Mining 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. CSM 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 Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, telephone (410) 347-7700.

Program Educational Objectives (Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering)

In addition to contributing toward achieving the educational objectives described in the CSM Graduate profile and the ABET Accreditation Criteria, the educational objectives which the Mining Engineering Department aspires to accomplish can be seen in the ­attributes of our graduates. The graduate is equipped with:

  • A sound knowledge in the required basic sciences and engineering fundamentals;
  • Knowledge and experience in the application of engineering principles to the exploitation of earth’s resources and construction of earth (rock) systems in an engineering systems orientation and setting;
  • Ability to solve complex mining and earth systems related problems;
  • Capability for team work and decision making;
  • Appreciation of the global role of minerals in the changing world;
  • Desire for continuing education, intellectual and professional development, analysis and creativity;
  • Self confidence and articulation, with high professional and ethical standards


The mining engineering curriculum is devised to facilitate the widest employability of CSM 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.

Minor Programs

The Mining Engineering Department offers two minor programs; the traditional mining engineering program for non-mining majors and in explosive engineering.

Mining Engineering Minor

The minor program in mining engineering  requires students to take MNGN210, Introduction to Mining, 3 credit hours, two from the following three courses; MNGN312, Surface Mine Design, MNGN314, Underground Mine Design or MNGN316, Coal Mining Methods and Design plus nine credit hours of other courses from mining engineering.  The list of  available courses can be found in the mining engineering department office.
Area of Specialization in mining engineering (12 credit hours of course work) is also available and should be discussed with a faculty member in the mining engineering department and approved by the Department Head.

Explosive Engineering Minor

Program Advisor: Dr. Vilem Petr
There are very few academic explosive engineering programs world wide. In fact, Colorado School of Mines is the only educational institution that offers an explosive engineering minor program in the U.S.A.  Developed in the CSM  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 a hands-on research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

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Last Updated: 07/14/2016 13:17:08