Mineral and Energy Economics

Founded in 1969, this world-renowned program leads to MS and PhD degrees in Mineral and Energy Economics. Originally known as Mineral Economics, our program attracts students from all over the world, and our alumni are known globally for their career achievements and qualifications. Students gain the skills necessary for understanding the complex interactions of markets and policy that influence the energy, mineral and environmental industries. The program focuses on applied quantitative tools and models that form a foundation for sound business and public policy.

Why Mineral and Energy Economics?
Graduate study in Mineral and Energy Economics at Mines offers a specialized program in applied economics that includes training in valuable quantitative methods. Our faculty are actively engaged in economic research applied to earth, energy and the environment. They have specific expertise in global climate policy, price forecasting, energy demand, utility regulation, asset valuation, critical minerals, environmental economics, renewable energy mandates, and international mineral markets. Our faculty and graduate students are unique in their focus on applied energy, mineral and environmental topics. This concentration of interest and expertise cannot be found in traditional economics programs. Students earn a distinctive degree that is highly marketable and positions them for important contributions.

Degrees Offered

MS Mineral and Energy Economics
The MS degree in Mineral and Energy Economics is the division's most popular program. In the first year, students are trained in the core skills necessary for graduate-level economic analysis of energy, mineral and environmental topics. In the second year, students, in consultation with their advisor, customize their studies by selecting a set of enriching electives. The program is typically completed in two years: 12 courses (36 credit hours) with a recommended 3 courses per semester.

PhD Mineral and Energy Economics
The PhD program is designed for students interested in contributing economic research on mineral or energy topics through a PhD thesis. PhD students take the same first-year core as masters students followed by a set of advanced electives. They are then required to engage in original research of a professional-level quality. PhD students must pass a series of qualification exams after the first and second year of course work, and form a committee of faculty who will evaluate the research thesis. PhD students will take 48 credit hours (16 courses) in the classroom and an additional 24 credit hours of research under the supervision of their thesis advisor. Students are encouraged to complete their degree requirements within four years.

Dual Degree: Petroleum Economics & Management; Mineral & Energy Economics
The MS degree may be combined with a second degree from the Institut Français du Petrole (IFP) School in Paris, France in Petroleum Economics and Management. This dual-degree program is geared to meet the needs of industry and government. This unique program trains the next generation of technical, analytical and managerial professionals vital to the future of the petroleum and energy industries. The program gives a small elite group of students a solid economics foundation combined with quantitative business skills, the historical and institutional background, and the interpersonal and intercultural abilities to succeed in the fast paced, global world of oil and gas. (Consult the current Mines Graduate Catalog for specific requirements for the dual degree).

Enrollment Statistics

Spring 2017 2015 Salary Outcomes
Male/Female: 52/10
U.S./International: 43/24
Mines/Non Mines BS: 3/56
MS MEE average: $61,000
Range $54,000-75,000
2014 average: $74,870

Our graduates have received full-time positions at

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Our students have completed summer internships at

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Who is Eligible?
Anyone with an undergraduate degree (or expectation of completion prior to entering the program) may apply to our graduate degrees in Mineral and Energy Economics. Students admitted to the program are chosen for their strong intellect, integrity, work ethic, and quantitative skills as demonstrated by their course work, letter of interest, and scores on the GRE. Students should demonstrate a strong interest in energy, minerals, public policy, and/or related environmental and technological issues. This will be reflected in the letter of interest and previous involvement in these areas.

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) allows students who are residents of 15 surrounding western states to enroll on a resident tuition basis. The Mineral and Energy Economics program is an approved WICHE program. For additional information, visit http://www.wiche.edu/.

For more information, review our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have additional questions, contact MEE Program Director, Dr. Ian Lange at ilange@mines.edu.  


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Last Updated: 09/05/2018 08:40:19