Master's Programme in Geoengineering


Master of Science (Technology).
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120 ECTS

Field of Study:

Technology and Engineering


2 years, full-time


An appropriate Bachelor´s degree or an equivalent qualification.

Tuition fees & scholarships:

Yes, for non-EU citizens.
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Language of Instruction:

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Organising school/s:

School of Engineering

Application period:

2017-12-15 - 2018-01-24

Further information:

Programme brochure (pdf)


The Master’s Programme in Geoengineering equips engineers of the future with the skills for working on projects that involve soils, rocks and other earth materials.

Geoengineering relies on a wide range of disciplines, including geoscience and material science, mechanics and construction. Structures of interest include foundations, roads, excavations and underground structures like tunnels. The field also covers resource extraction, as most construction materials, everyday household items, energy sources and groundwater originate in the earth. Megatrends like urbanisation, climate change and the increasing use of natural resources and energy greatly affect our lives. For geoengineers, they create both challenges and opportunities.

The Master’s Programme in Geoengineering gives you the knowledge, skills, and competences that are needed to understand the behaviour of soils for geotechnical engineering, of rocks for rock engineering and mining and of road structures for highway engineering. As a graduate of our programme, you will have a firm grasp of the entire life cycle of engineered structures. This covers the entire life cycle from research and design to construction, maintenance and recycling. Field investigations, laboratory experiments and numerical modelling are the tools a geoengineer relies on.


Geotechnical engineering

In geotechnical engineering, the main topics of interest are the mechanical, hydraulic and thermal properties of soil and their impact on foundations, soil-structure interaction and soil improvement. Sound geotechnical knowledge is the foundation of all construction.

Rock engineering

The core fields of rock engineering are rock mechanics, excavation techniques and applied geosciences. Rock engineering is about utilising bedrock as an underground space and as a mineral resource. The education gives you the tools required for designing optimal structures in the rock and expertise to carry out these plans in a safe, economic and most environmentally friendly way.

Highway engineering

Roads and trafficked areas are a crucial part of societal infrastructure and as such have a profound impact on everyday life and the entire function of the society. The focus areas in highway engineering are the structural design of roads and their structure, including bituminous materials.

Degree structure




The programme consists of 60 credits of major studies (30 credits of common core studies and 30 credits of advanced studies of your choosing), 30 credits of elective studies and a master’s thesis (30 credits). You can focus your studies to dive deeper into the fields of geotechnical, rock or pavement engineering by selecting appropriate courses in advanced and elective studies.

For more information on the courses included in the programme, please visit the programme's section on Into, Aalto University's student portal.

Master’s thesis

The master’s thesis (30 credits) is a piece of applied research conducted independently by the student. Its key goal is to solve a problem relevant to the field of study, based on existing scientific knowledge and in compliance with the principles of responsible conduct of research. Master’s theses are written on topics related to the advanced studies of the programme, agreed upon between the student and the supervising professor. A master’s thesis may be, for example, a research and development project carried out for an industrial partner outside the university, or it can be connected with an ongoing research project of the department. Completing a master’s thesis usually takes six months of full-time work.

In our programme, most thesis topics come from construction and consultancy companies and from authorities in different fields of geoengineering, thus also establishing valuable contacts for any student planning a career in industry. For students with academic career prospects, completing the thesis project within a research group in Aalto University or in another research organisation is also a viable option.

Career prospects

Geoengineers have many opportunities to work in varying expert assignments. Graduates are mainly employed by industry, but also by government organisations and research institutions. They hold key positions ranging from research, teaching and consultancy to management, design and engineering. Typical job titles at the start of a career in geoengineering include project manager, designer and site supervisor. An academic position is also a possibility after completing a doctoral degree.

Student selection

Aalto University's student selection process is competitive and paper-based. Applications that pass the eligibility check (administrative evaluation) conducted by Aalto University Admissions Services proceed to the school's programme-specific academic evaluation. The following are used as criteria for academic evaluation:

  • University or Higher Education Institution
  • Degree and relevance of studies
  • Academic study performance
  • Motivation and commitment to the programme (Motivation letter)

For applicants to the Master's Programme in Geoengineering, basic knowledge in the following fields is highly recommended: geology or geotechnics, mechanical and structural engineering, material sciences and statistics, mining or construction.

Contact information

For enquiries regarding the application process: admissions [at] aalto [dot] fi

For enquiries regarding the content of the programme and studies: masters-eng [at] aalto [dot] fi

Programme director: Professor Mikael Rinne

Page content by: | Last updated: 20.12.2017.