Geology and Geological Engineering MS

Contact Information

Dr. Laurie Anderson, Department Head 
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
Mineral Industries 303
(605) 394-2461

Geological Engineering Faculty

Professor Stetler; Associate Professors Katzenstein and Li; Professors Emeritus Davis, Rahn, Roggenthen, and Sawyer.

Geology and Paleontology Faculty

Professors L. Anderson, Duke, Masterlark, Price, and Uzunlar; Associate Professors Pagnac and Ustunisik; Assistant Professors Keenan, Waldien, and Ward; Instructor Karnes; Professors Emeritus Bjork, J. Fox, Martin, and Paterson.

Adjunct Faculty

M. Anderson, Benton, and Valder.


Research Scientist Nielsen; Coordinator and Instructor Pellowski; Museum of Geology Associate Director and Instructor N. Fox; Museum Preparator and Instructor Johnson.

Geology and Geological Engineering

The Department of Geology and Geological Engineering offers advanced study leading to a M.S. degree in Geology and Geological Engineering*. Students elect to pursue either a Geology or a Geological Engineering emphasis, each of which has different background and program requirements. Both thesis and non-thesis (coursework) tracks are available.

* Students concentrating in paleontology at the Master’s level may apply for the separate M.S. in Paleontology. 

The Accelerated MS option is available for this degree. Learn more: Accelerated MS programs

Research Areas

The available coursework and current faculty expertise in Geology and Geological Engineering support the following areas of concentration.

  1. Energy and Mineral Resources
  2. Geomechanics
  3. Geophysics
  4. Groundwater and Environment
  5. Paleontology
  6. Petrology and Mineralogy
  7. Structure and Tectonics

Additional information is available on the Department’s Research and the Research Facilities pages.

    Graduate Programs Outcomes

    Department-wide expectations for Geology and Geological Engineering graduate programs are designed to target the following program outcomes in the context of the GGE Strategic Plan and greater professional community:

    • Students will have technical expertise.
    • Students will be effective communicators.
    • Students will engage in meaningful professional service.
    • Students will impact the profession.

    Applying for the thesis-based MS track

    We strongly encourage students to the thesis-based MS to contact potential graduate research advisors prior to or during the application process. Many factors contribute to the success of an application, including the goals statement, coursework, grades, test scores, work experience, recommendations, and availability of a faculty member in the student’s anticipated research area. In general, we prefer to see a GPA of 3.0 or above.

    Applicants interested in the Geology emphasis should have substantial preparation in general science, math, and geological sciences, although a particular baccalaureate degree is not required for admission.

    Applicants interested in the Geological Engineering emphasis should have substantial preparation in science, math, geological sciences, and engineering, although a particular baccalaureate degree is not required for admission.

    Degree requirements for the MS program are available in the university catalog

    Additional Information

    Information on required examinations is outlined on the Program Curriculum and Checklist webpage.

    Any physical specimens (and associated documentation) collected, prepared, and cited in a thesis or dissertation are to be deposited in the Museum of Geology as part of the student’s work.

    See course catalog for more information: Loading...