Faculty of Soil Science

MailMSU, Faculty of Soil Science, Russia, 119991, Moscow, GSP-1, 1-12 Leninskie Gory
Telephone+7 (495) 939-29-47
Fax+7 (495) 939-09-89

Dean: Prof. Sergey A. Shoba

The Faculty of Soil Science is a relatively new and an actively developing faculty at MSU and the largest of its kind in Russia. It trains soil scientists and ecologists studying soils and rational use of land resources and estimating impact on the environment. Nowadays such specialists are highly demanded in various spheres due to the developments in the national economy of Russia.

The Faculty is a leading institution in soil science and ecology. Our academic staff include 40 Doctor’s Degree holders (among them 25 full professors) and 115 Candidate’s Degree holders, doing considerable amount of research in the field and guiding students’ research work.

The education we offer is fundamental and comprehensive, which is its important advantage. Having acquired the basic knowledge in chemistry, mathematics, information theory, geology and other theoretical disciplines, our students undertake specialised disciplines, acquiring expertise in their special field of interest and related areas for their future research work or another professional job.

Soil science studies how soil is formed and how it functions and interacts with the biosphere and what role it plays in the development of natural and cultural landscapes. This science is closely connected with ecology, which studies complex links between different components of the environment and human impact on them. Due to this close connection between the two sciences, the Faculty trains specialists in both soil science and ecology.

The program in soil science is based on the following disciplines: soil science, soil physics, soil chemistry, soil biology, agro-chemistry, etc. A considerable time is devoted to special courses and research work resulting in course papers. An important role is given to the basics of computer science and mathematical modeling of natural and soil processes, students acquiring the necessary computer skills and mastering modern information technologies.

Soil science largely concentrates on assessment of land resources, which is especially important nowadays due to the changes in land use patters. Assessment of land resources involves evaluation of soil quality, its economic and ecological assessment and cost estimation. Thus, our graduates take part in the development of national land registration system.

Soil science lays the basis for rational land use, which requires knowledge of soil condition and economic and ecological estimation of land resources, including landscape characteristics and their aesthetic role. A developing branch of soil science is landscape design which creates landscapes with customised aesthetic and functional features. Besides, soil scientists work on solving pollution problems, introduce standards for environmental regulation of land and water resources and forests, study the greenhouse effect and changes in the biological variability.

Environmental problems caused by human impact on the environment are one of the potential threats to sustainable development both in Russia and abroad. That is why we train highly demanded specialists in ecology.

The programme in ecology includes theoretical and practical courses in general and applied ecology, the ecology of plants, animals and microorganisms, radiation ecology, toxicology, human ecology, ecological epidemiology, geo-urban planning, etc. A special importance is given to physical and chemical methods of studying the environment, the systems analysis of processes in the biosphere and the study of environmental management based on environmental expertise, audit, estimation of technogenic systems and ecological risks.

An ecologist should be able to apply modern techniques to environmental studies, forecasting and modeling various natural and anthropogenic processes. That is why our students have thorough training in geoinformatics, geoinformation systems and modelling, computer-based data processing, and remote probing.

We pay special attention to developing the abilities of systems thinking in our students, to ensure their comprehensive approach to the human-environment interaction and the impact of natural and technogenic factors on human health.

Our students can specialize in environmental expertise, environmental management and audit, environmental chemical and biological control, human ecology and ecological safety.

Our graduates are able to solve a range of problems: make a qualified assessment of various factors that affect the environment, evaluate social and economic activity on various territories, make ecological impact estimation for various projects, plan standard measures for environmental protection and rational environmental management, ensure environmental safety in various spheres of human activity, carry out control and audit of the environment, create and implement environmental management systems for industrial enterprises, various organisations, administrative and municipal bodies.

Our graduates work in various institutions of the Russian Academy of Sciences, institutions of higher education, ecological services of municipal and governmental bodies, business companies, audit, insurance and marketing companies.

Our curriculum includes students’ field placements at the experimental centre of Chashnikovo in the Solnechnogorsk District of the Moscow Region, as well as field work to study the zonal soil and flora of the main natural areas of Russia.

The Faculty of Soil Science offers undergraduate 4-year Bachelor’s Degree programmes, 5-year Specialist’s Degree programs, as well as 2-year Master’s Degree program for Bachelor’s or Specialist’s degree holders.

Students are to pay tuition fees to enrol in two programmes: "Assessment and Management of Soil Resources" and "Soil and Landscape Design".