Master of Engineering in Geological Engineering

The Master of Science (Geological Engineering) program requires 36 semester hours of course and research credit hours (a maximum of 9 credit hours may be 400-level course work). Twelve of the 36 credit hours must be research credits. The degree includes three areas of specialization: engineering geology/geotechnics, groundwater engineering, and mining geological engineering.  All Master of Science (Geological Engineering) candidates must also complete an appropriate thesis, based upon original research they have conducted.  A thesis proposal and course of study must be approved by the student’s Thesis Advisory Committee before the candidate begins substantial work on the thesis research.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Geological Engineering) academic program requires a minimum of 72 hours of course and research credit hours (a maximum of 9 credit hours may be 400-level course work).  At least 24 of the hours must be research credit hours.  Students who enter the PhD program with a thesis-based Master’s degree may transfer up to 36 semester hours in recognition of the course work and research completed for that degree (up to 24 of these semester hours can come from previous graduate-level course work).   The specific courses and total number of hours that may transfer are at the discretion of the student’s Doctoral Thesis Advisory Committee. All Doctor of Philosophy (Geological Engineering) students must pass a comprehensive examination by the end of the second year of their program.  This timing may be adjusted for part-time students. This examination will be administered by the student’s Doctoral committee and will consist of an oral and a written examination, administered in a format to be determined by the Doctoral Committee. Two negative votes in the Doctoral Committee constitute failure of the examination. In case of failure of the qualifying examination, a re-examination may be given upon the recommendation of the Doctoral Committee and approval of the Graduate Dean. Only one re-examination may be given. Students must also complete appropriate thesis based upon original research they have conducted.  A thesis proposal and course of study must be approved by the student’s Doctoral Thesis Advisory Committee before the student begins substantial work on the thesis research.

Prerequisites for Geology Degrees

No specific pre-requisites are required for admission to the Geology Degree program. However, it is highly recommended that the candidates have the following courses prior to application:

  • General Geology
  • Field camp or equivalent (6 weeks)
  • Structural Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Chemistry (3 semesters, including at least 1 semester of physical or organic)
  • Mathematics (2 semesters of calculus)
  • An additional science course (other than geology) or advanced mathematics
  • Physics (2 semesters)

The student’s committee will reserve the right to request that students complete additional identified courses prior to granting of a degree of Master of Science (Geology) or Doctor of Philosophy (Geology).

Program Details for Geological Engineering Degrees

Program Requirements for Geological Engineering Degrees

In addition to the core competency the Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degrees with specialization in Engineering Geology/Geotechnics require:

  • GEGN532       Geological Data Analysis

Candidates must also take at least three of the following:

  • GEGN 563      Applied Numerical Modeling for Geomechanics
  • GEGN 570      Case Histories in Geological Engineering and Hydrogeology or GEGN 673 Advanced Geological Engineering
    Design
  • GEGN 573      Geological Engineering Site Investigation
    GEGN 575      Applications of Geographic Information Systems or GEGN 580 Applied Remote Sensing for Geoengineering and
    Geosciences
  • GEGN 671      Landslides: Investigation, Analysis & Mitigation or GEGN 672 Advanced Geotechnics

Typically, the additional courses are selected from the following topical areas: engineering geology, groundwater engineering, groundwater modeling, soil mechanics and foundations, rock mechanics, underground construction, seismic hazards, geomorphology, geographic information systems, construction management, finite element modeling, waste management, environmental engineering, environmental law, engineering management, and computer programming.

Masters of Engineering (Non-Thesis)

Program Details for Non-Thesis Masters of Engineering Degrees

 The Master of Engineering (Non-Thesis) Program in Geological Engineering outlined below may be completed by individuals already holding undergraduate or advanced degrees or as a combined degree program (see “Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Programs” section of this bulletin) by individuals already matriculated as undergraduate students at The Colorado School of Mines. The program is comprised of 24 hours of coursework and 6 hours of independent study (non-thesis project) for a total of 30 semester hours.  Prerequisite requirements are the same as those listed for Geological Engineering degrees.

