Geology and Geological Engineering MS

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
2 years
Master's degree
Scholarships available
Rapid City

About this program

Geology and Geological Engineering MS

The Department of Geology and Geological Engineering offers advanced study leading to a M.S. degree in Geology and Geological Engineering*. Students must elect to pursue either a Geology Specialization or a Geological Engineering Specialization, each of which has different background and program requirements. At this time there is no direct admission into the non-thesis option.

Students concentrating in paleontology at the Master’s level may apply for the separate M.S. in Paleontology.

The Accelerated MS option is available for this degree. Learn more: Geology and Geological Engineering, MS

Research Areas

The available coursework and current faculty expertise in Geology and Geological Engineering support the following areas of concentration.

  • Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Geomechanics
  • Geophysics
  • Groundwater and Environment
  • Paleontology
  • Petrology and Mineralogy
  • Structure and Tectonics

Admission requirements

Background Requirements

Applicants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in geology, geological engineering, paleontology, mining engineering, or a closely related field that includes calculus/statistics, physics, chemistry, and core geology subjects. Applicants from other backgrounds are encouraged to consult with the program coordinator prior to applying and may be required to complete additional undergraduate coursework that does not count toward the graduate degree.

Admission Requirements

Required application materials include U.S. transcripts or international transcript evaluations, statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and evidence of English proficiency. Inclusion of a resume is encouraged. The GRE is not required. For more information, see the application instructions.

Successful applicants typically have a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.


  • Fall admissions: February 15
  • Spring admissions: August 15

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Scholarships & funding

Financial assistance is dependent on the department and funding that is available in a given year.

Financial assistance is available for graduate teaching assistants (GTA) and for graduate research assistants (GRA).  A GTA handles laboratory sections, grades papers, or performs other assigned instructional duties.  A GRA is compensated to conduct supervised research, which generally relates to the student’s thesis or dissertation research.  

A full-time GTA or GRA is equivalent to approximately twenty (20) hours per week of assigned duties during the academic year. Part-time service is compensated in accordance with expected hourly effort. Completion of coursework and other degree requirements requires additional effort beyond compensated hours. Graduate assistants must be degree-seeking students and registered full-time (9 or 10 credits each fall and spring semester, and 2 credits each summer session) during the period of appointment. 

Approximately 50% of all graduate students receive assistantships. Graduate assistants who hold a teaching or research assistantship are eligible for a tuition reduction that covers 100% of tuition and program fees for campus courses. The general activity fee and other miscellaneous fees as applicable are assessed at the regular rate. Specialty courses such as field camp and remedial courses are not eligible fore reduced tuition. For an out of state Master's student, the value of a 20-hour per week assistantship with tuition reduction is at least $25,000 for the academic year. Ph.D. stipends are typically higher. Additional summer support may also be available.  

Admitted students will be automatically considered for research assistantship support based on the information provided in the admissions application. No further application materials are required. Financial awards are primarily granted to research students who begin enrollment in the fall. Graduate students wishing to be considered for financial assistance should submit their application and all required admission documents by February 15.


Total Estimated for the graduate I-20 — 2022-2023

  • Academic year (9 months) - $14,970
  • Living Expenses (9 months) - $11,120
  • Books & Supplies (9 months) - $ 1,200
  • Estimated Total for one academic year - $27,290

The estimate for living expenses includes only room, board, and health insurance, which is mandatory for international students. This does not include personal and transportation expenses, which you will still have. The institution estimates that you will spend approximately $3450 per academic year on personal and transportation expenses, so please be prepared for these expenses.

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About this institute

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology was founded in 1885 to provide instruction in the region’s primary industry, which was mining. And now it includes so much more. Over the years, South Dakota Mines evolved into a leading science...

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Why study at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Life at South Dakota Mines is more than books, homework, and tests. It’s robot races on the Quad, blacksmithing on Friday afternoons, late-night hangouts with friends in the dorm, and cheering for your favorite Hardrocker sports team. It’s finding “your” people – friends who geek out at the same stuff you do, whether that’s esports, robotics, fossils, or chemistry experiments. You’ll work alongside “your” people in classrooms and on student teams and organizations. At South Dakota Mines, it’s more about collaboration than competition, and you’ll never be alone in your passions and interests.

Contact info

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

501 E Saint Joseph Street
57701 Rapid City South Dakota
United States of America

Phone no: 16053946884

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