Mining Engineering Degree

What is Mining Engineering?

Mining engineering is the development and preparation of a mine in order to safely and efficiently remove the resources while protecting the environment. Resources extracted during mining are used in a variety of modern-day products, from toothpaste to cell phones to cars.

This program offers an accelerated master’s program.

What does a mining engineer do?

As a mining engineer, you will 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.
The field of mining engineering has become highly automated, utilizing robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, advanced explosives, and simulation technology.

As a mining engineering major at South Dakota Mines, you will be learning at one of only 13 such programs nationwide. The Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. To ensure students can access our world-class program, the department awards $250,000 in scholarship money each year.

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

Catalog Links: Mining Engineering

Internships and Co-ops

On average, 73% of South Dakota Mines students have applicable work experience when they graduate thanks to internships and co-ops. For these co-ops and internships, students receive an average salary of $22.62/hour. Mining engineering students intern with such companies as:
• Sanford Underground Research Facility
• Freeport-McMoRan
• Kiewit
• 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 2022 mining engineering graduate from Mines was $74,273. The job placement rate was 93%.


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


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.

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,




South Dakota Mines is the
#1 Engineering School
in the country for return on investment!

Sign up to get an info packet!

*Required Fields
Mailing Address

Student Type