The Soil and Water Sciences Department offers graduate-level certificate programs in:
- Biodegradation and Bioremediation
- Soil Ecosystem Services
- Sustainable Agroecosystems
- Sustainable Land Resource and Nutrient Management
- Wetland and Water Resource Management
The programs can be completed entirely online and are available to on-campus students as well. The distance learning delivery mode allows students in remote locations to complete course assignments and communicate with faculty and other students anywhere and in their own time. The program maintains the high academic standards of the University of Florida.
The certificate programs are designed for scientists, extension agents, consultants and others for professional development and continued education. Individuals working in, or interested in learning more about, soil and water resource management can become certified in a body of knowledge in these specializations without formally pursuing graduate degrees if they so desire. These certificate programs are not to be confused with certification programs. The certificates are awarded by the University of Florida and also designated on the student's UF transcript.
About The Programs
Each certificate includes a total of 12 semester hours of required core courses and elective courses. In addition to the course requirements for the graduate certificate program, the student must pass a competency exam that is based on the core courses completed (and does not impact GPA).
See individual Certificate Program details and their core and elective requirements, including course syllabi and descriptions, below:
Certificate Program Course Requirements
- Biodegradation & Bioremediation
The courses included in this certificate program are intended to provide the student with a solid background in soil science, a fundamental understanding of basic processes controlling the fate of pollutants in soils, and the theoretical basis for remediation of contaminated lands.
Core Courses Required Credits ODD FALL EVEN SPRING EVEN FALL ODD SPRING SWS 5050 Soils for Environmental Professionals 3 web web web web SWS 6262 Soil Contamination and Remediation 3 web web SWS 6366 Biodegradation & Bioremediation 3 web web Elective Courses - Choose One Credits ODD FALL EVEN SPRING EVEN FALL ODD SPRING SWS 5305C Soil Microbial Ecology 3 web web SWS 5605C Environmental Soil Physics 3 web web
- Soil Ecosystem Services
The functions performed by ecosystems that ensure natural cycles (e.g. water, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen), processes and energy flows continue to provide an environment that supports life, including human life. Learn about valuation of services provided by soils and ecosystems from local to global scales and sustainable land resource management. This certificate program integrates the assessment of biogeochemical properties across complex soil-landscapes as well as socio-economic and cultural values.
Core Courses Required - Choose Two Credits ODD FALL EVEN SPRING EVEN FALL ODD SPRING SWS 5050 Soils for Environmental Professionals 3 web web web web SWS 5234 Environmental Soil, Water, and Land Use 3 web web SWS 6932 Forest & Soil Ecosystem Services 3 web web Elective Courses - Choose Two Credits ODD FALL EVEN SPRING EVEN FALL ODD SPRING SWS 5305C Soil Microbial Ecology 3 web web SWS 5721C GIS in Land Resource Management 3 web web SWS 6134 Soil Quality 3 web SWS 6262 Soil Contamination & Remediation 3 web web
- Sustainable Agroecosystems
The courses included in this certificate program are intended to provide the student with a diverse, interdisciplinary background that emphasizes sustainability, resource management, valuation of ecosystem services, system productivity, and profitability.
Core Courses Required Credits ODD FALL EVEN SPRING EVEN FALL ODD SPRING ALS 5155 Global Agroecosystems 3 web web AGR 5444 Ecophysiology of Crop Production 3 web web SWS 5050 Soils for Environmental Professionals 3 web web web web Elective Courses - Choose One Credits ODD FALL EVEN SPRING EVEN FALL ODD SPRING AGR 5511 Crop Ecology 3 web web AGR 6422C Environmental Crop Nutrition 3 web web PLS 5632C Integrated Weed Management 3 web web SWS 5208 Sustainable Agricultural & Urban Land Management 3 web web SWS 5246 Water Resource Sustainability 3 web
- Sustainable Land Resource & Nutrient Management
Soils perform various functions including (i) food and biomass production, (ii) environmental interaction (storage, filtering and transformation of nutrients and contaminants), (iii) serve as biological habitat, and more. To manage this critical zone minimizing adverse impacts on the environment while optimizing production and services requires knowledge of sustainable land resource and nutrient management.
