Bachelor of Science in Geosystems Engineering and Hydrogeology

Geosystems engineers and hydrogeologists are concerned with the development and use of engineering approaches in the management of natural resources from the earth’s surface and subsurface, environmental restoration of subsurface sites, and other processes related to the earth sciences. This degree program, offered jointly by the Cockrell School of Engineering and the Jackson School of Geosciences, is designed to teach students the geological and engineering principles needed to solve subsurface resource development and environmental problems. The curriculum includes a fundamental sequence of engineering and geological sciences courses in such areas as multiphase fluid flow, physical hydrology, heat and mass transfer, field methods, and engineering design. This interdisciplinary systems approach, combining engineering and geological sciences, is increasingly required to address complex real-world problems such as characterization and remediation of aquifers. The degree program is designed to prepare graduates for employment with environmental, water resource management, and energy companies in addition to many government agencies. Better-qualified graduates of the program may pursue graduate study in subsurface environmental engineering, petroleum engineering, geology, and other related fields.

The objective of the degree program is to prepare graduates for successful careers in the fields of subsurface environmental engineering (including carbon dioxide sequestration), oil and gas production and services, or similar pursuits. Graduates are expected to understand the fundamental principles of science and engineering behind the technology of geosystems engineering and hydrogeology to keep their education from becoming outdated and to give them the capability of self-instruction after graduation. They should also be prepared to serve society by applying the ideals of ethical behavior, professionalism, and environmentally responsible stewardship of natural resources.

Containing the following elements, the technical curriculum provides both breadth and depth in a range of topics.

  • A combination of college-level mathematics and basic sciences (some with experimental work) that includes mathematics through differential equations, physics, chemistry, and geology
  • Basic engineering and geologic topics that develop a working knowledge of fluid mechanics, strength of materials, transport phenomena, material properties, phase behavior, and thermodynamics
  • Engineering and geosciences topics that develop competence in characterization and evaluation of subsurface geological formations and their resources using geoscientific and engineering methods, including field methods; design and analysis of systems for producing, injecting, and handling fluids; application of hydrogeologic and reservoir engineering principles and practices for water and energy resource development and management; contamination evaluation and remediation methods for hydrologic resources; and use of project economics and resource valuation methods for design and decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty
  • A major capstone design experience that prepares students for engineering and hydrogeologic practice, based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier coursework and incorporating engineering and geological standards and realistic constraints

ABET Student Outcomes:

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Portable Computing Devices

Students entering Geosystems Engineering and Hydrogeology are required to have access to a portable computing device capable of running programs suitable for use in the classroom and on the university wireless network. The use of this device will be necessary in many required courses, and individual instructors may require the device be brought to class or lab sessions. For a list of minimum system requirements see http://www.pge.utexas.edu/future/undergraduate/program


Course requirements include courses within the Cockrell School of Engineering and other required courses.  In addition, each student must complete the University’s Core Curriculum. In some cases, a course that fulfills one of the following requirements may also be counted toward core curriculum or flag requirements; these courses are identified below.

In the process of fulfilling engineering degree requirements, students must also complete coursework to satisfy the following flag requirements: one independent inquiry flag, one course with a quantitative reasoning flag, one ethics flag, one global cultures flag, one cultural diversity in the US flag, and two writing flags. The independent inquiry flag, the quantitative reasoning flag, the ethics flag, and both writing flags are carried by courses specifically required for the degree; these courses are identified below. Courses that may be used to fulfill flag requirements are identified in the Course Schedule.

Courses used to fulfill technical and nontechnical elective requirements must be approved by the petroleum and geosystems engineering faculty and the geological sciences faculty before the student registers for them.

Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Courses
PGE 311Numerical Methods and Programming3
PGE 322KTransport Phenomena in Geosystems3
PGE 323KReservoir Engineering I: Primary Recovery3
PGE 323LReservoir Engineering II: Secondary and Tertiary Recovery3
PGE 326Thermodynamics and Phase Behavior3
PGE 333TEngineering Communication (writing flag and ethics flag)3
PGE 358Principles of Formation Evaluation3
PGE 365Resource Economics and Valuation3
PGE 373LGeosystems Engineering Design and Analysis (independent inquiry flag)3
PGE 424Petrophysics4
PGE 427Properties of Petroleum Fluids (Properties of Petroleum Fluids)4
CH 301Principles of Chemistry I (part II science and technology)3
CH 302Principles of Chemistry II3
Civil Engineering
C E 357Geotechnical Engineering3
Engineering Mechanics
E M 306Statics3
E M 319Mechanics of Solids3
Geological Sciences
GEO 303Introduction to Geology3
GEO 376LField Methods in Groundwater Hydrology3
GEO 376SPhysical Hydrology3
GEO 416KEarth Materials4
GEO 416MSedimentary Rocks4
GEO 420KIntroduction to Field and Stratigraphic Methods4
GEO 428Structural Geology4
GEO 476KGroundwater Hydrology (writing flag)4
M 408CDifferential and Integral Calculus (mathematics; quantitative reasoning flag)4
M 408DSequences, Series, and Multivariable Calculus4
M 427JDifferential Equations with Linear Algebra (quantitative reasoning flag)4
PHY 105MLaboratory For Physics 302K, 303K, and 317K1
PHY 105NLaboratory For Physics 302L, 303L, and 317L1
PHY 303KEngineering Physics I (part I science and technology; quantitative reasoning flag)3
PHY 303LEngineering Physics II (part I science and technology; quantitative reasoning flag)3
Other Required Courses
Approved engineering elective3
Approved geosciences technical elective3
Rhetoric and Writing
RHE 306Rhetoric and Writing (English composition)3
Remaining Core Curriculum Courses
E 316LBritish Literature 13
or E 316M American Literature
or E 316N World Literature
or E 316P Masterworks of Literature
American government 26
American history 26
Visual and performing arts 33
Social and behavioral sciences 33
UGS 302First-Year Signature Course 43
or UGS 303 First-Year Signature Course
1. Some sections of the English humanities courses (E 316L, 316M, 316N, 316P) carry a global cultures or cultural diversity flag.
2. Some sections carry a cultural diversity flag.
3. Some sections carry a global cultures and/or cultural diversity flag.
4. In UGS 302, all sections carry a writing flag. In UGS 303, some sections carry a writing flag.
Total Hours132