Soil Science

As a soil scientist, you’ll be an expert researching on soil and soil related information for the purpose of resolving soil management issues.

What do soil scientists do?

A soil scientist explores and seeks to understand the properties of soil as a natural resource. They study the formation, mapping, and classification of soils and its characteristics. They also focus on soil conservation and determine the most effective and productive use of soil in agriculture and use their expertise in the reclamation of soil in an environmentally responsible way.

What does a typical day at work involve?

  • Checked Collecting soil samples, as a part of field work
  • Checked Supervising and monitoring laboratory research
  • Checked Mapping of soil types and their distribution
  • Checked Conducting lab analysis of soil samples
  • Checked Writing research reports
  • Checked Making presentations on research findings
  • Checked Attending conferences as a part of gathering information on the latest developments in the field
  • Checked Integrating soil science knowledge into aspects of land management and ecosystems

What areas can a soil scientist specialise in?

Soil genesis is the study of the different modes of soil formation.
Soil mineralogy is the study of the minerals present in soil.
Soil management deals with the various techniques that can be applied to protect soil and enhance its performance.
Agricultural soil science or soil agronomy deals with the study of soil in its relation to agricultural production.
Soil physics is the study of the physical properties of the different components of soil.
Soil chemistry is the study of the chemical properties of the different components of soil.

How to become a soil scientist?

Step 1
Take Science stream with preferably Geography

Studying science stream with preferably geography as a subject at the 10+2 level and securing a minimum score in these subjects would be a prerequisite for admission into bachelor degree courses in Soil Sciences.

Step 2
Take B.Sc. Agriculture/Geology

The undergraduate level course in this area BSc. Agriculture. You can either go for a B.Sc. in Agriculture or a B.Sc. in Geology. The duration of the courses is usually three years.

Step 3
Take M.Sc. Agriculture and Soil Science

After completing the UG degree, you can pursue an MSc. in Agriculture and Soil Science in India or abroad. There are other specialisations on offer depending upon the institution.

Step 4
Go for doctoral studies

After pursuing master’s, you can directly go for an MPhil or PhD to brighten your prospects of building a career in the academia.

Soil Sciences Colleges

Name State District Type Website Course

Requirements for masters (MSc) in soil sciences

Requirements for admission into a PG course in one of the top institutions to help you get an overall picture

India (For M.Sc. in Agricultural Chemistry & Soil Science from the University of Calcutta)

  • A bachelor’s degree in B.Sc.(Agriculture) Hons/ B.Sc.(Chemistry) Hons with an aggregate score of 55%.
  • Clearing Calcutta University Entrance Examination.
  • Personal Interview.

Foreign (For Master of Science in Soil Science from Pennsylvania State University)

  • A bachelor’s degree from an undergraduate program in Soil Science, or having an emphasis in natural science, is preferred with an average GPA of 3.
  • GRE scores in 50th percentile or higher.
  • The minimum composite score for IELTS is 6.5
  • Three letters of recommendation

To see the entrance exams, scholarships and UG admission details, click here

Skills Required

Technical Knowledge

A soil scientist must possess strong technical knowledge in their field of work, including the fundamentals of the subject, physical properties of soils, and their spatial and temporal variability across landscapes.


A soil scientist requires strong oral and verbal communication skills as they will have to prepare reports, provide feedbacks, etc.

Scientific reasoning

A soil scientist should have a proper knowledge on how to apply logical/scientific reasoning in order arrive at possible solutions. They should also be familiar with the different scientific methods and other tools that soil scientists use in their work.

Analytical & problem solving skills

Soil scientists are required to focus for hours on large amounts of data. During the process, they will have to compile information, analyse them, anticipate changes and find answers to various problems.


  • Checked Agriculture
  • Checked Mining Industry
  • Checked Construction Industry
  • Checked Environmental Consultancies/Organizations
  • Checked Fertilizer Industry