During the last decade several researchers and practitioners have stressed the importance and the need of adopting unsaturated soil mechanics in the analysis of problems associated with swelling clays and other problematic unsaturated soils. To accomplish this goal, the determination of the soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) becomes essential. However, practitioners perceive the SWCC determination as a time consuming and expensive laboratory process. This fact has lead to a slow implementation of unsaturated soil mechanics into geotechnical engineering practice. In an effort to encourage practitioners to employ unsaturated soil mechanics, a study was performed to determine the SWCC based on soil index properties and one measurement of matric suction. In this study, the matric suction of approximately 82 field soil samples was determined using either suction plate or suction membrane devices. It was determined that the proposed procedure provides acceptably reliable approximation of the SWCC. Copyright ASCE 2006.