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Data for degrees earned by faculty teaching in soil science preparatory programs at universities in the USA

Citation

Brevik, Eric; Vaughan, Karen (2020), Data for degrees earned by faculty teaching in soil science preparatory programs at universities in the USA, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4f4qrfj9p

Abstract

In the early 2000s some were concerned that few soil science graduate students were receiving their bachelor’s degrees in soil science. However, no studies were conducted to investigate this or how it may have changed over time. Information available on university webpages for faculty in the USA was used to determine the faculty’s bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree disciplines. Faculty rank was used to determine if a change had occurred in the percent of faculty who received their bachelor’s degrees in soil science over time. Only 16% of faculty teaching in programs that prepare graduates to work as soil scientists received their bachelor’s degrees in soil science. This percentage increased to 56% and 67% who received their master’s and doctoral degrees, respectively, in soil science, but about 26% of faculty who teach in soil science preparatory programs did not have any degrees that could be identified as a “soil science” degree. The degrees that faculty received their training in also differed by their current soil science specialty area. About 13% of assistant professors and 20% of full professors received their bachelor’s degrees in soil science, so the percentage of students entering soil science graduate programs with a bachelor’s degree in soil science appears to have declined with time. However, a majority of soil science graduate students having bachelor’s degrees from other fields also appears to have been common going back at least several decades.

Methods

Data was collected through online searches of the faculty pages at universities known to offer undergraduate training leading to careers as soil scientists for their graduates.