University General Course Catalog 2015-2016 
    Aug 14, 2020  

Geo-Engineering, Ph.D., Advanced Degree

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I. Contact Information

Robert Watters, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director 
(775) 784-6069

Mailing Address:

University of Nevada, Reno
Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering, Mail stop 0172
1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557

II. Brief Introduction

The Department of Mining Engineering, in collaboration with the geological engineering faculty of the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering, offers a Ph.D. in geo-engineering. Applications for this interdisciplinary program can be submitted to either department. Examples of sub-disciplinary areas within the degree include mine ventilation, mine environmental, reclamation, remediation and restoration studies, mine automation and robotics, rock mechanics, drilling and blasting, materials handling, ore reserve characterization, geostatistics and mineral economics. Prospective students are encouraged to contact faculty members with specialization in the area which the student wishes to pursue to discuss a program of study that would be mutually beneficial, attractive and productive. Applicants should preferably have an engineering degree and knowledge of basic geological sciences. Students with other backgrounds can and are encouraged to apply if they have research interests concurrent with faculty interests. Applicants may be required to complete undergraduate coursework prior to full admission. Degree completion requirements are listed in the Graduate School section of this catalog.

III. Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

  • Geoengineering students will learn how to contribute to state-of-art knowledge in the earth sciences.
  • Geoengineering students will learn effective self-motivational skills.
  • Geoengineering students will learn how to write research proposals.
  • Geoengineering students will learn how to be competitive for employment post degree conference.
  • Geoengineering students will learn effective written and oral communication skills through teaching and research.

IV. Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the Ph.D. in geo-engineering program, applicants should have obtained the M.S. degree in geological engineering or in mining engineering, and should have completed the thesis option degree program. Applicants who have completed an M.S. degree in a closely related discipline (e.g., geology, civil engineering, geophysics, mechanical engineering, hydrology, physics, etc.) will be considered for admission. It is likely that such degrees will be required to complete prerequisite requirements, i.e., courses that will count toward their degree completion requirements.

The fundamental deficiencies that will be evaluated, depending on an applicant’s previous education, are most likely to be fundamental engineering sciences and geology. It is assumed that all applicants will have completed basic science requirements (e.g., mathematics, physics and chemistry) at least through the level required for completing a B.S. degree in engineering in an accredited engineering program.

Fundamental engineering sciences include statics, dynamics, strength of materials, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and electrical circuits. Applicants will be expected to have completed at least 12 semester units in these subjects in order not to be required to complete deficiencies in these topics. Applicants who have passed the FE (Fundamental of Engineering Exam) will have satisfied the basic engineering sciences requirement.

Prior to full admission, applicants must have completed at least 12 semester units in geology.

Applicants who obtained the M.S. degree with a non-thesis will be required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the admitting faculty an equivalent level of research competency and promise.

In order to be admitted, applicants must have a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0, and a combined score of at least 1050 on the verbal and the quantitative parts of the GRE (V+Q> 1050).

Students who are admitted to an M.S. program in geological engineering or in mining engineering may be recommended to pursue the Ph.D. degree directly (i.e., without completing the M.S. degree first). The approach requires a strong recommendation from the student’s advisor and advising committee. The student pursuing this route still needs to meet all other program requirements for admission into a Ph.D. program.

V. Program Requirements

Graduate study requirements are outlined in the Graduate School section of this catalog. It is essential to be informed about the requirements and to satisfy them in every regard.

It is recommended that the student form an advisory committee no later than by the end of the second semester of residency, preferably sooner. The advisory committee also will be the student’s major examination committee. The advisory committee will review the student’s program of study and dissertation research proposal.

The student will take a written and oral comprehensive examination upon completion of at least 75 percent of the student’s required graduate courses. The student will register for one unit of MINE 795 in the semester when the comprehensive examination is taken. The unit counts toward the 72 units required for graduation.

IV. Total Units (72 units)

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