Opportunities for Student Jobs and Co-ops

Students may find research opportunities, co-ops and internships, and positions as graders and teaching assistants within the department.


Many departmental faculty hold funded grants from external research sponsors and seek students to participate in cutting-edge research. Three different research options are available: research for academic credit, compensated, and academic credit with compensation.  Research experience is valuable in terms of providing laboratory experience that augments fundamental knowledge applied in coursework. Additionally, such experiences may lead to peer-reviewed publications with student authorship that are the beginning of research careers by students. Students who enroll in undergraduate research for credit are required to file a formal report with the department in order to receive curricular credit.

Grader and Teaching Assistant Positions

Graders, who assist faculty by grading student work, as well as teaching assistants, who assist in teaching undergraduate laboratories, are hired on a regular basis by the department. These positions are advertised within the department, and selections are made on a competitive basis.

Co-ops and Internships

Through cooperative education (co-ops) and internships, South Dakota Mines students have many opportunities to apply their education to "real world" work experiences. Students are employed by industry and government agencies in positions related to Chemistry or Biology. Students may gain 1-3 hours of academic credit for their co-op or internship experience upon department approval. Students registered for co-op courses keep their full-time student status during the semester they are on co-op. All Mines students are encouraged to have relevant work or research experience prior to graduation. Co-ops are often 6-8 months (semester + summer). Internships are usually for the summer or part-time during the school year. However, the terms are used interchangeably by employers.

Career Services at South Dakota Mines assists in developing contacts for co-ops and internships through Career Fairs and contact with potential employers. The department is also approached by alumni in industry looking for outstanding South Dakota Mines students.

Chemistry students have recently had co-ops and internships with faculty in the department doing research for the Department of Defense, with the Evidence Section of the Rapid City Police Department, and with local bio-ethanol producers.

Students participating in co-ops, internships, and research are required to submit a comprehensive written report approved by the faculty member before a grade is assigned.

For questions regarding research, student jobs, and co-op opportunities within the Chemistry, Biology, and Health Sciences department, please contact the co-op advisor, Dr. Zhengtao Zhu or Dr. Elizabeth Racz.


Dr. Zhengtao Zhu, Department Head
(605) 394-2447

Dr. Elizabeth Racz, Biology Program Coordinator