General Information

Academic Calendar

The academic year is based on the early semester system. The first semester begins in late August and closes in mid-December; the second semester begins in early January and closes in mid-May.

Classification of Students

Degree seeking undergraduates are classified as follows according to semester credit hours earned:

Undergraduate Year Semester Credit Hours Earned
Freshman 0 to 29.9 semester credit hours
Sophomore 30 to 59.9 semester credit hours
Junior 60 to 89.9 semester credit hours
Senior 90 or more semester credit hours

Course Numbering & Subject Codes

Numbering of Courses

Course numbering is based on the content of material presented in courses:

Material Level Division
100-199 Freshman Level Lower Division
200-299 Sophomore Level Lower Division
300-399 Junior Level Upper Division
400-499* Senior Level Upper Division
500-599** Graduate Level
600-699 Graduate Level
Over 700 Graduate Research or Thesis Level

Some graduate programs may allow graduate students to enroll in 400-499 level courses as part of their program.


Undergraduates may take 500 level courses and may apply these course toward the undergraduate degree and GPA.  Undergraduates in combined undergraduate/graduate programs will have a transcript notation on the graduate transcript notating the double counted courses.

Subject Codes:

Course Code Course Title
AFGN Air Force
AMFG Advanced Manufacturing
BIOL Biology
CBEN Chemical & Biological Engineering
CEEN Civil & Environmental Engineering
CHGC Geochemistry
CHGN Chemistry
CSCI Computer Science
CSM General Studies; Skills Courses
DSCI Data Science
DTCN Data Center Engineering
EBGN Economics & Business
EDNS Engineering, Design, and Society
EENG Electrical Engineering
ENGY Energy
FEGN Finite Element Analysis
GEGN Geological Engineering
GEGX Geochemical Exploration (Geology)
GEOC Oceanography (Geology)
GEOL Geology
GOGN Geo-Engineering (Mining)
GPGN Geophysical Engineering
HASS Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
HNRS Honors Program
LICM Communication
LIFL Foreign Languages
LIMU Music; Band; Choir
MATH Mathematics
MEGN Mechanical Engineering
MLGN Materials Science
MNGN Mining Engineering
MSGN Military Science
MTGN Metallurgical & Materials Engineering
NUGN Nuclear Engineering
ORWE Operations Research with Engineering
PAGN Physical Education & Athletics
PEGN Petroleum Engineering
PHGN Physics
SPRS Space Resources
SYGN Core Sequence in Systems

Curriculum Changes

In accordance with the statement on Curriculum Changes, the Colorado School of Mines makes improvements in its curriculum from time to time. To confirm that they are progressing according to the requirements of the curriculum, students should consult their academic advisors on a regular basis, reference the online degree evaluation,  and carefully consult any Catalog Addenda that may be published.

Part-Time Degree Students

A part-time degree student may enroll in any course for which he or she has the prerequisites or the permission of the department. Part-time degree students will be subject to all rules and regulations of Colorado School of Mines, but they may not:

  1. Live in student housing;
  2. Receive financial help in the form of School-sponsored scholarships or grants;
  3. Participate in any School-recognized activity unless fees are paid;
  4. Take advantage of activities provided by student fees unless such fees are paid.

Course work completed by a part-time degree student who subsequently changes to full-time status will be accepted as meeting degree requirements.

Seniors in Graduate Courses

With the consent of the student’s department/division and the Dean of Graduate Studies, a qualified senior may enroll in 500-level courses without being a registered graduate student. At least a 2.5 GPA is required.  Any undergraduate taking graduate-level credit must complete the 500-level form and agree to the specific terms selected.

  • Students requesting the credits as undergraduate credits or those who do not qualify to have the credits listed on the graduate transcript must register for the course as UG (undergraduate credit).  The credits will be listed on the undergraduate transcript and the credits will impact the undergraduate GPA.     
  • Students who request the credits as graduate-level credits and meet the qualifications to have the credits listed on the graduate transcript must register for the course as GR (graduate credit).  The credits will be listed on the graduate transcript and the credits will impact the graduate level GPA.
  • Once registered as UG or GR, the level cannot be changed after Census Day of the semester in which the course is taken.
  • Students may apply up to 6 credits of unused graduate-level coursework, while enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student, toward a Mines graduate degree.  For students in a combined program, these credits are in addition to the 6 credits being counted toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees as double counted courses.  Combined students may petition the Office of Graduate Studies for an exception to this policy.
  • Financial aid may be impacted.  Email for more information on financial aid impacts.

