Master of Science (MS) in Geosciences

Montana Tech

Program Description

Master of Science (MS) in Geosciences

Montana Tech

Master of Science (MS) in Geosciences

There are 6 study options underneath the Master of Science (MS) in Geosciences program:

1. Geochemistry

Geochemistry (Dept. of Chemistry & Geochemistry) Geobiochemistry, water/rock/microbe interactions, thermodynamics of natural systems, coevolution of geochemistry and life, thermodynamics of minerals, and migration of pollutant species in soil and water.

DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW:

Geochemistry is an interdisciplinary field of study in which the science of chemistry is used to solve earth science problems. Areas of study include the full spectrum of topics from geo-biochemistry, to water/rock/microbe interactions, thermodynamics of natural systems, coevolution of geochemistry and life, thermodynamics of minerals, and migration of pollutant species in soil and water.

The geochemistry option is centered in the Chemistry and Geochemistry Department. Students acquire relatively strong backgrounds in chemistry and can choose thesis topics ranging from a large variety of geochemical/environmental topics.

Admission requirements: B.S. in chemistry, geology, or any science or engineering.

Options: Thesis, Publishable paper, or Non-Thesis

SEMINAR REQUIREMENTS:

  • TC 5150 Graduate Writing Seminar or TC 5160 Technical Writing and Publishing
  • ENGR 5940 Geoscience Seminar

PLACEMENT

Many of our graduates continue their graduate work in a Ph.D. program. Other graduates have found employment with various minerals industry companies such as the Pegasus Gold Corp., Applied Technology, Inc., Chemex Labs, the Atlantic Richfield Chemical Co., Marathon Oil Co., Westinghouse, American Geochemist, Corp., and Stauffer Chemical Co.

CURRICULUM

The following are pre-requisite courses for the Geochemistry curriculum and if the student has not received at least a grade of C in these courses, they would have to be taken as deficiencies:

  • CHEM 3356 Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM 3366 Physical Chemistry II
  • GEOE 3080 Hydrogeology

The following sequence of 14 credits of courses constitutes the core of the Geochemistry Program:

Fall (Year 1):

  • CHEM 5406 Water Chemistry (3cr)
  • GEOE 5520 Hydro-Geochemistry (3cr)
  • *TC 5150 Graduate Writing Seminar (1cr) or *TC 5160 Technical Writing & Publishing (1cr)

Spring (Year 1):

  • CHEM 5426 Fate and Transport of Organics in the Environment (3 cr)
  • GEOE 5320 Geochemical Modeling (2 cr)
  • *TC 5160 Technical Writing & Publishing (1 cr)
  • *1 credit of either class fills the Graduate Writing Seminar requirement

Fall (Year 2):

  • CHEM 5946 Graduate Geochemistry Seminar (1 cr)
  • CHEM 5996 Thesis Research (4 cr)
  • Spring (Year 2):
  • ENGR 5940 Graduate Geoscience Seminar (1 cr)
  • CHEM 5996 Thesis Research (4 cr)

In addition to the coursework listed above thesis students must choose 8 more credits and non-thesis students 12 more credits from among the following courses (courses outside of this list would have to be approved by the student's graduate committee):

  • CHEM 5306 Chemistry Literature (2 cr)
  • CHEM 5316 Surface Chemistry (3 cr)
  • ENVE 5030 Water Quality Engineering II (3 cr)
  • ENVE 5240 Surface Water Modeling (3 cr)
  • ENVE 5300 Subsurface Remediation (3 cr)
  • ENVE 5390 Bioremediation (3 cr)
  • ENVE 5610 Advanced Water Quality (3 cr)
  • GEOE 4020 Groundwater Flow Modeling (3 cr)
  • GEOE 5200 Groundwater Resource Evaluation & Management (3 cr)
  • GEOE 5210 Acid-Rock Drainage (3 cr)
  • GEOE 5220 Groundwater Monitoring (2 cr)
  • GEOE 5230 Groundwater Monitoring Laboratory (1 cr)
  • GEOE 5280 Contaminant Transport (3 cr)
  • MATH 4316 Experimental Design (3 cr)
  • MATH 4326 Regression and Model Building (3 cr)

Note: only a total of 9 credits of 4000 level work can be counted toward your graduate degree.

2. Geological Engineering

Geological Engineering (Dept. of Geological Engineering) Slope stability, numerical modeling, and earthquake engineering.

DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW

A Masters of Science with an "Option in Geological Engineering" requires that the student have an engineering background and allows specialization in several areas of Geological Engineering. Students in related non-engineering fields who have a strong background in mathematics and physics may be admitted to the option on a provisional basis. At a minimum, such students must successfully complete undergraduate-level engineering coursework in statics, mechanics of materials, geomechanics, and engineering economy.

The final examination for thesis and publishable paper-option students will consist of an oral presentation and defense of thesis or paper. Questions may be asked on any topic related to the thesis/paper or coursework taken as part of the graduate program. The presentation will be open to all interested parties, but the defense will be open only to the student’s graduate committee.

The final examination for non-thesis option students will consist of a written and/or oral examination formulated by the student’s graduate committee. The oral examination will draw questions from the written examination plus any course work undertaken as part of the graduate program.

Students who are not already certified as an Engineer-In-Training are required to take the national Fundamentals of Engineering examination.

