Mining Graduate Program

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Mining Graduate Program

Degrees Offered

Master of Science (Mining and Earth Systems Engineering)
Doctor of Philosophy (Mining and Earth Systems ­Engineering)

Program Description

The program has two distinctive, but inherently interwoven specialties.

The Mining Engineering area or specialty is predominantly for mining engineers and it is directed towards the tradi­tional mining engineering fields. Graduate work is normally centered around subject areas such as mine planning and development, computer aided mine design, rock mechanics, operations research applied to the mineral industry, environment and sustainability considerations, mine mechanization, mine evaluation, finance and management and similar mining engineering topics.

The Earth Systems Engineering area or specialty is ­designed to be distinctly interdisciplinary by merging the mining engineering fundamentals with civil, geotechnical, environmental or other engineering into advanced study tracks in earth systems, rock mechanics and earth structural systems, underground excavation, and construction systems. This ­specialty is open for engineers with different sub-disciplinary backgrounds, but interested in working and/or considering performing research in mining, tunneling, excavation and under­ground construction areas.
Graduate work is normally centered around subject areas such as site characterization, environmental aspects, underground construction and tunneling (including microtunneling), excavation methods and equipment, mechanization of mines and underground construction, environmental and management aspects, modeling and design in geoengineering.

Program Requirements

The Master of Science degree in Mining and Earth Systems Engineering has two options available. Master of Science - Thesis and Master of Science - Non-Thesis. Thesis Option requires a minimum of 24 semester credit hours of course work and 6 semester credits of research, approved by student’s graduate committee, plus a master’s thesis. The Master of Science - Non-Thesis option must complete a minimum of 24-30 credit hours of course work of which 0-6 credit hours may be applied towards the analytical report writing, if required.
The Master of Engineering degree (Engineer of Mines) in Mining Engineering includes all the requirements for the M.S. degree, with the sole exception that an “engineering ­report” is required rather than a Master’s Thesis.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mining and Earth Systems Engineering requires a total of 72 credit hours, beyond the bachelor's degree. A maximum of 48 credit hours of course work, and a minimum of 24 hours of research credit is required. Those with an MSc in an appropriate field may transfer a maximum of 30 credit hours of course work towards the 48 credit hour requirement upon the approval of the advisor and thesis committee.  The thesis must be successfully defended before a doctoral committee.


Students entering a graduate program for the master’s or doctor’s degree are expected to have had much the same under­graduate training as that required at Colorado School of Mines in mining, if they are interested in the traditional mining specialty. Students interested in the Earth Systems engi­neering specialty with different engineering sub-disciplinary background may also require special mining engineering subjects depending upon their graduate program. Deficiencies if any, will be determined by the Department of Mining Engineering on the basis of students’ education, experience, and graduate study.
For specific information on prerequisites, students are encouraged to refer to a copy of the Mining Engineering Depart­ment’s Departmental Guidelines and Regulations for Graduate Students, available from the Mining Engineering Department.

Required Curriculum

Graduate students, depending upon their specialty and background may be required to complete two of the three core courses listed below during their program of study at CSM.
These courses are:

  • MNGN508. Advanced Rock Mechanics
  • MNGN512 - Surface Mine Design
  • MNGN516 - Underground Mine Design

In addition, all full-time graduate students are required to register for and attend MNGN625 - Graduate Mining Seminar each semester while in residence, except in the case of extreme circumstances.  For these circumstances, consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis by the coordinator or the Department Head.  It is expected that part time students participate in MNGN625 as determined by the course coordinator or the Department Head.  Although it is mandatory to enroll in MNGN625 each semester, this course will only count as one credit hour for the total program.

Fields of Research

  • The Mining Engineering Department focuses on the following fundamental areas:
  • Geomechanics, Rock Mechanics and Stability of Underground and Surface Excavation
  • Computerized Mine Design and Related Applications (including Geostatistical Modeling)
  • Advanced Integrated Mining Systems Incorporating Mine Mechanization and Mechanical Mining Systems
  • Underground Excavation (Tunneling) and Construction
  • Site Characterization and Geotechnical Investigations, Modeling and Design in Geoengineering
  • Rock Fragmentation
  • Mineral Processing, Communition, Separation Technology
  • Bulk Material Handling

Student Scholarships


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