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Geological Engineering combines the fields of Geology and Engineering in a way that makes a lot of sense: majors study how human beings can put the earth to safe and efficient use. For example, they learn how to evaluate a site on which a tunnel, dam, or road might be built. They learn about geologic hazards, such as earthquakes and volcanoes, and how to best protect people from them. They examine ways to search for and harvest energy resources. They also discover ways to protect the earth while still exploiting it through careful industrial practices.

Geological Engineering is very much field oriented; much of your study will be hands-on research. Many programs offer summer field study programs in various parts of the country. Your studies will involve laboratory work, computer work, and problem-solving. The practical nature of Geological Engineering—using your knowledge of the earth to solve engineering problems—can make for a rewarding and exciting career.


  • Airphoto Interpretation for Terrain Evaluation

  • Applications of Geographic Information Systems

  • Environmental Geology

  • Explosives Engineering

  • Geologic Hazards

  • Hydrogeology

  • Mining and Exploration Geophysics

  • Properties of Geosynthetics

  • Regional Geological Engineering Studies

  • Retaining Structures

  • Rock Mechanics

  • Seepage and Slopes

  • Soil Dynamics

  • Tunneling

  • Waste Geotechnics


As with most Engineering majors, you’ll be taking a heavy load of math and science courses. Your best preparation will be advanced courses in calculus, analytic geometry, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, biology, and geology (if your high school offers it). And since most colleges require you to take a certain number of humanities courses, don’t forget about English, history, and foreign languages.