Field of Study: Geosystems Engineering

Hand holding digital micrometer

The Geosystems field of study in the Civil and Environmental Engineering MS degree program is offered as full-time or part-time. The program provides an excellent foundation in soil behavior including training in the Tufts Advanced Geomaterials Laboratory. MS students have excellent networking opportunities through the weekly CEE Seminar and other annual networking events.

We offer three specialty concentrations in the Geosystems field.  Geotechnical engineering builds expertise in the design, analysis, and construction with earthen materials.  Geohazards engineering expands into the analysis and mitigation of natural hazards.  The Geomechanics specialty provides particular expertise regarding the analysis systems related to Geotechnology.

Expectations for non-thesis option: A full-time student can complete this option (MS-non-thesis) in two to three semesters. Part-time MS (non-thesis) students are expected to take one or two courses per semester.

Expectations for thesis option: A full-time student is expected to complete this option (MS-thesis) in two years. Part-time students can also select the thesis option and conduct independent research in parallel with classwork. Requirements are the same as the non-thesis option with the provision that Thesis Research (6 course credits) may replace 3 credits of elective courses and 3 credits of professional practice.

At Tufts, one course credit is known as one semester hour unit (SHU) and the MS degree consists of at least 30 SHUs. Students studying Geosystems Engineering will select from the following courses.

A) Required core courses (four out of five courses, 12-13 SHUs)

  • CEE-128 Nonlinear Analysis of Materials (3 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-242 Advanced Soil Mechanics (3 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-244 Laboratory and In-Situ Measurement of Soil Properties  (4 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-245 Geomechanics (3 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-247 Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (3 SHUs; Spring, Annual)

B) Professional practice courses (two, based on approval of advisor, 6 SHUs)

  • One engineering management course from the Tufts Gordon Institute.
  • CEE-292 Graduate Seminar (Students may take this as a two-semester 3-SHU option or as a non-credit option); students may substitute with an additional professional practice course with the consent of their advisor.

C) Elective courses (four-five, 12 SHUs)

Students should choose four electives that allow for specialization to best meet the student's interests and desired educational goals, with approval of their faculty advisor. The specialties of Tufts' Geosystems Program center around geotechnical engineering, geohazards, and geomechanics.

Geotechnical engineering

  • CEE-113 Groundwater (3 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-143 Site Remediation (3 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-146 Foundation Engineering (3 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-149 Earth Support Systems (3 SHUs; Spring, Annual)
  • CEE-293 Forensic Geotechnical Engineering (3 SHUs; Spring, Annual)

Geohazards engineering

  • CEE-111 Hydrology of the Built Environment (3 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-187 Geographic Information Systems (3 SHUs; Fall, Even)
  • CEE-189 Introduction to Remote Sensing (3 SHUs; Fall, Even)
  • CEE-201 Applied Probability Theory (2 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-202 Data Analysis and Statistical Methods (2 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-203 Statistical Inferences and Prediction (2 SHUs; Spring, Annual)
  • CEE-214 Water Resource Systems (3 SHUs; Spring, Annual)


  • CEE-105 Finite Element Analysis (3 SHUs; Spring, Annual)
  • CEE-122 Solid Mechanics (3 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • CEE-213 Transport Principles (3 SHUs; Fall, Annual)
  • ME-100 Applied Mathematics for Engineers (3 SHUs; Fall, Annual)

Course details including course description, instructor, lecture time, and classroom assignment are available at Tufts SIS.  


Laurie Gaskins Baise: Geotechnical earthquake engineering, seismic hazard mapping, natural hazards, remote sensing

Luis Dorfmann: Mathematical models of material behavior, nonlinear magneto- and electromechanical interactions, biomechanics of soft materials, rubber elasticity and inelasticity, materials science

Grant Garven: Hydrogeology and groundwater hydrology

John (Jack) Germaine: Geotechnical, laboratory testing, automation, soil behavior, physical properties, mechanical properties, material science

Lucy Jen: Geotechnical engineering, foundation design, computational geotechnics

Magaly Koch: Remote sensing, groundwater resources and land change

Juan Pestana: Geotechnical earthquake engineering, soil behavior and property characterization, and numerical modelling

Chris Swan: engineering education, geoenvironmental and geotechnical engineering

Robert Viesca: Applied mathematics and mechanics for geophysical and engineering problems