Soil Science Certificate Program
Certification as a Professional Soil Scientist is offered through several agencies. On a regional level, the Society of Soil Scientists of Southern New England (SSSSNE, P.O. Box 258, Storrs, CT 06268, http://nesoil.com/ssssne/), and on the national level ARCPACS (www.soils.org/certs_exams.html) provide registration/certification. Both of these organizations follow federal standards for soil science certification requiring a minimum of 15 credits in soil science courses, with the stipulation that a breath of course work is completed, i.e. courses should be spread over several soil science subgroups (e.g. soil chemistry, soil classification and formation, soil physics, soil microbial ecology, or soil conservation). There are additional educational requirements to qualify for certification/registration. Check with the certifying organizations for details.
You do not need a MS degree to meet minimum educational requirements for certification as a Registered Soil Scientist.
New England Soil Science Certificate
UMass CPE offers a formal soil certificate program endorsed by all land-grant institutions in New England. The purpose of this program is to enable students to earn over 15 credits in soil science courses. Classes can be taken at different participating universities including the University of Connecticut (Storrs; www.uconn.edu), University of Maine (Orono; www.maine.edu), University of Massachusetts (Amherst; www.umass.edu), University of New Hampshire (www.unh.edu), University of Rhode Island (www.uri.edu), and the University of Vermont (www.uvm.edu).
To complete the New England Regional Soil Science Certificate Program (SSCP) a minimum of 15 approved semester hours (credits) of soil science must be passed. NO more than 3 credits may be from Independent Study or Seminars, and no more than 6 credits may be from schools other than the six sponsoring institutions (the six land grant universities in New England). Courses taken more than 10 year ago or those from other institutions may require submission of course syllabi before being accepted. The credits are to be distributed as follows:
At least 3 credits must be from the “Soil Genesis, Classification, or Morphology and Mapping” category. The remaining credits may be from any category, but courses taken must come from at least four of the six categories. The course categories are:
1. General/Introductory Soils
2. Soil Chemistry, Fertility, and Nutrition
3. Soil Physics
4. Soil Microbiology
5. Soil Genesis, Classification, or Morphology and Mapping
6. Land-use Management, Environment, Conservation, or Interpretation