South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Rapid City, South Dakota
Developing the next generation of leaders and problem-solvers, South Dakota Mines is committed to excellence in academics and research across the sciences and engineering. Undergraduate engineering programs are accredited by ABET in recognition of their emphasis on hands-on learning in maker spaces and labs that feature the same equipment used in-industry.
Get to know South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Kim Yip Chiok won a 2021 Braun Student Inventor Award for BioTape, a new and innovative type of bandage that speeds the healing for burn victims while reducing scar formation and pain. “This award gives me the motivation to continue to improve the product over time and the skills needed to take my ideas into the marketplace. South Dakota Mines is very different; I’ve had a great deal of help from faculty and staff to get to where I am now.”
At South Dakota Mines, students don’t have to wait to achieve a certain number of credits or class standing in order to pursue their passion for top-tier science education. Instead, they can dive into what they want to do most on day one. Join one of the competitive teams in “CAMP,” ask a research professor to join their project, or become a member of one of over 100 student clubs and organizations.
CAMP, or the Center of Excellence for Advanced Multidisciplinary Projects, is a nationally recognized program in which students compete in teams as they bring together classroom learning and hands-on experience while solving real-world challenges. From steel bridges to robotics, there are opportunities for every engineering interest area. The multidisciplinary approach provides students with the chance not only to learn technical skills, but also how to work in a team.
Unique to campus, the Mines Advantage program provides students experiences through which to develop the soft skills needed to advance in their future careers. The school’s industry partners give this program a big thumbs-up, as graduates are already prepared to hit the ground running as soon as they start their careers.
Students from any degree program can prepare for a professional healthcare program through Mines’ Pre-Health Pathways. Advisors from this program provide academic advising and connect students to resources and experiences that help prepare them for entrance into Pre-Med or other professional programs. Opportunities include doing rounds with a medical doctor, job shadowing a dentist, and connecting with employers for internship opportunities.
There are multiple study abroad opportunities available, including short-term, faculty-led programs; exchange programs; and humanitarian projects. Students can also earn a minor or certificate in Global Engineering, preparing them to work effectively in unfamiliar cultures and on multinational teams.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 44 | 10-19: 105 | 20-29: 86
30-39: 71 | 40-49: 37 | 50-99: 16 | 100+: 3
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 2%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 1%
White, non-Hispanic: 84%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 1%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 1%
A world-class education calls for faculty who are excellent instructors—and exceptional mentors. At South Dakota Mines, students benefit from small class sizes and ample face-time with experienced professors who are every bit as invested in their success as they are. With their extensive knowledge, personalized guidance, and valuable industry connections at students’ disposal, all undergraduates have all the support they need to bring their goals to life.
“For any young people considering a degree in STEM, college can be intimidating, and it can be hard to believe you can make it. But with a lot of hard work, along with support from programs and professors, you can succeed.” – Tristan Picotte, Mines’ 50th Tiospaye Scholar Program graduate, speaking about the support he received from Mines faculty
Professors and industry partners collaborate with Mines to provide students real-world experiences that encourage them to find solutions to industry challenges. Many of these are completed as students’ capstone “Senior Design Projects,” which may land top performers cash prizes and, at times, a job offer. Mines has also partnered with the National Security Innovation Network, an office within the Department of Defense that helps connect university faculty and student researchers with the defense needs of the United States.
SERVICE-LEARNING, COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING
Students can elect to participate in EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service), earning course credit for participation on teams that tackle problems within the local community. Through the EPICS experience, students get early experience in working in multidisciplinary teams to tackle the kinds of challenges that can’t always be replicated in academic exercises and lab practice.
Mines is a site for the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Here, students work closely with faculty and other researchers on a specific project.
But the research opportunities are not limited to the REU program. Undergraduates are invited to join nearly any research project happening in the research labs and centers.
Each spring, students present their research to a team of judges. Awards are given to the top presenters in both undergraduate and graduate categories. The top winners earn cash prizes.
CEO BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION PROGRAM
Students are given the opportunity to turn their idea into a business. The Competitive Entrepreneurial Opportunity (CEO) Program, a student business plan competition, is the perfect starting point for students who are interested in entrepreneurship. The competition includes training, mentorship connections, and the opportunity to pitch ideas for a cash prize. This is a great stepping stone to prepare students for the South Dakota Governor’s Giant Vision Plan Competition at which Mines students have annually taken home top prizes.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
Cooperative education program
Getting connected is a top priority at South Dakota Mines, starting from the first night on campus. Residence hall living provides Community Living and Interest Community options so students can connect with others who share their interests and desire for adventure outside of campus. Welcome Week activities ensure everyone makes new friends through events like tailgates, competitions, THE student organization fair, and adventures in the community and the Black Hills.
Students can find like-minded individuals through the over 100 student organizations that provide social and educational opportunities, from outdoor adventures like fly fishing and rock climbing to Dungeons & Dragons and 3-D Printing. There is truly something for everyone, but if something is missing a student can start a new club.
The international student population hosts the annual Cultural Expo with food and entertainment from around the world.
