Department of Geology and Geological Engineering

The Department of Geology (GEOL) and Geological Engineering (GEOE) is a diverse department representing both science and engineering disciplines. Graduate and undergraduate education are central to our mission, and our educational efforts are integrated with active faculty research programs in geology, geological engineering, and paleontology.

We offer two undergraduate degrees:

The department offers undergraduate minors in geology, geospatial technology and petroleum systems.

We also offer a certificate in Geospatial Technology (undergraduate or graduate), a graduate certificate in Petroleum Systems and an accelerated BS/MS Program for students in the BS programs in Geology or Geological Engineering who are entering the MS in Geology and Geological Engineering (Geology specialization), MS in Geology and Geological Engineering (Geological Engineering specialization), or MS in paleontology.

We offer three graduate degrees:

Faculty and student research is centered on three themes: Earth and Life History, Energy and Natural Resources, and Geohazards and Environment. Focus areas within these themes include energy resources; GIS, geoinformatics, and remote sensing; groundwater and environment; paleontology; petrology and mineral resources; structure, tectonics, and geodynamics; and geomechanics.

Why SD Mines is a great place to study geological engineering, geology and paleontology:

  • The diverse geology and paleontology of the Black Hills and adjacent Great Plains are a phenomenal natural classroom and laboratory. 
  • Companies respect our strong foundation in geology and engineering, and our focus on field experience and technical training. Graduates of our degree programs are strongly recruited and annual placement rates typically range from 90-100%.
  • We emphasize hands-on, field- and lab-based education and run one of the largest summer field camp stations in the United States, with opportunities for study in the Black Hills, Montana, Death Valley, Arizona, Hawaii, Turkey, Spain, Nepal, Iceland, the Bahamas, and the Andes and Galapagos Islands.
  • Graduate and undergraduate students can participate in research in affiliated laboratories including the Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake, the SD Mines Engineering Mining Experiment Station  and the SD Mines Museum of Geology.

Alvis Lisenbee Scholarship

Each year, the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering selects one recipient for the Alvis Lisenbee Scholarship.  The scholarship is roughly $10,000 annually, optionally renewable for a second year. 



Energy Resources Initiative

New academic and research programs at SD Mines answer the growing demand to advance knowledge and capabilities in the oil and gas industry, and prepare students to play important roles in energy innovation.