Undergraduate Program

Program Description

Mining engineering is a broad profession, which embraces all required activities to facilitate the recovery of valuable minerals and products from the earth’s crust for the benefit of humanity. It is one of the oldest engineering professions, which continues to grow in importance. It has often been said: “If it was not grown in the field or fished out of the water, then it must have been mined.” An adequate supply of mineral products at competitive prices is the life-blood of the continuing growth of industrialized nations and the foundation of the progress for the developing countries.

The function of the mining engineer is to apply knowledge of pertinent scientific theory, engineering fundamentals, and improved technology to recover natural resources. Mining is a world-wide activity involving the extraction of non-metallics, metal ores of all kinds, and solid fuel and energy sources such as coal and nuclear materials. In addition to mineral extrac­tion, the skills of mining engineers are also needed in a variety of fields where the earth’s crust is utilized, such as the underground construction industry. The construction industry, with its requirements of developing earth (rock) systems, tunnels and underground chambers, and the hazardous waste disposal industry are examples of such applications. These are expanding needs, with a shortage of competent people; the mining engineer is well qualified to meet these needs.

The importance of ecological and environmental planning is recognized and given significant attention in all aspects of the mining engineering curriculum. Mines mining engineering students study the principles and techniques of mineral exploration, and underground and surface mining operations, as well as, mineral processing technologies. Studies include rock mechanics, rock fragmentation, plant and mine design, mine ventilation, surveying, valuation, industrial hygiene, mineral law, mine safety, computing, mineral processing, solution mining and operations research. Throughout the mining engineering curriculum, a constant effort is made to maintain a balance between theoretical principles and their engineering applications. The mining engineering graduate is qualified for positions in engineering, supervision, and research.

The program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

The enrollment and graduation data for the Mining Engineering program and other Mines programs can be found on the homepage of the Mines Office of Institutional Research.

Educational Objectives

Student Outcomes

In accordance with the ABET guidelines, following are the Student Outcomes for the Mining Engineering Program at CSM as they pertain to the mining and minerals industry:

    • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
    • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
    • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
    • an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
    • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
    • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
    • an ability to communicate effectively
    • the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
    • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
    • a knowledge of contemporary issues
    • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)

  • Obtain professional positions in minerals or related industries, government, or pursue graduate education;
  • Demonstrate advancement in their chosen careers through strong technical skills , work on interdisciplinary teams and diverse environments, effective communication, knowledge of current issues, and high standard of ethical conduct;
  • Engage in appropriate professional societies and continuing education activities to achieve professional  growth

The mining engineering curriculum is devised to facilitate the widest employability of Mines graduates. The curriculum is based on scientific engineering and geologic funda­mentals and the application of these fundamentals to design and operate mines and to create structures in rock and prepare mine products for the market. To achieve this goal, the curriculum is designed to ensure that the graduates:

  • become broad-based mining engineers who can tackle the problems of both hard and soft rock mining, regardless of whether the mineral deposit requires ­surface or underground methods of extraction;
  • have an opportunity, through elective courses, to specialize in one or more aspects of the mining engineering profession;
  • are interested in an academic or research career, or wish to pursue employment in related fields, have a sufficiently sound scientific and engineering foundation to do so effectively

This purpose permeates both the lower and upper division courses. Another important aspect of the curriculum is the development of the students’ capabilities to be team members, with the added objective of preparing them for leadership in their professional life. The curriculum focuses on the application of engineering principles to solving problems, in short, engineering design in an earth systems approach.

Explosive Engineering Minor

Advisor: Dr. Jurgen Brune

There are very few academic explosive engineering programs worldwide. Colorado School of Mines is one of a few educational institutions that offers an explosive engineering minor program in the U.S.A. Developed in the Mines tradition of combining academic education with hands-on experience, this minor program will prepare students for new and developing applications involving the use of explosives in the mining and materials engineering, underground construction, oil and gas operations, demolition, homeland security, military, forensic investigations, manufacturing and material synthesis.

