13 Top Geotechnical Engineering Graduate Programs

In this article, you will find top geotechnical engineering graduate programs for scholars across the globe open to admit both international and domestic students interested in the geotechnical field of study.

This field is one field that attempts to solve a wide array of geotechnical problems, many of which do not occur in similar patterns.

The dissimilarity between each problem solved means that work as a graduate geotechnical engineer is interestingly challenging.

This article discusses geotechnical engineering graduate programs, the top 13 programs and all other things you need to know.

geotechnical engineering graduate programs
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What is geotechnical engineering?

Geotechnical engineering according to designing buildings “is a practice that relates to the engineering behavior of the earth and its materials. Geotechnical engineering is a field that is very much important to construction, coastal, and ocean engineering.”

What does a geotechnical engineer do?

Geotechnical engineers with their knowledge of rock and soil mechanics observe, investigate, and evaluate subsurface and soil conditions.

They monitor and assess environmental issues, both big and small, and draw conclusions and likely solutions to some if not most of the issues assessed.

Why a geotechnical engineering graduate program?

This is one question that often throws people off track. You may ask “why geotechnical engineering?” “Why not any other engineering graduate program?” These are all legitimate questions and they are all dependent on context and background.

Additionally, geotechnical engineering offers you the opportunity to do more than you would ordinarily do as it has reach, and a graduate program in geotechnical engineering helps to prepare the student for the eventualities of the field.

Top Geotechnical Engineering Graduate Programs

  • MS in Geotechnical Engineering of Northwestern University
  • MS in Geotechnical Engineering by the National University of Singapore
  • Geotechnical Engineering Master’s degree program of the University of Washington
  • Master of Science in Engineering program in Geotechnical Engineering of the University of HongKong
  • Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Birmingham
  • Master of Science degree in Geotechnical Engineering and Management of the University of Birmingham
  • Master of Engineering Studies in Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Auckland
  • Master of Science in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering of the Trinity College Dublin
  • Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Leeds
  • Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Exeter
  • Master of Engineering of the Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering of Newcastle University
  • Master of Science Advanced Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Surrey

#1 – MS in Geotechnical Engineering of Northwestern University

This program of Northwestern University’s McCormick school of engineering is one that prepares graduates with sound fundamentals necessary to become creative geotechnical consultants and designers, capable of addressing the wide range of issues arising from the development and maintenance of sustainable infrastructure systems and mitigating natural hazards.

The courses are taught with experience from renowned professionals and practitioners in mind. The program is designed in a way that incorporates the fundamentals which are soil mechanics, soil dynamics, unsaturated soil mechanics, groundwater, computational plasticity, and limit analysis, and constitutive modeling of soils, and supplemental courses that provides the students with what they need to become creative geotechnical consultants.

  • Full time – 12-course units (nine core courses and 3 electives) for 1 year
  • Start date – Expected start date is September 2021.
  • Venue – McCormick School of Engineering, Illinois, United States.
  • Entry requirements – U.S bachelor’s degree or any equivalent with more than 3 years course work.

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#2 – MS in Geotechnical Engineering by the National University of Singapore

This Master of Science program of the National University of Singapore is one of the best geotechnical engineering graduate programs crafted to provide the student with the ability to comprehend complex geotechnical systems that require a lot of teaching and practice to grasp.

The depth of exposure to theories bordering on excavations, tunneling, deep foundations, and ground improvement is enormous.

  • Full time – 40 modular credit units ( 28 core courses and 12 electives) for 1 year
  • Start date – January and August 2021
  • Venue – The National University of Singapore / Online
  • Entry requirements – A bachelor’s degree with honors

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#3 – Geotechnical Engineering Master’s degree program of the University of Washington

The geotechnical engineering master’s degree program of the University of Washington is a program that provides a solid background in all traditional areas of geotechnical engineering and allows students to focus on areas of particular interest, including geotechnical earthquake engineering, landslide hazards, soil mechanics, and foundation engineering.

Graduate students work closely with faculty and also interact with leaders in the local professional community, many of whom are UW graduates, through special courses taught by practitioners, field trips, seminars, and professional society meetings.

  • Full time – A total of 42 credits for 1 year
  • Start date – October 2021
  • Venue – University of Washington
  • Entry requirements – A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, its equivalent from a foreign institution or a Bologna bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 180 European Credit Transfer System credits.

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#4 – Master of Science in Engineering program in Geotechnical Engineering of the University of HongKong

The University of Hong Kong’s Master of Science in Engineering program is one of the top geotechnical engineering graduate programs created to provide in-depth theoretical and practical education for graduates aspiring to pursue professional careers in geotechnical engineering.