Homecoming is one of the favorite times of year, bringing together students and alumni for Hardrocker community building. From painting the town to climbing M Hill and whitewashing the M, it is a time for celebrating traditions and what it means to be a Hardrocker.
There’s a reason the Black Hills attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The Mines campus is nestled in the eastern slope of the Black Hills, just minutes away from the vibrant streets of Rapid City. Walk or bike downtown to grab a bite with friends, check out the local shops, or put puzzle-solving skills to the test at an escape room. Want to get away from it all for a while? Embark on an outdoor adventure in Badlands National Park or the Black Hills National Forest, where opportunities abound for hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, hunting, kayaking, trail riding, and so much more.
South Dakota Mines is in the NCAA Division II and part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). Men’s sports include Football, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, and Track & Field. Women’s sports include Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Track & Field, Volleyball, and Cheerleading. Mines also has a co-ed Esports team.
Mascot: Grubby Miner
School Colors: Navy, Gold, and White
“The hard work of coaches and staff to make this happen gave me the opportunity to go out and prove I can play at this level in my final season as a college athlete. They also advocated for me on and off the field and this helped me land the opportunity to play.” – Jack Batho an NFL draftee and Mines football player.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 90%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
Special housing for students with disabilities
Special housing for international students
South Dakota Mines believes in collaboration over competition. With cooperation and support for one another, every student can be an empowered member of the campus community and reach their full potential.
“South Dakota Mines is where I’ve been getting a lot of help. A big network of brilliant people who are much smarter than I am who have helped me. Mines prepared me for this. You learn to be a problem solver. It all adds up to a great education.” – Henry Wegehaupt, a 2017 graduate who is the youngest person in state history to win a SBIR grant for his start-up business.
STUDENT SUCCESS CENTER
The Student Success Center (SSC) is the hub of support to help students be successful academically and socially. Free tutoring, workshops on time management, learning strategies, and more are just some of the resources students will find.
Also located within the SSC is the Pre-Health Pathways advisor, a dedicated guide who assists students interested in professional healthcare programs. Pre-Health Pathways aids students in finding professional development opportunities, preparation for entrance exams, and navigating the application process. The Pre-Health Experiences in Volunteering, Education, Research, and Shadowing program helps students grow professionally and develop competencies to make each participant a competitive candidate for professional programs.
CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CENTER
There’s a reason Mines students are in high demand. Through Mines Advantage, the school’s signature professional development program, the Career & Professional Development Center (CPDC) gives every student a competitive edge. Other services include an expansive internship program, one-on-one interview prep and résumé reviews, year-round workshops and events, and various professional development opportunities.
The CPDC organizes two career fairs a year, drawing in over 150 employers, many represented by Mines alumni, providing an added networking value to the event.
77% of recent Mines graduates had at least one paid internship, co-op, or research experience. Of those students, 100% were placed in graduate school or careers, earning an average starting salary of $68,500 ($13,000 more than those who did not complete an internship!). Many students receive job offers before they even graduate. Mines holds two career fairs a year, connecting students with over 150 employers.
Placement Information for 2019-2020 Bachelor’s Degree Graduates:
- Average starting salary: $66,156
- Placement Rate: 97% were placed in careers in industry or into graduate school
- Employed by: 177 employers in 35 states plus Japan
Companies that hire include, but are not limited to:
- Black Hills Energy
- Blattner Energy
- Burns & McDonnell
- Collins Aerospace
- Dow Chemical
- Freeport McMoRan
- John Deere
- US Army
- US Navy
- Western States Fire Protection
Standardized test scores
Rigor of secondary school record
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 560 | 75th Percentile: 660
25th Percentile: 590 | 75th Percentile: 710
25th Percentile: 24 | 75th Percentile: 30
25th Percentile: 25 | 75th Percentile: 30
25th Percentile: 22 | 75th Percentile: 30
South Dakota Mines considers applications on a rolling basis up until the start of each semester. The application can be found online at apply.sdsmt.edu/apply. To complete your file, you will also need to submit a $20 application fee and official transcripts (both high school and college, if applicable). SAT or ACT scores are optional, though all applicants are strongly encouraged to submit scores, as they are used in the university scholarship process.
Tuition & Cost
Tuition (in-state): $12,110
Tuition (out-of-state): $16,530
Incoming freshmen must be admitted by January 15 to be considered for university scholarships. To be awarded an academic scholarship at South Dakota Mines, students must have at least a 3.0 unweighted high school GPA. Prospective students can update their file with the Office of Admissions through the scholarship deadline of January 15. After this deadline, no additional test scores or updated high school transcripts will be considered. The freshman scholarship matrix can be found here: sdsmt.edu/FinAid/Scholarships.
South Dakota Mines’ new program, SD-FIRST (funded through the National Science Foundation), supports first-generation students with scholarships of up to $5,000 per year. To learn more and apply, check out this webpage: SD-FIRST Specifics.
Many college students find it necessary to supplement their personal and family financial resources to attend college. The South Dakota Mines Financial Aid Office will make every effort to develop a financial aid package (some combination of loan, work, grant, and scholarship) to help capable and qualified students in need. To learn more, connect with the Financial Aid Office here.