Soil Mechanics for Geoprofessionals

Class Starts June 7, 2021

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Soil Mechanics for GeoProfessionals (Geo Eng 5415) is a distance course that will prepare you with the basic knowledge of soil mechanics and how it’s applied to geoconstruction projects such as earthwork, grading, stabilization of subgrades, and slopes.

Topics include: soil classification, index properties, water flow through soils, compaction, compressibility, and shear strength. These basic principles will be applied to real-world geoconstruction problems. (Proficiency in strength of materials is recommended)

Students completing this course will be eligible for preferred admission into Missouri S&T's certificate and/or master's degree program in geotechnics. Contact Kevin McLain at for more details.

If you’re interested in pursuing more advanced graduate-level courses in engineering, this course serves as a bridge to accomplishing that goal. By successfully completing this course, you will have the prerequisite to take Civ Eng 5715: Intermediate Soil Mechanics.

Topics covered in this class include:

  • Introduction to Soil Mechanics
  • Composition, particle sizes, and phase relations
  • Index properties and soil classification
  • Compaction of soils
  • Flow of water through soils
  • Stresses in the ground and Mohr Circle
  • Effective stresses
  • Induced stresses and soil settlement
  • Consolidation settlement
  • Time rate of consolidation
  • Soil shear strength
  • Soil shearing and failure criteria
  • Drained vs. undrained strength
  • In-situ tests and correlations
  • Slope stability & foundations

Meeting Times:
None, distance course only, advance at own pace toward homework and examinations online.

Course Textbook: 
Budha, M (2011), Soil mechanics & Foundations, 3rd ed.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc., N.Y.

Course Website: Canvas

Assigned on a weekly basis on the Canvas website and due at the assigned deadlines online. Solutions will be provided shortly after the due date.

Returning Students — register for classes in Joe'SS

If you are wanting to take this class without enrolling in a graduate certificate or degree program, you must apply to Missouri S&T as a non-degree seeking applicant. 

Interested in applying to the geotechnics certificate program or degree program? Select one of the following:

Ready to apply? You'll need the following:

•   Completed Online Application
•   Statement of Purpose 
•   Transcripts

All materials may be submitted online during the application process. Click here to apply

Approval from the professor is still required to enroll in this class and you must meet all prerequisite requirements specific to this course.