The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has added a new Ph.D. program to the school’s Mining Engineering and Management program, a move the school says will increase research funding and opportunities.

The new program will strengthen collaborations between the earth systems programs at the school, including specialty areas like geology, geological engineering, petroleum systems and mining engineering, says Lance A. Roberts, Ph.D., head of the Department of Mining Engineering and Management.

“Working collaboratively with the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering allows us to efficiently leverage numerous resources and attract new students into a unique interdisciplinary program,” Roberts says. “Our goal is to graduate top-notch academics, engineers and researchers who are needed to solve the most complex minerals-related problems facing the United States and the world today.”

Roberts says the new Ph.D. program, together with existing programs in geology and geological engineering, will help the departments “incubate and nurture emerging programs.” That, in turn, could lead to additional specializations. He says the interdisciplinary approach gives the school advantages when competing for research funding.

The new Ph.D. program was approved by the South Dakota Board of Regents in the summer of 2017.

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,843 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of $63,500. For more information, visit