Students on Pacaya Rim having a discussion
Make The World Your Career

Undergraduate Majors

Understand and safely manage the Earth, its resources, and natural hazards.

We offer four undergraduate degrees—applied geophysics, geology, geological engineering, and mining engineering. Each has a focus on sustainability. Apply and develop new digital technologies. Balance the safety of our planet with the needs of society.

Learn from faculty who are active in researching many Earth topics. We focus in hydrogeology, energy and mineral resources, and sustainable mining. We engage in remote sensing, volcanology, and atmospheric sciences. Find out about mineralogy, petrology, paleomagnetism, and seismology. You’ll have endless opportunities for hands-on learning. Join faculty on national and international field trips. Do lab work, Senior Design, Enterprise, undergraduate research, co-ops, and internships. After graduation, you’ll go on to be successful in industry. You can also choose a career in business, government, or academia.

Do not worry if you are not sure which of the four departmental majors is right for you. In the first semester, all students take a one-credit Geo-Orientation course (GE 1100). Learn about each major. Get the opportunity to meet all the departmental faculty members. We are ready to help you tailor your Michigan Tech experience. Find a program to match your interests and aspirations. In the mining industry, there is a demand for graduates in geotechnical engineering. Opportunities are available to work in the Midwest as well as in the West and Alaska.

Balance the safety of our planet and its natural resources with the needs of society. Tomorrow needs engineers and scientists who can meet this challenge. We’re ready. Are you?

Bachelor's Degrees

Join us and discover your potential.

Geological Engineering students in classroom

Geological Engineering

Geological engineers apply engineering to solve complex geologic, atmospheric, and environmental problems. These are issues facing humankind. They include site investigations for tunnels, dams, or roads. They involve exploring and harvesting mineral and energy resources while protecting the environment. Their tasks include assessing and mitigating geologic hazards. Studying volcanoes, landslides, and earthquakes is part of the job.

Our Bachelor in Science Geological engineering students intern or co-op with several industries. Mining companies hire our students, as well as geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering consulting. Students may work with state and federal agencies involved with managing natural resources.

Rock samples on a table in boxes


Geologists study the earth, earth materials, and earth systems such as volcanoes. They understand society's need for natural resources. They also have a responsibility to preserve the environment. Training allows geologists to strike this delicate balance. As a geologist, you can explore and extract minerals or energy resources. Dispose of nuclear and chemical waste. Choose the best sites for structures. Study natural hazards—such as volcanoes or earthquakes. Figure out how to reduce their impact on people. Bachelor's in Science Geology students get internships with geoenvironmental consulting. They may work with mineral exploration industries and state and federal agencies.

Two geophysics researchers in the forest taking samples

Applied Geophysics

Applied geophysicists use physics-based methods and technology. They view and gather data from the subsurface of the Earth. This is similar to how medical professionals use X-ray and MRI technology. These technologies allow us to see inside the human body. Geophysicists combine geological knowledge with a strong base of mathematics and physics. They are able to identify oil and gas reserves. They can find ore bodies, water supplies, and even anthropogenic or archaeological features. Geophysicists can use this diverse skill in many ways to benefit humankind. They further scientific understanding and protect the environment. Applied Geophysics majors work for or intern with many firms and companies. Industries that characterize sites for environmental contamination may hire our students. Companies involved in water resources, foundations, petroleum, and mineral resources hire applied geophysicists.

Two mining engineering researchers in the mine with protective gear.

Mining Engineering

Explore and discover mineral resources. Engage in feasibility studies and mine design. Be involved in mine production, mine operation, and mine closure. Mining engineering is multidisciplinary. It applies various aspects of science and cutting edge technology. Mining engineers solve complex, open-ended problems. Many involve the sustainable extraction of minerals from the earth. Mining engineering majors practice drilling rock for blasting. Our students have access to two local mines. They use fixed-wing drones for mapping open pits and stockpiles. They use the uniaxial compressive strength testing machine for rock strength measurements. Students have access to equipment and mining software in class labs. They also do projects and undergraduate research.


Add to your degree at a flagship technological university with a geological and mining engineering minor. A minor allows you to specialize in a discipline outside of or complementary to your major. We recommend that you begin your minor studies as early as possible in your academic career.

  • Applied Geophysics
  • Geological Engineering
  • Earth Sciences
  • Mining

Safely Manage the Earth

Learn to think, conduct research, and apply knowledge. Achieve success in a diverse and changing global environment and global economy. Join us and discover your potential. Enjoy nature during and after your college experience. Geoscientists and engineers often work outside. They may travel the world.

Field Studies

Our curriculum focuses on field studies. Hands-on training and experience are critical to your success. We teach two field courses in the summer. We provide plenty of opportunities for students to see classic and novel field sites. Students visit sites here on the Keweenaw Peninsula and beyond. Recent field trips included Alaska, Utah, and Nicaragua. Our students have experienced Mexico, Newfoundland, Florida, Guatemala, Canada, and Montana.

Beautiful Outdoor Facilities

We are on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, on the south shore of Lake Superior. Hundreds of miles of rocky coastline surround the peninsula. Isle Royale National Park is nearby. The area offers a unique geology and rugged topography unusual to the Midwest. This area is an international focal point for mineral collectors. It is ideal for a wide variety of geologic studies. The peninsula was also the center of a native copper ore district. It developed into a billion-dollar mining industry. Mining activity led to the creation of the Michigan Mining School more than 100 years ago. Our department is the direct descendent of that original school.

