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Environmental and Soil Sciences Major, BS in Environmental and Soil Sciences

The undergraduate program in environmental and soil sciences in the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science was created in 2001 with three concentrations – soil science, environmental science, and agricultural systems technology. Currently, there are six concentrations – the original three plus off-road vehicle technology, construction science, and conservation agriculture and environmental sustainability. This page contains information about the three science concentrations – soil science, environmental science, and conservation agriculture and environmental sustainability.

Science concentrations (Soil Science, Environmental Science, Conservation Agriculture and Environmental Sustainability)

Students working in field
Many soil science Students gain valuable experience on Soil Vols, our soil judging team. Image of student working in field

All three science concentrations include a mix of basic science and math classes, as well as a wide range of courses related to the major. Many of our courses are very hands-on and involve a great deal of experiential learning. We emphasize mastery of the core disciplinary areas, leadership, communication skills, and an ability to work in a diverse, global environment. We take pride in the fact that employers find our students very “job-ready” as a result of our boots on the ground approach. In addition, our program is considered to be transfer-friendly. We have many students who have transferred from community colleges as well as other majors in our programs. 

Soil Science (minor in Watersheds)
Designed for students who want to pursue a career in soils – planning, classification, management, erosion control, fertility, etc. Likely employers are the Natural Resources Conservation Service, agricultural extension, engineering firms, and construction companies. Many graduates go on to masters programs at UT and beyond. Students complete requirements for certification for Fundamentals of Soil Science (Soil Science Society of America).

Current Curricular Requirements

Environmental Science (minor in Watersheds)
Designed for students who want to pursue a career in environment and natural resources  – stormwater planning, environmental monitoring and planning, watershed and water quality, and environmental education. Likely employers are local, state and federal departments of environment; Natural Resources Conservation Service; agricultural extension; and environmental engineering firms. Many graduates go on to masters programs at UT and beyond. Students complete requirements for certification for Fundamentals of Soil Science (Soil Science Society of America).

Current Curricular Requirements

Student planting a tree in Dominican Republic.
Environmental Science Student planting trees in a roadside right-of-way restoration project in the Dominican Republic.
Student working in a garden
Environmental soil science conservation agriculture and environmental sustainability student working in the Every Child Outdoor Garden.

Conservation Agriculture and Environmental Sustainability
Designed for students who want to:

  1. pursue a career in international agriculture (such as Peace Corps),
  2. become a certified crop consultant or
  3. start their own sustainable farm.

Likely employers are Peace Corps, Natural Resources Conservation Service, agricultural extension, and local community or school garden programs. Students complete a 1-3 credit internship on a sustainable or community farm.

Current Curricular Requirements

For more information, please contact:

Joanne Logan
Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science
2506 EJ Chapman Drive, Room 209
tel. 865-974-8803
email: loganj@utk.edu