The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is a university with a world-wide reputation as an outstanding engineering and science institution.
Founded in 1885, the School of Mines has been a leader in preparing world-class engineers and scientists for more than a century. Our graduates design, construct and operate modern technology to meet complex challenges such as global warming, health care delivery, energy resource development, mineral extraction and processing, environment quality, futuristic transportation, and national defense.
To stay up to date on current happenings at the School of Mines, visit the news page.
Why Graduate Education at the School of Mines?
Distinguishing between graduate schools is not an easy task because many U.S. universities have the facilities and faculties for quality graduate education and state-of-the-art research. What sets the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology apart?
Our emphasis is on the individual graduate student, beginning with the proper match among interests, programs, and faculty advisors and continuing with a sustained commitment for the student's development as a scholar, researcher, and practitioner.
Our smaller size guarantees access to distinguished faculty, classes, and resources. Here, you will study and work side-by-side with respected teachers and researchers as new questions are generated and novel solutions are produced. Graduate students at the School of Mines are more than spectators of the education and research process, they participate in it!
Our graduate programs provide options that allow graduate students to gain a wider variety of experiences and skills. For example, students are encouraged to participate in inter-disciplinary research that can improve their ability to work effectively in team-based projects, to pursue off-campus internship programs with industry and government, to take additional courses to enhance their communication and computer skills, etc.
Our tradition of training future engineers and scientists for employment by the private sector, in addition to academe and the government, is congruent with employment trends.
Our strengths at the School of Mines lie not only in the opportunities described here, but also in our underlying commitment to excellence in education, research, and service. Whereas we strive to readily adapt to the demands associated with the increasing rate of change; our tradition of excellence will remain intact.
Reputation for Excellence
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is well-known in academic and industry circles for the quality engineering and science education we provide. Our reputation continues to grow and rests on the excellence of our faculty, students, and alumni, our intimate size, strong sense of community, affordability, and return on investment.
This is seen most evidently by the impact our many distinguished alumni have in their fields and at the companies they work for. It is also evident by the quality and number of national and international companies who recruit our students for employment.
Our alumni are held in the highest regard by their fellow leaders in industry, consulting, government, health and education. Employers of recent MS and PhD graduates include Barrick Gold, Boeing, Burns & McDonnell, Caterpillar, Dow Corning, Microsoft, NOAA National Weather Service, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, RESPEC, Space X, South Dakota Department of Transportation, Union Pacific Railroad, and US Geological Survey.
Exactly How Big Can Small Be?
Our size allows us to offer you an academic environment founded on collaboration, not competition. It means we can ensure you enjoy better access to all the available resources. Build better, more meaningful relationships with your professors and faculty mentors. Forge more rewarding connections within industry, consulting, government, and academia.
There are approximately 2,100 undergraduates and 300 graduate students from 40 states and 27 countries. More than half graduated within the top 25 percent of their high school class and had ACT composite scores above 24.
A Unique Learning Community
At the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology you’ll belong to a community built around the diversity of ideas as well as cultures and people. One that remains deeply invested in investigating ideas that transform the world. Exploring concepts that change the way we think. Celebrating the thrill of every discovery together. Being inspired by one another’s achievements. Collaborating instead of competing.
Becoming a graduate student at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is like joining a family. You will be part of a community of graduate students who take their studies and research very seriously. But more than that, you will be part of the entire community of the School of Mines, a community that makes some of the bigger and more prestigious universities envious.
It is a community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. And it is like no other.
With a closer look you'll find a laid-back yet playful, inspiring yet friendly community. A campus where smart people have fun as they explore all the different things they are interested in.
The relationships that you will make at the school of mines are just as important as the world-class education you will receive. The faculty and fellow students you will come in contact with will become life-long colleagues and friends.
Academics: Invent Tomorrow Starting Today
Academics at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is about the intellectual electricity sparked by more than 2,100 curious, intelligent, and ambitious minds from 39 states and 32 countries collaborating with more than 100 distinguished faculty members whose passion for science and engineering have earned them regional and national recognition.
You can expect:
- A select array of challenging, highly-reputed graduate academic programs in science and engineering. And a rigorous, balanced curriculum.
- To work side-by-side with distinguished faculty and researchers.
- Incredible research opportunities on campus and beyond - the university receives more than $17 million in annual funding from sources such as NASA, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the National Science Foundation, and the State of South Dakota.
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the recognized accrediting agency for the north central states. For more information visit: www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org. In addition, the curriculum in chemistry is accredited by the American Chemical Society. All engineering programs with the exception of environmental engineering and mining engineering and management, which are new programs, are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, a specialized accreditation body recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. The computer science program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Research Makes a Difference
In addition to preparing students for successful careers as scientists, engineers, and leaders, the School of Mines is also a regional powerhouse of research and development, attracting more than $17 million in research funding every year.
Such initiatives -- powered by the multifaceted skills and talents of our undergraduate and graduate students and accomplished faculty -- allow us to continue our proud, century-old tradition of providing leadership within academia, industry, and government, both locally and nationally.
Rapid City and the Black Hills
Ideal. That describes our location in a city that is the region's economic and cultural center and is in the heart of the Upper Midwest's foremost wilderness area. From movie theaters and shopping to snowboarding and solitude, the School of Mines location provides you with an exceptional range of out-of-class opportunities.
Welcome to the Banana Belt, one of the mildest climates in the Midwest. Protected by the beautiful Black Hills, Rapid City residents enjoy low humidity levels and infrequent precipitation. Extreme temperatures, either cold or hot, are very rare.
While the Dakotas have been tagged as the breeding ground for icy blizzards and scorching summers, it simply isn't so in Rapid City. Protected by 6,000 and 7,000 foot peaks in the Black Hills, Rapid City enjoys an envious climatic location.
Summers are warm, but dry, with a long pleasant fall season. Temperatures can be mild even in the winter months. The temperature dips below 0° F an average of only 21 days each year.
Average Sunny Days: 275
Annual Average Rainfall: 16.7 inches
Annual Average Snowfall: 39.1 inches
Average Elevation: 3,162
Average Temperature and Precipitation
|Month||Avg. Temp. (F)||Avg. Prec. (")|
The School of Mines is located in Rapid City which lies between the South Dakota Badlands and the two-million acres of the Black Hills. Both Mount Rushmore and the emerging Crazy Horse Monument are within a 45 minute drive of campus.
With more than 60,000 residents Rapid City is South Dakota's second largest city. Rapid City's elevation of 3,240 feet produces cool summer evenings and protection offered by the adjacent mountains produces unexpectedly mild winters, when it is common for temperatures to rise into the 60s and 70s.
For more information on the Rapid City area, click here: Rapid City Information
At the foot of the beautiful Black Hills, Rapid City offers numerous opportunities for summer and winter outdoor activities to balance academic studies. From hiking and biking, skiing and snowboarding, to rock climbing and caving, and everything in between.