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Geological Engineering - Montana Tech

Geological Engineering

What is Geological Engineering?

hydro-field camp

Work all over the world with a degree in 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

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 learn geological engineering.

  • 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.

We offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Engineering, minor in Hydrogeology, as well as a Master of Science degree in Geoscience with several areas of emphasis.

100% Career Outcome Rate
100% Career Outcome Rate
7% Projected Job Growth by 2026
7% Projected Job Growth by 2026
All Students Encouraged to Complete Internships
All Students Encouraged to Complete Internships
$83K Average Starting Salary
$83K Average Starting Salary

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 Can You Do With Your Degree?

Our 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.

Engaged Vaculty with Experience & Expertise
Engaged Faculty with Experience & Expertise
Unparalleled Location for Field Work
Unparalleled Location for Field Work
Hands-On Learning Environment
Hands-On Learning Environment
Only On-Campus Underground Mine in the Country
Only On-Campus Underground Mine in the Country

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.

students working at hydro-field camp

Current Research

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

Catalog Information


The bachelor of science in Geological Engineering is one of the “founding” engineering programs of Montana Tech and one of only 13 in the United States accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET,

Program Educational Objectives
  1. Enable graduates to embark upon and successfully pursue professional careers in the field of Geological Engineering.
  2. Provide a firm foundation for graduate studies in geological engineering and related fields.

Student Outcomes
  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
  8. Demonstrated proficiency in the engineering sciences, including statics, properties/strengths of materials, and geomechanics.
  9. Demonstrated proficiency in geological science topics that emphasize geological processes and identification of minerals and rocks.
  10. Demonstrated ability to visualize and solve geological engineering problems in three and four-dimensions (space and time).
  11. Demonstrated ability to apply the principles of geology, elements of geophysics, geological and engineering field methods, and engineering knowledge to design solutions to geological engineering problems.

Enrollment and Graduate Data by Program

Career Outcomes

The Geological Engineering program consistently boasts a 100% placement rate with high starting salaries.

Bachelor of Science — Geological Engineering

Master of Science — Geoscience with a Geological Engineering Option

Visit The Outcomes Survey (TOS)® »