South Dakota School of Mines and Technology


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The Paleontology program is designed for those students or professionals who wish to pursue advanced training in the study of past life on earth Our program emphasizes paleontology from a geological perspective, and includes opportunities for coursework and research in , paleoecology, paleoclimatology, taphonomy, systematics, stable isotope and trace element applications, and biostratigraphy.  Resources available to participants in the master’s program in paleontology  extensive collections of the Museum of Geology, analytical facilities in the Martin Paleontology Research Laboratory, and field education and research programs.

An undergraduate degree in the geological sciences is preferred, but students with a degree in biological sciences may be considered, although undergraduate courses in college-level Physics (1 semester), Calculus (2 semesters), Chemistry (2 semesters), Statistics (1 semester), Mineralogy, Historical Geology, Invertebrate Paleontology, Petrology, Structural Geology, Stratigraphy and Sedimentation, and Field Geology (6-credit course) are required.

The M.S. program requires 32 credits that include 6-8 credits of thesis research culminating in the defense of a M.S. thesis, and 24-26 credits of course work; a non-thesis option is not available for this degree program.

For more information on how to apply for the WRGP resident tuition rate for this program, please contact:

Darrin Pagnac
Department of Geology and Geological Enginering
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
501 East Saint Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 394-2469

Degrees Available