Colorado School of Mines

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Colorado School of Mines
CSMines seal.png
MottoNil sine numine (Latin)
Motto in English
Nothing without God's will
Endowment$296.4 million (2018)[1]
PresidentPaul C. Johnson
Location, ,
United States

39°45′4″N 105°13′21″W / 39.75111°N 105.22250°W / 39.75111; -105.22250Coordinates: 39°45′4″N 105°13′21″W / 39.75111°N 105.22250°W / 39.75111; -105.22250
CampusSuburban, 373 acres (1.51 km2)[3]
ColorsBlue & Silver[4]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIRocky Mountain
MascotMarvin the Miner
Blaster the Burro[5]

Colorado School of Mines (informally "Mines") is a public research university in Golden, Colorado. It is devoted to engineering and applied science, with special expertise[6] in the development and stewardship of the Earth's natural resources. In every QS World University Ranking from 2016 to 2019, the university was ranked as the top institution in the world for mineral and mining engineering.[7]


Early history[edit]

Guggenheim Hall
Engineering Hall, constructed in 1894
George R. Brown Hall houses various engineering disciplines, including mining.
Paul Meyer Hall housed the Physics Department. It was torn down in Spring 2016 to be replaced by the CoorsTek center.
Alderson Hall, completed in 1953[8] and renovated in 1992, was named for former university president Victor C. Alderson (1903–1913 and 1917–1925) and houses the chemical engineering department.
The CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering, opened to students in September 2017. It is the home building for the Physics Department, and the College of Applied Science and Engineering Dean's Office.

Golden, Colorado, established in 1859 as Golden City, served as a supply center for miners and settlers in the area. In 1866, Bishop George M. Randall of Massachusetts arrived in the territory and, seeing a need for higher education facilities in the area, began planning for a university which would include a school of mines. In 1870, he opened the Jarvis Hall Collegiate School in the central building of the Colorado University Schools campus just south of the town of Golden, accompanied it with Matthews Hall divinity school in 1872, and in 1873 the School of Mines opened under the auspices of the Episcopal Church. In 1874 the School of Mines, supported by the territorial government since efforts began in 1870, was acquired by the territory and has been a state institution since 1876 when Colorado attained statehood. Tuition was originally free to residents of Colorado.[9] The school's logo was designed by prominent architect Jacques Benedict.

The first building on the current site of the school was built in 1880 with additions completed in 1882 and 1890. The building, known as "Chemistry Hall," stood where Hill Hall is now located. The next building to be added to the campus was Engineering Hall, built in 1894, which is still in use today by the Economics and Business Division.

Other firsts include the first Board of Trustees meeting held in 1879; the first formal commencement held in 1883 for two graduates (William Beebe Middleton and Walter Howard Wiley); the first international student graduated in 1889; and the first female student graduated in 1898. In 1906, Mines became the first school of its kind in the world to own and operate its own experimental mine, designed for practical teaching of the students, which was located on Mt. Zion and succeeded in the 1930s by the Edgar Mine. In 1879, there was some discussion about merging School of Mines and the State University in Boulder. Apparently, because of the specialized focus of School of Mines, it was decided that such a merger would not be appropriate. During the early years of the institution, the chief administrator was the "Professor in Charge". The designation "President" was first used in 1880. The "M" on Mt. Zion, a prominent feature in the Golden area, was constructed in 1908 and lighted in 1932.

Early academic departments were drafting, physics, metallurgy, chemistry and mining. In the 1920s, departments formed in geology, petroleum engineering and geophysics. Petroleum refining was added in 1946. The Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Division (formerly Liberal Arts and International Studies) and the Department of Physical Education and Athletics provide nontechnical educational opportunities for Mines students. Other facilities include: Ben Parker Student Center, Arthur Lakes Library, Green Center and the Edgar Mine which is located in Idaho Springs.

Recent history[edit]

The Colorado School of Mines is a public research university devoted to engineering and applied science.

In August 2007, a new student recreation center was completed. In 2008, the school finished expanding its main computer center, the Center for Technology and Learning Media (CTLM). In May 2008 the school completed construction and installation of a new supercomputer nicknamed "Ra"[10] in the CTLM managed by the Golden Energy Computing Organization (GECO), a partnership among the Colorado School of Mines, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Science Foundation.

The school operates the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, which displays rock and mineral specimens collected from Colorado's numerous mining districts as well as around the world. The museum's exhibits include specimens from the Frank Allison gold and silver collection, part of the famous Nininger meteorite collection, and Sweet Home Mine rhodochrosite, as well as a model uranium mine and various pieces of mining related art.

Mines is the host of the annual Colorado State Science Olympiad, which draws teams from both the northern regional (hosted at Poudre High School) and southern regional (hosted at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) competitions. One or two teams usually advance to the national finals, depending on the number of teams registered to compete. Mines also hosts the Colorado Regional Science Bowl, and shares hosting of the Colorado State MathCounts Competition with University of Denver, alternating biennially.

