Core Courses

How do you measure the quality of a Mines education?

As much as anything, we believe our approach to education is validated by the success of our alumni. In addition, the Mines curriculum has been recognized nationally—with a core course sequence common for all students and a major course sequence that is specific to each major area.

Core Courses

The core courses are designed for you to develop technical breadth, teamwork, communication skills and an understanding of technology and its impact. Learn more

Math and Basic Sciences

In mathematics and the basic sciences, you must complete 12 credit hours in calculus, three credit hours in differential equations, eight credit hours in chemistry, and nine credit hours in physics.


In design, the core course sequence requires six credit hours. You meet this requirement through Design-EPICS(Engineering Practices Introductory Course Sequence). This course develops teamwork, engineering design and communication skills. Teams of four to five students develop solutions to real-world, open-ended problems similar to those in an engineering job. A mentor works with each EPICS team to guide the team and help them learn to make presentations and write reports about their work. The design course sequence continues in the junior year and, in most majors, ends in the senior year with a capstone design course.


In systems, all students must complete Earth and Environmental Systems or Biological and Environmental Systems, Engineering Systems and Human Systems. These three courses are designed to develop an understanding of how people, technology and the environment interact.

Humanities and Social Sciences

In humanities and the social sciences, you must complete 10 credit hours in Nature and Human Values, Principles of Economics and Human Systems. Human Systems is included in both the systems and the humanities and social science segments of the core course sequence. In addition to the 10 credit hours of courses required as part of the core curriculum, you must complete nine additional credit hours from our Liberal Arts and International Studies Department. An important focus of humanities and social science courses at Mines is to develop writing and communications skills. To further support this focus, writing intensive courses are included in each major course sequence.

Physical Education

In physical education, you must complete two credit hours taken in four separate semesters. Varsity athletics count for physical education credit.