Course Substitution

To substitute credit for one course in place of another course required as part of the approved curricula in the catalog, a student must receive the approval of the Registrar, the heads of departments of the two courses, the head of the student’s option department. There will be a periodic review by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Forms for this purpose are available in the Registrar’s Office.

Change of Catalog

It is assumed that each student will graduate under the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of most recent admission. However, it is possible to change to any subsequent catalog in effect while the student is enrolled in a regular semester.

To change catalogs, a form obtained from the Registrar’s Office is presented for approval to the head of the student’s option department. Upon receipt of approval, the form must be returned to the Registrar’s Office.

Students’ Use of English

All Mines students are expected to show professional facility in the use of the English language.

English skills are emphasized, but not taught exclusively, in most of the Culture and Society (CAS) courses and EPICS as well as in option courses in junior and senior years. Students are required to write reports, make oral presentations, and generally demonstrate their facility in the English language while enrolled in their courses.

The Writing Center is available to assist students with their writing. For additional information, contact Allyce Horan, Director of the Writing Center at 303-384-2265.

Summer Sessions

The summer term is divided into two independent units. Summer Session I is a 6-week period beginning on Monday following Spring Commencement. Summer Session II is either a 6-week or 8-week session which immediately follows Summer Session I.

Review Day

No required class meetings, examinations or activities may take place on the Friday immediately preceding final exams for the fall and spring terms. At their own discretion, faculty members may hold additional office hours or give a review session on Review Day provided these activities are strictly optional. This day has been created as a break from regularly scheduled and/or required academic activities to allow students to prepare for their final examinations as they see fit.


At the time of publication the Common Exam Policy was under revision. 

Please see the Catalog Addendum.

Final Examinations Policy

Final examinations are scheduled by the Registrar. With the exception of courses requiring a common time, all finals will be scheduled on the basis of the day and the hour the course is offered.

In general, all final examinations will be given only during the stated final examination period and are to appear on the Registrar’s schedule. Faculty policy adopted in January 1976 provides that no exams (final or otherwise) may be scheduled during the week preceding final examinations week, with the possible exception of laboratory exams. The scheduling by an individual faculty member of a final exam during the week preceding final examinations week is to be avoided because it tends to hinder the students’ timely completion of other course work and interfere with the schedules of other instructors. Faculty members should not override this policy, even if the students in the class vote to do so. 

Students who have conflicts with the final exam schedule or have more than two exams on the same day should inform their instructors. The instructor of the highest numbered course is required to grant relief (e.g., an alternate time during exam week). 

Academic activities that are explicitly disallowed by this policy include:

• Scheduling an in-class examination (final or otherwise, with the possible exception of laboratory exams) for any course during the week preceding final exams

• Scheduling an early make-up final examination - unless the student needs to miss the regularly scheduled final for school related business (athletics, school-related travel, etc…) and requested by the student and approved by the instructor.

• Assigning a take-home final examination for any course that is due during the week preceding final exams – unless the student needs to miss the regularly scheduled final for school related business (athletics, school-related travel, etc…) and requested by the student and approved by the instructor.

Academic activities that are allowable during the week preceding final exams include:

  • The introduction of new materials
  • Laboratory finals
  • Required homework
  • Required in-class assignments such as quizzes or worksheets (NO EXAMS)
    • Quizzes are shorter exercises which take place on a fairly regular basis (e.g. 15-30 minutes in duration, 6-10 times a semester).
    • Exams are major exercises which take place only a few times a semester (e.g. 50-120 minutes in duration, 2-4 times a semester).
  • Major course assignments such as Final Presentations or Term Projects provided the assignment was assigned at least 4 weeks in advance or was clearly indicated in the course syllabus (Presentations must not be scheduled in conflict with regularly scheduled courses in departments outside of the one scheduling the presentation.)
  • Take home finals (provided they are not due prior to finals week)
  • Make-up exams for students who miss a scheduled exam in the prior week due to emergency, illness, athletic event, or other CSM sanctioned activity (provided this absence has been approved by the Dean of Student's Office)

(Note: These policies apply only to undergraduate courses. Students enrolled in graduate courses, are bound by policies outlined in the Graduate Catalogs.)

Full-time Enrollment

Full-time enrollment for certification for Veterans Benefits, athletics, loans, most financial aid, etc. is 12.0 credit hours per semester for the fall and spring semesters. Full-time enrollment for Summer Session I and Summer Session II combined is 12.0 credit hours.