Minors

Mines offers 26 minors 

Hone in on an area you’re interested in by choosing a minor that fits with your career goals. These additional specializations provide huge benefits such as career flexibility and long-term salary enhancement for graduates in fast growing career areas. Your faculty advisor can help you determine if a minor will benefit your education and how to get started.

Minor in Aerospace Engineering

Offered by: Department of Mechanical Engineering
If you are ready to advance the frontier of innovation and join other Mines graduates who are in-demand leaders at places like NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, Airbus, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Collins Aerospace, or Blue Origin, a minor in aerospace engineering at South Dakota Mines is for you. This minor gives our graduates a competitive edge when seeking employment in the exciting and growing aerospace industry. Students from any discipline at Mines are welcome to pursue a minor in aerospace engineering. This highly sought-after skillset enables engineers to understand and build very complex machines like spacecraft and passenger jets. Mechanical engineering students need to take two courses (6 credits) in addition to their BS degree requirements in order to earn this minor.

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Minor in Avionics

Offered by: Department of Electrical Engineering
There is a critical need for avionics expertise, so put yourself in the cockpit designing and building cutting-edge avionics systems, robotic control systems, and wireless communications. Use a fully-equipped flight simulator to mimic a wide range of military and civilian aircraft. Students will have the opportunity to build components for the flight simulator, such as collision avoidance software and flight control systems. Give yourself a competitive edge in a broad cross-section of the aerospace industry – think NASA, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and many more. 

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Minor in Atmospheric Sciences

Offered by: Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
Weather and climate issues pose huge challenges to future generations, and those with a minor in atmospheric sciences have the tools needed to thrive on the front lines of many fields. South Dakota is well known for extreme weather and is a fantastic place to study both weather and climate. A minor in atmospheric sciences adds great value to a wide range of degrees at Mines and can be obtained with additional coursework depending on the major.

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Minor in Biology

Offered by: Department of Chemistry, Biology, and Health Sciences
Biology underpins a huge array of scientific study – from the battle against cancer to the effort to save endangered species and ecosystems, biologists have what it takes to change the world. A biology minor at Mines gives a student from any field an advantage that will make them in-demand leaders in today’s fastest-growing industries and a leg up for graduate school, medical school, and other professional schools.

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Minor in Biomaterials

Offered by: Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
The study of biomaterials at Mines is on the forefront of what is next – whether it’s growing new organs on a synthetic matrix, developing a cutting-edge coating for a titanium hip joint, or building new sustainable products made of plant derived fibers. The broad field encompasses the interactions of natural and synthetic materials with biological systems. Students who complete this minor are better prepared for a job in the bio-industry, graduate school, or medical and other professional schools.

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Minor in Chemistry

Offered by: Department of Chemistry, Biology, and Health Sciences
A fundamental grasp of chemistry is essential for all STEM fields; those who understand the building blocks of nature have the capacity to push the forefronts of science and engineering to new heights. Students with a minor in chemistry from Mines will be more competitive as applicants and see faster career advancement.

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Minor in Computational Statistics

Offered by: Department of Mathematics
Top researchers and business leaders make data driven decisions, and they place high value on team members who have the skills needed to delve information from massive datasets. A minor in computational statistics at South Dakota Mines gives students a competitive edge in any field of study.

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Minor in Computer Science

Offered by: Department of Computer Science and Engineering
The proliferation of artificial intelligence and machine learning into every aspect of modern life means those with a basic understanding of computer systems, coding, and human-machine interfaces will excel in the marketplace. In addition to any science or engineering discipline, give yourself a competitive advantage with experience in applied computer science.

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Minor in Electrical Engineering

Offered by: Department of Electrical Engineering
A fundamental grasp of energy production, transmission, and storage is essential for many fields. These fields can include material science exploration of new types of solar cells, a mechanical engineer developing a new kind of wind turbine, a civil engineer performing a substation site selection, or a mining engineer using complex robotic and electrical machinery.

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Minor in Electronics Engineering and Technology

Offered by: Department of Electrical Engineering
Large-scale integration of electronic technology occurs in various applications such as automation, sensors, robotics, propulsion systems, controls, biomedical instrumentation, aerospace, nanomaterials, power systems, and manufacturing. Electronics are the lifeblood of most systems and products. Enhance your abilities in innovative and systems thinking.

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Minor in Environmental Engineering

Offered by: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Environmental engineers design systems and solve pressing problems in all areas related to the environment and public health; sustainable design of drinking water treatment and wastewater treatment and solid hazardous waste disposal systems; development of air quality monitoring and pollution prevention programs; design of site remediation and mining reclamation programs; and development of ecosystem protection and restoration efforts, among others. A minor in environmental engineering is open to all students at Mines and an asset for anyone who wants to help solve society’s most pressing problems.

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Minor in Environmental Science

Offered by: Department of Chemistry, Biology, and Health Sciences
Understanding and protecting the environment is key for all fields of study and as asset to employers who want to reduce environmental lability. A minor in environmental science at Mines gives students tools needed to detect and mitigate environmental contamination and an overall academic preparation for a science or engineering career. This minor is open to all students and is an asset for anyone who wants to help solve society’s most pressing problems.

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Minor in Geology

Offered by: Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
A fundamental understanding of earth systems, earth’s history, and underlaying rock types is essential for a wide range of science engineering fields – from building bridges to understanding water quality – a background in geology gives job applicants an edge and boosts career advancement in many fields.