Excellent Indoor Facilities

Our department features world-class computer and analytical laboratory equipment. Labs and research areas include:

  • Remote Sensing and Volcanology
  • Subsurface Remediation and Visualization
  • Seismic Petrophysics
  • Environmental Magnetism
  • Rock Mechanics
  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • X-Ray Diffraction
  • Subsurface Visualization Lab
  • Remote Sensing Institute
  • Michigan Tech Research Vessel—R/V Agassiz
  • Michigan Tech Volcano Observatory
  • 4.5:1
    student to faculty ratio
  • 95%
    of engineering graduates employed after graduation
  • 11th
    best geological engineering school in U.S.A.

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying geological and mining engineering at Michigan's flagship technological university.

Tomorrow Needs You.

At Michigan Tech, the classes shape your mind, but the experience of being here shapes you into who you want to be.


Earn an ABET Accredited Engineering Degree

With ABET accreditation, you can be sure that your Michigan Tech degree meets the quality standards that prepares you to enter a global workforce.

And, because it requires comprehensive, periodic evaluations, ABET accreditation demonstrates our continuing commitment to the quality of your program—both now and in the future.

Sought Worldwide

ABET's voluntary peer-review process is highly respected. Its criteria are developed by technical professionals and focuses on what you, as a student, experience and learn. It adds critical value to academic programs in technical disciplines—where quality, precision, and safety are of the utmost importance.

Geological and Mining Engineering Program Criteria

Geological Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,, under the General Criteria and the Geological and Similarly Named Engineering Programs Program Criteria.

ABET logo

The GMES Department

  • Our facilities allow students to experiment with advanced geologic technology. The department maintains labs dedicated to the study of remote sensing and volcanology, geographic information systems (GIS), subsurface remediation and visualization, and seismic petrophysics, among other areas.
  • Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula offers beautiful outdoor facilities. The area surrounding campus is ideal for a wide variety of geologic studies. You don’t have to drive far to find miles of rocky Lake Superior shoreline and acres of forestland.
  • Our curriculum focuses intensely on field studies; we teach two field courses in the summer but also provide plenty of opportunities for students to see classic and novel field sites in Michigan and beyond. Students have traveled to sites in Alaska, Canada, Florida, Guatemala, Mexico, Montana, Newfoundland, Nicaragua, and Utah.
  • Undergraduate research opportunities are plentiful. Our faculty conduct research abroad, and students often accompany them on field trips. You might study volcanoes in South America, Precambrian rocks in Australia (or right here in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula), or the Bering Glacier’s melt rate in Alaska.
  • Our well-rounded curriculum emphasizes the study of geophysics and social geology, or methods for mitigating natural hazards through effective communication and community involvement.
  • Faculty and staff focus on giving students the personal attention and support necessary for not only academic success, but also a positive undergraduate experience overall. Learn from faculty who understand responsible utilization of our Earth.
  • Opportunities for intercultural exchange abound at Michigan Tech. The Study Abroad Program sends students to countries around the world for stints ranging from two weeks to one year. D80 allows students to apply their studies to the problems facing economically disadvantaged communities.
  • Students are encouraged to join the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, Materials United, the Geology Club, the Society of Women Engineers, or one of many other organizations for opportunities to get involved, invested, explore new horizons, and meet fellow students who share a similar interest.

Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences Programs

Or, start with our General Engineering option and give yourself time to decide.

MTU engineering

Real Engineering. Meaningful Work.

We are committed to inspiring students, advancing knowledge, and innovating technological solutions to create a sustainable, just, and prosperous world. With an entering engineering class of about 1,000 students, 17 degrees to choose from, and 160 faculty in the College of Engineering alone, we provide a world-class education with the trusted reputation of Michigan Tech.

As a student at Michigan Tech you’ll work closely with faculty mentors, immerse yourself in experience-powered learning, and gain a thorough understanding of engineering practice. Collaborate and innovate in laboratories, coursework, Enterprise, and Senior Design—you'll work with industry partners on real engineering projects and develop strong skill sets for your future.

You could study abroad, with engineering opportunities ranging from a few weeks to one full year. Or focus on problems facing disadvantaged communities in countries around the world. Michigan Tech’s Global and Community Engagement program offers you a range of options.

More than 400 employers regularly recruit our students for internships, co-ops, and full-time employment. Engineering students average seven interviews, and 98 percent are employed within their field of study, enlist in the military, or enroll in a graduate school within six months of graduation. A degree in engineering from Michigan Tech can take you anywhere.

Tomorrow Needs You

Engineers do a lot of things, but there's one thing we do first and foremost: we help people. We use creative ideas and technologies to solve problems in health care, energy, transportation, hunger, space exploration, climate change, and more—much more. Become an engineer who is ready for what tomorrow needs.

Student Stories

"My experience with undergraduate research was invaluable. I met, connected, and collaborated with many admirable and inspiring peers and mentors. Special experiences like these are what invigorate and propel students like me toward future goals and aspirations." Brendan Harville, Applied Geophysics