Admission Requirements: BS in Geological, Mining, Geophysical, or Civil Engineering

Options:

  • A: Thesis (default) or Publishable Paper with approval of Department
  • B: Non-Thesis
  • TC 5160 Graduate Writing Seminar

Seminar Requirements:

  • ENGR 5940 Engineering Seminar (1)

Course Requirements:

Thesis: 30 credits, minimum of 15 at 500 level, remainder at 400 level; Non-thesis: 36 credits, minimum of 18 at 500 level, remainder at 400 level. The course schedule is determined in cooperation with Faculty advisor.

3. Geology

Geology (Dept. of Geological Engineering) Mineral deposits and economic geology, field geology, sedimentary geology, geochemistry or rocks and water, acid mine drainage.

DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW

A Master of Science in Geoscience with an “Option in Geology” allows specialization in many fields of Applied Geology. 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 biogeochemistry of natural wetlands near abandoned mines.

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.

Admission Requirements: BS in Geological, Mining, Geophysical, or Civil Engineering

Options:

  • A: Thesis (default) or Publishable Paper with approval of Department
  • B: Non-Thesis
  • TC 5160 Graduate Writing Seminar

Seminar Requirements:

  • ENGR 5940 Engineering Seminar (1)

Course Requirements:

Thesis: 30 credits, minimum of 15 at 500 level, remainder at 400 level; Non-thesis: 36 credits, minimum of 18 at 500 level, remainder at 400 level. The course schedule is determined in cooperation with Faculty advisor.

4. Geophysical Engineering

Geophysical Engineering (Dept. of Geophysical Engineering) Paleoclimate and cryosphere studies, oil and mining exploration, neural networks, data inversion, seismic reflection, remote sensing, water-resource evaluation, shallow-earth geophysical methods, tectonics, and active-source seismology

DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW

Graduate students pursuing an MS in Geoscience with the Geophysical Engineering option currently have three choices: thesis, publishable paper in lieu of a thesis, and non-thesis. All graduate students, regardless of choice, are encouraged to begin participation in a variety of research and field exploration projects early in the program.

Recent research projects in the department include:

  • Oil Reservoir Characterization
  • Seismic Processing/Interpretation
  • Electrical Resistivity Studies
  • Neural Network Analysis/Application
  • Remote Sensing Analysis
  • Ground Penetrating Radar Studies
  • Shallow Seismic Investigations
  • Application of Artificial Neural Networks
  • Antarctic History
  • Gravity and Magnetic Studies.

Engineering geophysical applications are also of interest and a recent project involved the combined use of seismic and electrical techniques in a groundwater development investigation.

Major department equipment includes a 96-channel seismograph; time domain EM system; ground penetrating radar system; gravimeters; magnetometers; gamma-ray spectrometer; horizontal loop EM system; a resistivity, IP, controlled source AMT system; and three department vehicles for field work. Extensive use is made of the department's computing facilities including PCs, LINUX and Silicon Graphics workstations, and a 28-node supercomputer.

5. Hydrogeological Engineering

Hydrogeological Engineering (Dept. of Geological Engineering) with engineering-based course preparation.

DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW

Graduate students in Hydrogeological Engineering will study the occurrence, movement, and chemistry of groundwater with an additional engineering emphasis. Typical thesis investigations are related to environmental problems, resource supply problems, or issues associated with mining or agricultural activities, and may frequently involve research participation with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology.

Hydrogeologists are in demand due to shortages of experts in water resources issues, their ability to tackle industrial problems, and environmental water quality concerns at both the state and national levels. Career opportunities in this area are very good and graduates are finding 100 percent placement. Companies who have hired our master's degree graduates in this area include Brown Engineering, Conoco, ESA, EG&G, DOE (Battelle), MSE, Lambier Stevens Engineers, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Montana Salinity Control, PTI Environmental, Newmont Mining, and Conoco.

Admission Requirements: BS in Geological, Mining, Geophysical, or Civil Engineering

Options:

  • A: Thesis (default) or Publishable Paper with approval of Department
  • B: Non-Thesis
  • TC 5160 Graduate Writing Seminar

Seminar Requirements:

  • ENGR 5940 Engineering Seminar (1)

Course Requirements:

Thesis: 30 credits, minimum of 15 at 500 level, remainder at 400 level; Non-thesis: 36 credits, minimum of 18 at 500 level, remainder at 400 level. The course schedule is determined in cooperation with Faculty advisor.

6. Hydrogeology

Hydrogeology (Dept. of Geological Engineering) Water quality and supply issues, involving surface and groundwater resources.

DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW

Graduate students in Hydrogeology will study the occurrence, movement, and chemistry of groundwater. Typical thesis investigations are related to environmental problems, resource supply problems, or issues associated with mining or agricultural activities, and may frequently involve research participation with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology.

Admission Requirements: BS in Geological, Mining, Geophysical, or Civil Engineering

Options:

  • A: Thesis (default) or Publishable Paper with approval of Department
  • B: Non-Thesis
  • TC 5160 Graduate Writing Seminar

Seminar Requirements:

  • ENGR 5940 Engineering Seminar (1)

Course Requirements:

Thesis: 30 credits, minimum of 15 at 500 level, remainder at 400 level; Non-thesis: 36 credits, minimum of 18 at 500 level, remainder at 400 level. The course schedule is determined in cooperation with Faculty advisor.

This school offers programs in:
  • English


Last updated January 21, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
Duration
Duration
2 years
Full time
Price
Price
Information
Deadline
Locations
USA - Butte, Montana
Start date : Sept. 2019
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Dates
Sept. 2019
USA - Butte, Montana
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