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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
• Minor: Mining Engineering
• Certificates: Mining 360

*The BS in Mining Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

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.

As a mining engineering major at South Dakota Mines, you will be learning at one of only 13 such programs nationwide. You will also 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. To ensure students can access our world-class program, the department awards $250,000 in scholarship money each year.

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.

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

First-Year Courses

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

Course Curriculum

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Internships and Co-ops

At South Dakota Mines, 77% of students land internships and co-ops in their field, earning an average salary of $20.00/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

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 2019-20 mining engineering graduate from Mines was $71,833. The job placement rate was 100%.


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.

At South Dakota Mines, research doesn’t only begin with a master’s or doctorate. Even freshmen dive in from day one, surveying underground and training with mine rescue teams at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). They also participate in senior design projects focused on research and development.

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.
• Research is ongoing surrounding high-tech simulation and mine planning.




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

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