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Metallurgical Engineering Degree

Program Offerings

• Bachelor of science degree in Metallurgical Engineering (SD Mines offers one of the few metallurgical engineering degrees in the nation)
• Accelerated master’s in Materials Engineering and Science (earn your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in as little as five years)
• Master of science degree in Materials Engineering & Science
• Doctor of philosophy degree in Materials Engineering and Science
• Minor: Materials Science-Metals

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

What is Metallurgical Engineering?

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

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.

What does a metallurgical engineer do?

Metallurgical engineers study and produce materials that power our bodies and our world. They transform metals into high-performance alloys, high-purity metals, and new materials used in all types of products including superconductors, advanced coatings, cars, aircrafts, and surgical implants.
Metallurgical engineers also 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.

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

First-Year Courses

General chemistry

Course Curriculum

Link to Catalog

Internships and Co-ops

At South Dakota Mines, 79% of students land internships or co-ops before they graduate, earning an average salary of $19.70/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

The average starting salary for a 2017-18 South Dakota Mines materials and metallurgical engineering grad was $61,555. 100% of 2018-19 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:
• Nucor
• John Deere
• Freeport-McMoRan
• Sturm, Ruger & Co.
• Caterpillar
• Gerdau
• Coeur Mining
• Lockheed Martin
• Alcoa
• Barrick Gold
• Logan Aluminum

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 even as an undergrad. As a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site, our department 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.




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

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