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Metallurgical Engineering & Materials Science

What is a metallurgical engineer?

Metallurgical engineers transform mineral resources into high-performance alloys, high-purity metals, and new materials used in surgical implants, computer chips, superconductors, cars, aircraft, advanced coatings, and space. Through testing, they also ensure materials meet performance requirements.

Mines offers one of the few metallurgical engineering degrees nationwide, where students process minerals using industry-grade techniques, use sophisticated characterization and testing equipment, and learn the science of metal casting, metalworking, and welding. Partnering with industry on projects, students also get exposure to laser processing and friction stir welding.


Average Starting Salary

  • Nucor
  • John Deere
  • Freeport-McMoRan
  • Sturm Ruger & Co.
  • Caterpillar
  • Gerdau
  • Coeur Mining
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Alcoa
  • Barrick Gold
  • Logan Aluminum
* Based on fewer than five offers.


  • mineral and mining industries
  • material engineering and processing
  • steelmaking
  • biomedical
  • electronics
  • automotive companies
  • aerospace
  • security and anti-counterfeiting technology
  • recycling, sustainable design

Internships & Co-ops

75% of Mines students gain real-world experience through internships, co-ops, and research at an average starting salary of over $17 an hour at 240 employers in 39 states. Students have interned at Intel, Freeport McMoRan, Nucor, Alcoa, Exxon-Mobil, Logan Aluminum, and Steel Dynamics. They also work in NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates sites on security printing and anti-counterfeiting technology, artifact authentication, and metallurgical engineering in an artistic and historical context.

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Global Experiences

Experience the adventure of international travel and apply your engineering knowledge to humanitarian efforts with Engineers & Scientists Abroad. Mines students have completed projects in Suriname, Chile, Mongolia, Haiti, Guatemala, Egypt, Colombia, and Tanzania.

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Not just academic experts, faculty in the Department of Metallurgical Engineering consult with industry and government on important regional, national and global projects.

More information is provided by the SD Mines Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering:

An Accelerated Master's Degree in Materials Engineering and Science is available. The Accelerated Master’s Degree program enables a student to complete both the BS and MS degrees in as little as 5 years.

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