Admission Considerations

Undergraduate Admissions

Problem solver, change-maker, tinkerer. Sound like you?

When the world needs innovators, entrepreneurs, problem solvers and change-makers, the world looks to Mines. Orediggers are teammates and leaders who challenge themselves inside and outside the classroom. And yes, we embrace our inner nerd.

We have a unique story and we know you do too. That’s why our team takes a holistic approach when reviewing each application file for admissions and merit scholarships.

Below are just a few of the review factors we take into consideration.

High School Transcript

We know you have put a lot of time, dedication and thought into your coursework if you’re considering Mines, and we applaud you for that. We look closely at how you’ve chosen to challenge yourself in high school and are looking at your comprehensive high school work and overall trends in grades 9-11. This includes the rigor of coursework, trends within STEM-related coursework, and participation in engineering or computer science electives (if available). Are you currently taking the highest level of STEM coursework offered at your school and/or concurrently enrolled in college-level coursework? To ensure that you are best prepared for admission and success at Mines, we encourage you to consider the following:



We recommend that you complete three units of lab science (one unit must be physics or chemistry, both if available) and preferably science courses taken at the most advanced level offered by your school, prior to high school graduation.



We prefer to see four units of college-prep/advanced math. Trigonometry and/or pre-calculus is required prior to enrollment at Mines, since all undergraduate students take Calculus I, II and III, in addition to Differential Equations, as part of core coursework.


AP/IB/A-Level Coursework

If Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or A-Level courses are offered at your school, we encourage you to enroll in them, especially in STEM-related courses. College credit may be granted based on your test scores. Learn more about AP, IB and A-Level credits.



Concurrent/Dual Enrollment

Concurrent/Dual Enrollment provides a unique opportunity to take college coursework while in high school.  We recommend taking advantage of this option if your school offers it, and speaking with your admissions counselor for ideas on recommended coursework.



Our undergraduate application includes two optional but strongly encouraged short responses. These allow you to share more information regarding your personal, academic, and extracurricular experiences with the person reviewing your application. 

We recommend submitting a response to each for best consideration. 

At Colorado School of Mines, we are united by our commitment to our timeless mission of educating and inspiring students from all backgrounds. We value all experiences and support equity and inclusion of all students and their many intersecting identities. The lived experiences and personal identities of Mines students enrich our classroom and campus experience. Factors that shape identity may include gender, race, ethnicity, neurodivergence, first-generation status, socioeconomic status etc. or leadership, professional development, and personal growth experiences in community organizations or organizations like robotics or scouting. 

Prompt #1

Reflect on a time when you had to collaborate with individuals whose backgrounds, culture, experiences, or viewpoints are different from your own. How did this experience impact your understanding of your own identity and how do you think this experience will influence your approach in building inclusive teams? 

Prompt #2

Please share a bit more about your academic interests. Why did you choose Mines and what do you hope to study? If you are undecided, what area(s) of study are you considering? What has inspired your interests in these areas? Think about your prior/current coursework, extracurricular activities, work/volunteer experiences, future goals, or anything else that has shaped your interests.

Using Generative Artificial Intelligence during the application process

At Colorado School of Mines, we value the innovation and advancement provided by technology like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and other Generative Artificial Intelligence (genAI) tools. While they are especially useful for generating and organizing ideas, your final submission should represent your own work.

As with all other sources of information, please do not copy and paste content you have not created directly into your application. Instead, we encourage you to utilize genAI tools to brainstorm, edit, and refine your ideas. We firmly believe in the productive ways in which these tools can be helpful collaborators and contribute to your overall learning experience.

You can review our full guidelines for using Generative Artificial Intelligence at Mines for a more in-depth overview.


Senior Year Academics

 Your admissions decision is based on various factors, including an assumption that you will continue being successful in your senior year. Take the highest level of courses offered at your school (or concurrent enrollment/college courses if available) and keep the great work going. As we evaluate admissions applications, we pay close attention to overall trends in academic performance, including if you finish your senior year strong. 

Honors & Awards

We are looking to see if you’ve received any awards such as National honor roll, Denver Scholarship Fund or a Daniels Scholarship. Did you receive an award for innovation/entrepreneurship, science/engineering, or music/art? Do tell! Share your honors and awards on your application or as a supplemental document in your Applicant Portal. Please name the honor or award you received and briefly describe why you were chosen to receive it. 

Employment & Family Support

We are interested in seeing how you manage your time between academics and extracurricular activities. Did you have the same summer job every year? Are you a caregiver/babysitter for a family member? Do you work on the family farm or at a family business? Did you hold a paid or unpaid internship? Holding a job while also being in school and involved in other activities is a lot of work and requires good time management skills, a quality that we look for in our applicants. 

Extracurricular Activities

 We know you’re more than just your transcript, and we want to learn about your experiences outside the classroom. Tell us about any extracurricular activities you’re involved with, including athletics, community service, volunteer organizations, academic organizations and more. We are excited to learn about you, so be sure to share your entire story with us!

Admissions Engagement

We like it here at Mines, and we’re looking for applicants who want to be here, too. We appreciate seeing students who are actively engaged in the admissions process and interact with our team and campus community. That includes sending an email or giving us a call with questions, or attending a virtual or on-campus event. We want to get to know you and hope you want to get to know us, too! 

Test Scores (Optional)

Mines is a test-optional university. Your application will receive equal consideration in our holistic admissions and merit scholarship review process – with or without test scores. If you believe test scores will further highlight your academic ability, you are welcome to include them in your application file. We hope this helps alleviate some stress associated with the college application process.