Geological Engineering - Montana Tech

Geological Engineering

Acquire the knowledge and skills you need to start a geological engineering career through the ABET-accredited geological engineering bachelor’s degree at Montana Tech.

The geological engineering degree features a research-based curriculum, including courses in field geology, sedimentology, mapping, surface modeling & volumetrics, mineralogy and more. You’ll learn from industry-experienced — and connected — Montana Tech faculty who are passionate about helping you succeed in geological engineering. You’ll be prepared for geological engineering careers or to pursue your master’s in geological engineering at Montana Tech.

What is the geotechnical field?

What is Geological Engineering?

Geological engineers focus on designing solutions to problems related to the materials of the Earth’s crust, including minerals, sediments, rocks, water, and solid and fluid hydrocarbons (coal, oil, and natural gas). Their specialized engineering knowledge is required in the design and construction of civil works such as roads, dams, and foundations for buildings and bridges; the evaluation and utilization of groundwater resources and their interaction with surface waters; the search for, development, and extraction of rock, mineral and energy resources; and the protection and remediation of the environment. Geological Engineers are also routinely involved in the characterization and mitigation of geologic hazards, such as earthquakes, landslides, ground subsidence, and volcanic activity.

  • Search for mineral resources
  • Evaluate rocks, soils, groundwater, and environmental impacts for
    • construction
    • resource development
    • industrial projects
  • Use specialized knowledge to
    • design slopes, dams and tunnels
    • solve surface and groundwater problems
    • mitigate the landslide and earthquake risks
  • Our program highlights field-based coursework to find solutions for real-world problems.
  • Our department is home to a state-of-the-art facilities, including
    • triaxial testing lab
    • an underground mine facility
    • a computer lab with geotechnical engineering and groundwater modeling software
    • a fleet of research-quality drones
    • The use of this software is a very attractive trait for many perspective employers.
Why Study Geological Engineering at Montana Tech?

Montana Tech boasts a 83.33% career outcome rate. Our Geological Engineering department at Montana Tech offers four academic tracks: geotechnical, hydrogeology, mining, and petroleum. All options include a six-week immersive summer field camp. There is no better location than Montana Tech to earn your geological engineering bachelor’s degree because of our field-based coursework that gives you hands-on experience perfect for a career in geological engineering. Our geological engineering students also have the opportunity to learn in the only on-campus underground mine in the country.

The Geological Engineering Department at Montana Tech has distinguished faculty members who all hold Ph.D. degrees in subdisciplines including Civil Engineering with Geotechnical emphases, geochemistry, hydrogeology, and stratigraphy. Each faculty member has significant industrial experience they bring to the classroom, laboratory, and field site.

World-class Geological Engineering Labs

You have plenty of hands-on learning opportunities at Montana Tech. With access to state-of-the-art and fully equipped laboratories, our geological engineering degree students will graduate learning how to operate sophisticated laboratory and field equipment. Our geological engineering department is home to state-of-the-art facilities including a triaxial testing lab, an underground mine facility, and geotechnical and groundwater modeling software.

Geological Engineering Internships

Obtain even more hands-on experience through geological engineering internships to supplement your bachelor’s degree from Montana Tech. Through our annual Career Services events, you’ll have access to more than 100 companies that come to campus to recruit Montana Tech students for geological engineering summer internships for continuing students and full time employment for our geological engineering graduates.

Exceptional Location

By choosing Montana Tech for your geological engineering degree, you’ll benefit from our location in Butte, Montana. You can tour local engineering operations and pursue geological engineering internships in Butte as well as in nearby cities such as Bozeman and Missoula. Plus, you’ll also have innumerable opportunities to enjoy Montana’s great outdoors in your free time.

