Oct 04, 2022
Dr. Laurie Anderson, Department Head
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
Mineral Industries 303
Students are responsible for checking with their advisors for any program modifications that may occur after the publication of this catalog.
MS in Geology and Geological Engineering
The MS in Geology and Geological Engineering offers two emphases: a Geology emphasis and a Geological Engineering emphasis.
For each emphasis there are thesis and non-thesis options.
South Dakota Mines students admitted to the Accelerated MS option may apply up to 9 credits of 500/600 level courses taken as an undergraduate to both the BS and the MS degrees. Students may use 400-level courses only if 500-level versions of these courses are not available.
Degree requirements for thesis option
Distribution of Credits
Core requirements: 1 credit
Research requirements: 6 credits
Elective requirements: 23 credits
Total credits: 30
A minimum of 15 credits of the 30 required must be taken at the 600-level or above.
A research planning course must be taken during the first fall semester of enrollment. Students in the Geology specialization take GEOL 700 ; students in the Geological Engineering specialization take GEOE 700 .
The completion of a master’s thesis, approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee and the Dean of Graduate Education, is required for this degree.
A minimum of 23 elective credits are required to complete the degree. The candidate’s committee is responsible for assisting the student in developing a program of study that prepares the student for his/her intended field of study. The program of study must include at least twelve (12) credits of electives with a GEOL/GEOE/PALE prefix and at least eleven (11) credits of additional GEOL/GEOE/PALE or other electives.
Geological Engineering Emphasis
A minimum of 23 elective credits are required to complete the degree. All MS students in the Geological Engineering emphasis are expected to focus in one of the three areas of groundwater/environmental, geomechanics, or energy/mineral resources. The candidate’s committee is responsible for assisting the student in developing a program of study that prepares the student for his/her intended field of study. The program of study must include at least twelve (12) credits of electives with a GEOL/GEOE/PALE prefix and at least eleven (11) credits of additional GEOL/GEOE/PALE or other electives.
Candidates for the MS degree must fulfill all degree requirements of the graduate office and the program. Departmental requirements include a written thesis proposal with oral proposal defense. The thesis proposal and its defense will be scheduled through the student’s major advisor and will have the thesis committee’s approval. A final thesis proposal, which may require revisions following the thesis proposal defense, serves as a contract of expectations for the student’s thesis. The thesis proposal defense must take place at least one semester prior to the thesis defense. Students must declare any non-disclosure agreements and associated materials or information as an addendum to the thesis proposal document.
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. Guidelines and forms are available.
In addition to these degree-specific requirements, the student must also meet the requirements and policies applied to all graduate degrees by the Council of Graduate Education.
Degree requirements for non-thesis option
Distribution of credits
Core requirements: 0 credits
Research or project requirements: 0 credits
Elective requirements: 30 credits
Total credits: 30
No specific courses are required for this degree.
Research or project requirements
A thesis, project paper, or final examination is not required. Student may choose to use GEOE 788 /GEOL 788 Master’s Research Problems/Projects as an elective course for 1-3 credits.
This program requires a total of 30 credits of coursework to be selected by the student in consultation with the non-thesis MS advisor. The program of study must meet these criteria:
- Up to 3 credits of GEOE 788 /GEOL 788 .
- 12-15 credits hours at the 600-level or above for courses with a GEOE, GEOL, or PALE prefix.
- Up to 15 credit hours of other graduate level coursework.
No final degree examination is required for the non-thesis option. Individual courses may hold final examinations as part of the course.