Geology, Geological Engineering, and Mining Engineering PhD

Contact Information

Dr. Laurie Anderson, Department Head 
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
Mineral Industries 303
(605) 394-2461
E-mail: Laurie.Anderson@sdsmt.edu  

Dr. Kelli McCormick, Graduate Coordinator and Senior Lecturer
Department of Mining Engineering and Management
(605) 394-1971
E-mail: Kelli.McCormick@sdsmt.edu

Geological Engineering Faculty

Professor Stetler; Associate Professors Katzenstein and Li; Professors Emeritus Davis, Rahn, Roggenthen, and Sawyer.

Geology and Paleontology Faculty

Professors L. Anderson, Duke, Masterlark, Price, and Uzunlar; Associate Professors Pagnac and Ustunisik; Assistant Professors Keenan, Waldien, and Ward; Lecturer Karnes; Professors Emeritus Bjork, J. Fox, Martin, and Paterson.

Mining Engineering Faculty

Professor Hall; Associate Professors Brickey and Tukkaraja; Senior Lecturers Allard and McCormick; Lecturer Bowron.

Adjunct Faculty

M. Anderson, Benton, and Valder.

Staff

Research Scientist  Nielsen; Coordinator and Instructor Pellowski; Museum of Geology Associate Director and Instructor N. Fox; Museum Preparator and Instructor Johnson.

PhD in Geology, Geological Engineering, and Mining Engineering

Students must elect to pursue a specialization in Geology, Geological Engineering, or Mining Engineering. Those interested in paleontology at the PhD level enroll in the Geology Specialization. Each specialization has different background and program requirements. The available coursework and current faculty expertise support the following areas of concentration.

  1. Energy and Mineral Resources
  2. Geophysics
  3. Groundwater and Environment
  4. Paleontology
  5. Petrology and Mineral Resources
  6. Structure and Tectonics
  7. Geomechanics
  8. Mine Planning and Optimization
  9. Mine Management
  10. Mine Ventilation
  11. Deep Water Mining
  12. Mineral Economics 

    Graduate Programs Outcomes

    Department-wide expectations for Geology and Geological Engineering graduate programs are designed to target the following program outcomes in the context of the GGE Strategic Plan and greater professional community:

    • Students will have technical expertise.
    • Students will be effective communicators.
    • Students will engage in meaningful professional service.
    • Students will impact the profession.

    For information on outcomes for the Mining Engineering and Management Department, visit their Graduate Programs Page.

    Applying for the Ph.D.

    We strongly encourage students to contact potential graduate research advisors prior to or during the application process. Many factors contribute to the success of an application, including the goals statement, coursework, grades, test scores, work experience, recommendations, and availability of a faculty member in the student’s anticipated research area. In general, we prefer to see a GPA of 3.0 or above.

    Applicants interested in the Geology (including Paleontology) specialization should have substantial preparation in general science, math, and geological sciences, although a particular baccalaureate degree is not required for admission.

    Applicants interested in the Geological Engineering specialization should have substantial preparation in general science, math, geological sciences, and engineering, although a particular baccalaureate degree is not required for admission.

    Applicants interested in the Mining Engineering specialization, should have substantial preparation in science, math, and engineering, although a particular baccalaureate degree is not required for admission.

    Admission to the Geology and Geological Engineering specializations is normally limited to qualified students who have already earned an M.S. degree in geology, geological engineering, paleontology, or a related field.

    Students with a B.S. degree who apply to the Ph.D. program will be admitted to the M.S. program in Geology and Geological Engineering, Paleontology, or Mining Engineering until they have accumulated sufficient course credits for an M.S. degree, after which they will be transitioned to the Ph.D. program. 

    Geology and Geological Engineering, Paleontology, or Mining Engineering M.S. students in good standing may also convert to the Geology, Geological Engineering, and Mining Engineering Ph.D. program by submitting a standard application for the Ph.D. program to be reviewed by the Geology and Geological Engineering or Mining Engineering faculty. The applicant is required to submit at least one recommendation letter from the current M.S. advisor and the future Ph.D. advisor (if they are different). Accepted students will follow Ph.D. requirements and submit an Intent to Transfer form to the Office of Graduate Education.

    Additional requirements

    Detailed information on the qualifying and comprehensive examinations is outlined in the Geology and Geological Engineering Graduate Handbook, the Mining Engineering Graduate Handbook (MS and PhD) , and in the VIII. PhD Degree Requirements.

    For the Geology and Geological Engineering specializations, any physical specimens (and associated documentation) collected, prepared, and cited in a thesis or dissertation are to be deposited in the Museum of Geology as part of the student’s work. Forms are available.


    See course catalog for more information:

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