2015-2016 Catalog

Geological Engineering


Faculty: Forsman, Gerla, Gosnold, Hartman, Ho, LeFever, Matheney, Nordeng, Perkins, Putkonen and Wang

Degree Granted: Master of Science (M.S.)

The Master of Science in Geological Engineering includes both a thesis and non-thesis option. Students completing the non-thesis option will be highly qualified professionals capable of working in applied engineering fields. Students completing the thesis option will possess the necessary research skills to pursue a terminal degree, such as the Ph.D. in Engineering, offered at UND.

The Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering also offers a program leading to a combined Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Geological Engineering.  The College of Engineering and mines also offers a Ph.D. program in Engineering that geological engineers may elect to pursue.

Details pertaining to Harold Hamm School admission requirements, degree requirements and courses offered can be found by clicking on the links to the Degrees and Courses sections (above).

Master of Science (M.S.)

Mission Statement and Program Goals

The mission of the Master of Science in Geological Engineering is to develop the student into a highly qualified engineer capable of conducting research and solving complex problems related to petroleum and geothermal energy, mineral production, geoenvironmental concerns, and natural hazards.

Goal 1: Program graduates shall have sufficient skills in geoscience, mathematics, computer modeling, and poro-mechanics to formulate and solve practical problems in geological engineering.

Goal 2: Program graduates shall have the ability to independently conduct research to advance the state of the knowledge; and/or to provide innovative solutions to technical problems in a timely manner in at least one of the areas of exploration and production of energy and mineral resources, geomechanics, hydrogeology, ground water remediation, or site investigation/characterization.

Goal 3: Program graduates shall be skilled in research methods, be able to access, critically analyze, and utilize available information from a variety of sources; and shall be able to communicate the results of a research or development project both orally and in writing.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geological Engineering

Admission Requirements

The applicant must meet the School of Graduate Studies' current minimum general admission requirements as published in the graduate catalog. Additionally:

  1. To be admitted under "approved" status, the applicant must hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Engineering from an ABET accredited or equivalent program. A bachelor’s degree in another engineering discipline or in a science field, qualifies a student to be admitted to “qualified status” with an obligation to acquire background undergraduate engineering and geology knowledge.
  2. Applicants must submit a Graduate Record Examination General Test score if their B.S. degree is from a non-ABET accredited program. Other applicants are encouraged to submit GRE scores to support their application.
  3. Applicants must have a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
  4. Applicants must satisfy the School of Graduate Studies' English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

To encourage undergraduate geological engineering students to extend their studies to include a graduate degree, the College of Engineering and Mines has a Combined Program that permits students to earn both a bachelor's (B.S.) and a master's (M.S.) degree in Geological Engineering. This program allows students to designate two three-credit graduate courses to count for both degrees.  the selected courses must have graduate course standing and be designated when a student requests admission to the program.

Students may be admitted to the Combined Degree Program if they have:

  1. Completed 95 credit hours towards the bachelor's degree.
  2. Completed 30 credit hours of coursework and 8 credit hours of upper division coursework in the geological sciences, including the equivalent of physical and historical geology.
  3. Maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.0 in all geological sciences they took.
  4. Completed an application to the UND Graduate School and been accepted for admission.

Once admitted to the Combined Degree Program, undergraduate students are eligible to take 500-level courses for graduate credit. Students must complete the petition titled, "Graduate Credit as an Undergraduate Student" prior to registering for the courses. Such courses could be included in the 30 credit hours for the degree and could appear in the program of study.

Students in the Combined Degree Program will be admitted to the School of Graduate Studies on completion of 125 credit hours for the bachelor's degree.

The time normally needed to complete the Combined Degree Program is 1 year, plus an additional summer after admission to the Graduate School.

Degree Requirements

Students seeking the Master of Science degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies' as well as particular requirements set forth by the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering.

Thesis Option:

  1. A minimum of 30 credit hours in a major field, including the credits granted for the thesis and the research leading to the thesis.
    Geology/Geological Engineering coursework12
    Other Engineering and Science coursework12
    Total Credits30
  2. At least one-half of the credit hours must be at or above the 500-level.
  3. A maximum of one-fourth of the credit hours required for the degree may be transferred from another institution.
  4. Completion of the thesis.

Non-Thesis Option (Independent Study):

  1. Thirty-four (34) credit hours including credits required for the major.
    Geology/Geological Engineering coursework15
    Research Project/Independent Study3
    Total Credits34
  2. At least one-half of the credit hours must be at or above the 500-level.
  3. A maximum of one-fourth of the credit hours required for the degree may be transferred from another institution.
  4. Preparation of a written independent study approved by the faculty advisor.
  5. Comprehensive final examination.

GEOE Courses

GEOE 996. Continuing Enrollment. 1-12 Credits.

Repeatable. S/U grading.

GEOE 998. Thesis. 1-9 Credits.

Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit

GEOE 323. Engineering Geology. 4 Credits.