Core Courses Required Credits ODD FALL EVEN SPRING EVEN FALL ODD SPRING SWS 5050 Soils for Environmental Professionals 3 web web web web SWS 5234 Environmental Soil, Water, & Land Use 3 web web Elective Courses - Choose Two Credits ODD FALL EVEN SPRING EVEN FALL ODD SPRING SWS 5115 Environmental Nutrient Management 3 web SWS 5208 Sustainable Agricultural & Urban Land Management 3 web web SWS 5551 Soils, Water & Public Health 3 summer summer summer summer SWS 5605C Environmental Soil Physics 3 web web SWS 5716C Environmental Pedology 4 web web SWS 6134 Soil Quality 3 web
- Wetland & Water Resource Management
Water is critical to sustain life, agricultural production and preservation of natural ecosystems such as wetlands. Understanding the hydrologic cycle, soil-water interactions, and how anthropogenic activities influence water balance and quality is essential for sustainable water resource management. Wetland management generally involves activities that can be conducted within, and around wetlands, both natural and man-made (constructed), to protect, restore, manipulate, or provide for their functions and values. To reduce wetland losses, improve and preserve soil and water quality of wetlands requires knowledge on wetland biogeochemistry. Assessment of ecological indicators is critical to optimize management of wetland ecosystems.
Core Courses Required - Choose Two Credits ODD FALL EVEN SPRING EVEN FALL ODD SPRING SWS 5050 Soils for Environmental Professionals 3 web web web web SWS 5246 Water Resource Sustainability 3 web SWS 5248 Wetlands & Water Quality 3 web web Elective Courses - Choose Two - Three (6 Credits Required) Credits ODD FALL EVEN SPRING EVEN FALL ODD SPRING SWS 5247 Hydric Soils 2 web web SWS 5247 Hydric Soils 2 Also Offered Summer A/B Break Week *on campus* SWS 5716C Environmental Pedology 4 web web SWS 6134 Soil Quality 3 web SWS 6448 Biogeochemistry of Wetlands and Aquatic Systems 3 web web SWS 6932 Wetlands & Watershed Seminars 1 web web web web
Applicants must have earned a Bachelor’s degree. Students wishing to enroll in one of these graduate certificate programs should have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in soil and water science or an equivalent degree in an allied field such as geology, natural resources, biology, ecology, hydrology, microbiology, environmental science, horticultural science, environmental engineering, agricultural engineering or agronomy. If your bachelor's degree is not in soil and water science or you don't have an equivalent degree in an allied field, you will generally have to complete pre-requisite courses at a local institution before applying for admission to the graduate certificate program. It is not necessary to be admitted to the Graduate School to earn a certificate, but students who later enroll in a graduate program may petition to transfer up to 15 UF graduate-level credit hours (grade B or better) to their graduate degree program. To qualify for a certificate, students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better for the entire program. A grade of C in one course only will be accepted, providing the overall 3.0 average is maintained. No grade below C will be accepted.
Tuition & Fees: Fall 2016 - Summer 2017*
$565.00 Per Credit Hour For Graduate Courses (Course Level 5000 - 9999) - Fall 2016-Summer 2017 Distance Education Tuition and Fees *Click on the link for a breakdown of the tuition and fees charged per credit hour. Please Note That Tuition Is Subject To Increase - Reviewed in Late June/Early July For The Upcoming Fall Semester*
Important Note: Enrollment is restricted to one graduate certificate program offered in the Soil and Water Sciences Department. Requests for enrollment in more than one graduate certificate program offered in the Soil and Water Sciences Department will not be approved.
Apply (At Least 1 Month Before Semester Begins)
Submit the online application and pay the $30 application fee for the graduate certificate program you are interested in joining, at least one month prior to the semester beginning. Be sure to also upload an unofficial transcript showing awarding of a Bachelor's degree, which is part of the online application process. You are required to send an official transcript to the UF Office of Graduate Admissions as soon as possible after applying:
UF Office of Graduate Admissions
201 Criser Hall
P.O. Box 114000
Gainesville, FL 32611-4000
You will not be merged into the Registrar's system and set up with a registration appointment until the official transcript has been received.
Prerequisites and Computer Requirements
Prior to enrolling in any course, the student must ensure that either the prerequisites for the course, if any, have been met, or he or she must obtain approval from course instructor to waive the requirement. Students must have a PC with access to the internet and a UF Gatorlink account. High-speed connections to the internet are a prerequisite.
Request Graduate Certificate & Designation Of Completion of Graduate Certificate on UF Transcript
At the beginning of the semester in which you are taking your last course or courses in the graduate certificate program, please visit ONE.UF and apply for graduate certificate.
For assistance or questions with the application process, registration process, etc, please contact the Academic Program Specialist, Michael Sisk or call (352) 294.3152.