This program is accredited by ICE, IStructE, and IHT as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer under the provisions of UK-SPEC for intakes 2002-2021, for candidates that have already acquired a CEng accredited BEng(Hons) undergraduate first degree.

The medium of instruction (including teaching, coursework, examinations, and other forms of assessment) for the program is English.

  • Full time – A total of 48 credits for 1 year
  • Start date – January 2021
  • Venue – The University of Hong Kong
  • Entry requirements – A Bachelor’s degree from this University or a qualification of equivalent standard from this University or another comparable institution accepted for this purpose.

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#5 – Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Birmingham

This geotechnical engineering graduate program is designed to support high-level training and enhance both the technical and managerial skills of graduates and experienced personnel who work in or aspire to a career in the construction or related industries.

It is aimed at civil engineers and geologists who wish to widen their professional scope or to specialize in geotechnical engineering.

With an excellent reputation across the industry, the course focuses on essential aspects of the subject, including physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of soils and rocks; ground investigation; field and laboratory testing; engineering geology and site investigation; analysis, design, and construction of foundations, retaining walls, tunnels, embankments and slopes including methods of ground reinforcement and improvement.

  • Full time – 1 year
  • Start date – September 2021
  • Venue – Edgbaston Campus of the University of Birmingham.
  • Entry requirements – Students should have a 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject (eg, Engineering, Science, Geology, Geography or Mathematics).

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#6 – Master of Science degree in Geotechnical Engineering and Management of the University of Birmingham

This course is designed for recent graduates or experienced professionals, this is one of the well known geotechnical engineering graduate program ideal for civil engineers and geologists seeking to extend their professional scope or specialize in geotechnical engineering.

You will develop a sound knowledge of soil and rock mechanics, current civil engineering design, and construction management and practice. These will support your career as a geotechnical engineer, enabling you to plan and direct ground investigations and laboratory testing, giving you the basis for interpreting results and proposing the optimum methods of design and construction.

This program is designed to support high-level training and enhance both the technical and managerial skills of graduates and experienced personnel who work in or aspire to a career in the construction or related industries. It is aimed at civil engineers and geologists who wish to widen their professional scope or to specialize in geotechnical engineering with the addition of modern managerial skills.

The management aspect of this program also covers managerial skills for the construction industry, including groundworks and risk management, BIM in infrastructure, and infrastructure planning process.

  • Full time – 1 year
  • Start date – September 2021
  • Venue – Edgbaston Campus of the University of Birmingham.
  • Entry requirements – Students should have a 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject (eg, Engineering, Science, Geology, Geography, or Mathematics). Practical experience will also be taken into account.

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#7 – Master of Engineering Studies in Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Auckland

The University of Auckland’s Master of Engineering Studies In Geotechnical Engineering is a program that is designed for students with an academic engineering background who are intending to advance their understanding of soil mechanics and rock mechanics in relation to geotechnical challenges.

The program allows students with academic engineering backgrounds to expand their existing theoretical and practical skills and also demonstrate high-quality critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are sought-after by employers worldwide.

  • Full time – 1year with at least 60-course units
  • Start date – 1 March and 19 July 2021
  • Venue – Newmarket Campus, 314 -390 khyber pass road, Auckland.
  • Entry requirements – Requires a completed bachelor honors degree or postgraduate diploma from New Zealand, or an acceptable equivalent postgraduate qualification from a recognized university (or similar) overseas, in a related subject area, with the required GPE.

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#8 – Master of Science in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering of the Trinity College Dublin

The MSc in Structural & Geotechnical Engineering at Trinity is a specialist course aimed at Engineering graduates who wish to pursue a career at the top level of Structural Engineering or Geotechnical Engineering.

The course explores the field of Structural/Geotechnical Engineering addressing the modern challenges in this industry including sustainability of buildings and structural materials, earthquakes, bridge design, soil-structure interactions, advanced modeling, and analysis of structures.

  • Full time – 1 year with 90-course units
  • Start date – September 2021
  • Venue – College Green, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin
  • Entry requirements – A Bachelor’s degree from this University or a qualification of equivalent standard from this University or another comparable institution accepted for this purpose.

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#9 – Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Leeds

This Geotechnical Engineering Masters degree covers the practical application of geotechnical engineering to reduce construction risk and optimize the design of geotechnical structures to ensure that they are safe, sustainable, and resilient.

Geotechnical engineers integrate the skills of investigation, characterization, analysis, and design to deal with uncertainty and risk within a business context.

