Campus Life

Studying At Mines

Located in the scenic mountain town of Golden, Colorado, the Colorado School of Mines is an engineering school known worldwide for its excellent education and quality of graduated students. Not only are there great opportunities for education, but also for experiencing the great outdoors. Skiing, hiking, rock climbing and many other activities are only minutes away from campus.  Check out our video above to see some of the things Mines has to offer.  We have also provided some information below to help you learn more about life at Mines!

Downtown Golden

Colorado School of Mines is a short walk from Downtown Golden situated on Washington Street. As a former gold rush town and the former capital city of Colorado, Golden offers an eclectic mix of recreational and cultural opportunities just minutes from the mountains.

Along Washington Street there are many options for eating and shopping. Students often go into Downtown Golden to buy lunch at a local sandwich shop or get their

caffeine fix at one of the many coffee shops. Woody’s is always crowded with people lining up for their legendary pizza buffet,

especially on Monday nights when a discount is offered to Mines students.

Running through the heart of Downtown Golden is Clear Creek, on which some school activities are held like the cardboard boat races during E-Days. During nice weather, many people rent tubes and tube down Clear Creek, though the water is usually cold.

Eating on campus

There are many dining options on campus including our dining hall, fast food options, coffee shops, and a convenience store. You can purchase a meal plan with both meals at Mines Market (our dining hall) as well as Munch Money which can be spent at any of the other on-campus dining options.

  • Mines Market–Mines Market features seven distinctive stations for a one-stop, all-you-care-to-eat dining experience! With its wide range of restaurant-quality offerings, the venue offers everything from starters to desserts and everything in between. Mines Market is open most days for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some students even stop in just for the ice cream!
  • Periodic Table– Located upstairs in the Student Center, Periodic Table offers fast and to-go options. Wow Cafe has American options like burgers, chicken fingers, fries, and sandwiches. Habeneros offers Mexican options like burritos, tacos, and quesodillas and is even open for breakfast! Starbucks has coffees, tea, sandwiches, and snack options.
  • Elements– Elements is the Mines convenience store located within Periodic Table in the Student Center. Elements has snacks and to-go meal options like sandwiches, soups, chips, drinks, and even fresh sushi!
  • Starbucks–There are two Starbucks locations on campus, one in the Periodic Table in the Student Center and one in West Brown Building.
  • Einstein Bros– Located in CTLM, Einstein Bros offers bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee. 
  • Book ‘n Brew– This student-run coffee shop in the Arthur Lakes Library is perfect for a quick stop for a drink or snack while you’re studying!
Intramural Sports

While Mines students are known for being studious, they sure do love a good game of sports!  We have a very active IM league where students play on teams against other mines students.  We have everything from soccer to basketball to flag football to ping pong!  If you’re interested in the different sports Mines has to offer, click here.

Colorado Outdoor Activities

For students with an active lifestyle or who simply like being outdoors, Golden has endless opportunities to enjoy a bit of sunshine, whether it be tubing down Clear Creek, hiking the nearby trails, kayaking and even—for the more adventurous—tandem paragliding jumps from Lookout Mountain.

There are multiple famous ski areas within an hour or two of Golden such as Copper, Breckenridge, Loveland, and Arapahoe Basin. Discount day passes to Copper Mountain are available for students on campus at the Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC). Students can even rent ski and snowboard equipment from the ORC!

There are many hiking trails in and around Golden that can easily be accessed by students. Hiking up South Table Mountain is a particular favorite among students as the view from the top overlooks all of Golden and the Mines campus. 

If you want to hike like a true Coloradan, try hiking some Fourteeners! Colorado is home to 53 peaks that measure over 14,000 ft tall, more fondly known as fourteeners. Hiking to the peak of one of these mountains is a day-long trek and many people proudly document how many they have summit-ed. 

It is easy to find student groups who plan adventures like camping, hiking, skiing, climbing, and even high-lining!

You can even enjoy the wonderful Colorado sunshine without leaving campus. During nice weather, students can be found on Stratton commons picnicking, studying, playing frisbee, slack-lining and even relaxing in hammocks. 

Mines Student Rec Center

The Student Rec Center (SRC) is home to Lockridge Arena as well as the Mines Natatorium. 

]Students are free to use the facilities offered by the SRC. Free swim hours are offered at the natatorium, there is a fully equipped fitness center, free group exercise classes are offered nearly every day, and the 40 ft tall, 4000 sq. ft rock climbing wall is open most weekdays.    


Geology Museum

The Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, home to one of the state’s two Goodwill moon rocks collected during the Apollo 17 mission, was started in 1874 and displays mineral, fossil, gemstone, meteorite and historic mining artifact exhibits on two floors.

The museum serves as the state repository for Colorado’s mineral heritage and promotes its importance and understanding to the university community and the public. It aims to inspire scientific curiosity through education and research while encouraging appreciation of the earth and responsibility for its mineral, fossil, meteorite and historic mining treasures.


Each fall, all incoming students carry a 10-pound rock up to the M and then coat the symbol with fresh whitewash. The students are encouraged to bring a rock from their home town if they are able to. 

1. Early in the morning, upperclassmen paint the hard hats of the incoming students.

2. Campus organizations are camped out all along the road to the M and commonly greet the students with “cold refreshments.” At each encampment, upperclassmen stop the incoming students and lead them in a rendition of the school song. The noble organizations hand out otter pops or cups of water. The more boisterous organizations use squirt guns to cool the new Miners.

3. The students form a bucket brigade along the short trail from the road to the M. They pass up buckets of white wash until large tubs located around the M are full. 

4. Once the tubs are full of whitewash and all the new students are on the M, the whitewash wars begin.


Since 1934, Mines stude  nts have put the stress of studying aside each spring to celebrate Engineering Days (E-Days), uniting the Mines community in honor of our unique history, traditions, and unflappable Oredigger Spirit!

Every spring semester, students look forward to days off to relax and have fun with on-campus activities that last from Thursday to Sunday.

These fun activities include:

  • The Ore Cart Pull–A 7.5 mile voyage along Colfax Ave. from Golden to Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver, right across from the capitol. Governor Hickenlooper will declare it Engineering Days and all participants receive ice cream!
  • Field Day
  • The Carnival
  • The E-Days Car Show
  • Cardboard Boat Races— Teams build cardboard boats, decorate them, and test them in front of crowds of students on Clear Creek!
  • A Comedian show
  • Concerts
  • Fireworks!

Homecoming is the tradition of welcoming new students and welcoming back students and alumni at the start of a new year! 

Students participate in the homecoming parade and tailgate before going to cheer on the Orediggers at the Homecoming Football Game. The tailgate is always hopping with music, food, and plenty of Mines spirit!

During Homecoming there are also other fun events like a guest speaker, a concert, and even a bonfire! 

Student Organizations

Mines has over 180 clubs and organizations on campus, and we encourage you to take part in them!  Whether you are interested community service, robotics, slack-lining or juggling, Mines has an organization for you!  To browse our many organizations, follow the link here.


Mines International Office
1200 16th Street
Ben Parker Student Center, Suite E110
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401

Office Hours
Monday through Friday, 9:00 - 11:30 and 1:30 - 4:00

David Wright, Assistant Provost for International Affairs
(303) 384-2120 /

Mary Cook, Director and Manager of Student Mobility-Outbound/Inbound
(303) 384-2121 /

Main Office Phone and Email
(303) 273-3210 /