The M.S. program in Paleontology is a unique degree--There is no other paleontology master’s degree in the Unites States. The program emphasizes the opportunity for combining fieldwork in western South Dakota with study of the extensive collections of the Museum of Geology. The program emphasizes vertebrate paleontology of dinosaurs and mammals and draws from faculty strengths in evolutionary biology, biostratigraphy, cladistics, and vertebrate paleontology. Students are involved collection and curation of new and existing fossils in the Museum’s collection of over 300,000 specimens. Opportunities for international research are available through faculty research programs in Turkey, China, Mongolia, Antarctica, Namibia, and other locations.
The Mission of the Deptartment of Geology and Geological Engineering is to train professional geologists and geological engineers with exceptionally strong technical backgrounds and superior field expertise, well-prepared to live and work in a diverse global environment, through participation in an active research program focused in the fields of energy, water, mineral resources, environmental studies, and paleontology.
Strengths of the department are:
* Proximity and diversity of geology in the Black Hills allowing for practical, field-based education.
* Emphases in vertebrate paleontology, resources (ground-water, energy, mineral), and environmental studies.
* Twelve teaching faculty members (and 3 emeritus professors with Ph.D. degrees from major universities.
* Strong reputation with universities and companies for quality programs and graduates.
* Outstanding placement of graduates in career positions.
* Close collaboration with industry and government organizations.
* Access to over 300,000 fossil and mineral specimens from the School of Mines Museum of Geology research collections.
* Attracts students from 23 states across the USA.
* Ranks in 90th percentile of North American departments by student enrollment.
* Opportunities for international education through annual spring break field trips, summer field camps, and research collaborations.