Professional Soil Science

Get Licensed in Minnesota

Seeking initial licensure as a professional soil scientist?
Find below information on the education, examination, experience requirements, as well as application details and forms.

Already licensed in another state?
See the sidebar "Licensure by Comity (Reciprocal Licensure)."

For general application information relevant to all professions, see Get Licensed.


Initial Licensure

Education Overview

Applicants for the Fundamentals of Soil Science (FSS) Exam or the Principles of Soil Science (PSS) Exam must hold a bachelor's or higher degree in soil science or a bachelor's degree that includes a miniumum number of equivalent soil science credits. Applicants may apply to sit early (prior to graduation) for the FSS Exam under certain circumstances.

For details on the above, see the application for the particular exam (below) or MN Rule 1800.3910 Subparts 1-5.


Experience Overview

When you apply for the PSS Exam, you must provide evidence that you meet the qualifying experience requirements. Qualifying experience consists of varied, progressive, nonrepetitive, practical experience in soil science and must be verified by a licensed geologist or soil scientist or by a licensed professional engineer who has qualified education and experience in the soil science discipline. See MN Rule 1800.3910 Subp 6 for details.

How much experience you need depends upon the type of education you earned. See MN Rule 1800.3910 Subp. 3(B) for details. Use the Experience Reference form, which is part of the PSS Application Form packet to document your experience. You must customize and send a copy to every supervisor verifying your experience. The completed form must be sent by the supervisor directly to the Board.


Examination Overview

In most instances, applicants must first pass the FSS Exam and then the PSS to be considered for licensure. Both exams are developed by the Council of Soil Science Examiners (CSSE), a committee of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).

Examination Application Packets

These application packets provide a wealth of information regarding the application process, including links to Minnesota rules and statutes. We encourage you to thoroughly review the instructions and the forms.

Fundamentals of Soil Science (FSS) Exam Application
Practice of Soil Science (PSS) Exam Application


Exam Appli­cation Deadlines

The FSS and PSS exams are pencil-and-paper exams administered by the Board in St. Paul. You apply for a particular administration of the exam and must re-apply if you do not then sit for the exam.

FSS & PSS Exam DateBoard Appli­cation Dead­line
November 19, 2021CLOSED
April 8, 2022February 7, 2022

Once your application for an exam is approved, you will receive location, schedule, and other details by mail.


Examination Costs

Exam Board Appli­cation Fee Exam Fee Total Due With Appli­cation
FSS $25 $195$220*
PSS $75$195$270*

*You must submit both the application and exam fees for your exam at the time of application to an exam. If your application is denied or withdrawn, the Board will refund the exam portion of your fee.


Next Steps After the Exams

Need to Retake an Exam?

See the application form for the exam you need to retake for how to reapply.


After Passing the FSS Exam

The Board will officially notify you by mail once you pass the FSS Exam. If you have already provided the Board with an official (sealed, sent directly from the institution) copy of your final transcript(s), the Board will include your Soil Scientist-In-Training (SSIT) number with your notification. If you sat prior to graduation and so submitted an unofficial transcript with your FSS application, note that the Board will not issue a SSIT number until they receive the required transcript(s).

Once you have your SSIT number and the required experience, you can apply to sit for the PSS Exam.


After Passing the PSS

Once you pass the PSS exam, you will be instructed by mail how to apply for your license. The license fee is $120.

Note: You are not licensed and cannot practice or hold out as licensed until the Board processes your license.

Regardless of when obtained, your license expires June 30th of every even-numbered year.


Additional Resources

Stay Connected

Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design (AELSLAGID)
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