Admission criteria, course requirements and thesis information for the M.S. in Soil Science.

This is a research-oriented degree for those who expect to terminate their education at graduation or to proceed for the Ph.D. degree. The M.S. or equivalent degree is the normal prerequisite for the Ph.D. program in the Soil Science Program.

Whether terminal or doctoral-oriented, the objectives of M.S. studies are:

  1. enhanced understanding of an area of science beyond the baccalaureate level
  2. attainment of scientific research skills

The M.S. candidates are just beginning their research careers and are expected to require considerable guidance in choosing and executing their thesis research projects. However, upon completion of the M.S., the students are expected to have developed the capacity for independent research.

In addition to the general requirements for the M. S. degree as defined by the Graduate School, the department requires six credits of 400- or 500-level formal courses in a minor or general studies area.

An advisory committee will be appointed for each student and additional courses and requirements may be determined by this committee. A thesis based on field or laboratory research is required for the M. S. degree.

Admission Requirements

The minimum admissions requirements established by Penn State University's Graduate School and the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

Course and Credit Requirements

The course and credit requirements stipulated by the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, in conjunction with the Graduate School of Penn State University.


M.S. Thesis Research information.

Advisory Committee

M.S. Advisory Committee appointment, membership, and responsibilities information.

Teaching Experience
Final Oral Examination

M.S. Final Oral Examination (Thesis Defense) information.

MS SOILS Checklist.pdf

PDF document, 175.0 KB

MS SOILS Checklist.pdf

PDF document, 175.0 KB

Procedures for Admission
Summary of Graduate Coursework for M.S. Degree in Soil Science.pdf

PDF document, 204.7 KB