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Metallurgical Engineering Degree

What is Metallurgical Engineering?

Metallurgical engineering is the study of metals and how metals can be safely transformed into products that benefit humanity such as surgical implants, computer chips, cars, materials for space exploration, and more.

This program offers an accelerated master’s program.

What does a metallurgical engineer do?

Metallurgical engineers conduct testing to ensure the safety of materials, develop sustainable materials and processes for recycling existing materials, investigate material failures, and create testing procedures to ensure materials can withstand extreme environments.

As a metallurgical engineering major at South Dakota Mines, you will be part of one of the only metallurgical engineering programs in the country. We offer a unique and “true” metallurgical engineering program with an emphasis on processing and engineering. You will learn in a project-based environment, enjoying labs to get hands-on experience in the field.

Courses for this Degree

• Properties of Materials
• Mineral Processing and Resource Recovery
• Metallurgical Thermodynamics
• Steelmaking
• High Temperature Extraction, Concentration, and Recycling
• Principles of Metallurgical Design
• Physics of Metals
• Thermomechanical Processing
• Aqueous Extraction, Concentration, and Recycling
• Welding Engineering and Design of Welded Structures

Course Curriculum

Catalog Links: Metallurgical Engineering

Internships and Co-ops

On average, 73% of South Dakota Mines students have applicable work experience when they graduate thanks to internships and co-ops. For these co-ops and internships, students receive an average salary of $22.62/hour. Some of the companies where our students intern include:
• Intel
• Freeport-McMoRan
• Nucor
• Alcoa
• Exxon-Mobil
• Logan Aluminum
• Steel Dynamics
• Boeing
• Ball Aerospace
• Lincoln Industries
• Newmont Mining

Career Outlook

Some of the work you might do as a metallurgical engineer includes:
• Convert raw metal into usable formats
• Design methods for separating metal from the rest of the components
• Design and direct testing procedures
• Monitor how materials perform and evaluate how they deteriorate
• Determine causes of product failure and develop ways to overcome the failure

The average starting salary for a 2021-22 South Dakota Mines materials and metallurgical engineering grad was $79,035. 100% of 2022 metallurgical engineering graduates landed jobs in their field or entered graduate school.


With a degree in metallurgical engineering from Mines, you will have the opportunity to pursue careers in a wide range of industries, including:
• mineral and mining industries
• material engineering and processing
• steelmaking
• biomedical
• electronics
• automotive companies
• aerospace
• security and anti-counterfeiting technology
• recycling, sustainable design


South Dakota Mines materials and metallurgical engineering grads land jobs with such companies as:
• Logan Aluminum
• Arconic
• Freeport-McMoRan
• Nucor
• AK Steel
• Coeur Mining
• Kaiser Aluminum
• Caterpillar
• Lockheed Martin
• Goldman Sachs
• Sherwin Williams
• Emerson

Metallurgical Engineering Research

At South Dakota Mines, you don’t have to wait for graduate school to jump into research. You will have the opportunity to be directly involved in research the day you step on campus as an undergrad.

Metallurgical engineering at South Dakota Mines is home to two National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sites. The Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering allows students to participate in research in the areas of nanomaterials, biomaterials, and metal alloy utilizing state-of-the-art laser processing, friction stir welding, x-ray analysis equipment, and electron microscopes.

Program Offerings

• Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering, BS
(South Dakota Mines offers one of the only metallurgical engineering degrees in the nation)
• Accelerated master’s in Materials Engineering and Science, MS
(earn your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in as little as five years)
• Master of science degree in Materials Engineering and Science, MS
• Doctor of philosophy degree in Materials Engineering and Science, PhD
• Minor: Materials Science - Metals

*The BS in Metallurgical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,




South Dakota Mines is the
#1 Engineering School
in the country for return on investment!

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