The Department offers graduate programs leading to MS and PhD degrees.

Soil Science Department has major programs in physical chemical and biological aspects of soil management

Faculty: Dr. A. J. M. Sirajul Karim, Professor;  Dr.  A.R.M.  Solaiman, Professor;  Dr.  G.K.M.  Mustafizur Rahman,   Professor;   Dr.   Md.   Shafiqul Islam, Professor; Dr. Md. Younus Miah, Associate Professor Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman, Associate Professor; Mohammed Zia Uddin Kamal, Assistant Professor  and Mohammad Saiful Alam, Assistant Professor (Study Leave)

Adjunct faculty: Mr. Sirajul Islam, Former CSO, SRDI; Dr. G.M. Panaullah, Former Director (Res.) BRRI; Dr. M. Jahiruddin, Professor, Dept. of Soil Science, BAU; Dr. M. Muzibur Rahman, Professor, Dept. of Soil Science, BAU; Dr. A.T.M. Farid, Former Director (SS), BARI; Dr. A.Z.M.Muslehuddin, Professor, Dept. of Soil Science, BAU; Dr. M.A. Saleque, PSO, BRRI.

Research Supervisor: Dr. M.S. Islam, Former D.G., BARI; Dr. M. Jahiruddin, Professor, Dept. of Soil Science, BAU; Dr. Md. Abul Hashem, Professor, Dept. of Soil Science, BAU; Dr. Md. Mazibur Rahman, Professor, Dept. of Soil Science, BAU; Dr. Md. Rafiqul Islam, Professor, Dept. of Soil Science, BAU; Dr. Abu Zofar Md. Moslehuddin, Professor, Dept. of Soil Science, BAU; Dr. Akhter Hossain Chowdhury, Professor, Dept. of Agril. Chem., BAU; Dr. Alok Kumar Paul, Professor,  Dept.  of  Soil  Science,  SAU; Dr. G.M. Panaullah, Former Director (Res.),  BRRI;  Dr.  Mukhlesur  Rahman,

CSO,  SSD,  BARI,  Dr.  Shamsun  Noor, CSO & Head, Soil Science Div., BARI; Dr. S.A. Mallik, PSO, Soil Science Div., BARI; Mr. Khandaker Majidul Hossain, PSO, Soil Science Div., BARI; Dr. Delowara  Khanam,  PSO,  Soil  Science Div., BARI: Dr. M.A. Saleque, PSO, Soil Science Div., BRRI; Pronesh Kumer Saha, SSC, BARI;


SSC 501 Soil Chemistry (3 cr): Concept of soil, pedological and edaphological approach. Composition of soil-four components of soil, their composition, soil minerals as sources of plant nutrient elements. Soil reaction- importance of soil reaction on availability of plant nutrients and crop growth, soil solution, soil air composition.   Soil organic matter-sources of soil organic matter, composition and important physio-chemical properties of clay humus complex. Ion exchange- cation and anion exchange in soils, mechanism of cation exchange, mass action equation for cation and anion exchange, adsorption of anions by soil colloids, phosphate fixation, importance of ion exchange in soil. Trace elements and their toxicities in problem soils.

SSC 512 Soil Physics (3 cr): Mechanical composition  of  soil-  soil  as  a  disperse three-phase system, volume-mass relationships. Review of basic soil physical properties and their significance in agriculture. Soil water- measurement. Saturated  and  unsaturated  flow  of  water and their measurement, soil water infiltration, its definition, significance, factors  affecting  it,  mathematical expression of soil water infiltration. Soil water  potentials-  definition,  methods  of expression,   importance,   components   of total soil water potential, measurement of capillary  potential.  Evapotranspiration (ET)- factors affecting ET, methods of measurement, application of ET values in irrigation  scheduling  of  upland  and wetland crops. Soil temperature- importance, factors affecting it, thermal properties of soil, heat capacity, thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity, heat flow equation, methods of measuring soil temperature. Soil aeration- plant requirement of soil air, renewal of soil air. Sources and quality of irrigation water- Major and minor ions present in irrigation water, effects of irrigation water on soil & crops, classification of crops on the basis of salt tolerance. Tillage and water conservation- soil and moisture management with minimum tillage.

