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Geology

What is a geologist?

Geologists discover natural resources, protect water quality and the environment, mitigate natural hazards, and explain how life evolved. They work in resource companies, consulting firms, museums, and labs.  At SD Mines, we offer an undergraduate (BS) degree in Geology, the only Masters Degree in the nation in Paleontology, and a PhD in Geology and Geological Engineering.

Mines uses the Museum of Geology's 500,000 specimens, the new Paleontology Research Laboratory, and the Black Hills and Badlands for training and field experiences. Equidistant from three of the largest energy basins in the US – Williston, Powder River, and Denver – Mines offers an unparalleled natural lab. Students also work at Sanford Lab and research earthquakes and eruptions in real time.

$62,979*

Average Starting Salary

  • Neset Consulting
  • Baker Hughes
  • Freeport McMoRan
  • Schlumberger
  • Coeur Mining
  • Badlands National Park
  • US Forest Service
  • Rare Element Resources
  • ExxonMobil
* Based on 9 offers, ranging from: $31,845 to $95,000.

Internships & Co-ops

76% of Mines students gain real-world experience through internships, co-ops, and research at an average salary of over $17 an hour at 200 employers in 30 states. Students have traveled to Nicaraguan volcanoes, coastal biomes in Florida and the Bahamas, Michigan mines, and a mile below the earth at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. They've worked with faculty who've discovered new dinosaurs and conducted fieldwork spanning continents, from Turkey to Death Valley.

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Global Experiences

The geology department runs one of the largest summer field camp stations in the United States with opportunities to study in the Black Hills, Denver Basin, Death Valley, Turkey, Nepal, Iceland, Hawaii, the Galapagos Islands, and India.

CAREERS

  • mineral exploration
  • petroleum exploration, production, and service
  • engineering consulting
  • water resource and environmental firms
  • paleontology resource management
  • museums
  • research labs
  • hazard investigation
  • geospatial technology

Additional career information can be found at these sites:


Among the Geology/Paleontology research facilities at SD Mines are the James E. Martin Paleontology Research Laboratory and the Museum of Geology:

PRL 360 Tour

Museum 360 Tour