Mines Admissions Philosophy



Mines Admissions Philosophy


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

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

We have a 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 are looking at your overall trends in grades 9-12, including the rigor of coursework (are you taking the highest level of coursework offered at your school?), trends within STEM-related coursework and participation in engineering/computer science electives (if available). We would prefer to see that you are taking the highest-level coursework available, which may mean a lower GPA, than not taking the highest level coursework offered and having a higher GPA. 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 their 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 the STEM-related courses. College credit may be granted based on your test scores. Learn more about advanced credits.



Concurrent/Dual Enrollment

Concurrent/Dual Enrollment provides students with a unique opportunity to take college coursework while in high school. In addition to being a great way to save some money by transferring credit, it also helps prepare you for the academic rigor of Mines. We recommend taking advantage of this option if your school offers it, and speaking with your admissions counselor for ideas on recommended coursework.


Extracurricular Activities

A big component of our holistic approach is learning about what you do outside the classroom. What extracurricular activities are you involved in? For how long? Were you on a team? Were you involved in Science Olympiad or the like? Did you participate in Upward Bound? Did you volunteer with Girls Inc or Habitat for Humanity or start your own Community Based Organization? Did you hold a leadership role (captain of a sport, president of a club) in any of these activities? Did you start a new student club or organization? Are you involved in your church? Are you a Girl Scout Gold Awardee or an Eagle Scout? Were you involved in STEM organizations? Something else? These are the kind of questions we ask ourselves as we review each application. We are excited to learn more about you, so do share your story.

Honors and Awards

We are looking to see if you’ve received any awards such as National honor roll, Denver Scholarship Fund or Daniels scholarship recipient? 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 it was awarded to you. 


We appreciate seeing students that are actively engaged with our team and the admissions process. That includes sending an email or giving us a call with questions, or attending a virtual or on-campus event.


We are interested to see if you spend and manage your time between academics and extracurriculars. 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. 

Test Scores

We have adopted a test-optional policy for our ACT/SAT requirement for all 2021 applicants. If you are unable to, or choose not to provide ACT or SAT test scores, the admissions and merit scholarship review process will proceed with your existing application file materials. By choosing test optional for fall 2021, your admissions and merit scholarship outcome will not be negatively impacted. You are welcome to submit test scores if you have them. We hope this helps alleviate some stress associated with the college application process.