M.S. Humanitarian Engineering and Science: Geological Engineering

Broadly defined, Humanitarian Geological Engineering focuses on applying the principles of geological engineering to improve the lives of disadvantaged communities and the natural environments in which they live. Humanitarian Geological Engineering spans a wide range of topics including

  • Management of geologic hazards
  • Protection of water resources
  • Siting and layout of communities
  • Responsible extraction of earth resources
  • Emergency management
  • Sustainability

Practitioners work to develop sustainable socio-technical solutions to these challenges in collaboration with local scientists, communities and government stakeholders.

Application Requirements
  • Degree candidates should have an undergraduate degree in engineering or the equivalent coursework. In addition, candidates will need to complete necessary prerequisite courses for the graduate courses, including engineering geology, ground-water engineering, soil mechanics, and rock mechanics, also found in the Mines graduate catalog.
  • Statement of purpose, updated curriculum vitae or resume and transcripts for post-secondary degrees are required for all students.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required for students pursuing the MS thesis option.
  • Non-native English speakers must meet one of the following minimum requirements: TOEFL iBT score of 79; TOEFL paper-based test score of 550; TOEFL computer-based test score of 213; IELTS score of 6.5 or have received a prior degree from an English-speaking university.
  • Mines undergraduate students may count up to six credits from their undergraduate program toward a combined BS/MS degree. External applicants may substitute approved electives with courses brought from elsewhere with written permission from the HES program director.
Required Courses


  • GPGN 577 Humanitarian Geoscience (3 credits)
  • GEGN 532: Geological Data Analysis (3 credits)

Non-thesis/professional masters candidates must take at least three of the following courses.  Thesis students must take two of the following courses in addition to independent research credit. The student and the instructor will work together to develop humanitarian themes in the project assignments within each course.

  • GEGN 563: Applied Numerical Modelling for Geomechanics (3 credits)
  • GEGN 570: Case Histories in Geological Engineering and Hydrogeology (3 credits)
  • GEGN 673: Advanced Geological Engineering Design (3 credits)
  • GEGN 573: Geological Engineering Site Investigation (3 credits)
  • GEGN 575: Applications of Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
  • GEGN 580: Applied Remote Sensing for Geoengineering and Geosciences (3 credits)
  • GEGN 671: Landslides: Investigation, Analysis and Mitigation (3 credits)