A master's degree in mining engineering is a logical next step for working professionals in the mining industry who want to advance to a position with more authority. It is also an option for people seeking a career in mining who already have a science or engineering degree.
There are very few distance learning programs for mining engineering technology. Mining technology associate's degree programs are not available online, but a few mining engineering master's degree programs are available. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in a science or engineering discipline along with satisfactory GRE scores. These master's degrees may require some on-campus attendance for lab components options.
The curriculum of online mine engineering master's degrees focuses on designs for multiple types of surface and subsurface mines, and the geological principles necessary to plan a safe and productive extraction site. Courses may also cover the most recent developments in mine safety.
Master of Engineering in Mining Engineering and Technology
Online Master of Engineering in Mining Engineering programs aim to teach students how to solve problems at existing mines, run both surface and underground mining operations, design mines, and equip a mining operation. Enrollment requires a bachelor's degree in engineering or one of the hard sciences and GRE scores above a given school's admission threshold.
Information and Requirements
An online master's degree program in mining engineering may be completed totally online unless the program has a lab requirement, which has to be completed on-campus. Pre-recorded lectures, readings, and assignments are accessible via a school's website at the convenience of students. Student-professor interactions are handled through online forums, e-mail, or the phone. Assignments and classes have to be completed by specified deadlines. A master's degree is typically earned in 2-3 years.
Students need a multimedia-capable computer with Internet access to take part in an online mining engineering program. Schools may use an educational content administration software system or streaming video to delivery content. An institution may archive courses for easy review.
Master's degree programs in mining engineering are generally divided into required core courses, elective courses, and a design project or thesis. Some programs may offer a non-thesis option.
This course explores the properties of rock with particular emphasis on its load-bearing capabilities. Topics covered in the course include elasticity and non-elasticity, wall stability, stress characteristics, and testing methods.
The planning, construction, and operation of different types of surface mines are the central focus of this course. Coursework examines strip, open pit and placer mines, and quarries, and the equipment needed for each.
Students investigate the process of designing, digging, and running safe and viable underground mines. They consider room-and-pillar arrangements, ventilation, and lighting in the design portion and the types of equipment an underground mine needs in the construction and operation portion.
Students consider in greater depth the need for structural integrity and air quality assurance in mining operations. Coursework explores advanced design principles and technologies under development.
An online master's degree in mining engineering prepares graduates to become mine safety engineers and mining and geological engineers. It may be particularly helpful to engineers and other professionals in the mining industry who want to advance to supervisory or research and development positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that rising demand for minerals, coupled with retirements in the industry, will contribute to a 6% growth in employment for mining engineers over the years 2014-2024. The BLS reported an average salary of $107,880 for mining and geological engineers in May of 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Mining engineers who want to teach at the postsecondary level or devote all of their attention to academic research can consider earning a doctoral degree in mining engineering. As of November 2016, Ph.D. mining engineering programs are not available online.
Master's degrees in mining engineering and technology are not commonly found online, though some programs do exist and likely have some in-person requirements as part of the curriculum. While not available online at this time, graduates can pursue a Ph.D. in the field to advance their education and job prospects.