Program

Applications are accepted year round. Students may begin their program in January, May or September each year.
ProgramExpected LengthProject and/or thesisCourse based
M.Sc.2 years
Ph.D.4 years

The Soil Science department is an international leader in field-based, landscape-scale research and faculty are actively involved in research that focuses on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem health—linking basic micro-scale science (involving synchrotron-based, molecular-scale studies to elucidate fundamental processes at work) to real world issues at the landscape (studying the interaction of soil, topographic, and environmental factors to better understand ecosystem functioning) and global (investigating climate change impacts on prairie and arctic ecosystems) scales. The Soil Science graduate program provides core expertise in soil and environmental sciences and offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees.

Areas of research strength include:

  • applied pedology
  • nutrient cycling and management
  • environmental soil science
  • soil remediation and reclamation
  • soil biology
  • soil chemistry
  • soil fertility
  • soil physics and hydrology
  • soil-plant interactions

Research supervisors

We recommend that you contact the faculty that are doing research in an area that interests you before beginning a formal application.

Name Research areas
Sina AdlSoil biology, protist diversity and systematics, soil micro-invertebrates, nutrient cycling, food webs, community structure, microbial ecology
Melissa Arcand
Angela Bedard-HaughnApplied pedology, Soils and global change, Wetland soils
Richard FarrellNutrient supply, agroecosystem capacity and integrity, soil resources, environmental agronomy, green house gas emissions
Jim GermidaSoil microbiology, microbial biodiversity and community dynamics of microorganisms in agro-ecosystems
J. Diane KnightNitrogen fixing plants in cropping systems, legumes, selection of rhizobial strains for legume species
Colin LaroqueDendochronology, Climate analysis
Derek PeakUsing synchrotron radiation to perform phosphate speciation in soils, oxyanion bonding mechanisms, spectroscopy of metal-ligand complexes
Jeffrey SchoenauNutrient cycling and management, soil fertility and fertilizers, soil conservation and land use, cropping systems, herbicide fate in soil
Bing C. SiSoil water dynamics, thermal regimes in non-level landscapes, hydrophobicity of soil materials, soil water storage capacity
Steven SicilianoSoil toxicology, GHG production in Antarctic and Artic ecosystems, nitrogen cycle in polar deserts
Kenneth Van ReesForest soils, agroforestry, biomass energy systems, root dynamics in boreal ecosystems
Frances WalleySoil nitrogen dynamics, synchrotron based techniques, pulse crop agronomy, impact of agrichemicals on biological dinitrogen fixation

Tuition and funding

Funding

All students accepted into the graduate program receive financial support from their supervisor’s research funds and/or scholarships. To be eligible for scholarship funding, students must have obtained at least 80% in the last two years of study. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis and are not guaranteed.

Students cannot undertake graduate work without financial support; thus, the supervisor must write a letter stating that he/she will provide the financial support and other resources necessary for you to complete your program. This letter is required before a recommendation can be made by the Department to the CGSR for student acceptance.

In addition to potential funding from your department, there are scholarships and awards available to all eligible students. There are also special programs for international students from China, Vietnam, and Ecuador.

Tuition

Graduate students in a thesis or project based program pay tuition three times a year for as long as they are enrolled in their program.

Term Canadian International
September 1 - December 31, 2015 $1268.00 $1902.00
January 1 - April 30, 2016 $1268.00 $1902.00
May 1 - August 31, 2016 $1268.00 $1902.00
Total per academic year $3804.00 $5706.00

Tuition information is accurate for the current academic year and does not include student fees. For detailed tuition and fees information, visit the official tuition website.

Admission requirements

  • A four-year honours degree, or equivalent, from a recognized college or university in an academic discipline relevant to the proposed field of study
  • A cumulative weighted average of at least 70% (U of S grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (e.g. 60 credit units)
  • Proof of English language proficiency may be required for international applicants and for applicants whose first language is not English
  • A Master’s degree, or equivalent, from a recognized university in a relevant academic discipline 
  • A cumulative weighted average of at least 70% (U of S grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (e.g. 60 credit units)
  • Proof of English language proficiency may be required for international applicants and for applicants whose first language is not English

Application process

Find a supervisor

Using the list above, find a potential supervisor, read about the work they are currently doing and their past publications. If you think you'd like to work with them, contact them and describe your research interests and past academic experience. If they are accepting students, they will instruct you to begin a formal application.

Submit an online application

Once you begin an application, choose one of the following application forms in the system:

  • Graduate (B) Fall term start - September
  • Graduate (C) Winter term start - January
  • Graduate (D) Spring term start - May

During the application, you'll be asked for:

  • Personal information such as your name, address, etc.
  • The names and email addresses of your referees
  • Your educational history from all post-secondary institutions you've attended

The application takes about 20 minutes to complete. You may save your application and return to it later as long as you remember the Login ID and PIN you've created.

At the end of the application, you will need to pay a non-refundable $90 application fee. It is recommended that you pay online with a credit card. If you do not pay online when completing your application, you will need to use an alternate form of payment. Your application will be not be processed until payment is received.

If you are a past or current student you may begin an application in the admissions channel of PAWS.

Submitting required documents

Once you've completed an online application you will need to have the following documents submitted:
  • You will need to send in official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate courses, even if a degree was not awarded. You do not need to submit transcripts for courses taken at the U of S.
  • Have the transcripts sent directly from the institutions to the department address below.
  • If your current degree is still in progress, you will need to arrange for your official final transcripts showing the awarding of your degree to be sent to your department.
  • Copies of transcripts are not acceptable as final admission documents, unless they have also been verified and stamped by your issuing institution.

If you are required to provide proof of English proficiency your English test results need to be sent directly from the organization where your tests were taken to the department address below.

In addition to the above official documents, email the following to the Graduate Secretary listed below:

  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • A statement of purpose

Contact

Department of Soil Science
51 Campus Drive
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8

Graduate Chair
Angela Bedard-Haughn
Email: angela.bedard-haughn@usask.ca

Graduate Administrator
Carolyn Ouellet
Email: soilsc.gradstudies@usask.ca