Mines News

Release Date Monday, March 15, 2021

Mines Plans Return to Normal Operations this Fall

Students atop Dinosaur Hill in 2019 taking part in one of the traditional Rocker Days homecoming celebration events at Mines. The university is planning a return to activities like this in the coming Fall 2021 semester.


South Dakota Mines is planning a return to more normal operations this coming fall.  The university is also is following the South Dakota Board of Regents by removing mask and social distancing requirements for most of campus on Monday, May 10, at the start of summer operations.

This fall, Mines plans to offer regular in-person classes, a full athletics schedule, student activities and the traditional homecoming celebration. If any COVID safety measures are needed in the fall, they will be implemented as the situation dictates.

“Thanks to the cooperation and diligence of our students, faculty and staff, we kept COVID-19 numbers relatively low on campus this year,” says Mines President Jim Rankin. “The vaccination effort is seeing great progress in Rapid City. We look forward to return to a more normal mode of operation in the coming fall.”

President Rankin says that measures to limit the spread of COVID will likely continue on campus this spring. But as vaccination rates increase and if COVID cases remain low, the university hopes to transition to fewer restrictions. Mines is planning for an in-person graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 8, with details to be announced. 

The South Dakota Board of Regents announced that all six public universities in the state and two special schools are planning to return to normalcy in the fall

While face coverings and social distancing will no longer be required on campus after May 10, anyone who chooses to wear a mask is still welcome to do so.

The mask mandate will remain in effect for at least the first part of summer in the Museum of Geology. The museum will lift social distancing and capacity limits on May 10, but the mask requirement will remain in place to protect guests and staff. While much of the campus is a little quieter in the summer, museum traffic is the opposite. The Museum of Geology is a popular destination for thousands of visitors from outside the region. The museum mask mandate will be reevaluated mid-summer based on COVID vaccination numbers and community spread.


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu

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