Geological Sciences & Engineering

Students working in the field

A Stong Foundation for Earth Sciences

For more information:

Geological Sciences & Engineering

Student in the Keck Museum

At a glance:

Bachelors Degrees offered:

  • Geology (also as minor)
  • Geophysics (also as minor)
  • Geological Engineering
  • Hydrogeology (also as minor)

Advanced Degrees offered:

  • Geology (MS, Ph.D.)
  • Geological Engineering (MS)
  • Geo-Engineering (Ph.D.)
  • Geophysics (MS, Ph.D.)
  • Hydrogeology (MS, Ph.D.)

Number of Faculty: 14

Current Students: 280

The Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering consists of outstanding faculty active in teaching and research in a broad range of specialties.  In addition, the department benefits from research collaborations with and teaching contributions from more than 30 associated faculty members at the Desert Research Institute, the Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology, the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, and the U.S. Geological Survey.  Thus, students become active in both regional and international research programs, and participate in groundbreaking field-related studies. 

The University of Nevada, Reno is located near the boundary between the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada physiographic and geologic provinces, and is near many world-class localities for field studies, ranging from glaciated high country to high desert environments.  Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, Great Basin, and Lassen Volcanic national parks are all within easy reach of Reno.  Students benefit from an outstanding living and research environment.

Laboratories and Facilities

The Department of Geological Sciences & Engineering maintains field instrumentation for geologic, seismic, gravity, magnetic, electrical, and rock properties studies - with many systems incorporating state-of-the-art technology.  In addition, the Nevada Seismological Laboratory maintains one of the world's largest digitally recorded seismic networks.

Laboratory capabilities include: scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, petrographic microscopy, reflected light microscopy, laser ablation ICP-MS, ICP-ES, stable isotope geochemistry, X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, fluid inclusion facilities, paleomagnetism and rock magnetism, earthquake source modeling, conodont and radiolarian biostratigraphy, geographic information systems (GIS), computer graphics, and computer modeling. These laboratories support research in geology, geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology, ore deposits, petrology, slope stability, rock mechanics, and planetary sciences.

Geological Engineering

The B.S. in Geological Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,  Accreditation ensures that the program has clearly articulated Program Educational Objectives for graduates, directly assessable Student Outcomes for program majors, and publicly available  enrollment and graduation data.