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  • Soil and Water Science

    Students majoring in soil and water science complete core requirements that stress a balance between the fundamentals of science and a foundation in the humanities, social sciences, business and natural science. A capstone experience through which a student will gain employment skills needed to solve environmental and agricultural problems is required.

    About this Major

    To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

    Students are trained in managing land and water resources in a wide range of ecosystems, including agricultural, forested, range, urban and wetlands through different degree programs. Specializations within these degree programs are designed to give the student a strong background in soil and water science with a core of required courses taken during their junior and senior years.

    Students may prepare for professional schools by selecting appropriate elective courses.

    Soil Science

    Areas of study include soil and land use (with an accent on natural resources and the environment), environmental management (with an accent on agricultural and other applied aspects of soil science), physical and biological sciences (with an accent on physics, microbiology, botany and/or other biological sciences) and business (with an accent on economics, business administration or entrepreneurship).

    Critical Tracking

    Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for entry to each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

    Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

    Semester 1

    • Complete 2 of 5 critical courses, excluding labs: BSC 2005/2005L or BSC 2010/2010L, CHM 2045/2045L, CHM 2046/2046L, MAC 2311, PHY 2004/2004L
    • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 2

    • Complete 1 additional critical-tracking course, excluding labs
    • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 3

    • Complete 1 additional critical-tracking course, excluding labs
    • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 4

    • Complete 1 additional critical-tracking course, excluding labs
    • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 5

    • Complete all critical-tracking courses, including labs
    • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required
    Back to Top

    Model Semester Plan

    To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold.

    This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

    Semester 1 Credits
    AEB 2014 Economic Issues, Food and You, 3 credits, or
    ECO 2013 Principles of Macroeconomics, 4 credits, or
    ECO 2023 Principles of Microeconomics, 4 credits
    GE-S
    3-4
    BSC 2005 Biological Sciences, 3 credits, and
    BSC 2005L Laboratory in Biological Sciences, 1 credit
    OR
    BSC 2010 Integrated Principles of Biology 1, 3 credits, and
    BSC 2010L Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1, 1 credit
    State Core GE-B/P
    4
    Composition
    State Core GE-C; WR
    3
    Electives 4
    Total 14-15
    Semester 2 Credits
    IUF 1000 What is the Good Life
    GE-H
    3​
    MAC 2311 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1
    State Core GE-M
    4
    MCB 2000 Microbiology, 3 credits, and
    MCB 2000L Microbiology Laboratory, 1 credit
    4
    Elective 2
    Social and Behavioral Sciences
    State Core GE-S
    3
    Total 16
    Semester 3 Credits
    AEC 3030C Effective Oral Communication or
    SPC 2608 Introduction to Public Speaking
    3
    CHM 2045 General Chemistry 1, 3 credits, and
    CHM 2045L General Chemistry 1 Laboratory, 1 credit
    GE-P
    4
    STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1, 3 credits, or
    MAC 2312 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 2, 4 credits
    GE-M
    3-4
    Composition
    GE-C
    3
    Electives 2
    Total 15-16
    Semester 4 Credits
    CHM 2046 General Chemistry 2, 3 credits, and
    CHM 2046L General Chemistry 2 Laboratory, 1 credit
    GE-P
    4
    PHY 2004 Applied Physics 1, 3 credits, and
    PHY 2004L Laboratory for Applied Physics 1, 1 credit
    GE-P
    4
    SWS 3022 Introduction to Soils in the Environment, 3 credits, and
    SWS 3022L Introduction to Soils in the Environment Laboratory, 1 credit
    GE-P
    4
    Humanities
    State Core GE-H
    3
    Total 15
    Semester 5 Credits
    CHM 2200 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry, 3 credits, and
    CHM 2200L Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry Laboratory, 1 credit
    OR

