Doctor of Philosophy in Soil Science


    The PhD in Soil Science aims to produce competent manpower capable of generating technologies, innovations, and management practices that enhance the productivity and sustainability of agricultural and natural systems, as well as integrate scientific knowledge into policy and practice. The graduate of the programme will have in-depth soil science knowledge and related sciences, and a research capacity that forms a significant contribution to specific aspects of food and nutrition security, human well-being, nature conservancy, and global peace. The programme equips the learners with the practical
    knowledge needed at the local to global soil science’s role in achieving sustainable development goals, especially SGD 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 13, and 15. The Program is designed to build on a basic understanding and practical management of soil resources in natural, agricultural, and urban ecosystems to ensure effective service delivery to local, state,
    national, and global interests.


    1. The degree programme shall consist of research by thesis. 

    2. The common regulations governing Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in the University of Nairobi shall apply. Accordingly the following rules will apply.
    3. The programme shall take a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years.

    • Holders of a Master of Science degree in agricultural related disciplines, Soil science, biological sciences, environmental sciences or in natural resource management or an equivalent qualification from an institution recognized by senate.

    • Holders of Masters degree in relevant social sciences recommended by the faculty board and approved by senate.

    Doctor of Philosophy degree in Soil Science is designed to prepare students for academic and non-academic careers in areas of soil and environmental sciences, and in food, feed, fiber, bioenergy, shelter, and aesthetic-space plant production.

       Year I    Year 2    Year 3   Total 
    TUITION                    432,000.00                  432,000.00                       432,000.00                1,296,000.00
    ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                        7,000.00                       7,000.00                           7,000.00                      21,000.00
    THESIS EXAMINATION                                     -                                      -                           50,000.00                      50,000.00
    REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                        4,500.00                       4,500.00                           4,500.00                      13,500.00
    ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                        1,000.00                       1,000.00                           1,000.00                        3,000.00
    CAUTION - (ONCE)                        5,000.00                                    -                                          -                          5,000.00
    MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                        6,500.00                       6,500.00                           6,500.00                      19,500.00
    ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                        2,000.00                       2,000.00                           2,000.00                        6,000.00
    LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                        5,000.00                       5,000.00                           5,000.00                      15,000.00
    STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                        1,000.00                       1,000.00                           1,000.00                        3,000.00
    EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)                                     -                                      -                                          -                                       -  
    Grand totals        464,000.00      459,000.00          509,000.00    1,432,000.00



    Philosophy, Rationale


    Sustainable food security is widely discussed as a means to meeting the food demands of the ever-increasing global human population, which is estimated - by year 2050 - to reach 9.8 billion. Tied to food security is the concept of soil security –
    “the ability for soil to sustain functions to provide planetary services and human wellbeing”. Guaranteeing soil security is touted as the sure pathway to enhanced food, fodder and fibre production and ensuring water quality while at the same time supporting human health, biodiversity and other ecosystem services. With the unprecedented pressure exerted on the soil resource, through practices such as agricultural intensification to meet global food, fibre and fodder demand and other materials obtained from the soil, and to forestall soil degradation; requires innovative and novel methods towards soil management. Highly trained and skilled manpower in the field of soil science is pivotal in developing better soil care and sustainable land-management.

    The basic soil science curriculum is designed in such a manner that it provides detailed instruction on soil properties, soil physical, chemical, and biological  processes that occur in soils, and soil classification among others. At an advanced level such a PhD the soil has to be understood in the context of soil-water-
    atmosphere-plant relationships and from an interdisciplinary perspective that focuses on soils as interactive, natural, and a core part of the earth’s terrestrial ecosystems.

    This course aims at producing highly trained and skilled manpower capable of providing innovative technological approaches in the management of the soil resource, conducting high notch research, consultancy and advisory services in the
    area of soil-water-plant-atmosphere nexus.

    The programme prepares students to address the problems of soil degradation; decreased land productivity; waste management, water management, drought, and climate change to meet the increasing food needs of an ever-expanding world population. The increase in global population and climate change has necessitated the proper use of soil, water, and atmospheric resources. There is a scarcity of scientists holding an advanced degree in Soil Science and this is evidenced by the lack of the same at the universities, county and national governments’ departments of agriculture; non-governmental organizations and private companies; consulting firms, and national and international research institutions among others.

    This underscores the need for graduates equipped with the knowledge and skills for sustainable management of the soil resource for enhanced food and nutrition security, and environmental health. The universities are central in contributing to the realization of the country’s development goals such as food security and agro-raw materials. Therefore there is a need for a responsive curriculum that will strengthen human capacity to meet the needs of the growing agricultural sector and the associated
    emerging trends.

    Mode of Delivery

    The programme shall be offered through face-to-face, blended learning and
    Open, Distance, and Electronic Learning (ODeL) modes of delivery.

    Contacts of support persons

    Prof. Charles Gachene


    Contact Chairman, LARMAT at:


    Notable Alumni  

    1. Prof.Isaiah Wakindiki-VC - Kenya College of Accountancy


    2. Prof. George Njomo Karuku- Associate Professor LARMAT

    3. Dr. Stephen Muhati Ichami-Agricultural Adviser to the Prime Minister-Ethiopia

    4. Prof. Geoffrey Kironchi-Professor & former Chairman LARMAT

    5. Dr Patrick T. Gicheru-Head, Kenya Soil Survey

      Centre Director, NARL

    6. Prof Florence Kanze Lenga-Head of Department; First Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, JKUAT;