Program in Geological Engineering

Academic Unit

Program Information

Geological engineering is the application of science to problems involving the Earth, its physical environment, earth materials, and natural resources. Geological engineering problems are increasingly important to humankind, and the well-trained Earth scientist-engineer will be uniquely positioned to solve these problems and find the best ways to use the earth's resources while protecting the environment. For example, the geological engineer is involved with exploration and use of Earth's water, energy, and mineral resources, as well as in the acquisition and utilization of the data necessary to shape environmental policy and practice. Princeton's Program in Geological Engineering combines studies in engineering and earth sciences, with focus on applications of geology, geochemistry, and geophysics.

Depending upon the selection of electives, the program prepares students for graduate study or practice in geology, geochemistry, geophysics, oceanography, water resources, engineering and environmental geology, and civil and environmental engineering. The program is a cooperative effort of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Geosciences, and the program committee is drawn from those departments. The student may be a candidate for either the B.S.E. or the A.B. degree.

Students with interests in this interdepartmental approach are encouraged to consult the program director. Further information may be found under the listings of the two departments.

Program of Study

Participants in the program will satisfy the degree requirements for their department as well as the course and independent work requirements for the program. A coherent course of study will be developed in conjunction with the program adviser and the departmental representative and will include geosciences and engineering courses outside the student's department. Specific program requirements are listed below.

Program Requirements

All program students must take:

1. B.S.E. mathematics, physics, and chemistry requirements.

2. Four program-approved courses at or above the 300 level that constitute a coherent sequence (for additional details, see the geosciences and civil and environmental engineering department descriptions). At least two of these courses must be from a department different from that in which the student is concentrating.

3. A two-semester senior thesis on a geological engineering topic approved by the program committee.

To remain a member of the program in good standing, students must maintain at least a B- average in their technical subjects. To be awarded the program certificate upon graduation, students must achieve a minimum grade average of B- in program courses. Program courses may not be taken on a pass/D/fail basis.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who have met the program requirements will receive a certificate of proficiency upon graduation.

Select GEO courses

GEO 203 Fundamentals of Solid Earth Science
GEO 300 Summer Course in Geologic Field Methods
GEO 361 Physics of Earth, the Habitable Planet
GEO 363 Environmental Geochemistry: Chemistry of the Natural Systems
GEO 366 Climate Change: Scientific Basis, Policy Implications
GEO 370 Sedimentology
GEO 417 Environmental Microbiology
GEO 418 Environmental Aqueous Geochemistry
GEO 424 Introductory Seismology
GEO 441 Computational Geophysics
GEO 470 Environmental Chemistry of Soils