Jun 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Geology, BS

Contact Information

Dr. Liangping Li, Interim Associate Department Head 
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
Mineral Industries 314
(605) 394-2461
E-mail: Liangping.Li@sdsmt.edu

Department Website

Students are responsible for checking with their advisors for any program modifications that may occur after the publication of this catalog.

The Geology (BS) program is accredited by the Applied and Natural Science Accrediting Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the General Criteria and the Program Criteria for Geology, Geological Science and Similarly Named Programs.

GEOL Flowchart    

Curriculum Checklist

Freshman Year

Total: 16

Second Semester

Total: 14

Sophomore Year

First Semester

Total: 16

Total: 14

Junior Year

First Semester

Total: 14

Second Semester

Total: 15


Total: 6

Senior Year

First Semester

Total: 13

Second Semester

Total: 12

Total credits: 120


1 Fulfills General Education requirement. Students should consult the “General Education Requirements ” section of this catalog for a complete listing of all general education requirements.

Select 12 credits from courses with a GEOL or GEOE prefix. Six of the 12 credits must be taken at the 400-level. Excluded are GEOE 110L GEOE 221/221L , and GEOL 201/201L 

3 A grade of “C” or higher is required in these courses for graduation with a Geology BS degree and for advancement into some subsequent required courses. Check prerequisite requirements on course descriptions.  

These courses (GEOL 212/212L ,GEOL 341/341L GEOL 331/331L GEOL 322/322L GEOL 410 ) form a critical sequence that must be taken in the order listed in the Curriculum Checklist. Work with your advisor to ensure your course plan follows what is needed to complete the sequence.

5 Select one course from: GEOE 475/475L/575/575L , GEOL 351 GEOL 451/451L , and GEOL 476/576 . If additional courses are taken, they may serve as a Program Electives.

6 Students must take one of these two courses: GEOE 324/324L  3 or GEOL 456/456L/556/556L  3, 7. If both are taken, the second may serve as a Program Elective (will not require a “C” or higher if used as Program Elective).

7 GEOL 456/456L/556/556L  is offered in alternate years.

8 Work with your advisor to select six credits from any discipline excluding basic introductory courses, such as: CHEM 106 /CHEM 106L , CSC 105 , MATH 100 MATH 101 MATH 114 MATH 114L MATH 115 MATH 116/116L MATH 120 MATH 281 , PHYS 111 PHYS 111L PHYS 113 PHYS 113L  , or ENGL 0XX-level courses. Also excluded are: CSC 111/111L CSC 150/150L GEOE 110L MEM 110L GEOE 221/221L , and GEOL 201/201L .  

Choosing Electives for Career Paths

Program electives (courses with a GEOL or GEOE prefix) and free electives (other courses approved by a student’s academic advisor) can be chosen to focus in one of six career paths or from two or more career paths, depending on a student’s interests.

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisor in selecting a career path and electives.

Recommended Electives for Career Paths

Energy and Mineral Resources

Recommended electives for energy and mineral resource geology include:

Geospatial Technology

Recommended electives for geospatial technology include:


Recommended electives for geophysics include:

Objectives and Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives:

  1. Pursue productive careers as geoscientists and/or succeed in graduate or professional educational programs
  2. Continue professional growth, including – but not limited to – becoming leaders in professional organizations and/or earning licensures or certifications
  3. Become advocates for science through effective communication to broad audiences

Student Outcomes:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve broadly defined technical or scientific problems by applying knowledge of mathematics and science and/or technical topics to areas relevant to the discipline.
  2. An ability to formulate or design a system, process, procedure or program to meet desired needs.
  3. An ability to develop and conduct experiments or test hypotheses, analyze and interpret data and use scientific judgment to draw conclusions.
  4. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  5. An ability to understand ethical and professional responsibilities and the impact of technical and/or scientific solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  6. An ability to function effectively on teams that establish goals, plan tasks, meet deadlines, and analyze risk and uncertainty.