How to Select a Mining Engineering School and Degree Program

Mining engineers earn an excellent salary doing surveys or advising on proper uses of mining equipment and personnel. Those seeking a job in mining engineering should learn how to find and select accredited mining engineering schools and degree programs.

The first selection criterion for picking any mining engineering school and degree program is educational accreditation. There are two main kinds of accreditation in the United States. The first one is done by regional or state accrediting bodies and accredits the actual institution (school). An example is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The United States Department of Education maintains a database of these accrediting bodies. Click on the link in the Resources section at the end of this article. You will see a tab that says “Search By Accrediting Agency.” That is where you can confirm that a mining engineering school is part of an accredited institution. So if your mining engineer degree program is at West Virginia University, you can confirm that the actual university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. You can also just check by using the actual school’s name under “Search by Institution.”

All of the major mining engineering schools are going to have this first kind of accreditation. Just keep in mind that some online-only school that promises a quality education may not have institutional accreditation.

The second kind is specialized or program-based accreditation. This is not done by the regional or national accrediting bodies. Instead, specialized organizations provide this accreditation. Although it is not approved by the Department of Education as an accrediting body, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is still the leading body that accredits mining and other engineering degree programs. It is a good idea to attend one of these ABET-accredited mining engineering schools to best ensure that you are receiving a quality education and to improve your chances of employment as a mining engineer after graduation.

ABET has its own search database for finding accredited programs. You can see a link below to get updates. As of September 2011, there are 14 mining engineering schools that provide degree programs on this accreditation list. Naturally, West Virginia University and Virginia Tech are big schools because mining is so common in that area. The Colorado School of Mines is an unsurprising addition to this list for obvious reasons.

Other accredited schools for learning mining engineering include the Alaska at Fairbanks, University of Utah, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Nevada-Reno, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Pennsylvania State University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

US Department Of Education Search
ABET Accredited Program Search
Prescott Papers

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