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The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Nov 03 2014Civil Engineering
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
If you enjoy a 24/7 sausage fest, the weirdest human beings on the planet as classmates, and ungodly amounts of useless homework this is the school for you.
1st Year Male -- Class 2017
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Perceived Campus Safety: A+, Campus Maintenance: D-
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Aug 02 2014Mechanical Engineering
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This is an awesome engineering school that will test you like only a few others will. Graduating from SD Mines is a badge of honor. Only 1 in 3 have the determination to stick it out, they all have the brains. The Professor to student ratio is excellent, the Black Hills are beautiful and outdoors people will love it. Rapid City is only 70k people and pretty cheap to live in. I have learned that lot of other engineering programs at state universities are a joke, spoon feeding their students. When you are done at Mines, you can do anything.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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Starting Job: Propellant Engineer Preparedness: A Reputation: A+
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Apr 26 2014Chemical Engineering
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
I was unfamiliar with SDSM&T, which we adorably refer to as "Mines," when some people in the know recommended that I apply to it. Turns out it was the best decision I ever made.

Academically, Mines is excellent. The teaching is quite superior, which comes as a surprise for a small school situated in a very remote area. You say 'how many faculty members are Ivy League graduates?' Few. But these guys and gals are well versed in their respective fields, have extensive experience, and definitely know their stuff. A few have a cool sense of humor and apply it to real world applications. Take Johnson's Statistics course for example. He configures the odds for NFL football games. Mindless you say? Not at all.

It's not all fun and games. The engineering curriculum here is tough and you need to plan and organize to be successful. My high school preparation in Math and Science, was rigorous and I entered SDSM&T with much AP credit. But the work just got harder upon matriculating here. Slackers need not apply.

Also, for a small school Mines has ample opportunities for undergraduate research and some really great labs and equipment. Mines is very successful in obtaining grant money for research and there are interesting projects going on all of the time.

Student life can be interesting if you get involved and are open minded. We have the usual assortment of college clubs. The campus has it's own type of diversity. There are students from abroad. Regarding American minorities the population is relatively small but well immersed in student life. Last year's student body president is an African-American fellow. The local kids from South Dakota are a friendly bunch in the main and very bright, from my point of view. I came here from a large metropolitan area and the students' interaction is very cool.

As for Rapid City, it's not Paris but well, you'll be busy with studies and with on-campus events. But there are various and unique restaurants downtown, which is just a short distance from the campus. And if you like the outdoors, well Rapid City and the Black Hills region is the jackpot for great recreational events. Weather is decent, too. Yeah, there is snow but it's not Minnesota. And the snow is not frequent. The day I left campus for Spring break it was 70 degrees. Something about the nearby mountains (including Mount Rushmore) tend to insulate this area from weather extremes, or so I have been told.

Over all, the educational experience at Mines compares very favorably to better known Engineering universities. Prominent employers seem to agree. Boeing, NASA, 3M, Dow and a host of others send recruiters here. Job placement is very good.The one place we need improvement in is to increase the number of female students, but that's a problem at most STEM schools. Also, more on-campus housing for upperclassmen would be nice.

1st Year Male -- Class 2017
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Education Quality: A+, Surrounding City: B-
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