Since 1964, the Colorado School of Mines has hosted the annual oil shale symposium, one of the most important international oil shale conferences. Although the series of symposia stopped after 1992, the tradition was restored in 2006.[11]


  • Chris Stell. – 1873[n 1]
  • Gregory Board – 1875[n 1]
  • Milton Moss – 1878[n 1]
  • Albert C. Hale – 1880[n 2]
  • Regis Chauvenet – 1883
  • Charles S. Palmer – 1902
  • Victor C. Alderson – 1903[n 3]
  • William G. Haldane – 1913
  • William B. Phillips – 1915
  • Howard C. Parmelee – 1916
  • Victor C. Alderson – 1917[n 3]
  • Melville F. Coolbaugh – 1925
  • Ben H. Parker – 1946
  • John W Vanderwilt – 1950
  • Orlo E. Childs – 1963
  • Guy T. McBride, Jr. – 1970
  • George S. Ansell – 1984
  • Theodore A. Bickart – 1998
  • John U. Trefny – 2000
  • Myles W. Scoggins – 2006
  • Paul C. Johnson – 2015


The design of the university's buildings have varied widely over time, spanning a spectrum of styles from Second Empire to Postmodernist, created by noted Colorado architectural masters including Robert S. Roeschlaub (Hall of Engineering), Jacques Benedict (Steinhauer Field House), and Temple Hoyne Buell (Berthoud Hall). To date, three main academic buildings are gone (original Territorial School of Mines, 1871–93; Hall of Chemistry, 1880–1958; Paul Meyer Hall, 1963–2016), while the present campus includes:

  • Alderson Hall
    • Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Berthoud Hall
    • Geology and Geological Engineering
  • Brown Hall (Building)
    • Engineering (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, undergraduate Environmental)
    • Computer Science
    • Mining Engineering
  • Chauvenet Hall
    • Applied Math and Statistics
  • Coolbaugh Hall
    • Chemistry and Geochemistry
    • Environmental Science and Engineering
  • CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering
    • Physics
  • Center for Technology and Learning Media (CTLM)
    • Academic Computing and Networking
  • Engineering Hall
    • Economics and Business
  • General Research Laboratory and Geology Museum
  • Green Center
    • Geophysics
    • GC Office of Events
  • Guggenheim Hall
    • President's Office
    • Administrative Offices
  • Hill Hall
    • Materials Science
    • Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
  • Arthur Lakes Library
    • Library
  • Marquez Hall
    • Petroleum Engineering
  • Moly Building
    • Colorado Geological Survey
  • Recreation Center
  • Starzer Welcome Center
    • Admissions
    • Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association
    • Colorado School of Mines Foundation
  • Stratton Hall
    • Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
    • Applied Math and Statistics (not primary location)
  • Steinhauer Field House

Steinhauer Field House.JPG

  • Student Center
    • Financial Aid
    • Bookstore
    • Registrar
    • Student Life
  • Student Health Center
  • U.S Geological Survey
  • Volk Gymnasium
    • Physical Education and Athletics

Major open-air athletic facilities of the Colorado School of Mines include historic Campbell Field and Darden Field.

The honorary named Colorado School of Mines buildings commemorate Dr. Victor C. Alderson, Edward L. Berthoud, George R. Brown, Dr. Regis Chauvenet, Dr. Melville F. Coolbaugh, Cecil H. and Ida Green, Simon Guggenheim, Nathaniel P. Hill, Arthur Lakes, Dr. Paul D. Meyer, Winfield S. Stratton, and Russell K. Volk.


Mines is organized around three Colleges:

  • College of Applied Science and Engineering (CASE)
  • College of Engineering and Computational Sciences (CECS)
  • College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering (CERSE)

Mines began the world's first graduate program in space resources in the fall semester of 2018, offering both master's and PhD degrees.[12]


University rankings
ARWU[13] 156–171
Forbes[14] 94
Times/WSJ[15] 169
U.S. News & World Report[16] 84
Washington Monthly[17] 117
ARWU[18] 601–700
Times[19] 251–300
U.S. News & World Report[20] 503
  • 9th in "USA Today's Top 10 Engineering Schools 2015".[21]
  • 5th in Petroleum Engineering, U.S. News & World Report's 2017 Best Engineering Graduate Schools[22]
  • 20th in Nuclear Engineering, U.S. News & World Report's 2017 Best Engineering Graduate Schools[23]
  • 38th in U.S. News & World Report's 2015 "Top Public Schools".[24]
  • 35th in U.S. News & World Report's 2015 "Best Engineering Graduate Schools".
  • 88th in U.S. News & World Report's 2017 "Best National Universities Rankings".
  • 83rd out of 174 schools ranked in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's 2019 "Best Values in Public Colleges."[25]