These skills are developed in six core modules: geotechnical investigation and characterization; groundwater pollution and contaminated land; geotechnical engineering; foundation engineering; energy geotechnics; and constitutive models and numerical analysis and Transport Infrastructure Strategy.

  • Full time – 1 year
  • Start date – September 2021
  • Venue – University of Leeds, Leeds.
  • Entry requirements -A bachelor’s degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in civil engineering or a related engineering, science, or mathematical discipline where relevant subject areas have been studied.

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#10 – Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Exeter

This is one of the geotechnical engineering graduate programs that will help you gain knowledge in rock engineering, site investigation, data capture, and data analysis required to understand the issues facing engineers excavating increasingly ambitious and complex underground spaces.

The program is delivered through a mix of lectures, workshops, tutorials, practical activities, case studies, industry visits, computer simulations, project work, and a dissertation.

The taught part of the program is structured into two semesters. Field visits and practical field-based assignments are used, where appropriate, to emphasize key areas within each module.

  • Full time – 1 year with 180 credit units
  • Start date – September 2021
  • Venue – Penryn Campus, University of Exeter
  • Entry requirements – A good honors degree from a recognized university (typically a 2:2 or higher) in a science, earth or environmental science, engineering or maths based subject.

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#11 – Master of Engineering of the Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Tech’s Master of Engineering in Geotechnical Engineering program provides background knowledge and training to prepare students to analyze, design, and construct structures, and to provide solutions to problems in geotechnical engineering and environmental geotechnics.

The subjects include engineering behavior of soil and rock, geomechanics, foundations, earth support structures, dams, tunnels, slope stability, geotechnical earthquake engineering, and soil dynamics, site improvement, geosynthetics, groundwater, pollutant transport, chemical behavior of soil, and waste disposal facilities. Laboratory experiments and computer analyses/modeling are incorporated.

  • Full time – 1 year
  • Start date – January, May, August 2021
  • Venue – 10 west 35th street, Chicago, Illinois
  • Entry requirements – A bachelor’s degree with a 2:1 (Hons) in civil engineering or a related engineering, science, or mathematical discipline where relevant subject areas have been studied.

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#12 – Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering of Newcastle University

Newcastle University’s Geotechnical Engineering MSc will give you the specialist knowledge and training to prepare you for professional practice, meeting the national and international demand for geotechnical engineers.

Newcastle University’s MSc gives you an in-depth understanding of geotechnical engineering. It covers topics associated with the engineering behavior of soils and rocks, geotechnical design, site investigation and testing, and construction practice.

Advanced geotechnical specialisms are also taught, including the application of state-of-the-art computational tools in the design and the engineering of specialist earth structures such as tailing dams.

  • Full time – 1 year
  • Start date – September 2021
  • Venue – Newcastle University, NE1 7RU, United Kingdom,
  • Entry requirements – a 2:1 honors degree, or an international equivalent, in earth sciences, civil engineering, geological science, geology, geophysics, maths, physics.

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#13 – Master of Science Advanced Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Surrey

The Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue an exciting career in the geotechnical engineering sector, including offshore and earthquake geotechnics.

You’ll be taught in highly specialized facilities such as their geotechnical lab, which has recently benefitted from a £450,000 investment, by academics who are leaders in their field.

Throughout your course, you’ll also benefit from the expert knowledge of specialist guest speakers, including visiting academics and engineers working in the industry.

  • Full time – 1 year
  • Start date – February and October 2021
  • Venue – Stag Hill Campus, University of Surrey
  • Entry requirements – A minimum of 50 percent in a UK honors degree in Civil Engineering (or Geology, Engineering Geology, and other allied subjects), or equivalent recognized international degree. Applicants will be considered on an individual basis, based on strength in specific subjects related to the MSc Programme and/or professional experience.

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FAQs

Who is a geotechnical engineer?

A geotechnical engineer is one with knowledge in rock engineering, site investigation, data capture and data analysis required to understand the issues facing engineers excavating increasingly ambitious and complex underground spaces.

What do geotechnical engineers build?

Geoetchnical engineers work in a range of engineering careers within the construction, environmental and extractive industries .

What level of education is required to be a geotechnical engineer?

To become a geotechnical engineer, you need a bachelor’s degree in geotechnical engineering. A postgraduate degree in geotechnical engineering with a bachelors’s degree in a related field is sure to make you one.

What is the average cost of a graduate program in geotechnical engineering?

The average cost a graduate program in geotechnical engineering is £23,500 per session.

Conclusion

This article contains a list of postgraduate Geotechnical Engineering programs that offer great potential rewards. Go through them and make a choice of program.

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