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DEGREE Geological Engineering, MS

Masters degree in geological engineering

As a master’s student in geological engineering, you’ll work with faculty mentors on challenges related to using earth’s resources while protecting the environment. In your research, you’ll apply the methods not only of geology, but also those of several engineering disciplines. And you’ll address engineering problems in which the geologic nature of a site or geologic processes constitute major design objectives or constraints.

At a glance

Civil and environmental engineering department

30Plus
Professors of practice who mentor our students
10
civil engineering graduate ranking among public universities
9
environmental engineering graduate ranking among public universities

Learn more about what information you need to apply.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline October 1
Summer Deadline December 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.*
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

All applicants must meet the Graduate School’s admission requirements to be considered for admission.  The application deadline for fall term is December 15th; the application deadline for spring term is October 1st.

In addition, applicants must also meet the department’s more stringent admission requirements listed below to be considered for admission:

  • Grades: A minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) is required for domestic applicants. A strong academic performance comparable to an average of B or above grades for all undergraduate course work is required for international applicants.
  • Degree: A bachelor’s degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program or from a recognized international institution is preferred or bachelor’s degree in physical sciences. Admission to the program requires approval of the admissions committee.
  • A complete graduate application is required before an application will be reviewed by the faculty. A complete graduate application contains the following:
  • Graduate School Application Form and application fee: Applicants must submit an online application to the UW–Madison Graduate School. See Graduate School Admissions to apply.
  • Statement of purpose: A statement of purpose for graduate study must be submitted through an applicant’s online UW–Madison Graduate School application. Please limit this important document to 1,000 words.
  • Letters of recommendation: Three letters of recommendation must be submitted through an applicant’s online UW–Madison Graduate School application.
  • Transcripts: Upload the most recent copies of your transcripts to the electronic application, from each institution attended.  Study abroad transcripts are not required if coursework is reflected on the degree granting university’s transcript. If the application is recommended for admission then we will follow-up with instructions for official transcript submission.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores are required for all applicants.
  • English proficiency scores: Applicants whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. Scores are accepted if they are within two years of the start of the admission term. See Graduate School Admission Requirements for more information on the English proficiency requirement.
    • GRE and TOEFL scores may be sent to institution code 1846 from ETS

Tuition

Tuition and segregated fee rates are always listed per semester (not for Fall and Spring combined).

View tuition rates

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Financial support is available through fellowships, project/program assistantships (PA), research assistantships (RA), and teaching assistantships (TA). Faculty will contact successful applicants directly regarding funding opportunities. Admission is not a guarantee of funding.

Civil and environmental engineers are changing the world. Aging infrastructure. Climate change. Clean water and air. Natural hazards. Energy. These are just a few of the grand challenges facing civil and environmental engineers, and our research is leading the way toward sustainable solutions.

We focus on eight cross-disciplinary research areas that involve collaborations with faculty and students from across the department, as well as other departments within and outside of the College of Engineering.

View our research

Minimum graduate school requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university’s Course Guide (https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations None.
Language Requirements None.

All graduate students must register for G L E 900 Seminar once per academic year. M.S. degree candidates may choose from two options for their program of study:

Thesis Option1

This option requires at least 16 credits of graduate-level coursework (300-level and higher) and at least 6 credits of G L E 790 Master’s Research or Thesis

Independent Study Option1

This option requires at least 21 credits of graduate-level coursework (300-level and higher) and 3 credits of G L E 999 Independent Work. A written report must be prepared based on the independent study project.

Geological Engineering Program Admissions
glegradadmission@engr.wisc.edu
3182 Mechanical Engineering Building, 1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706

Jim Tinjum, Director of Graduate Study
jmtinjum@wisc.edu
2214 Engineering Hall 1415 Engineering Drive Madison, WI 53706

View the Graduate Guide for program-specific information on admission, coursework, policies, rules and regulations.

Civil and environmental engineering news

Our research is making a global impact, especially in mobility, water and building, and energy, infrastructure and environmental considerations thread through everything we do.

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