SSC 514 Soil-Plant Analysis (3 cr): Practical oriented course which includes determination   of   soil   moisture,   bulk density, particle density, soil texture, infiltration of water, soil strength,   deter- mination of soil pH in H20 and KCl, total nitrogen in soil and plant, total and available phosphorus in soil and plant, exchangeable cations in soil, total carbon in soil and plant, chlorophyll, ß-carotene, organic acids, sugar analysis of plant, nitrate reductase activity in plant parts, soil moisture content, bulk density, particle density,  and  three  phase  distribution  of soil, preparation and sterilization of microbial media, sub culturing of bacteria in YMB and YMA media. Isolation of Rhizobium from root nodules, cultivation of Rhizobium Strains, preparation of Rhizobium inoculants, enumeration of Rhizobium strains, methods of inoculation of seed and field experimentation.

SSC 523 Soil Microbiology (3 cr): Plant- microbe, plant-atmosphere system, interrelations between plant roots and microorganisms, environmental factors and plant-microorganism system,  rhizosphere, biochemical transformation of nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon and sulfur in soil, biological nitrogen fixation, decomposition of soil organic matter, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhiza and its importance, biofertilizers, effect of pesticides on soil microbes and their breakdown in soil by microorganisms.

SSC   538   Soil   Fertility   (3   cr):   Soil fertility-past & present: a historical perspective,  soil  science  &  soil  fertility, soil fertility and productivity, organic matter- its role on soil fertility, plant nutrients- their sources, availability and nutritional disorders in plants, N-fertility of soil & fertilizer nitrogen, P-fertility of soil

& fertilizer phosphorus, K-fertility of soil

& fertilizer potassium, S-fertility of soil &

fertilizer sulphur, micronutrient nutrition and   fertilizers   Zn-fertility   of   soil   & fertilizer zinc, fertilizers & fertilizer need assessment,  integrated  nutrient management with organic, inorganic and biofertilizers, irrigated  agriculture and soil fertilizer, soil fertility evaluation and interpretation, concept on the fertilizer recommendation, fertility computation.

investigations, post field activities,
interpretation of soil survey


SSC 545 Soil Survey and Classification (3 cr): Definition of soil survey, an intro- duction to different kinds of soil survey, a brief on the activities of SRDI, methods of soil survey- prefield activities, actual field data/information  for  research,  extension and planning purpose, with particular reference to agricultural development, soil classification- definition and historical development of soil classification, modern soil classification systems with special emphasis on USDA soil taxonomy, importance of soil classification in agricultural research and development.

SSC 556 Soil and Water Conservation (3 cr):   Soil   management,   its   scope   and objects, soil fertility, productivity, and soil degradation. Soil erosion; process and mechanics of water and wind erosion, methods of quantifying the impact of erosion, USLE; its application in Bangladesh. Concepts of soil conservation and  sustainable  agriculture,  processes  of soil conservation, agroforestry and nutrient recycling. Control of soil erosion and soil conservation.  Watershed- definition,  cha- racteristics, importance and management. Problems of implementing soil conserva- tion programme with emphasis in Bangladesh. Land capability classification and land use systems.

SSC 567 Soil Clay Mineralogy (3 cr): Definition and structural units of soil clay minerals. Classification of silicate structures. Nomenclature and classification of clay minerals. Crystal chemistry of silicates- bonds, ionic radii, radius ratios, coordination number, isomorphous substitution.  Uses  of  clays-  CEC, plasticity,  shrinkage,  cohesion  and swelling. Charge development- permanent and pH dependent charges. Properties of individual clay minerals- mica, kaolinite, vermiculite, smectite, chlorites and inter- stratified minerals. Accessory minerals. Identification of clay minerals.

SSC 575 Isotopes in Soil-Plant-Water Relations (3 cr): Background information on isotopes and radiation. Use of isotopes

in soil chemistry, soil physics, soil fertility and fertilizer usage, soil microbiology, ion uptake and translocation studies.

SSC 596 Reading and Conference (Credit  to  be  arranged  but  not  more than 3 cr): Special/direct study assigned by the Major Professor on the recommen- dation of the Advisory Committee and/or interest of the student.

SSC 597 Special Problems (Credit to be arranged but not more than 3 cr): Investigation of special problems in soil science not related to a thesis problem. The investigation may consist of original research and/or literature survey.

SSC 598 Seminar (1 cr): Discussion of an assigned topic in the field of Soil Science.

