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Mining Engineering Degree

Program Offerings

• Bachelor of science degree in Mining Engineering
• Accelerated master’s in Mining Engineering (earn your bachelor’s and master’s in as little as five years)
• Master of science degree in Mining Engineering and Management
• Doctor of philosophy degree in Geology, Geological Engineering and Mining Engineering
• Minor in Materials Science-Metals
• Certificates: Engineering Management and Leadership, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Geology, Geospatial Technology, HBx Harvard Business Courses, Occupational Safety, Petroleum Systems, Six Sigma Greenbelt, Technology Innovation, Global Engineering, and Construction Management

What is Mining Engineering?

From TVs and toothpaste to cell phones and cars, the modern world depends on mining. Prepare to meet its 21st-century demands at one of only fourteen programs nationwide.

Mining engineering has become highly automated, utilizing robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, advanced explosives, and simulation technology to provide the raw materials for industries ranging from automotive to aerospace.

At Mines, students receive hands-on experience with industry-grade equipment, management training, and the opportunity to survey a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

The Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. With 100% placement and average starting salaries of $62,728, graduates launch their careers at Kiewit, BHP Billiton, Newmont Mining, Freeport McMoRan, Cargill, Joy Global, Lafarge, Cloud Peak, and more.

What does a mining engineer do?

Mining engineers identify the location of valuable and accessible material deposits and devise processes for extracting them safely from the earth for use in manufacturing and utilities. Mining engineers strive to extract the minerals for the least cost and the lowest environmental impact, and often specialize in one type of mineral or metal. Specific duties of a mining engineer might include:
• Design mines, both underground and open-pit
• Supervise construction of mines, tunnels and shafts
• Design transportation plans to move minerals to processing plants
• Write technical reports for miners, fellow engineers and mine managers
• Assess the effectiveness of a mining operation
• Solve problems relating to pollution, sustainability and land reclamation
• Monitor safety of mining operations

First-Year Courses

Examples of the required courses for mining engineering at Mines:
• General chemistry
• Calculus I
• Intro to GEOE and Mining Engineering
• Composition
• Physical Education
• Intro to Mining
• Physics I

Course Curriculum

Link to Catalog

Internships and Co-ops

Through cooperative education (co-ops) and internships, School of Mines students have many opportunities to apply their education to "real world" work experiences. 77% of Mines graduates have at least one paid internship before they graduate, earning over $18 an hour. Some of the companies where mining students intern include:
• Sanford Underground Research Facility
• Barick Gold
• Cloud Peak Energy
• Freeport McMoRan
• Kiewit
• Caterpillar
• Cargill

Career Outlook

The average starting salary for mining engineering graduates from SD Mines is $65,959.


Mining engineers 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


Mining engineer graduates from SD Mines work for such companies as:
Barrick Gold
Peabody Energy
Cloud Peak
Rio Tinto
BHP Billiton
Newmont Mining
Joy Global
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.

At Mines, research doesn’t always begin with a doctorate. Even freshmen dive in from day one, surveying underground and training with mine rescue teams at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), landing industry internships, or embarking on senior design projects focused on research and development.

Projects by Mines faculty that offer research opportunities for students include:
• The mining engineering and industrial engineering departments are collaborating on 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.
• Research is ongoing surrounding high-tech simulation and mine planning.



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