    CHM 3120 Introduction to Analytical Chemistry, 3 credits, and
    CHM 3120L Introduction to Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, 1 credit
    4
    SWS 4451 Soil and Water Chemistry 3
    Approved electives 8
    Total 15
    Semester 6 Credits
    AEC 3033C Research and Business Writing in Agricultural and Life Sciences
    WR
    3
    SWS 4231C Soil, Water and Land Use 3
    SWS 4715C Environmental Pedology 4
    Approved elective 3
    Total 13
    Summer Credits
    SWS 4905 Individual Work or
    SWS 4941 Full-time Practical Work Experience in Soil and Water Science
    1-3
    Approved elective 2
    Total 3-5
    Semester 7 Credits
    SWS 4303C Soil Microbial Ecology 3
    SWS 4602C Soil Physics
    GE-P
    3
    Approved electives 10
    Total 16
    Semester 8 Credits
    SWS 4244 Wetlands 3
    Approved electives 10-11
    Total 13-14
    Back to Top

    Approved Electives

    Courses Credits
    ALS 3133 Agricultural and Environmental Quality 3
    EES 4401 Public Health Engineering 3
    GEO 3162C Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for Geographers 3
    GEO 3250 Climatology 3
    GEO 3280 Principles of Geographic Hydrology 3
    GLY 1150L Florida Geology Laboratory 1
    SWS 2007 The World of Water 3
    SWS 2008 Land and Life 3
    SWS 3023L Soil Judging 2
    SWS 4116 Environmental Nutrient Management 3
    SWS 4180 Earth System Analysis 3
    SWS 4207 Sustainable Agricultural and Urban Land Management 3
    SWS 4223 Environmental Biogeochemistry 3
    SWS 4233 Soil and Water Conservation 3
    SWS 4245 Water Resource Sustainability 3
    SWS 4307 Ecology of Waterborne Pathogens 3
    SWS 4550 Soils, Water and Public Health 3
    SWS 4720C GIS in Soil and Water Science 3
    SWS 4905 Individual Work var
    ​SWS 4911 Supervised Research in Soil and Water Science ​var
    SWS 4915 Honors Thesis Research in Soil and Water Science var
    SWS 4932 Special Topics in Soil and Water Science var

    Electives are chosen with the student's advisor. There are four areas of specialization: soil, water and land use, environmental soil and water management, physical sciences and biological sciences. The student is encouraged to take electives from a range of course groupings that include biology, building construction, chemistry, earth science, environmental science, hydrology, mathematics, physics, policy, production systems, programming and statistics.

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    Water Science

    Water’s abundance, quality, distribution and properties are essential to all people. Understanding water’s role in the environment and in our lives is integral to the future of this important resource. Water science is an interdisciplinary specialization that provides students with opportunities to develop skills essential for a diversity of careers in government and the private sector. Students will work closely with advisors to develop a course of study appropriate to their goals.

    Critical Tracking

    Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for entry to each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

    Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

    Semester 1

    • Complete 2 of 5 critical courses, excluding labs: BSC 2005/2005L or BSC 2010/2010L, CHM 2045/2045L, CHM 2046/2046L, MAC 2311, PHY 2004/2004L
    • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 2

    • Complete 1 additional critical-tracking course, excluding labs
    • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 3

    • Complete 1 additional critical-tracking course, excluding labs
    • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 4

    • Complete 1 additional critical-tracking course, excluding labs
    • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 5

    • Complete all critical-tracking courses, including labs
    • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
    • 2.0 UF GPA required
    Back to Top

    Model Semester Plan

    To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold.

    This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

    Semester 1 Credits
    AEB 2014 Economic Issues, Food and You, 3 credits, or
    ECO 2013 Principles of Macroeconomics, 4 credits, or
    ECO 2023 Principles of Microeconomics, 4 credits
    GE-S
    3-4
    BSC 2005 Biological Sciences, 3 credits, and
    BSC 2005L Laboratory in Biological Sciences, 1 credit
    OR

