Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to retake the GRE if I have already taken it?

The GRE does not need to be retaken, provided the GRE scores are at least V+Q ≥ 298, A ≥ 3.5.  If the GRE has not already been taken, it must be done before the end of your first semester.

Alternatively, if you first enter the Certificate Program, no GRE score is required. 

For international students, A TOEFL score of at least 560 is required, Internet based TOEFL, need 80/120.

2. Is there a difference between the resident master's and the online master's degree?

In residence it is a Master of Science in Geological Engineering with a strong recommendation to do a thesis. Online it is a Master of Engineering in Geotechnics with no thesis requirement, but there is a requirement to do an industrial project.

3. Does this degree lead directly to professional engineering registration?

Professional Engineering registration is based on undergraduate (ABET accredited) education. Many states have alternative ways to get registered. Please check with you local P.E. board to see if they have any kind of experience-based procedure.

4. What are on-line courses like?

The student is encouraged to check with the department and/or instructor on course content and delivery methods: Delivery methods vary widely, and range from annotated powerpoint, voice over powerpoint, and streaming video. Courses are typically offered online during the same semester as they are offered on campus. You can take as many or as few courses as you like. Assignment due dates, and exam time will be fixed; however, when you take the actual online class is up to you. The exception is live streaming video presentations.

5. Why is our degree not called "geotechnical engineering"?

The reason our degree is not called geotechnical engineering is that the civil engineers feel they have a trademark on that phrase, which we don't want to infringe upon. The difference then is that this degree is from the Geological Engineering Department rather than the Civil Engineering Department. In any case, you can take both geological and civil engineering courses for our degree.

6. Can I do a Ph.D. program online?

The Geological Engineering Program has recently been approved by the Faculty Senate for a distance education Ph.D. degree.  Please contact us for more information (

7. I am a graduate of a geology program.  What must I do to get into a master of engineering program?

Historically at Missouri S&T, we have always required graduate students pursuing an on campus M.S. degree in geological engineering to take Math through differential equations and to take statics, mechanics of materials and fluid mechanics.

For the online M.E. degree, we do not have formal requirements for math or engineering per se, but individual courses do require those skills, some more, some less. We recommend at least two semesters of calculus and perhaps a third semester of math (statistics, differential equations, or another calculus course) (those can be taken at any community college or even by distance from other sources). 

A course in statics and one in mechanics of materials will be required of new students without an engineering background. These are available at community colleges, or by distance education. We offer here a single 3 hour course that combines both topics, GeE 205 Statics and Mechanics of Geological Materials. This course does not need to be completed before other courses are taken, but should be taken before attempting a course in Soil or Rock Mechanics. On a course by course basis, it is up to each instructor to enforce or waive any prerequisites.