Texas Tech University

Soil Management Certificate

Upon successful completion of the online Soil Management Certificate, students will be awarded a Soil Management Certificate from Texas Tech University that enables them to become a certified soil scientist. The coursework, including topics such as soil chemistry, physics and classification, meets the educational requirements of The Natural Resource Conservation Service. This certificate can be pursued independently or concurrently with a master's degree program.

Program Overview

  • 12 credit hours
  • Required classes are completed online. Some optional classes may be available only face-to-face.
  • Prerequisite: bachelor's degree
  • Students are not required to enroll in a certain number of courses each semester, so completion time varies by individual. Learn more about the difference between part-time and full-time Student status..
  • Semester-based courses align with the Academic Calendar of Texas Tech University. New students may enroll at the beginning of any one of the four semesters throughout the year.

Application Process

Although there is no application deadline, potential students are encouraged to submit all application materials at least two months prior to projected initial enrollment.

  1. Complete the ApplyTexas application.
    • When asked to select your major, you will choose Graduate Certificate Program.
    • When asked to indicate your major area of interest/specialty, type Soil Management.
    • When asked what degree you will seek, choose Certification.
    • In the Custom Questions section of the application, be sure to choose SMGT - Soil Management from the list of available Graduate Certificate programs.
  2. Complete additional application as outlined by the Texas Tech University Graduate School.
    • $60 initial application fee or $50 for each subsequent application (including changes of entry date, add/change program requests, or readmission requests).
    • Students who plan to pursue the graduate certificate or the master's degree will need to submit Graduate Records Exam (GRE) scores to the University.
    • Applicants must have official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended sent to Texas Tech University Graduate School.
    • International students must also submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score to the Graduate School.
  3. Apply to Texas Tech University's Department of Plant and Soil Science.
  4. Check the Applications tab in your Raiderlink for notification of a change in your admissions status.
    • If you are accepted to the Graduate School and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Department of Plant and Soil Science, you will work with a faculty advisor to develop a degree plan.

Program Requirements

Students must select a minimum of 12 hours from the following courses.

For those seeking this certification to satisfy requirements by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 additional 3 hour course would be needed because 15 credit hours is required by NRCS.

Required courses are indicated with an asterisk.*

Get additional course information.

Required Courses and Electives
Number Title Frequency
of Offering
Prerequisite Distance Offering
PSS 5330
Advanced Environment Soil Chemistry
Pre-req PSS 2432 or consent of instructor
PSS 5327 
Advanced Forage Science
PSS 3321 or consent of Instructor 
PSS 5331*
Advanced Plant Nutrient Management 
PSS 5334
Soils and Crops in Arid Lands
PSS 5335*
Soil Physics
PSS 5336*
Soil Mineralogy
PSS 5337
Advanced Soil Classification
PSS 6331
Advanced Environmental Soil Science
Pre-req PSS 2432 or consent of instructor
 PSS 6432
Advanced Soil Microbial Ecology
 Intro to Biology/Micro Biology & PSS2432 or Consent of Instructor

While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in reporting courses, policies and other statements, the University reserves the right to make changes at any time without notice.

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