Application of geological and environmental principles to geotechnical engineering design, construction, and operation. Prerequisites: One introductory geology course, MATH 165 and upper division standing in geology or engineering. On demand.

GEOE 417. Hydrogeology. 3 Credits.

Physical and chemical aspects of groundwater movement, supply, and contamination. Prerequisites: CHEM 121 or CHEM 221; MATH 166 or consent of instuctor. F.

GEOE 418. Hydrogeological Methods. 2 Credits.

Field and laboratory methods used in hydrogeology; techniques of drilling, well and piezometer installation, determination of aquifer parameters, geophysical exploration, soil classification and analysis, ground water sampling and analysis. Includes field trip. Prerequisite: GEOE 417. F.

GEOE 419. Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation. 3 Credits.

Statistical methods for groundwater sampling and monitoring network design. Groundwater remediation and design; including strategies that remove contaminants for external treatment and strategies for in-situ contaminant treatment. Prerequisites: MATH 166, GEOE 417 and a statistics course (ECON 210, PSYC 241, MATH 321 or MATH 353) or consent of instructor. S.

GEOE 425. Design Hydrology for Wetlands. 3 Credits.

Principles of chemistry, geology, hydraulics, and hydrology applied to natural and constructed wetlands and other small catchments. Prerequisites: CHEM 121 and either CE 306/ME 306 or GEOE 417. S.

GEOE 427. Groundwater Modeling. 3 Credits.

Fundamentals of numerical modeling applied to groundwater flow. Short programs using the finite difference method will be written to demonstrate groundwater movement and storage. Simulation of practical groundwater problems will be carried out using the U.S. Geological Survey's MODFLOW code. Prerequisites: GEOE 417 and MATH 265; some programming experience is recommended. F.

GEOE 455. Geomechanics. 3 Credits.

Principles of geomechanics and its application to petroleum and geological engineering. Prerequisites: GEOE 323 or consent of instructor. F.

GEOL Courses

GEOL 500. Sedimentary Geology. 1-4 Credits.

Selected topics in sedimentary geology, such as sedimentary processes, carbonate petrology, clastic petrology, and basin analysis. May be repeated up to 12 credits. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Repeatable to 12 credits. F.

GEOL 505. Isotope Geochemistry. 3 Credits.

Geochemistry and cosmochemistry of radioactive and stable isotopes; isotope equilibria; applications in paleoclimatology, environmental isotope geochemistry, igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary petrology. Prerequisite: GEOL 321 or permission of instructor.

GEOL 506. Glacial Geology. 4 Credits.

Origin, growth, and movement of glaciers; landforms and deposits incident to glaciation. 3 hours lecture, 2 hours laboratory time per week. Prerequisite: GEOL 311.

GEOL 509. Advanced Mineralogy. 1-4 Credits.

Advanced study of specific mineral groups or selected topics in mineralogy. Prerequisite: GEOL 320; recommended prerequisite GEOL 321.

GEOL 511. Advanced Structural Geology. 4 Credits.

Reading and research in special topics in structural geology and geotectonics.

GEOL 512. Advanced Petrology. 1-4 Credits.

Selected topics in petrology taught using conventional lecture and laboratory/field approach. Prerequisite: GEOL 320.

GEOL 515. Advanced Paleontology. 3 Credits.

Selected topics include (but not limited to): Invertebrate paleontology; vertebrate paleontology; paleoecology; taxonomy; museum studies; western continental stratigraphy; critical boundaries. May be repeated. Prerequisites: GEOL 415, BIOL 150, or consent of instructor. Repeatable to 40 credits. On demand.

GEOL 518. Topics in Advanced Stratigraphy. 2-4 Credits.

Selected topics in lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy. Prerequisites: GEOL 411, GEOL 415. Repeatable to 4 credits.

GEOL 520. Statistical Applications in Geology. 3 Credits.

The application of statistical techniques to geologic data and problems, with emphasis on analysis of geologic sequences, map analysis, and multivariate analysis of geologic data. Prerequisites: An introductory statistics course, such as CTL 515 or PSYC 241, and consent of instructor.

GEOL 522. History and Philosophy of Geology. 3 Credits.

Historical and philosophical development of the science of geology. Prerequisite: Permssion of instructor.

GEOL 523. Topics in Advanced Geomorphology. 1-4 Credits.

Selected topics in geomorphic processes and landforms. Prerequisite: GEOL 311. Repeatable to 4 credits.

GEOL 525. Weathering and Soils. 3 Credits.

Properties and classification of soils; the factors and processes of weathering and soil formation. Prerequisite: GEOL 311 and GEOL 411, or consent of instructor.

GEOL 530. Advanced Physical Hydrogeology. 3 Credits.

Selected topics in ground and soil water movement, fracture flow, analytical/numerical modeling, and groundwater supply. Prerequisites: GEOE 417 and GEOE 427 and MATH 265, or consent of instructor.

GEOL 531. Hydrogeochemistry. 3 Credits.

