BS in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences

Degree Program Description

Soil is the medium of life. It provides essential nutrients so that our agricultural crops can produce bountiful harvests. It filters pollution and impurities from our water. It allows forests to grow and clean our air.  The Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences degree combines interests in monitoring environmental change, conserving soil and assuring healthy streams while shaping new policies and educating others about the environment.  Careers include Environmental Specialists, Soil Conservationist, Soil Scientists, and Water Quality Specialists.  Environmental specialists find employment with federal, state, county and city government agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Conservation, or the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, as well as numerous private consulting firms. They use their broad technical knowledge and understanding of ecosystems to provide expertise in situations involving a variety of environmental issues, which could include air and water quality, waste management, and responsible land use.  Soil conservationists and soil scientists often are employed by state and federal agencies such as the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. They are responsible for working with landowners, especially farmers, to ensure that soil conservation practices are in place on the land. They use their knowledge of the physical properties, tillage, chemistry and fertility of soils to make agriculture more productive while protecting the environment. They may also use their knowledge to perform onsite investigations for various land uses. Water quality specialists also find employment with government agencies and private consulting firms. They are responsible for monitoring rivers, lakes and streams for potential pollution from erosion and runoff, as well as ensuring that wells and other sources of municipal drinking water are safe.

Major Program Requirements

In addition to university general education requirements, students must meet school requirements, as well as the degree requirements below:

Major core requirements
Social and behavioral sciences
Economics/business elective3
Math reasoning skills 1
MATH 1400Calculus for Social and Life Sciences I3-5
or MATH 1500 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I
Computer science
AFNR 1120Computing and Information Technology2
AFNR 2120Working with Data Using Excel1
Major capstone experience
ATM_SC 4320Atmospheric Dynamics3-4
or ENV_SC 4320 Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling
or SOIL 4320 Genesis of Soil Landscapes
Soil, environmental, and atmospheric sciences
ATM_SC 1050Introductory Meteorology3
SOIL 2100Introduction to Soils3
or SOIL 3290 Soils and the Environment
or ENV_SC 1100 Introduction to Environmental Science
ATM SC electives5
OR SOIL electives
OR ENV SC electives
Major core quantitative skills
STAT 1400Elementary Statistics for Life Sciences3
or STAT 2530 Statistical Methods in Natural Resources
Major core science requirements
CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
Science electives9
Total Credits39-42

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Semester Plan

Refer to the Semester Plans for the BS in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences designed for the emphasis areas of Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Science, or Soil Resource Management.

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students who have attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by logging in to myZou and navigating to Self Service, then Student Center, and clicking on “Request Degree Audit.” The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.

MU students who have NOT attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

For newly admitted or prospective students, MU degree audits can be created at Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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