With the proper program development of courses and basic knowledge in explosive engineering, students enrolled in this program will discover and gain insight into the exciting industrial applications of explosives, selection of explosives, and the correct and safe use of the energetic materials. With the help of the program advisor, the students will design and select the proper course sequence and complete hands-on research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

A total of 18 credit hours are needed to complete the Explosive Engineering Minor Program. This is the preferred route for students that would like to specialize in explosive engineering. The first three (required) courses will provide the students with basic knowledge in explosive engineering. The subsequent courses will give students a view into the mining and geotechnical applications of explosive engineering, such as with surface mining, underground mining, or underground construction.

Required for all students:

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
MNGN 333 Explosive Engineering I 3
MNGN 407 Rock Fragmentation 3
MNGN 444 Explosive Engineering II 3

At least three courses from the following:

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
MNGN 210 Introductory Mining 3
MNGN 308 Mine Safety I 1
MNGN 309 Mining Engineering Laboratory 2
MNGN 312 Surface Mine Design 3
MNGN 314 Underground Mine Design 3
MNGN 316 Coal Mining Methods and Design 3
MNGN 321 Introduction to Rock Mechanics 3
MNGN 404 Tunneling 3
MNGN 405 Rock Mechanics in Mining 3
MNGN 406 Design and Support of Underground Excavation 3
MNGN 408 Underground Construction 3
MNGN 499 Independent Study 3

Total Required Credits: 18

Underground Construction and Tunneling Engineering Minor

The Underground Construction & Tunneling minor consists of a minimum of 18 credit hours of a logical sequence of courses. Only three of the minimum 18 hours may be taken in the student’s degree-granting department.

Required courses:

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
MNGN 321 Introduction to Rock Mechanics 3
MNGN 404 Tunneling 3
MNGN 408 Underground Design and Construction 3
GEGN 466/467 Groundwater Engineering 3

Select one of the following:

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
GEOL 308 Introductory Applied Structural Geology 3
GEOL 309 Structural Geology and Tectonics 3
GEOL 311 Structural Geology for Mining Engineers 3
MNGN 312 Surface Mine Design 3
EGGN 342 Structural Theory 3
EGGN 361 Soil Mechanics 3
EGGN 445 Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures 3


Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
GEGN 468 Engineering Geology and Geotechnics 4
GEGN 469 Engineering Geology Design 3
GEGN 470 Ground-Water Engineering 3
GEGN 473 Geological Engineering Site Investigation 3
MNGN 314 Underground Mine Design 3
MNGN 333 Explosives Engineering 3
MNGN 406 Design and Support of Underground Excavations 3
MNGN 418 Advanced Rock Mechanics 3
MNGN 410 Excavation Project Management 3
MNGN 424 Mine Ventilation 3
EGGN 422 Advanced Mechanics of Materials 3
EGGN 441 Advanced Structural Analysis 3
EGGN 444 Design of Steel Structures 3
EGGN 460 Numerical Methods for Engineers 3
EGGN 464 Foundations 3


Mining Engineering Minor

Undergraduate students wishing to declare minor program of study in mining engineering must complete the following course requirements.

Required courses:

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
MNGN 210 Introductory Mining 3

Select two of the following:

Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
MNGN 312 Surface Mine Design 3
MNGN 314 Underground Mine Design 3
MNGN 316 Coal Mining Methods 3

Other courses from Mining Engineering, for a total of 18 credit hours.

In 2024, the year of our 150th anniversary, we will celebrate Colorado School of Mines’ past, present and possibilities. By celebrating and supporting the Campaign for MINES@150 you will help elevate Mines to be an accessible, top-of-mind and first-choice for students, faculty, staff, recruiters and other external partners. The Mining department’s goals for Mines@150 include upgrading facilities, scholarships, and continuing to build on student experiences both in the classroom and out in the field. When you give, you are ensuring Mines becomes even more distinctive and highly sought-after by future students, alumni, industry, and government partners over the next 150 years. We look forward to celebrating Mines’ sesquicentennial with you and recognizing the key role you play in making the MINES@150 vision a reality through your investments of time, talent and treasure. Give now