Mining Engineering

The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. —Herbert Spencer

Mining Engineering—MS, PhD

Fast Facts

  • Research funding averages nearly $3 million per year.
  • The nation's only geoscience/engineering master's program partnered with the US Peace Corps offering a Peace Corps Master's International program in Natural Hazard Mitigation.
  • We offer a rare international perspective on geoscience through our INVOGE (International Geological Master's in Volcanology & Geotechniques) program, which offers broad-based training in volcanology and geotechniques as well as a year spent studying abroad in France or Italy.
  • Researchers in our Subsurface Visualization Lab help companies extract oil from abandoned or nearly abandoned fields, enhancing US energy independence.

Graduate Programs in Mining Engineering

Departmental research activities span from fundamental and precise laboratory studies of rocks and minerals to field studies in remote and rugged locations to high-performance computing (including machine learning and data visualization). Faculty members are involved in domestic and international studies including:

  • Modeling and visualization of economic deposits
  • Mine safety modeling
  • Applications of machine learning techniques to mining problems
  • Modeling of mining-related environmental problems related to groundwater flow and transport of solutes
  • Geology of metallic ore deposits with emphasis on geochemistry
  • Process/product development, instrumentation and process control

Department laboratories are equipped and operated to support the field and modeling studies including seismic petrophysics, rock and mineral preparation and visualization, environmental magnetism, aquatic optics and remote sensing, and geo-hazard and geo-resource characterization. The Computational Research Center, housed at the Great Lakes Research Center on campus, is home to the region's most powerful supercomputer "Superior".

In addition to potential study sites world-wide, mining is experiencing a resurgence in Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula. New technologies and higher prices for metals are prompting international mining companies to explore for and develop prospects that were previously technologically and economically infeasible. Future graduate studies in mining engineering will focus on advancing new technologies and safe and environmentally responsible mining practices.

Master's Degree: Thesis Option

This option requires a research thesis prepared under the supervision of the advisor.  The thesis describes a research investigation and its results. The scope of the research topic for the thesis should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

The minimum requirements are as follows:

Course work (minimum)20 credits
Thesis research6–10 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

Master's Degree: Report Option

This option requires a report describing the results of an independent study project. The scope of the research topic should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

Of the minimum total of 30 credits, at least 24 must be earned in course work other than the project:

Course work24 credits
Report2–6 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

PhD Requirements

To complete a doctoral degree, students must complete the following milestones:

  • Complete all course work and research credits (see credit requirements below)
  • Pass Qualifying Examination
  • Pass Research Proposal Examination
  • Prepare and Submit Approved Dissertation
  • Pass Final Oral Defense

The minimum credit requirements are as follows:

Total Credit Requirements 
MS–PhD (minimum)30 credits
BS–PhD (minimum)60 credits

 

Individual programs may have higher standards and students are expected to know their program's requirements. See the Doctor of Philosophy Requirements website for more information about PhD milestones and related timelines.