Up to nine credit hours can be at the 400 level and the remainder will be 500 or 600 level. For the combined degree program, courses recommended as appropriate for double counting may be chosen from:

GEGN 403      Mineral Exploration Design

GEGN 439      Multidisciplinary Petroleum Design

GEGN 469      Engineering Geology Design

GEGN 470      Groundwater Engineering Design

The typical program plan includes 12 course credit hours in both the fall and the spring terms followed by 6 independent study credit hours (GEGN 599) during the summer term.

GEGN599 requires a project and report that demonstrate competence in the application of geological engineering principles that merits a grade of B or better. The project topic and content of the report is determined by the student’s advisor, in consultation with the student. The format of the report will follow the guidelines for a professional journal paper.

The student, in consultation with the advisor, must prepare a formal program of courses and independent study topic for approval by the Geological Engineering Graduate Program Committee. The program must be submitted to the committee on or before the end of the first week of classes of the first semester.

The most common difficulty in scheduling completion of the degree involves satisfaction of prerequisites. Common deficiency courses are Statics, Mechanics of Materials, and Fluid Mechanics. These are essential to the engineering underpinnings of the degree. Some students may choose to take these prerequisites elsewhere before arriving on the CSM campus.

The Masters of Engineering (non-thesis) requires the following courses in addition to the prerequisites:

  • GEGN532 Geological Data Analysis (3)
  • GEGN599 Independent Study in Geological Engineering (6)

Candidates must also take at least three of the following:

  • GEGN 563      Applied Numerical Modeling for Geomechanics
  • GEGN 570      Case Histories in Geological Engineering and Hydrogeology or GEGN 673 Advanced Geological Engineering
    Design
  • GEGN 573      Geological Engineering Site Investigation
  • GEGN 575      Applications of Geographic Information Systems or GEGN 580 Applied Remote Sensing for Geoengineering and
    Geosciences
  • GEGN 671      Landslides: Investigation, Analysis & Mitigation or GEGN 672 Advanced Geotechnics

Electives and course substitutions are approved by the advisor. Possibilities for electives include graduate- level rock mechanics and rock engineering, soil mechanics and foundations, ground water, site characterization, geographical information systems (GIS), project management and geophysics, for example.

Core Competencies

Core Competencies for Geological Engineering Degrees

The candidate for the degree of Master of Science (Geological Engineering) or Doctor of Philosophy (Geological Engineering) must have completed the following or equivalent subjects prior to graduation.  These may be satisfied through previous bachelors-level coursework or during the graduate program.  Credit will only be granted for 400-level or graduate-level courses that are equivalent to the titles below.

Mathematics

  • Calculus (two semesters)
  • One semester in two of the following subjects:

calculus III
differential equations
probability and statistics
numerical analysis
linear algebra
operations research
optimization

Basic Science

  • Chemistry (2 semesters)
  • Mineralogy and Petrology
  • Physics (2 semesters)
  • Stratigraphy or Sedimentation
  • Physical Geology
  • Computer Programming


Engineering Science

  • Structural Geology
  • Soil Mechanics
  • Rock Mechanics
  • One semester in two of the following subjects:

Physical Chemistry or Thermodynamics
Statics
Mechanics of Materials
Fluid Mechanics
Dynamics

Engineering Design

  • Field Geology
  • Engineering Geology
  • Hydrogeology
  • One semester in three of the following subjects:

Foundation Engineering
Engineering Hydrology
Geomorphology
Remote Sensing or GIS
Introductory Geophysics
Engineering Geology Design
Groundwater Engineering Design
Other engineering design courses as approved by the program committee

Documents and Forms

A number of important forms can be accessed in interactive form at the Office of Graduate Studies website. Several forms (e.g., Admission to Candidacy form) must be filled out at that website and printed for signatures and submittal. The Graduation Application form should be completed and submitted online.

    Field Trip Forms (Three)