High quality online education that prepares you to solve soil-related issues for land conservation and environmental sustainability

Degree requirement: Bachelor’s degree required
Semester: Spring, fall
Program length: 3 university courses
Format: Online
Estimated Cost: $6,534-$7,260
More detailed information below.

The Soil Science and Conservation Professional Development Certificate is designed to prepare students for careers in land and natural areas management, environmental consulting, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Students examining soil with their professor


  • Complete at least nine credit hours
  • Take courses for academic credit and earn a "B" or better for all courses
  • Please see the list below for specific course requirements for each certificate specialization

Coursework cannot be used to qualify for multiple certificates but can count towards an Online Master's Degree.

Course Requirements

  • Complete NRES 474 Soil and Water Conservation (3 Hours)
  • Complete two approved graduate-level courses. Approved graduate-level courses that meet this requirement are:
    • NRES 438 Soil Nutrient Cycling (3 Hours)
    • NRES 488 Soil Fertility and Fertilizers (3 Hours)
    • NRES 586 Soil Organic Matter (4 Hours)
    • Other courses as approved by the certificate advisor.
  • For students wishing to complete both the soil and water certificates, NRES 474  will count for the specific required course for both certificates, but students will only earn the second certificate by completing a third course from the list of approved graduate-level courses.

Availability of Courses

The courses listed in these certificate requirements are all available online to non-degree-seeking students. Click here for the most up-to-date information about when each NRES course will next be available online.


Estimated tuition and fees for the Professional Development Certificate depend on the number of courses and hours taken. See Illinois Online for tuition and fee information.

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Register and Enroll

Get started today!

Once you are ready to commit to the certificate program, apply online. Please note that you are applying for admission to the certificate program.


Obtaining your Certificate

Upon successful completion of certificate requirements, complete this form

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