Plant and Soil Science

Develop the essential skills and knowledge to be successful in science- or agriculture-related occupations.

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Plant and Soil Science, B.S.

The Plant and Soil Science major offers students the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in soil science, horticulture, and agronomy. The degree allows students to focus their coursework on the plant or soil area that interests them.

Good stewardship of crops and land has never been more important. Increasing the quantity and the quality of crop yields and doing so in a way that's sustainable year after year, can be the difference between plenty and privation. For students interested in learning about the complex interactions that must take place before the first shoot breaks through — and wanting to make this field a career — a degree in Plant and Soil Science is an investment in growth. Available courses include the following: Agricultural Biotechnology, Agroecology, Agroforestry, Arboriculture, Field Crop Production, Floriculture, Forage Crops, Fruit Production, Genesis of Soil Landscapes, Greenhouse Management, Horticulture in Our Lives, Landscaping, Nursery Management, Crop Eco-physiology, Soil and Water Conservation, Soil Fertility and Fertilizer, Soil Physical Properties, Soil Survey, and Land Use, Vegetable Gardening, and Woody Landscape Plants. If you want to teach Plant & Soil Science curriculum at a high school or middle school, Certification in Agricultural Education is available. Under the heading "What We're Doing" both stories need to be replaced with newer ones. We can provide a story about the Digital Agriculture grant & camp and also a story about the soil judging team or horticulture judging team.

Careers
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Careers
Requirements
Faculty
Information

News Briefs

Area high schoolers dabble with drones, data science at MTSU Digital Agriculture camp

Teenagers learned about drones, data science and how it relates to solving real-world problems with precision agriculture during MTSU Digital Agriculture Camp. During the nearly 3-week camp, students designed, built, and flew their own drone at the MTSU Farm in Lascassas, Tennessee. The camp was led by School of Agriculture faculty members Dr. Song Cui, Dr. Chaney Mosley, and Dr. Samual Haruna. Read more

MTSU Horticulture Judging Team

The MTSU Horticulture Team is comprised of students in the Plant and Soil Science program. The team has been participating in regional and national competitions since 2008. The horticulture competitions are held in conjunction with the American Society for Horticultural Science meetings and are held in different locations each year. Over the years, the MTSU horticulture team has competed in places such as Hawaii, Miami, Dallas, Palm Desert, Orlando, etc. Many team and individual awards have been won including 1st place overall team at the 2012 national competition in Miami. Most recently, students traveled to Oklahoma City in February 2023 where they placed 3rd overall with two team members earning 1st place in floriculture crops (Rachel Walton) and vegetable crops (Zoey Ward).

News Briefs

Area high schoolers dabble with drones, data science at MTSU Digital Agriculture camp

Teenagers learned about drones, data science and how it relates to solving real-world problems with precision agriculture during MTSU Digital Agriculture Camp. During the nearly 3-week camp, students designed, built, and flew their own drone at the MTSU Farm in Lascassas, Tennessee. The camp was led by School of Agriculture faculty members Dr. Song Cui, Dr. Chaney Mosley, and Dr. Samual Haruna. Read more

MTSU Horticulture Judging Team

The MTSU Horticulture Team is comprised of students in the Plant and Soil Science program. The team has been participating in regional and national competitions since 2008. The horticulture competitions are held in conjunction with the American Society for Horticultural Science meetings and are held in different locations each year. Over the years, the MTSU horticulture team has competed in places such as Hawaii, Miami, Dallas, Palm Desert, Orlando, etc. Many team and individual awards have been won including 1st place overall team at the 2012 national competition in Miami. Most recently, students traveled to Oklahoma City in February 2023 where they placed 3rd overall with two team members earning 1st place in floriculture crops (Rachel Walton) and vegetable crops (Zoey Ward).

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CAREERS

A focus on hands-on, experiential learning yields a rich harvest of graduates ready to enter the industry's professional ranks. Examples include

  • Agronomist
  • College professor
  • Conservation planner
  • Cotton specialist
  • Crop consultant
  • Crop production specialist
  • Custom applicator
  • Environmental technician
  • Golf course superintendent
  • Greenhouse/nursery management
  • Plant propagator
  • Precision ag specialist
  • Research technician
  • Sales representative
  • Seed production specialist
  • Soil conservationist
  • Weed specialist

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Archer Daniels Midland
  • Colorburst Landscapes
  • Crop Production Services
  • Georgia Peanut Commission
  • Habersham Gardens
  • Jack Daniels Distillery
  • Landscape Services Inc.
  • National Institute of Health
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Pioneer Seed
  • SecureLawn
  • Tennessee Farmers Coop
  • Tractor Supply Company
  • TriGreen Equipment
  • Tennessee Department of Agriculture
  • Tennessee Farm Bureau
  • TPC Scottsdale (PGA golf course)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • University of Tennessee Extension Service

REQUIREMENTS

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FACULTY

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Degrees

A student majoring in Plant and Soil Science can earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Other majors in the School of Agriculture leading to a B.S. are Animal Science, Animal Science with a concentration in Horse Science, Fermentation Science and Agribusiness.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

Although it is not designated as a concentration, students may also take courses in pursuit of an Agricultural Education Certificate and courses in Pre-Forestry. Undergraduate and graduate minors are available in Agriculture.

Graduate study includes the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Horse Science with concentrations in Equine Education, Equine Physiology, and Industry Management.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

The Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) College of Education’s teacher licensure preparation programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and are eligible for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Plant and Soil Science with teacher licensure program at MTSU is designed to meet the licensure requirements set by the Tennessee Department of Education. Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether a specific program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. MTSU recommends that students who plan to seek licensure outside the state of Tennessee contact the appropriate licensing agency and discuss their plans with their advisor. To obtain current information about each state’s and territory’s licensure requirements and any additional regulations, students should consult the US Department of Education’s website for state contacts.

Graduates of MTSU teacher education programs certified to teach in Tennessee are eligible for certification reciprocity in many states. Reciprocity is not an automatic or complete transfer of certification, thus individuals should consult the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) site and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) site at as well as the US Department of Education state contacts site for information about any additional state requirements.

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