Undergraduate Education

The Department of Geology (GEOL) and Geological Engineering (GEOE) is a vibrant community of faculty, staff and students.  At the South Dakota School of Mines, our undergraduate students have many opportunities for local to international field trips, research and design experiences, and internships or co-ops. We also have a several active student organizations that offer field trips and other educational, service and social events. Scholarship support is available and selection criteria include academic performance and/or financial need.

Undergraduate degrees include two BS (bachelor of science) degrees:

  • Geology BS
    In the geology BS students may choose electives from among five focus areas: environmental geology, geospatial technology, mineral resources, paleontology, and petroleum geology.
  • Geological Engineering BS
    The BS in geological engineering  includes training and practice in the areas of ground water, environmental site planning and natural hazards, geomechanic and geotechnics, and mineral and petroleum resources. The geological engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

An education in geology or geological engineering leads to a wide variety of career options. Find out more about potential careers.

Minors and Certificates

Minor in geology:  Majors from other science and engineering disciplines may pursue a minor in geology by completing eighteen (18) credit hours of geology courses and electives.

Minor in geospatial technology:  Geospatial technology is a rapidly expanding field that covers the management and analysis of spatial data from many sources, such as satellites, airborne remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), surveying, and more. This field has many applications in the sciences, engineering, business, planning, and transportation. A minor in geospatial technology requires completion of eighteen (18) credit hours of selected courses in geology, geological engineering, civil engineering, mining engineering, mathematics, and programming.

Minor in petroleum systems: The petroleum industry employs a wide variety of engineers and scientists and this interdisciplinary minor is available to any student on campus interested in expanding their portfolio of coursework to include additional content relevant to the energy sector. Science and engineering majors may pursue a Minor in Petroleum Systems by completing eighteen (18) credit hours of courses. A minimum of six credits must be for courses outside of those that are required or elective in their major.  More information.

Certificate in geospatial technology: Geospatial technology is a career field that measures, visualizes, and analyzes features on the earth’s surface. It forms an integral part of government services and industries, including natural resources management, environmental protection, architecture, urban planning, insurance, retail, marketing, agriculture, forestry, mining, petroleum, water resources, transportation, utilities, and more. It is an actively growing field with high demand for trained workers and requires good computer skills. This certificate program is designed to enhance an individual’s existing work or academic training by building specific geospatial competencies required in the workplace. The ideal career preparation is to combine this certificate with a degree or work experience in one of the fields listed above. The certificate consists of four required core courses. Students who have not yet achieved a bachelor’s degree will take the undergraduate (400 level) courses; students holding a bachelor’s degree may enroll in the graduate (500 level) courses.  Download application.

Undergraduate Major and Minor Course Requirements

Find forms and checklists for undergraduate programs here.