SSC 599 Thesis research (Credit to be arranged but not less than 12 cr): Ori- ginal thesis research.

SSC  601  Advanced  Soil  Chemistry  (3 cr): Water and solute- hydration number, heats and entropies of ion hydration. Activity and activity coefficients of ions, ionic strength. Surface reaction in soil colloids- adsorption of cations and anions, selectivity in ion adsorption, selectivity diagram,  diffuse  double  layer  models  of ion adsorption, specific adsorption of cations and anions. Thermodynamic ap- proach to describe ion adsorption- major types of equations used to illustrate adsorption isotherms including the Langmuir, the Freundlich, the BET (Brunauer, Emmitt and Teller), and the Gibbs equations. General concept of ion exchange in soils, application of Donnan equilibrium in ion exchange phenomena, effect of dilution, exchange capacity and valence on cation exchange with special reference  to  implication  regarding  plant nutrients in soil. Quantitative aspects of phosphorous fixation in soils by Fe & Al and Ca & Mg from consideration of solubility product relationships. Soil reaction- monomeric and polymeric hydroxyaluminium complexes in soils, aluminum hydrolysis and its consequences on soil reaction. Chemistry of waterlogged soils- basic chemical alterations in permanently and seasonally wet soils. Metal-Organic complexes in soils- crystal field,  ligand  field  theory,  chelation reaction.  Micronutrient  solubility- influence of pH and Eh, coprecipitation (Pre-requisite SSC 501 & SSC 567).

SSC 602 Soils of Bangladesh (3 cr): Soil genesis- geology, geomorphology, and physiography; Soil forming processes- reduction, ferrolysis, decalcification, gleyans, mottling, lime nodules, and peat; Soil classification- general soil types, correlation of general soil types in the US Soil Taxonomy, soil series, correlation of soil series into soil families; Agro ecological zones- concept and short description of important AEZs, Land suitability classification; Soil related problems- acidity, salinity, nutrient mining, organic matter depletion, and heavy metal pollution.

SSC 606 Pedology (3 cr.): Pedology as a scientific discipline. Concept of soil as a dynamic system. Concepts about soil for- mation and soil profile. Master and diag- nostic horizons in soils-their formation and properties. Factors of soil formation. Detailed study of the roles of climate, organisms, relief, parent materials and time in soil formation. Pedogenic processes. Study of eluviation, illuviation, podzolization, laterization, calcification, melanization,          argilluviation etc.

Weathering and mineral stability. Pedons and catenas. Geographical distribution of major soils in the world. Zonality concept of soils- zonal, intrazonal and azonal soils. Study of hydromorphic and calcimorphic soils. Lithosols regosoils and alluvial soils. Saline and alkali soils. Sources of salts in soils.  Reclamation  of  saline  and  alkali soils. Study of the US Soil Taxonomy. Detailed study of the orders of Soil Taxonomy. Major soil grouping of the FAO-UNESCO   legend.   Soils   of   the tropics- their properties, problems and potentials.

SSC 612 Advanced Soil Physics (3 cr): Soil water tension- metric suction, solute suction and total suction, soil water reten- tion characteristics, hysteresis. Flow of water in unsaturated soil- flow equations for unsaturated soils, measurement of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. Profile moisture distribution during infiltration. Drainage- drainage problems, drainage principles,  flow  in  unconfined  and confined aquifers. Process of soil drying- evaporation  from  soil  surface  and  free water surface, evaporation of water from soil in  absence and  presence  of shallow water table, methods of estimating evaporation from soil. Soil gases and their exchange-  composition  and  their properties, renewal and movement of gases in soil, mass flow and diffusion flow. Sources of soil heat, soil temperature, diurnal and annual changes, heat transfer in soil, temperature measurement under field conditions,  modification  of  soil temperature  regime  (Pre-requisite  SSC 512).

