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How to Become an Indiana Registered Soil Scientist

EXAMS - Applicants must pass two exams: a Soil Science Fundamentals Exam and the Indiana Soil and Field Skills Exam. Usually, a Fundamentals Exam and the Indiana Soils Exam can be taken on the same day.

Fundamentals Exam:

You can fulfill the requirements for the Soil Science Fundamentals Exam by passing either the Council of Soil Science Examiners (CSSE) Fundamentals Exam, administered by ARCPACS, or the IRSS Soil Science Fundamentals Exam. The passing grade for the IRSS exam is 70%. Performance objectives and a list of study materials for the IRSS Exam are available below:


Indiana Soil and Field Skills Exam:


The Indiana Soils and Field Skills Exam covers factors and processes of soil formation in Indiana; soil geography and soil morphology, including describing soil color, texture, structure, and consistency and estimating the percent of sand, silt and clay in soil samples, and related topics.  The passing grade for this exam is 70%. Performance objectives and a list of study materials for this exam are available below:


PAYMENT FOR EXAMS: You can pay for the IRSS exams in two ways:

  1. The regular three-year registration application fee includes the cost of administering both IRSS exams one time. If you must repeat an exam, the cost is $50 per exam. You must pass both exam within three years of the date of the application.

  2. You may take either or both IRSS exam(s) before you complete the rest of your application for a fee of $50 for each exam. The cost of the exam(s) will be deducted from your application fee when you complete the application.

Credit for passing an exam lasts five (5) years. Option 2 may be of interest to students who wish to take the exams while the information is still fresh in their minds, but who are not sure if they will work in Indiana.

EXAM SCHEDULE - The IRSS exams will be offered twice a year, usually in March and October.

Exams are held in Room 3-409 of Lilly Hall, 915 W. State Street, West Lafayette, Indiana, on the Purdue University campus. Allow two hours for each exam. You may take both that day.

If you wish to take one or both exams, send your request to the IRSS office with a check for $50 for each exam at least two weeks before the exam date. If you will take only one exam, be sure to specify which one. When paying by check, please make the check out to: "OISC" or "Office of Indiana State Chemist".

Please see the "Current Announcements" page for upcoming exam dates and other announcements.