soil Fertility (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Soil Management (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Soil Morphology and Genesis (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Soil Physics (M.S., Ph.D.)
Program Handbook(s):
Learning Goals:
  • Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of soil components and soil processes.
  • Identify critical issues in fundamental and applied soil science and to formulate scientific approaches to those issues.
  • Ability to apply knowledge of soil science to solve problems in nonacademic contexts and in collaboration with professionals in other disciplines.
  • Demonstrate professional communication skills, using effective strategies both when writing technical reports, research proposals, journal articles, or popular press articles and when giving oral or poster presentations to scientific or lay audiences.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the soil as a fundamental natural resource, deserving of wise use and protection.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues that pertain to soil science and science in general.
  • Maintain, in collaboration with the faculty, an environment of discovery, professional pride, collaboration, and mutual support.
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the doctorate: 3.8 years (Methods)
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 2.3 years (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Kevin Desjean
Phone: 515-294-4161
E-mail Address:

Mailing Address:

    Soil Science Graduate Programs
    Iowa State University
    2101 Agronomy Hall
    716 Farm House Lane
    Ames, IA 50011-1051

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements: International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 550
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 79
    IELTS 6.5
    PTE 53
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 105

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    Continual review, no deadlines for admission or assistantships. Faculty commitment required prior to admission.
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.

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