SSC 623 Advanced Soil Microbiology (3 cr): Historical background and achievements  in  microbiology  including contributions of Nobel prize winners. Microbial communities, interaction among species, succession and development. Microbiology of rhizosphere, its biology and impact on crop productivity. Microbial diversity   in   soil   and   soil   microbial biomass, soil enzymes and its role on soil fertility. Metabolic diversity of aerobic heterotrophs including Embden-Myerhoff- Parnas (EMP), Enter-Doudoroff and Pentose-phosphate pathways. Chemolithotrophic and Photo-lithotrophic metabolisms. Bacterial fermentation including alcohol, lactate, butyrate and propionate fermentation. Toxic subs-tances and  pesticides  in  soil  environment pollution, biodegradation of environmental pollutants  including  organic  wastes. Recent advances in biological fixation of molecular nitrogen including its ‘in situ’ determination with 15N isotope. Growth hormone and antibiotic production by microorganisms. Essential aspects of biofertilizer technology and its effective utilization in Bangladesh agriculture. Impact  of  molecular  biology,  microbial

genetics and genetic engineering in agriculture (Pre-requisite SSC 523).

SSC 625 Fertilizer Chemistry (3 cr): Manufacturing process of different fertilizers-  urea,  TSP,  SSP,  and  DAP; Types and composition of potash ores; Secondary and micronutrient fertilizers; Mixed, compound, liquid, and slow release fertilizers; Compatibility of fertilizers; Fertilizer regulations and quality control; Heavy metal contaminants of fertilizers; Fertilizer reactions in soil and release of nutrients for plant uptake.

SSC 635 Land Reclamation and Im- provement (2 cr): Problem Technique of Land Reclamation-Definition and scope of land reclamation. The elements of physical planning and development problems. Land reclamation as a part of land use planning and environmental management. Bunds, Levees, Dykes and embankments. Land reclamation of saline calcareous and noncalcareous soils and alkaline soils – Nature of salt problems and their peculiarities. Dynamics of salts in the soils. Salts and water balances. Leaching requirements for the reclamation of saline soils. Miscible displacement, leaching theories and modeling’s. Soil-water behaviour of alkali soils. Physical, biological, chemical, hydrotechnical, electrical and their combined methods for reclamation of saline and alkali soils. Land reclamation of acid soils- acidification, ferrallitization. Acid basin clays (Eutric gleysols), acid sulphate soils (Thionic gleysols)  and  red  ferrallitic  acids  soils. Land improvement by regulating soil and water management- Effect of long term operations of irrigation and drainage on water and salt dynamics. Land drainage in relation to soils and crops. Rain water management  for  leaching.  Drainage  of tidal marsh, coastal plains and swamp land. Coastal soils of Bangladesh and their reclamation and management – Saline mangrove tidal floodplain ecosystem. Bunds, embankments, leaching-drainage operation. Biological and cultural management practices.

SSC 638 Advanced Soil Fertility (3 cr): Soil fertility and crop production, global warning  and  carbon  sequestration, nutrients and crop growth, nutrient supplying power of soils. Fertility of flooded soils. Nutrient cycling; nutrient transformation and mobilization in the rhizosphere nutrient balance in soil-plant systems. Soil fertility evaluation and interpretation; correlation of soil test with fertilizer response, critical levels of soil nutrients, Fertilizer assessment model, fer- tilizer response model. Soil fertility man- agement for MY and MEY. Fertilizer and environment. (Pre-requisite SSC 538).

SSC 640 Soil Biochemistry (3 cr): De- scription of soil biochemistry and kinds of organic substances    in soil. Organic nitrogen compounds-amino acids, aminosugars, purines and pyrimidines. Nucleic   acids   and   their   derivatives   , inositol phosphates, phospholipids. Soil carbohydates- classification, isolation, composition, transformation and decomposition. Energy relationships in soil biochemistry- Photosynthesis, respiration, fermentative and chemoau-totrophic reactions. Organic acids in soil-Production in biological systems, distribution in soil and pedogenic action. Lignin and humic acids-Microbial   degradation   of   lignin, fulvic acid, humin, humic acid and decom- position of humic material. Biochemistry of herbicide decomposition- Phenoxyalkanoic acids, Phenylureas, S- triazines. Enzymes in soil- oxidoreductase, transferase, hydrolase, lyase. Origin and state of soil enzymes. Biochemical solubilization of inorganic compounds in soil.