    BSC 2010 Integrated Principles of Biology 1, 3 credits, and
    BSC 2010L Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1, 1 credit
    State Core GE-B/P
    4
    Composition
    State Core GE-C; WR
    3
    Electives 4
    Total 14-15
    Semester 2 Credits
    IUF 1000 What is the Good Life
    GE-H
    3​
    MCB 2000 Microbiology, 3 credits, and
    MCB 2000L Microbiology Laboratory, 1 credit
    4​
    SWS 2007 The World of Water
    GE-P
    3​
    Elective 2
    Social and Behavioral Sciences
    State Core GE-S
    3
    Total 15
    Semester 3 Credits
    AEC 3030C Effective Oral Communication or
    SPC 2608 Introduction to Public Speaking
    3
    CHM 2045 General Chemistry 1, 3 credits, and
    CHM 2045L General Chemistry 1 Laboratory, 1 credit
    GE-P
    4
    MAC 2311 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1
    State Core GE-M
    4
    Composition
    GE-C; WR
    3
    Electives 2
    Total 16
    Semester 4 Credits
    CHM 2046 General Chemistry 2, 3 credits, and
    CHM 2046L General Chemistry 2 Laboratory, 1 credit
    GE-P
    4
    PHY 2004 Applied Physics 1, 3 credits, and
    PHY 2004 Laboratory for Applied Physics 1, 1 credit
    GE-P
    4
    STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1, 3 credits, or
    MAC 2312 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 2, 4 credits
    GE-M
    3-4
    Humanities
    State Core GE-H
    3
    Total 14-15
    Semester 5 Credits
    CHM 2200 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry, 3 credits, and
    CHM 2200L Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry Laboratory, 1 credit
    OR

    CHM 3120 Introduction to Analytical Chemistry, 3 credits, and
    CHM 3120L Introduction to Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, 1 credit
    4
    SWS 3022 Introduction to Soils in the Environment, 3 credits, and
    SWS 3022L Introduction to Soils in the Environment Laboratory, 1 credit
    GE-B/P
    4
    SWS 4451 Soil and Water Chemistry 3
    Approved elective 3
    Elective 3
    Total 17
    Semester 6 Credits
    AEC 3033C Research and Business Writing in Agricultural and Life Sciences
    WR
    3
    SWS 4223 Environmental Biogeochemistry 3
    SWS 4244 Wetlands 3
    Approved electives 6
    Total 15
    Summer Credits
    SWS 4905 Individual Work or
    SWS 4941 Full-time Practical Work Experience in Soil and Water Science
    1-3
    Approved elective 2
    Total 3-5
    Semester 7 Credits
    FNR 4660 Natural Resource Policy and Economics or
    PUP 4224 Florida Environmental Politics
    3
    SWS 4602C Soil Physics
    GE-P
    3
    Approved electives 7
    Total 13
    Semester 8 Credits
    SWS 4245 Water Resource Sustainability 3
    SWS 4307 Ecology of Waterborne Pathogens 3
    Approved electives 7-8
    Total 13-14
    Back to Top

    Approved Electives

    Courses Credits
    ALS 3133 Agricultural and Environmental Quality 3
    AOM 3734 Irrigation Principles and Practices in Florida 3
    AOM 4643 Environmental Hydrology: Principles and Issues 3
    EES 4201 Water Chemistry 3
    EES 4401 Public Health Engineering 3
    FAS 4305C Introduction to Fishery Science 2
    FNR 4343C Forest Water Resources 3
    GEO 3162C Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for Geographers 4
    GEO 3250 Climatology 3
    GEO 3280 Principles of Geographic Hydrology 4
    GLY 1150L Florida Geology Laboratory 1
    GLY 3083C Fundamentals of Marine Sciences 3
    OCE 3016 Introduction to Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering 3
    SWS 4231C Soil, Water and Land Use 3
    SWS 4233 Soil and Water Conservation 3
    SWS 4550 Soils, Water and Public Health 3
    SWS 4715C Environmental Pedology 4
    SWS 4720C GIS in Soil and Water Science 3
    SWS 4905 Individual Work var
    ​SWS 4911 Supervised Research in Soil and Water Science ​var
    SWS 4915 Honors Thesis Research in Soil and Water Science var
    SWS 4932 Special Topics in Soil and Water Science var

    Electives are chosen with the student's advisor. The student is encouraged to take electives from a range of course groupings that include biology, building construction, chemistry, earth science, environmental science, geology, hydrology, mathematics, physics, policy, production systems, programming, soils and statistics.

    Back to Top

    Related Soil and Water Science Programs

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majors: soil-and-water-science