Getting Your Undergraduate Degree in Soil and Crop Sciences
The major in Soil and Crop Sciences provides the required core courses and the flexibility to develop a broad-based understanding and appreciation for the basic natural and social sciences; communication skills, and to explore human interests and leadership potential. Students from a wide range of rural and urban backgrounds learn principles that apply to the current challenges in soil, plant, and environmental sciences. Each graduating senior with a major in Soil and Crop Sciences will participate in an assessment of the educational progress of students within this major. Presentations in senior seminar, performance in the senior-level crop and soil management courses, and performance on the exit evaluation will be used to assess student learning.
There are seven concentrations that permit specialization in subjects that require education in technical areas but continue to provide flexibility for students to develop broad-based interests. A student may major in Soil and Crop Sciences without declaring a specific concentration emphasis is on providing the student maximum flexibility in tailoring the curriculum to meet individual needs. A seed science option within one of the concentrations and a second major program with agricultural business is also available.
The Department’s regular faculty instruct all level classes with typical enrollments of approximately 40 students per class. Each instructor holds regular office hours for meetings and answering questions during teaching semesters. The faculty also serves as advisors to majors and double majors.
Soil and Crop Sciences Major Check Sheet
Agronomic Production Management
Students prepare for careers in production agriculture or agribusiness by combining basic science, business and economics with technical soil and crop science courses and experiences. The use of new tools such as precision agriculture and biotechnology are an integral part of the learning experience. Career areas include agronomic business managers in seed, chemical, and fertilizer companies, agricultural cooperatives and agricultural consultant services. Concentration Sheet
Applied Information Technology
Educates students in utilizing advanced information technology to better make decisions in crop production, soil and environmental management, and to meet technological opportunities in industry (consulting/GIS/GPS/remote sensing). Students will take coursework in computer science, data management, business, crop science, and soil science to utilize advanced information technology to examine agroecosystem management zones. This understanding will lead to improved environmental stewardship and profitability. Career opportunities exist with equipment companies, consulting firms, state and federal agencies, and agricultural data management firms. More >>
International Soil and Crop Sciences
Students prepare for exciting and challenging careers in developing nations by understanding appropriate soil and crop science practices compatible with the climate and socioeconomic constraints of the host country. The curriculum focus is an appropriate blend of basic science and social science courses with technical Soil and Crop Science courses. CSU’s international reputation in working with developing countries through the Peace Corps provides excellent opportunities for career development. There is a wealth of knowledge from faculty who have international experience. Concentration Sheet
Plant Biotechnology, Genetics and Breeding
This concentration focuses on the rapidly changing science of plant genetics and the application of biotechnology to crop improvement. The curriculum for this concentration places emphasis on genetics, biotechnology, and plant breeding and important allied fields such as chemistry/biochemistry, plant physiology, entomology, and plant pathology. Career opportunities, available in both the public (USDA, universities), and private sectors, include basic research, plant breeding, product development and sales, and many other areas. More >> Concentration Sheet
The soil ecology concentration emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of soils through the study of soil organisms and their interactions with each other and the soil physical and chemical environment. These interactions affect the cycling of elements including carbon and nitrogen, the release (or consumption) of greenhouse gases, water quality, soil formation and structure, and plant productivity. The curriculum is rigorous and includes a solid core of mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry courses, as well as specialized electives and ecology courses that allow students to tailor the concentration to their interests. Career opportunities exist in academia, state and federal health and environmental agencies, natural resource agencies (water and soil), state and national parks services, private industry as environmental assessors, and in the rapidly growing environmental consulting profession.
Soil Restoration and Conservation
Students prepare for careers in planning, conservation, and management of soil and water resources. The curriculum focus is on the application of basic science with technical Crop and Soil Science courses to Soil and Water Resource Management. Career emphasis is on interpretation of land suitable for agricultural, urban, industrial, recreation, waste disposal and water management systems.
Interdisciplinary Minor in Organic Agriculture
This program is for agriculture and horticulture students considering a career in organic food production, or for any student concerned about the environmental and sociological impacts of conventional agricultural practices and interested in alternative approaches. Participating students are enrolled at Colorado State University and receive their degree from their home department, with completion of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program recorded on their official transcripts. More >>
Concentration sheet for integrated Soil and Crop Major and Organic Agriculture Minor and;
Minor Program in Organic Agriculture
Soil, Land Use, and Climate Change
The Soils, Land Use and Climate Change Concentration prepares students to become critical thinkers, address new and emerging issues and be versatile in multidisciplinary settings, while having a deep understanding of soils and soil processes, being knowledgeable of global and cultural issues, and possessing specialized technical skills in agricultural GHG management and inventory. A broad base of course work in soils, agriculture, ecology, statistics, economics, and climate change science as well internship opportunities will prepare students for the climate change work force. More >>
Minor – Soil Restoration and Conservation
The purpose of the minor in soil resources and conservation is to give students with appropriate biological sciences background opportunity to formalize their interests in an organized course of study. Concentration Sheet