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Oklahoma State University

Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical engineering is a field of civil engineering that deals with the engineering behavior of soils, rocks, other earth and geo-materials. Geotechnical engineering investigates existing subsurface conditions and materials, and determines their physical/mechanical/chemical properties that are relevant to the project being considered. Typical projects include the design of foundations for structures, design of earth dams, slopes, tunnels, disposal of waste products in the ground, and a variety of other earth materials related topics.

The undergraduate program in civil and environmental engineering includes basic courses to provide a solid foundation in geotechnical engineering. Undergraduate students may take introductory graduate level courses (5000-level) as elective to count towards their degree program. There are also opportunities to participate in research at the undergraduate level if the student desires and is inclined towards a graduate study.

The graduate program in geotechnical engineering expands upon the basic courses provided at the undergraduate level leading to further understanding of the earth materials from both a practical and theoretical perspective. The main areas of study include soil mechanics, foundation engineering and design, and numerical applications in geotechnical engineering. Additional areas include materials engineering, geology, soil physics, mathematics, and chemical engineering. A number of active research programs are available and students participation in research is encouraged.

Both teaching and research programs at Oklahoma State University try to maintain a strong balance between the theoretical, experimental, analytical, and applied aspects of geotechnical engineering. The geotechnical engineering program provides a broad and integrated course of study in order to prepare students for leadership roles in practice and research.


  • Rifat Bulut, Ph.D., Assiciate Professor
  • Xiaoming Yang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
  • Garry H. Gregory, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, Adjunct Professor
  • Vernon Mast, Ph.D., Emeritus Associate Professor
  • Donald D. Snethen, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor

Undergraduate Courses

  • Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering - CIVE 3714

Graduate Courses

  • Slope Stability - CIVE 5010-0356
  • Asphalt Materials and Mix Design - CIVE 5653
  • Pavement Design and Analysis - CIVE 5693
  • Soil Mechanics - CIVE 5713
  • Foundation Engineering - CIVE 5723
  • Rock Mechanics in Engineering Design and Construction - CIVE 5733
  • Engineering Soil Stabilization - CIVE 5753