SSC 642 Environment and Soil Pollu- tion (3 cr): Environmental Chemistry-Its concept and scope. Nomenclature. Envi- ronmental Segments-atmosphere, hydro- sphere, lithosphere and biosphere. Struc- tures and functions of environmental segments.   Atmospheric   environment   – Composition, evolution, chemical and photochemical reactions. Hydrosphere, litho-sphere and biosphere inter- relationship. Water resources composition of lithosphere and soil.  Oxygen and ozone nitrogen and nitrogen oxides. Greenhouse effect. Dynamics of environmental pollution. Soil pollution – Concept identification causes and remediation of pollution problems: fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals, acid rain, radioactive materials and industrial effluents. Pollution of Bangladesh soils and its miligation. Environment and sustainable development- land use, land degradation, deforestation, and urbanization.

SSC 696 Reading and Conference (Credit  to  be  arranged  but  not  more than 3 cr): Special/direct study assigned by the Major professor on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee and/or interest of the student.

SSC 697 Special Problems (Credit to be arranged but not more than 3 cr): Investigation of special problems in Soil Science not related to a dissertation prob- lem. The investigations may consist of original research and/or literature survey.

SSC 698 Seminar (2 cr. not more than 1 cr per Term): Discussion on an assigned topic in Soil Science.

SSC 699 Dissertation Research (Credit to be arranged but not less than 30 cr): Original dissertation research.

Note:     Students  having  CGPA  below  3.00 will not be allowed to enroll SSC 596, SSC

597, SSC 696 or SSC 697 until he/she raised the CGPA to 3.00 or above.

Table 21. Minimum Course and Research Requirement for MS Degree1

A. Major Courses Credit Minor Courses Credit
1a. Core 12 2a. Core 9
SSC 501 Soil Chemistry 3 AGR 507 Principles and Practices of Irrigatio 3
SSC 512 Soil Physics 3 CBT 531 Plant Nutrition-I 3
SSC 523 Soil Microbiology 3 STT 510  Design of Experiments 3
SSC 538 Soil Fertility 3    
1b. Elective   6 2b. Elective 3
SSC 514 Soil- Plant Analysis 3 AGR 501 Principles of Crop Production 3
SSC 545 Soil Survey & Classification 3 AGR 505 Crop Physiology 3
SSC 556 Soil & Water


3 CBT 503 Plant Physiology I 3
SSC 567 Soil Clay Mineralogy 3 CBT 541 Plant Biochemistry I 3
SSC 575 Isotopes in Soil-

Plant-Water Relation

3 STT 501 Methods of Statistics 3
        Other Courses2  
B. Seminar   1      
SSC 598 Seminar 1      
SSC 599 Thesis Research  




  1. C. Thesis Research 12


1Degree requirements may be changed on the recommendation of the Board of Studies and the

Advisory Committee

2Approved by the Advisory Committee

Table 22. Minimum Course and Research Requirement for PhD Degree1



  1. A. Major Courses  Credit     Minor Courses                                  Credit

1a. Core   15 2a. Core   9
SSC 514 Soil- Plant Analysis 3 CBT 531 Plant Nutrition-I 3
SSC 601 Advanced Soil Chemistry 3 STT 510 Design of Experiment 3
SSC 612 Advanced Soil Physics 3 HRT 541 Research Methodology 3
SSC 623 Advanced Soil Microbiology 3      
SSC 638 Advanced Soil Fertility 3      
1b. Elective   15 2b. Elective   6
SSC 501 Soil Chemistry 3 AGR 501 Principles of Crop


SSC 512 Soil Physics 3 AGR 505 Crop Physiology 3
SSC 523 Soil Microbiology 3 AGR 507 Principles and

Practices of Irrigation

SSC 538 Soil Fertility 3 AGR 615 Soil management and

Crop Production

SSC 545 Soil Survey & Classification 3 AGR 650 Soil-Plant-Water


SSC 556 Soil and Water Conservation 3 CBT 503 Plant Physiology I 3
SSC 567 Soil Clay Mineralogy 3 CBT 541 Plant Biochemistry I 3
SSC 575 Isotopes in Soil-Plant Water


SSC 602 Soils of Bangladesh 3      
SSC 606 Pedology 3   Other Courses2  
SSC 625 Fertilizer Chemistry 3      
SSC 635 Land Reclamation and Im- provement 2      
SSC 640 Soil Biochemistry 3      
SSC 642 Environment & Soil


B. Seminar   2      
SSC 698 Seminar 2      
C. Dissertation Research                               30
SSC 699 Dissertation Research              Variable
Total 77

1Degree requirements may be changed on the recommendation of the Board of Studies and the

Advisory Committee

2Approved by the Advisory Committee