Admissions profile[edit]

For freshmen entering Fall 2018, Colorado School of Mines received 12,661 applications, accepted 6,228 (49.2%) and enrolled 1,199 (19.3% of those accepted).[26] The middle 50% range of SAT scores for the enrolled freshmen was 630–710 for reading and writing, and 660–740 for math, while the ACT Composite range was 28–33.[26] The average GPA was 3.79. Men constituted 68.3% of the incoming class, women 31.7%.[26]



The 2010 Ore Cart Pull

Each spring semester, the Colorado School of Mines students and faculty celebrate E-days (or Engineering Days). This three-day festival is kicked off Friday morning with the "Ore Cart Pull". This event consists of students collectively pulling an ore cart 7.5 miles down Colfax Ave to the Colorado State Capitol in Civic Center Park. Other attractions of this event include a cardboard boat race down nearby Clear Creek, a concert featuring a community-voted artist, and a large fireworks show Saturday night to end the festival, among many other small campus-hosted events.


Freshmen at the Colorado School of Mines are expected, but not required, to participate in the M-Climb. During this climb, students carry a ten-pound rock brought from their hometown up Mt. Zion. At the top of the mountain, they are then told to whitewash the M. While also being a mild hazing tradition, students take great pride in this process as it symbolizes the struggle they endure at the school to reach their goals. At graduation time, seniors are invited to return to the M and retrieve a rock to keep. This symbolizes the students taking the knowledge and skills they've learned with them into the next stage of their lives.


The Colorado School of Mines' intercollegiate sports teams are known as the Orediggers. The Orediggers compete as members of NCAA Division II and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for all 18 varsity sports. The Oredigger athletic teams include baseball, football, wrestling, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's indoor/outdoor track and field, and women's volleyball.

Colorado School of Mines was ranked No. 3 Best NCAA D2 school in the U.S. for student-athletes, according to Next College Student Athlete's 2018 NCSA Power Rankings.[27] The NCSA Power Rankings recognize the best colleges and universities in the U.S. for student-athletes.[28] Colorado school of mines athletics also ranked No. 2 in Football, No. 3 in Men's Soccer, No. 4 in Women's Soccer, and No. 5 in Women's Volleyball, among all NCAA D2 schools.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Professor in Charge.
  2. ^ Began as Professor in Charge, became the first President.
  3. ^ a b Served as President Twice


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2018. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2017 to FY 2018" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c As of Fall 2017. "Mines by the Numbers". Colorado School of Mines.
  3. ^ "Mines by the Numbers". Colorado School of Mines.
  4. ^ Mines Graphic Standards Guide (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 10, 2015. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Blaster – Burro or Mule? Archived April 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Colorado School of Mines – Best Colleges – Education – US News and World Report". August 19, 2009. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
  7. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019 – Engineering – Mineral & Mining". Top Universities. QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "Alderson Hall". Jefferson County Place Names Directory. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  9. ^ Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898–1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 23. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  10. ^ Mines unveils energy supercomputer 'Ra' Archived May 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Purga, Jaanus (2006). "26th Oil Shale Symposium in Golden – waking up the largest oil shale reserve in the world" (PDF). Oil Shale. A Scientific-Technical Journal. Estonian Academy Publishers. 23 (4): 385–386. ISSN 0208-189X. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  12. ^ School Of Mines Debuts The world's first degree program for space mining, Colorado Public Radio, August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  13. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019: USA". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  14. ^ "America's Top Colleges 2019". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  15. ^ "U.S. College Rankings 2020". Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  16. ^ "Best Colleges 2020: National University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  17. ^ "2019 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  18. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  19. ^ "World University Rankings 2020". THE Education Ltd. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  20. ^ "Best Global Universities Rankings: 2020". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  21. ^ "The top 10 engineering colleges in the U.S." USA Today. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  22. ^ "Best Graduate Petroleum Engineering Programs". Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  23. ^ "Best Graduate Petroleum Engineering Programs". Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  24. ^ "Colorado School of Mines." Archived March 7, 2013, at the Wayback Machine U.S. News & World Report. 2014
  25. ^ "Colorado School of Mines Ranking". Kiplinger's Personal Finance. July 2019.
  26. ^ a b c "Colorado School of Mines Common Data Set 2018–2019, Part C" (PDF). Colorado School of Mines.
  27. ^ "NCAA Division 2 Colleges, NCSA College Power Rankings 2018". NCSA College Power Ranking Report. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  28. ^ "NCSA College Power Rankings of Top Athletic & Academic Universities". NCSA College Power Ranking Report. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  29. ^ "US NSF – Office of the Director – List of NSF Directors, 1950–present". Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  30. ^ "Shane Carwin UFC Bio". Retrieved January 1, 2014.

External links[edit]