Student Jobs and Co-ops

Over the past five years, 81% of South Dakota Mines Physics graduates have had relevant internships or research experience prior to graduation.  We encourage all Physics undergraduates to take advantage of such opportunities.  Examples with advice are listed below.

Research Assistantships

Individual faculty hire undergraduates as research assistants both during the academic year and over summers, with about 5 positions available during the academic year and as many as 10 during the summer.  Inquire with individual faculty (especially if you have already worked with them on Experimental Design projects) or respond to notifications of opportunities that are sent to all physics majors.

Work-Study Positions

The Physics department has 3 positions per year available to federal work-study (FWS) students.  Two are as research laboratory assistants, and one is as an assistant in the physics office.  See the school’s work study webpage for more information and how to qualify.

Tutoring Center Tutors

Physics can prove to be a difficult subject for just about anyone. If you feel you have a competent grasp of the subject and would like to help other students in their coursework, we’d love to have you join our team of student tutors. Tutoring is a paid student employee position for academically motivated students who have good teaching skills. To learn more about tutor positions, contact Rob Sales at, or stop in to his office within the Student Success Center. You can also find the tutor application online at  

SURF Internships, REUs, and SULIs

 The nearby Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) has several internships, with Mines physics majors selected for about one per year.  Entering SD freshmen and rising sophomores are eligible for the Davis-Bahcall scholar program.  The South Dakota Space Grant Consortium also runs a Student Internship/Fellowship Stipend Program.

There are 67 NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) Sites in Physics around the country (see and 17 sites for the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) Program.  Advice on applying is available at

Cooperative Education 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 Physics. 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. 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.  For questions regarding Physics co-op opportunities, please contact the co-op advisor, Dr. Robert Corey ( or (605) 394-2364).