Work Study & Independent Study

Any student at Mines can gain credits for conducting research through enrolling in Independent Study courses. Likewise, if a student is eligible for Work-Study, they can often use their Work-Study funds to conduct research at Mines. With opportunities like these, all students have the chance to capitalize on their education and catalyze a career in research and industry. If you would like to learn more about using Work-Study to conduct research, click here. If you would like to learn more about using Independent Study to conduct research, click here.



How to use work-study (from a student's prespective)

Please note, you DO NOT always need work-study funds to apply for an undergraduate research position through DiggerNet; work-study funds just ensure a research opportunity can be funded (even if it is not posted on DiggerNet yet):


  1. Check your financial aid award: You can check your financial aid award to see if you are awarded work study through Trailhead. If you do not see an award in your account summary, email to inquire about eligibility.
  2. Apply for the research position: Individual research positions are given through the different academic departments.  They are usually posted on DiggerNet; however, not always. Make sure to ask your department’s administrative assistant for help; they will usually have a list of available undergraduate research projects. Alternatively, you can view other undergraduate research projects linked on the Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship page. Regardless, it is always helpful to speak with your faculty mentor and the department’s administrative assistant prior to applying. Depending on how you go about it, the application process looks a little different for everyone.
  3. Beginning your research position: Once hired for a research project, you should complete the Student New Hire Packet and a Student Work-Study Authorization and Contract.
    • Once you have confirmed with financial aid that you have a work study award, you will print your Student Work-Study Authorization and Contract from Trailhead > Financial Aid > Yellow Work Study section and give this to your supervisor.
    • Your supervisor will complete the bottom of the contract and submits it to MAPS, Mines Administrative Processing Services.
    • You can begin working after you have approval from HR and have turned in the work study contract to your supervisor. You will have to submit bi-weekly hours via Trailhead.

independent study

How to use independent study (from a student's perspective)
  1. Reach out to a faculty mentor: Begin by reaching out to a faculty mentor and requesting to enroll in independent study research. This step seems simple; but, it can take the most amount of time because it assumes you have already fostered a fruitful academic relationship with your faculty mentor. Sometimes you can meet a potential faculty mentor in taking one of their classes, by conducting research with them already, or, possibly, by speaking with friends currently conducting research at Mines. If you have questions about faculty mentors, please email us at
  2. Your mentor will create a course syllabus: Once you and your faculty mentor have discussed what you will be working on, your faculty mentor will create a course syllabus and complete an Independent Study Registration Form. Often, you will help your mentor in these processes. These documents must be reviewed by the department head if they have not already been okayed.
  3. You submit the Independent Study Registration Form: All students enrolled in independent study must submit the Independent Study Registration Form to the Registrar before Census Day.

The course numbers for “Independent Study” and “Undergraduate Research” are different per department. To search the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of current courses being offered, please view the official Mine’s Course Catalog, here.

Start by selecting your desired department and looking for courses labeled “Independent Study” or “Undergraduate Research”.