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College of Engineering

Mining Engineering


of 13 accredited mining programs in U.S.


of students have summer internship


minerals mined worldwide

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Dr. Joseph Sotille

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Department of Mining Engineering

College of Engineering

Department of Mining Engineering

230 Mining and Mineral Resources Building

Lexington, KY 40506-0107

Program website

(859) 257-8026

  • BS

Mining engineers find, develop, and recover the resources needed to support the daily needs of society from the minerals required to support our daily health to the materials used for roads, buildings, computers, cell phones among most other items used daily. The mining engineering discipline requires a broad range of basic engineering skills along with the ability to apply specialized technical knowledge in the areas of geotechnical engineering, explosives engineering, ventilation, mine power systems, automation and control, environmental engineering and extractive metallurgy.


Design Your Future

If it can’t be grown, it must be mined and safe, effective and responsible mining relies on intelligent, skillful practitioners who can operate highly sophisticated mining devices. The Mining Engineering program at the University of Kentucky is one of only thirteen accredited programs in the United States. The faculty members are well known and highly respected in their specialized area throughout academia and the industry. Thus, students receive the highest quality education and training from instructors with practical knowledge of the discipline. Hands-on instruction is provided in state-of-the-art laboratories that house modern equipment used in each of the specialty areas of mining engineering.

Industries Looking for You 

  • Surface and underground mining
  • Coal mining
  • Phosphate mining
  • Explosives
  • Geotechnical engineering firms
  • Reclamation engineering companies
  • Regulatory agencies
"Over the span of my four years in the Department of Mining Engineering, I have come to understand what mining and this department is all about: people, experience, and opportunity."


2014 Graduate, Mining Engineering

Admission Requirements

Students may directly enroll as pre-engineering students; however, there are minimum admission requirements. Minimum freshman entry requirements are an ACT Math score of 23 or higher or an SAT Math score of 540 or higher. Additionally, students must also meet the minimum Kentucky statewide academic readiness requirements for reading and writing. If you do not meet the initial admission requirements, please refer to the University of Kentucky Bulletin for alternative routes to admission to the College of Engineering.

First-Year Engineering Program

The smartest, most talented engineers around the world are devoting themselves to tackling immense global challenges. As a First-Year Engineering (FYE) student, you get to join them!

In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering identified 14 “Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century”—opportunities to greatly increase humanity’s sustainability, health, security and joy of living. Themes include making solar energy economical, enhancing virtual reality, reverse-engineering the brain, securing cyberspace, providing access to clean water and more.

These ambitious goals demand engineers roll up their sleeves and get to work, which is why we put them front and center during your first year as an engineering student. We have designed the FYE program to inspire you. We want you to discover your passion. We want you to explore where you might make your unique contribution. We want you to get your hands dirty and make stuff that might, one day, lead to a breakthrough.

Why wait until you’re taking upper-level classes to figure out what interests you? Through real engineering classes taught by top faculty and exposure to engineering’s greatest challenges, the FYE program gets you into the game from day one.

Degree Requirements

The following curriculum meets the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering, provided the student satisfies the graduation requirements of the College of Engineering.


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Experiential Education

The mining engineering program offers numerous opportunities to obtain hands-on experience through summer internships and co-operative education programs with mining companies that have operations throughout the U.S. These experiences often lead to full-time engineering professional positions upon graduation. For those interested in research, the program offers numerous undergraduate research opportunities in each of the specialized areas of mining engineering. Self-funding of all undergraduate education expenses is achievable by combining the funds earned from internship, co-op and research positions with the numerous scholarships that are available from the department and national societies and associations.

The Engineering Career Development Office is a valuable resource for assisting you with developing job, co-op and internship search skills; participating in education-abroad programs; participating in research endeavors and career network development so you can secure a rewarding career in your chosen field of study.

Student Involvement

Student organizations are an outgrowth of student interest and serve the needs of a variety of students. Many provide programs that supplement the classroom experience and extend into areas of service for the community. All provide learning and leadership training for participating students. Student organizations that are typically of interest to Mining Engineering students include: the Norwood Student Chapter of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE), Women in Mining, and the Mu Nu Gamma Honor Society. Significant participation also occurs regionally and nationally with the professional societies through attendance and active participation at professional meetings that are held across the U.S.

Scholarship Opportunities

Mining Engineering students are automatically eligible for a Kentucky Mining Engineering Scholarship (KMES) which are awarded to freshmen on the basis of high school GPA and ACT scores and to upperclassmen on the basis of their UK cumulative GPA. Freshmen and sophomore students can receive up to $4,000 annually through the scholarship program while junior and senior students receive up to $6,000 annually. In addition, there are several scholarships available from the national societies.

Career Prospects in Mining Engineering

Retirements and growth in the mineral sector over the next 5 – 10 years are expected to create many openings for talented mining engineering graduates at annual salaries in the range of $60,000 to $72,000, which are among the highest of any B.S. graduate. As a result of the number of expected retirements, advancing up the career ladder is sure to be faster than most other professions. Opportunities in the mining engineering profession will always be available due to the need to provide resources for the nation and the world in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner.

Imagine Your Future

Mining and Geological Engineers

Mining and geological engineers design mines to safely and efficiently remove minerals such as coal and metals for use in manufacturing and utilities.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2017

Number of Jobs


in 2017

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Mining engineers work mostly in mining operations in remote locations. However, some work in sand-and-gravel operations located near large cities.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Dr. Joseph Sotille

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Department of Mining Engineering

College of Engineering

Department of Mining Engineering

230 Mining and Mineral Resources Building

Lexington, KY 40506-0107

(859) 257-8026