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Minor in Geospatial Technology

Offered by: Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
Geospatial technology is a rapidly expanding field that covers the management and analysis of spatial data from many sources, such as satellites, airborne remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), surveying, and more. It has many applications in the sciences, engineering, business, planning, and transportation. A minor in geospatial technology gives applicants in a range of fields from environmental engineering to mining a major competitive advantage during initial hiring and a set of tools that will drive career advancement in the years to come.

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Minor in Global Engineering and Science

Offered by: Ivanhoe International Center
Business is global, especially in STEM fields. Employers value engineers and scientists who operate as effectively in their own backyards as they do in remote areas of foreign nations. An immersion experience in a different culture is the most effective way to learn to meet cross-cultural challenges in the areas of communication, values, beliefs, politics, language, and ethics. Students will gain this experience by creating and completing an engineering, design, research or capstone project in a culture that is significantly different than their own. The project will develop skills in verbal and non-verbal communication and working on a multicultural team. Earning this minor will provide evidence to employers of the ability to understand client expectations and unspoken priorities and select appropriate and indigenous technology.

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Minor in Materials Science - Metals

Offered by: Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering

A fundamental grasp of materials science is vital for any scientific or engineering team that seeks to advance the frontier of innovation. Whether it be a new form of space propulsion technology deployed by NASA or a new sensor needed to determine the health of crops, materials scientists are on the cutting edge of technologic advancement. This minor is designed for students in engineering and science disciplines that desire the ability to predict and evaluate the performance of metals and alloys. This minor will make job applicants more comparative and serve career advancement for years to come.


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Minor in Mathematics

Offered by: Department of Mathematics
Math is the language of the universe. A fundamental grasp of mathematics is vital for all STEM fields.  Graduates with a minor in math at Mines have a competitive advantage and are highly sought after by employers who seek qualified problem solvers who will quickly become in-demand leaders in today’s fastest growing industries.

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Minor in Military Science

Offered by: Department of Military Science
Students who want to serve their country and gain the benefits ROTC has to offer will find a minor in military sciences at Mines very rewarding. Participation in this minor is contingent upon completion of ROTC basic courses or equivalent training. Employers value the leadership training and problem-solving skills those with a military science minor bring to the table.

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Minor in Mining Engineering

Offered by: Department of Mining Engineering and Management
If it can’t be grown, it must be mined, and society relies on engineers and scientists who can extract the minerals and metals needed to maintain modern life. The rapidly growing mining industry places high value on trained engineers who lead the way in environmental protection and efficient resource extraction. This minor makes any graduate highly sought after and readily employable in a wide range of high-paying industry jobs.

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Minor in Occupational Safety

Offered by: Department of Industrial Engineering
Every successful company puts safety first and values engineers and scientists who can build a positive safety culture that prioritizes the safety and welfare of the public. With the likelihood that most engineers and scientists will bear some responsibilities for safety during their career, a minor in occupational safety is a value-added investment for any degree at Mines.

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Minor in Petroleum Systems

Offered by: Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
The petroleum industry employs a wide variety of engineers and scientists.  This interdisciplinary minor is available to any student on campus interested in expanding their portfolio of coursework. Students with a minor in petroleum systems at Mines will stand out in the hiring process for jobs in the energy sector.

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Minor in Physics

Offered by: Department of Physics
Physics is fundamental to all of STEM. A minor in physics gives Mines graduates understanding of the basis of multiple fields. It can transform any engineer into an interdisciplinary engineer and provide other scientists with the physics background needed to understand their fields more deeply. It prepares engineers and scientists to use advanced technologies based on quantum mechanics or nuclear and particle physics. It teaches computer scientists how to program a realistic world and prepares computer engineers for the near future when quantum computers will be commonplace.

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Minor in Robotics

Offered by: Department of Computer Science and Engineering
The field of robotics is permeating industry at every level – from robotic vacuums standard in homes today to cutting-edge automated manufacturing. Establish a foundation in robotics that will open up opportunities in almost any engineering field.

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Minor in Science, Technology, and Society

Offered by: Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Visionary leaders in STEM fields are most often well-rounded individuals who recognize value in multiple types of thought. A minor in science, technology, and society (STS) at Mines empowers graduates to become in-demand leaders in today’s fastest-growing industries. The STS minor supplements students’ major program with interdisciplinary coursework in the humanities and social sciences. This pathway furthers Mines’ commitment to bring interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and respect for the human dimensions of technological innovation to students as they prepare to address the scientific and engineering challenges of the 21st century. Confronting issues from climate change to biodiversity loss to sustainability, the STS minor provides an understanding of the historical origins of current problems, emphasizes effective communication across cultures and audiences, and examines the ethical implications of our choices. By connecting scientific and engineering innovation to real-world problems and analyzing the impact of those innovations on communities across the globe, the STS minor provides essential training for STEM students. Students from any discipline at Mines may pursue a minor in STS.

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Minor in Sustainable Engineering

Offered by: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sustainable engineering describes a new approach to solve complex environmental, economic, and social problems resulting from the rising competition for increasingly limited resources, water, and land supplies. Sustainable engineering seeks to transform engineering practices by designing or operating systems to use energy and resources sustainably. Sustainability engineers are expected to take a lead role in delivering sustainable and low-energy design projects, incorporating life cycle assessment and other innovative techniques into engineering solutions that ensure environmentally benign routes of technology developments. Students from any major at Mines may pursue a minor in sustainable engineering.

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Minor in Systems Engineering

Offered by: Department of Electrical Engineering
Leaders must design across the full breadth, depth, and lifecycle of technical systems to be at the forefront of what is next. If you have heard about "systems thinking," you can equip yourself with the design fundamentals necessary to solve complex, trans-disciplinary technological problems.

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