Online Soil Physics Course and Class Overviews

Students in soil physics courses study the air and water properties of soil. Online soil physics courses may be part of a degree program or continuing education. Online soil physics courses may be incorporated into certificate, undergraduate or graduate degree programs in agriculture, construction, or engineering.

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Online Soil Physics Courses

Below are some of the common soil physics courses students can take as part of online degree programs.

  • Advanced Soil Physics: Typically offered as part of a horticulture or an agriculture degree program, this course offers instruction in the physical properties of soil. Coursework focuses on the levels and movement of water and air at varying temperatures in soil. Students learn measurement and analysis techniques in addition to applications for plant cultivation.
  • Soil Science Principles: This introductory course is included in many degree programs, from horticulture to environmental science. The curriculum provides a basic overview of soil chemistry and physics. Students learn terms to describe soil and develop a foundation to analyze soil processes and properties. The course may also include at-home lab work that covers soil fertilization, maintenance, hydration cycles and fertility.
  • Applied Soil Mechanics: Students in this class study different types of geoconstruction projects and their physical effects on soil. From earthworks to slopes, students learn the fundamentals such as soil compaction and measuring shear strength through a real world approach. This course covers classification and properties of soils. This is an intermediate-level course for professionals or students considering a Master's degree.
  • Soil in Ecosystems and the Environment: This course is generally a component of an ecology or environmental science degree program, though it's also widely offered as an elective in agriculture and engineering programs. Material for this class is delivered through textbooks and streaming media and often requires at-home lab work. Students learn to examine the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil to recognize its role in a greater ecosystem. The curriculum may also cover the physical properties of water movement through the soil as a means to study pollutants and waste disposal.
  • Soils Science with Labs: In this course, students learn about the biological composition and chemical properties of soil, and they explore relationships between soils and higher plant life. Students also learn to evaluate real-world problems and solutions using basic soil principles.
  • Environmental Soil Physics: This course, which is found in agriculture programs, focuses on the properties of soil with regards to the transport of other compounds, such as water and various gases.
  • Soil Resources and Conservation: In this course students learn about the responsible management and use of soil for both food and non-food purposes. Students consider topics like long-term food production and environmental sustainability amongst industrial development.

Program Information

Soil physics is a branch of soil science concerned with physical components and properties, including density, permeability and ability to retain moisture. Courses in soil physics can be completed entirely online or with lab elements performed at home, as part of bachelor's or master's degree programs in agriculture, horticulture or engineering. Graduates are prepared for careers as scientists or engineers in such fields as construction, agriculture, conservation, geology or hydrology.

In addition to having an up-to-date computer, many soil physics courses require students to purchase an at-home lab kit to perform experiments and tests.

Students can get a very good foundation in soil physics online, though their courses will likely be components of a broader program such as agriculture or ecology. Courses will cover the physical and environmental properties of soils, along with implications for ecosystems and human use.

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