7% Projected Job Growth by 2026
3% Projected Job Growth by 2028
All Students Encouraged to Complete Internships
All Students Encouraged to Complete Internships
What Types of Skills Do You Need?
  • Inquisitive - you want to know how things work
  • Hard working and not afraid of a challenge
  • Interested in the outdoors
  • Successful in trigonometry and chemistry
  • Desire to make the world a better place
  • You’re into rocks and water!
What Kind of Jobs do Geological Engineers do?

Our geological engineering graduates do field and laboratory work with rocks, soils, groundwater, and mineral resources all over the world. Graduates pursue careers in engineering, consulting, mining, and slope stability. A degree in geological engineering allows students broad engineering skills in a wide array of fields. Many of our students will go on to pursue graduate degrees at Montana Tech or other prestigious universities.

bachelor of science in geological engineering

Bachelor of Science — Geological Engineering

We offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Engineering, a minor in Hydrogeology. and a minor in Geoscience. There are four academic tracks available, geotechnical, hydrogeology, mining, and petroleum. All options include a six-week immersive summer field camp. There is no better location than Montana Tech to learn geological engineering.

Study geological engineering and have fun too

Study geological engineering and have fun too

Get involved in various clubs and organizations on campus. Or enjoy the expansive nature Butte, Montana offers for year-round activities.  Ski at nearby resorts or in the backcountry, enjoy local hot springs, hike the Great Divide, or fish in pristine mountain streams.

get ready for your geological engineering career

Be Ready for a Career in Geological Engineering

Through this rigorous geological engineering degree you’ll not only gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. You’ll also develop communication, interpersonal, and project management skills. From Montana Tech’s engaged geological engineering faculty to Career Services, you’ll have the resources, support, and connections you need to land coveted internships and jobs and receive a top geological engineering salary.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Geological Engineering program at Montana Tech is to provide a quality education that blends theory with practice and enables graduates to embark upon and successfully pursue careers in the field of Geological Engineering.


Faculty members of the Geological Engineering department all hold Ph.D. degrees in subdisciplines including Civil Engineering with Geotechnical emphases, geochemistry, hydrogeology, and stratigraphy. Each faculty member has significant industrial experience they bring to the classroom, laboratory, and field site.

Sean Harris geological engineering studentThe Geological Engineering Department at Montana Tech has set me on a path for some truly wonderful opportunities. From research with drones and photogrammetry to elaborate course work, Montana Tech has provided me with the tools I need to be the best candidate for my future endeavors. By instilling positive ethics in students, Montana Tech has proven to be a rewarding experience in every way

Sean Harris, BS in Geological Engineering, 2021

“Montana Tech is providing me with a degree which I am confident will lead to successful employment. The Geological Engineering program options which include geotechnical, hydrogeology, mining and petroleum demonstrate the broad scope of career options within my degree. The professors and staff encourage students to pursue research and internship opportunities which provide students with relevant field experience that is instrumental in their success.”

-Richelle Carney, BS in Geological Engineering, 2020

Career Outlook for the Geological Engineering Degree
83.33% career outcome rate »
Geological Engineering Salary

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of geological engineers is projected to grow 3% through 2028. The median annual wage for a geological engineer was $93,800 in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

hydro-field camp
Current Research

Research topics for each faculty member are listed on their individual faculty pages.

Explore Classes for the Geological Engineering Degree

Your courses at Montana Tech for geological engineering will give you a solid foundation in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering fundamentals.

View all courses for a geological engineering degree.

Get Started on Your Geological Engineering Bachelor’s Degree

Take the next step toward earning your geological engineering bachelor’s degree at Montana Tech.

speak with an advisor about studying geological engineering

Speak with an Advisor

Contact the geological engineering department department head Glenn Shaw.

transfer to Montana Tech to study geological engineering


To transfer to Montana Tech, you must be a high school graduate and have earned more than 12 college credits.

apply now and request more information about geological engineering at Montana Tech

Apply Now and Request More Information

We invite you to start your application or request more information about the geological engineering degree at Montana Tech.

Bachelor’s Degree Program Related to Geological Engineering