Why Study Geology at Montana Tech? 

The geology degree features a research-based curriculum, that allows students to tailor their learning to their interests. For example, recent graduate students in this option have investigated the origin of hydrothermal talc mineralization in SW Montana, water-rock interaction and acid mine drainage in Butte, and the bio-geochemistry of natural wetlands near abandoned mines. You'll learn from industry-experienced — and connected — Montana Tech faculty who are passionate about helping you succeed in hydrogeology. You'll be prepared for hydrogeology careers or to pursue your Ph.D in Earth Science and Engineering at Montana Tech.

Outstanding Faculty

The Geological Engineering Department at Montana Tech has distinguished faculty members who 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.

World-Class Geology Labs

You have plenty of hands-on learning opportunities at Montana Tech. With access to state-of-the-art and fully equipped laboratories, our geology degree students will graduate learning how to operate sophisticated laboratory and field equipment. Our geological engineering department is home to state-of-the-art facilities including a triaxial testing lab, an underground mine facility, and geotechnical and groundwater modeling software.

Geology Internships

Obtain even more hands-on experience through geology internships to supplement your bachelor's degree from Montana Tech. Through our annual Career Services events, you'll have access to more than 100 companies that come to campus to recruit Montana Tech students for geology summer internships for continuing students and full-time employment for our geology graduates.

Exceptional Location

By choosing Montana Tech for your geology degree, you'll benefit from our location in Butte, Montana. You can tour local engineering operations and pursue geology internships in Butte as well as in nearby cities such as Bozeman and Missoula. Plus, you'll also have innumerable opportunities to enjoy Montana's great outdoors in your free time.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Option

You can earn the Geoscience, M.S. option in geology with by taking 30 credits and completing a thesis or publishable paper, or by taking 36 credits, without a thesis or paper. 

Study Geology and Have Fun Too

Get involved in various clubs and organizations on campus. Or enjoy the expansive nature Butte, Montana offers for year-round activities. Ski at nearby resorts or in the backcountry, enjoy local hot springs, hike the Great Divide, or fish in pristine mountain streams.

Be Ready for a Career in Geology

Through this rigorous geology degree you’ll not only gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. You’ll also develop communication, interpersonal, and project management skills. From Montana Tech’s engaged geological engineering faculty to Career Services, you’ll have the resources, support, and connections you need to land coveted internships and jobs and receive a top geology salary.

Admission Requirements

You will need a B.S. in Geological, Mining, Geophysical, or Civil Engineering. Course prereqisites include physical geology, mineralogy, petrology, sedimentology, and introduction to field geology. 

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Engaged Faculty with Experience

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Unparalleled Location for Field Work
Only On-Campus Underground Mine in USA
Make Montana Your Geology Classroom.
See why geology students choose Montana Tech.

What is Geology? 

A Master of Science in Geoscience with an “Option in Geology” allows specialization in many fields of Applied Geology. Applied geologists tackle humanity's problems that are tied to geological factors. 

What Types of Jobs Do Geology Graduates Get? 

All recent MS graduates in Geology have found employment in their chosen field. Career opportunities for geologists with an M.S. degree are diverse, and include State and Federal government agencies (e.g., Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, USDA Forest Service, US Bureau of Land Management), resource extraction industries (mining, petroleum), and private consulting companies.

$83,680 Average Annual Salary

For geoscientists, 2021

5% Projected Industry Growth

About the same as most other career fields

24,900 Geoscientists in the U.S., 2021

Explore Classes for the Geology Degree

The thesis option requires 30 credits, with a minimum of 15 at the 500 level, and the remainder at the 400 level. The non-thesis option requires 36 credits, with a minimum of 18 at the 500 level, and the remainder at the 400 level. Course schedule is determined in cooperation with a faculty advisor.

Learn more about Geoscience, Hydrogeology Option, M.S. at Montana Tech
Geological Department

Meet faculty, explore our research expertise, and more.

Catalog Details

Get semester-by-semester info about hydrogeology courses.

Research Office

The NSF, Army Research Lab, and other top institutions regularly fund our faculty and scholars.

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Dr. Glenn Shaw
Professor and Department Head