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Mining Engineering Degree

Program Offerings

• Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering, BS
•    Accelerated master’s in Mining Engineering and Management, MS(earn your bachelor’s and master’s in as little as five years)
•    Master of science degree in Mining Engineering and Management, MS
•  Minor: Mining Engineering
•    Certificates: Mining 360

*The BS in Mining Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

What is Mining Engineering?

Mining is no longer the dirty coal miner you might imagine. It is one of the most technologically advanced industries, using robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning…logging more autonomous hours than Uber, Google, and Tesla combined. The metals and minerals extracted through mining are used in items you use every single day from toothpaste to computer chips to the clothes on your back. As the Black Hills gold rush was gaining steam in the late 1800’s, South Dakota Mines was established to offer mining education. It was a unique, essential program then and today. Our bachelor of science program is ABET-accredited which assures you that your education meets the quality standards of the mining profession and prepares you to hit the ground running the first day on the job. To ensure students can access our world-class program, the department awards $250,000 in scholarship money each year.

What does a mining engineer do?

As a mining engineer, you will plan, design, and operate mining processes both underground and above ground. Mining engineers strive to extract natural resources for the least cost and the lowest environmental impact, and often specialize in one type of mineral or metal. The mining industry provides a wide variety of job opportunities in the United States and around the world.

Courses for this Degree

• Surveying for Mining and Geological Engineers
• Surface Mining Methods and Unit Operations
• Mining and Management Mathematics
• Underground Mining Methods and Equipment
• Computer Applications in Mining
• Introduction to Explosives Engineering
• Mineralogy and Petrology for Mining Engineers
• Mineral Economics and Finance
• Theoretical and Applied Rock Mechanics
• Theoretical and Applied Mine Ventilation

Course Curriculum

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Internships and Co-ops

At South Dakota Mines, 77% of students land internships and co-ops in their field, earning an average salary of $20.00/hour. Mining engineering students intern with such companies as:
• Sanford Underground Research Facility
• Freeport-McMoRan
• Kiewit
• RESPEC
• Caterpillar
• Cargill
• Twin Metals Minnesota
• Institute of Makers of Explosives
• Peabody Energy
• Martin Marietta
• Westmoreland Coal

Career Outlook

Some of the duties you might have as a mining engineer include:
• Designing mines, both underground and open-pit
• Supervising construction of mines, tunnels, and shafts
• Designing transportation plans to move minerals to processing plants
• Writing technical reports for miners, fellow engineers, and mine managers
• Assessing the effectiveness of a mining operation
• Solving problems relating to pollution, sustainability, and land reclamation
• Monitoring safety of mining operations

With a mining engineering degree from South Dakota Mines, you can expect to enter the workforce in great shape. The average starting salary for a 2020-21 mining engineering graduate from Mines was $72,555.56. The job placement rate was 100%.

Careers

South Dakota Mines mining engineering grads work in a variety of fields, including:
• mineral extraction
• construction
• operations, project, and environmental management
• drilling, blasting
• mine design
• mine land reclamation
• health and safety
• geoscience modeling
• rock engineering

Employers

Mining engineer graduates from South Dakota Mines work for such powerhouse companies as:
• LafargeHolcim
• Cargill
• Freeport-McMoRan
• Kiewit
• Nevada Gold Mines
• Komatsu
• Austin Powder Company
• Martin Marietta
• Peabody Energy
• BHP Billiton
• Newmont Mining
• US Steel

Mining Engineering Research

From prominent industries to health and safety organizations to hi-tech labs a mile underground, our research spans the globe.

As a mining engineering major at South Dakota Mines, research opportunities in mining engineering don't begin with a master’s or doctorate. Freshmen dive in from day one, surveying underground and training with mine rescue teams at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF).

Projects by Mines faculty that offer research opportunities for students include:
• Research assessing the potential for musculoskeletal disorders in miners.
• The Mining Engineering Department is also exploring the potential of a Mine Health and Safety Laboratory on the 1,700-level of SURF to involve research in mine ventilation, mine rescue, explosives, rock mechanics and ground control, and mine communications.
• Mining maintenance and reliability
• Communication technologies and energy reduction in mines
• Using intelligent machines in mines and the mining process
• Research is ongoing surrounding high-tech simulation and mine planning.

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