Welcome to the world of underground construction and tunneling!
Colorado School of Mines offers the only graduate degree program in Underground Construction and Tunnel Engineering in North America. Our unique interdisciplinary M.S. and Ph.D. programs are offered jointly by the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Geology and Geological Engineering (GEGN) and Mining Engineering (MNGN) providing students with a wide breadth of knowledge from diverse perspectives. In addition, we are proud to have faculty and student researchers involved from the mechanical engineering, petroleum engineering, electrical engineering, geophysics and computer science disciplines.
*M.S. non-thesis students are expected to complete an internship of approximately 3 months in duration with a design firm, contractor, owner, equipment manufacturer, etc. and, preferably, on a job site in the underground construction industry. During the internship, each student will complete a project-focused independent study. This is determined in consultation with the faculty advisor and internship sponsor. If an internship is not available or if the student has sufficient industry experience (to be determined by advisor and committee), the student may complete an industry-focused research project with a UC&T faculty member and industry partner. Both the independent study and research project options will culminate with a project report and presentation.
M.S. thesis students must write and successfully defend a thesis report of their research. Ideally, M.S. thesis research should be industry-focused and should provide value to industry UC&T practice.
Doctor of Philosophy in Underground Construction & Tunnel Engineering option:
Coursework: 42.00 credit hours (beyond BS degree)
Independent study*: 3.00 credit hours
Research: 24.00 credit hours (minimum)
Total: 72.00 credit hours
*Ph.D. students are expected to complete an internship of approximately 3 months in duration with a design firm, contractor, owner,
equipment manufacturer, etc., and preferably on a UC&T job site. If an internship is not available or if the student has sufficient
industry experience (to be determined by advisor and committee), the student may complete an industry-focused research project via
independent study with a UCTE faculty member and industry partner culminating with a written report and presentation.
Students must also successfully complete qualifying examinations, write and defend a dissertation proposal, and write and defend a doctoral dissertation. Ph.D. research is aimed at fundamentally advancing the state of the art in UCTE. Ph.D. students are expected to submit the dissertation work for publication in scholarly journals and disseminate findings throughout industry periodicals.
Thesis Committee Requirements
Students must meet the general committee requirements listed in the graduate bulletin (link below). In addition, the student's advisor or co-advisor must be a UC&T faculty member. For Ph.D. students, at least two committee members must be members of the UC&T faculty.
The following 19 credit hours are required for the M.S. (thesis and non-thesis) and Ph.D. degrees.4.0 ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AND GEOTECHNICS (GEGN468)
0.5 UNDERGROUND CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING LABORATORY 1 (GEGN561)
0.5 UNDERGROUND CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING LABORATORY 2 (GEGN562)
4.0 ADVANCED GEOMATERIAL MECHANICS (CEEN513)
4.0 UNDERGROUND CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING IN SOFT GROUND (CEEN523)
3.0 UNDERGROUND CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING IN HARD ROCK (MNGN504)
3.0 CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT (MNGN509)
Elective coursework covers a wide-range of topics including but not limited to:
APPLIED NUMERICAL MODELING FOR GEOMECHANICS
ADVANCED DRILLING AND BLASTING
ADVANCED MINE VENTILATION
MECHANICAL EXCAVATION IN MINING
M.S. and Ph.D. students often conduct funded research through the Center for Underground Construction and Tunneling,
an on-campus, interdisciplinary center dedicated to advancing knowledge through research and relationships with industry partners.
Learn more about current research projects that take on the challenges unique to the UC&T industry.
Financial assistance for graduate studies is available and may be in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships or fellowships.
Generally, financial assistance is reserved for students pursuing a MS Thesis or PhD. To guarantee consideration for financial assistance in Fall 2017,
prospective students should submit their complete application by Dec 31, 2016.
Because UC&T degrees are engineering degrees, the required prerequisite courses include basic engineering coursework and, specifically, Strength of Materials
(or Mechanics of Materials) and Fluid Mechanics. These prerequisite courses may be completed during the first semester of the graduate program if approved by UC&T faculty.
The required coursework includes graduate-level soil and rock mechanics as well as aspects of structural analysis and groundwater engineering. It is permissible for students to take these courses without having completed undergraduate courses in soil mechanics, rock mechanics, structural analysis and groundwater engineering; however, students may choose to complete undergraduate courses in these topics prior to or during enrollment in graduate program courses. The prerequisite courses do not count towards the requirements of the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. Students are encouraged to consult with UC&T faculty for guidance.