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B.S. in Geology (Applied Geology Specialization), South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Information for this profile was provided by Maribeth Price in 2007. Information is also available on the department website.

Jump down to Overview and Context * Connecting to the Future of Science * Goals and Assessment * Courses and Sequencing * Additional Materials

Overview and Context

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology's applied geology specialization curriculum. Diagram constructed by Carol Ormand from information provided by Maribeth Price. Click on the image to see a larger version.

This program prepares students for careers in various fields including mineral exploration, petroleum geology, environmental geology, water resources, natural resources, or related fields, through a rigorous program with emphasis on science, math, technology, and field work. This is one of four programs offered in our department.

Connecting to the Future of Science

Its strong technical and scientific basis prepares students well for their future careers. Employers and graduate schools recognize this and our graduates have outstanding placement. The strong and diverse background prepares students well for whatever paths science will go.

Goals and Assessment

Our goal is training professional geologists and geological engineers with exceptionally strong technical backgrounds and superior field expertise, well prepared to live and work in a diverse global environment.

We assess our program via the following:

  • Assessment portfolios based on senior research
  • Number of students participating in international activities
  • Placement percentages for graduates
  • Number of companies employing our graduates

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

Any of the following courses can serve as an entry into the program:
  • Physical Geology
  • Geology for Engineers
  • Search for Our Past (Earth History)

Core courses

  • Earth Systems Engineering Analysis
  • Mineralogy And Crystallography
  • Search for Our Past
  • Stratigraphy & Sedimentation
  • Elementary Petrology (Prerequisite: Mineralogy)
  • Structural Geology (Prerequisite: Petrology)
  • Field Geology (Prerequisites: Petrology, Structural Geology)
  • Intro to GIS
  • Engineering Geophysics I (Prerequisites: Calculus II and University Physics II)
  • Economic Geology (Prerequisites: Petrology, Structural Geology)
  • Petroleum Production
  • Ground Water (Prerequisites: Physical Geology and Calculus III)
  • Applied Geomorphology (Prerequisites: Physical and Structural Geology)
  • Regional Field Geology
  • Optical Petrology (Prerequisite: Petrology)
  • Invertebrate Paleontology


Students must take 7 credits of geology electives (2-3 courses) and 7 credits of free electives (2-3 courses). Geology electives are selected from the following courses:
  • Engineering Geophysics II
  • Principles of Well Logging
  • Geochemical Exploration (Prerequisite: Economic Geology)
  • Drilling Engineering
  • Engineering and Environmental Geology
  • Geology of National Parks
  • Dinosaurs
  • Earth Resources and the Environment
  • Oceanography
  • Field Paleontology
  • Ore Microscopy (Prerequisite: Economic Geology)
  • GIS Spatial Database Development (Prerequisite: Intro to GIS)
  • Advanced GIS Analysis (Prerequisite: Intro to GIS)
  • Intro to Remote Sensing
  • Museum Conservation and Curation
  • Museum Preparation Techniques and Exhibit Design


Senior Research (two semesters, 4 credits)

Other required courses

  • General Chemistry I & II
  • Experimental General Chemistry I & II
  • Composition I
  • Technical Communications I & II
  • Science Explorations
  • Calculus I, II, & III
  • Surveying for Mineral Engineers
  • University Physics I & II
  • Humanities/Social Science (16 credits)

Additional Materials

Program flyer for prospective students (Acrobat (PDF) 366kB Apr6 07)
Program course checklist (Microsoft Word 35kB Apr6 07)