The origin, characteristics and modeling of surface and ground water geochemistry. Prerequisites: GEOL 321 and, MATH 166, or permission of instructor.

GEOL 532. Contaminant Hydrogeology. 3 Credits.

Chemical and physical processes affecting contaminant behavior in groundwater with analytical/numerical modeling and case studies. Prerequisites: GEOE 417 and GEOE 427 and MATH 265, or consent of instructor.

GEOL 540. Water Sampling and Analysis. 3 Credits.

Techniques of water and sediment sampling and analysis using equipment in the UND Water Quality Laboratory. Results are interpreted in the context of the natural systems from which the samples are taken. Enrollment is limited to eight students per section. A laboratory fee is required. Prerequisite: CHEM 121.

GEOL 551. Heat Flow. 3 Credits.

An exploration of Earth's thermal structure, thermal history and heat sources. The course begins with the theory of heat transfer within and through the surface of terrestrial planets. Methods of observation and modeling provide hands-on experience in field and laboratory activities. Applications of heat flow in tectonics, petrology, thermal maturity of kerogen, hydrogeology, geothermics and climate change are presented with current examples. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Corequisite: Permission of instructor. On demand.

GEOL 560. Geothermics I. 3 Credits.

A survey of the methods of geothermal exploration, assessment and production. The course covers the various methods for discovery and characterization of geothermal resources. Methods for assessment of energy in place and determination of recoverable energy are covered in depth. Current technologies for energy extraction and power production are presented with current examples. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Corequisite: Permission of instructor. On demand.

GEOL 561. Geothermics II. 3 Credits.

The course covers the historical development of geothermal policies, regulations and practices globally and in different states within the US. Matters of water usage, contamination and disposal are covered extensively. Current issues such as induced seismicity, hydrofracture, power plant size and location, electrical grid access and land use are critically examined. Prerequisite: Senior or Graduate Standing. Corequisite: Permission of Instructor. On demand.

GEOL 590. Research. 1-4 Credits.

Laboratory, field, or library research on problems of interest (may be repeated). Repeatable.

GEOL 591. Directed Studies. 1-4 Credits.

Directed advanced research in a specialized field of geologic study (may be repeated). Repeatable.

GEOL 996. Continuing Enrollment. 1-12 Credits.

Repeatable. S/U grading.

GEOL 997. Independent Study. 2 Credits.

GEOL 998. Thesis. 1-9 Credits.

Repeatable to 9 credits.

GEOL 999. Dissertation. 2-12 Credits.

May be repeated up to 24 credits. Repeatable to 24 credits.

Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit

GEOL 311. Geomorphology. 4 Credits.

Dynamics of weathering, mass movement, running water, groundwater, waves, wind and ice in the production of landforms. Includes field trips and laboratory. Prerequisites: GEOL 101 or GEOE 203; MATH 165, PHYS 211, CHEM 121 or consent of instructor. F.

GEOL 320. Petrology. 3 Credits.

Description, classification and origin of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Field and laboratory study of rocks. Engineering properties of earth materials. Advanced aspects of optical mineralogy. Includes laboratory. Prerequisite: GEOL 318. F.

GEOL 321. Geochemistry. 3 Credits.

Application of the principles of chemistry to geologic and hydrogeologic problems. Origin and distribution of the chemical elements. Introduction to radiochemistry, isotopic geochronology, and stable-isotope geochemistry. Prerequisites: GEOL 318, CHEM 122, and MATH 165 or consent of instructor. S.

GEOL 340. Digital Mapping Methods. 3 Credits.

This course integrates "hands-on" data acquisitions and map generation with an overview of the technology (GPS, lasers, and data management). Field projects focus on mapping methodology and laboratory projects focus on analysis and presentation. It is assumed that students have an undergraduate geology background and a basic knowledge of computer applications. Prerequisite: Junior Standing in geology.

GEOL 411. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. 5 Credits.

Origin, transportation, deposition, and diagenesis of sediments; principles and applications of stratigraphy. Includes field trip and laboratory. Prerequisite: GEOL 320. S.

GEOL 414. Applied Geophysics. 3 Credits.

Principles of various geophysical methods and their application to geologic problems. Prerequisites: GEOL 101 or GEOE 203; MATH 165; and PHYS 211 or 251. F.

GEOL 415. Introduction to Paleontology. 4 Credits.

The principles of paleontology/paleobiology are presented using fossils to document the evolutionary, stratigraphic, and paleoecologic history of animal and plant life on Earth. Includes field trip and laboratory. Prerequisites: GEOL 102; BIOL 150 and BIOL 151 are recommended prerequisites. F.

GEOL 422. Seminar II. 1 Credit.

Continuation of GEOL 421 experience. Preparation and delivery of oral presentations in science and engineering, culminating in oral presentation of senior thesis (Geol 490) or Engineering Design (485). Includes critical review of student presentations and departmental guest lectures. Prerequisites: GEOL 421, senior or graduate status in departmental major. F,S.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382