Oct 04, 2022  
2020-2021 SDSM&T Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 SDSM&T Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mining Engineering and Management Department

Contact Information

Dr. Robert Hall
Mining Engineering and Management Department
Office: MI 235B
Phone: 605-394-1973
Email: Robert.Hall@sdsmt.edu


Professors Hall, Tukkaraja, Brickey, McCormick, Allard, and Bowron; Instructor Chancellor

Emeritus Professor Kliche

Graduate Programs in Mining Engineering

The Department of Mining Engineering and Management offers advanced study with a Master of Science in Mining Engineering.  In collaboration with the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, a PhD degree is offered in Geology, Geological Engineering, and Mining Engineering with a specialization in Mining Engineering.

Both the Master of Science in Mining Engineering and the PhD specialization in Mining Engineering are designed to provide a program of advanced study in either management- or technically-oriented disciplines for candidates planning a career in mining engineering, mine management, or the underground construction field. The available course work and current faculty expertise support the following emphasis areas:

  1. Mining engineering technical track, including advanced rock mechanics, advanced mine planning and operations, advanced mine ventilation, and advanced geostatistics;
  2. Mining engineering management track, including mineral economics and finance; mining business management; mergers and acquisitions; human capital management; and reputation management.

Research Areas

Students have the opportunity to be involved in research with professors on projects such as advanced mine planning, slope stabilization, rock mechanics, mine ventilation, underground mined cavern storage, mine health and safety, and mineral economics. Faculty are actively engaged in the ongoing research through the Shale Research Initiative at Mines, along with projects at the Sanford Underground Research Laboratory in Lead, SD and with private industry.

The Department of Mining Engineering and Management has laboratory facilities that include a rock mechanics laboratory with specimen preparation equipment and a GCTS triaxial testing machine.  A direct shear machine is also available, along with a point load tester.  A ventilation laboratory includes a ventilation trainer and numerous pieces of measuring equipment, while a computer laboratory contains new desktop computers with the latest industry software for rock mechanics analysis, geostatistics, and mine planning and design.

Degree Options

The Department of Mining Engineering and Management offers a non-thesis and thesis MS degree to students on-campus and through the Distance Education program.  The requirements for the non-thesis and thesis degree vary and can be found on the MS in Mining Engineering Program  page. 

The PhD in Geology, Geological Engineering, and Mining Engineering offers a specialization in Mining Engineering.  The requirements for the specialization can be found on the program page for the PhD in Geology, Geological Engineering, and Mining Engineering .

Accelerated MS option

An accelerated Master of Science degree program is available for qualified seniors enrolled in engineering BS programs at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The accelerated MS program allows BS engineering students to take up to nine (9) graduate-level credits to simultaneously meet undergraduate and graduate degree program requirements. The courses must be MEM courses taken at the 500 level or 600 level.  In addition, students entering the accelerated MS program must satisfy all requirements expected of traditional MS students.

Additional policies concerning accelerated MS degrees can be found in the requirements and policies applied to all graduate degrees  by the Council of Graduate Education.


Upon completion of the Master of Science degree in Mining Engineering or the PhD degree within the Mining Engineering specialization, students will have:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve problems related to the field of mining engineering;
  2. An ability to analyze and design systems, components, or processes relevant to the field of mining engineering;
  3. An ability to analyze and interpret data to support technical or management-related decisions in mining engineering;
  4. An ability to present information clearly in both oral and written formats.

Financial support

A limited number of fellowships and assistantships are available to qualified students. All applicants are automatically considered for assistantships.

Background requirements

Students wishing to enter the either the MS program in Mining Engineering or the PhD specialization in Mining Engineering should have completed an appropriate Bachelor of Science degree in an engineering field or geology.  For those holding a non-mining engineering undergraduate degree, the applicant should have significant experience in the mining or underground construction industry. Additionally, an undergraduate course in probability and statistics is highly recommended.  Students with an undergraduate degree in a field outside of engineering or geology will not be directly admitted to either program and will be required to take deficiency courses first that include:

  • Calculus I, II, III
  • Differential Equations
  • General Chemistry I
  • General Physics I and II
  • Statics and Dynamics
  • Fluid Mechanics

These deficiency courses will not count towards the graduate degree credit requirements.  Additional coursework may be determined by the student’s graduate advisory committee.

Admission requirements

The following are the admission requirements for the MS program in Mining Engineering or the PhD specialization in Mining Engineering:

  • Completed graduate application form.
  • $35 application fee.
  • One official transcript of prior academic work, sent directly to SD Mines by the issuing institution, showing the undergraduate degree awarded.
  • The TOEFL exam is required for students whose native language is not English.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for all applicants. The GRE requirement will be waived for the students who have significant industrial experience or for those students whose BS degree is from SD Mines.
  • Three recommendation letters.
  • Preferably a GPA of 3.0 or above and GRE scores greater than the 50th percentile.

Admission to the PhD program is normally limited to qualified students who have already earned an MS degree in mining engineering, geological engineering, civil engineering, geology or a related field. Students holding an MS but with extensive undergraduate deficiencies may be placed into the MS program until these deficiencies are remedied. Students with a BS degree who apply to the PhD program will be admitted to the MS program until they have accumulated sufficient course credits for an MS degree, after which they may convert to the PhD program.

Mining Engineering MS students in good standing may convert to the Geology, Geological Engineering, and Mining Engineering PhD program by submitting a standard application for the PhD program to be reviewed by the Mining Engineering faculty.  The applicant is required to submit at least one recommendation letter from the current MS advisor and the future PhD advisor (if they are different).  Accepted students will follow PhD requirements and submit an Intent to Transfer form to the Office of Graduate Education. See graduate education policies GEP IV.3 and IV.4 for more information.

Transfer credits

Policies for transferring credits from outside institutions can be found in the requirements and policies applied to all graduate degrees  by the Council of Graduate Education. All transfers are subject to approval by the student’s advisor or advisory committee.