What Does It Take to Get Into the Colorado School of Mines?
If you’re set on a future in engineering and applied sciences, you might want to consider matriculating at the Colorado School of Mines. One of Kiplinger Personal Finance’s “Top 100 Value” schools, Mines is a research university passionate about using cutting-edge science to solve pressing issues related to energy and the environment. Students can choose from nearly 70 academic programs in science, engineering, mathematics, and other related fields.
Of course, earning a degree at the Colorado School of Mines doesn’t mean spending all your time in the classroom. You’ll also have your choice of 11 Greek chapters and more than 220 student organizations, where you can cultivate a healthy social life and develop lifelong relationships with fellow Orediggers. As a bonus, students can take advantage of everything that nearby Denver has to offer, whether it be hiking the Rockies in the spring or skiing down the slopes when it snows.
Clearly, Mines has a lot to offer to potential students. But is it the right place to earn your degree? Read on to discover what it takes to get into this fine academic institution.
Applying to the Colorado School of Mines: A Quick Review
Whether the Colorado School of Mines is on your list as a reach, target, or safety college, it’s important to do your homework with regard to the application process. To apply to Mines, be sure to submit the following materials:
- The Colorado School of Mines’ online application (Note: the school doesn’t accept the Common App.)
- Official high school transcript
- Self-reported ACT or SAT scores (Note: You’ll be required to submit official scores if you’re accepted.)
- $45 application fee
Students should be aware that Mines accepts admissions on a rolling basis. If you file by the priority deadline (November 1st), you can expect to hear back before the December holidays. Students who apply after November 1st risk lowering their chance of acceptance due to space limitations. If you’re set on attending Mines, apply early to give yourself the best shot at getting in.
Colorado School of Mines Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get In?
The Colorado School of Mines is a competitive college. Out of the 13,300 applications received last year, Mines accepted 6,500 students, for an acceptance rate of around 40%. So it’s fair to say that the school is on the selective side.
Still, students whose GPAs and test scores don’t meet the college minimums might not be left out in the cold. Compared to other institutions, Mines is relatively flexible, and some students with lower-than-average numbers still wind up getting their acceptance letters. Having a broad range of extracurricular activities and taking advantage of leadership opportunities can help seal the deal if your academics aren’t within the target range.
So, How Does One Get Into the Colorado School of Mines?
A student’s high school curriculum plays a significant role in whether he or she is accepted to Mines, with the average incoming freshman boasting a GPA between 3.8 and 4.0. Because the college is focused on math and engineering, Mines’s recommended high school curriculum for prospective students naturally leans heavily toward quantitative coursework. If you’re considering this Colorado school, make sure your coursework includes the following:
- 4 units of English
- 4 units of advanced math (including trigonometry and/or pre-calculus)
- 3 units of social studies
- 3 units of laboratory science, including physics and chemistry if available
- 2 units of academic electives (ideally in the STEM field)
- 1 unit of a foreign language
Test scores also play a role in admissions decisions. The average Mines freshman has an SAT composite score of 1380. ACT composites average 31. While lower test scores won’t necessarily prevent you from getting into Mines, they could affect your ability to earn scholarship funds. Merit scholarships are determined by both unweighted GPA and highest composite test scores. So students looking to secure funding may want to consider retaking the test to maximize their chances of receiving merit aid. Note that Mines does not superscore, so you’ll want to aim to do well in all sections of the SAT or ACT in a single sitting.
How to Make Your Application Stand Out
Apply early. As stated above, applying to Mines by the priority deadline can give you a slight edge when it comes to admissions. Not only does space fill up fast, but as time goes on the admissions department becomes overwhelmed with applications and it can become harder to stand out. If you want to get your decision early, it pays to submit your application ahead of schedule and ahead of the crowd.
Challenge yourself. Students can give themselves a leg up on the college-going competition by signing up for a challenging high school curriculum. Mines is passionate about enrolling the best and brightest students with a passion for STEM, so show off your skills by taking honors and AP classes in the sciences and doing well in them. As a bonus, enrolling in advanced placement courses can give your GPA a much-needed boost. Strive to achieve a balance by challenging yourself in these advanced courses while maintaining a strong academic record.
Showcase your interests and accomplishments. Of course, getting into Mines is about more than excelling academically. The school wants to matriculate a diverse and talented group of students with a range of interests. Demonstrate your passions by diligently pursuing opportunities and extracurriculars that interest you and taking on leadership roles when applicable. Use your personal statement to elaborate on your extracurricular activities and hobbies. Additionally, the Mines application invites students to talk about awards they’ve won and other ways in which they stand out from the crowd.
What If You Get Rejected?
If you’ve just been rejected from Colorado School of Mines or another college at the top of your list, your first instinct might be to appeal the decision. Unfortunately, doing this rarely results in a different outcome. Unless you have new information to offer up or a compelling reason that your application should be reassessed, appealing the decision is unlikely to yield a different result.
If you’re set on attending Mines, you may choose to matriculate at another school and apply for admission as a transfer student. Mines welcomes about 300 transfer students each academic year. As a signatory to the Colorado Statewide Engineering Articulation Agreement, Mines has formal agreements about transferable engineering coursework with several community colleges across the state. Consequently, there is a pre-existing pipeline for qualified applicants from these schools. You can find more information about applying as a transfer student from any institution here.
In most cases, however, CollegeVine generally recommends that students apply to a range of colleges rather than pin their hopes on one or two schools. If you’re set on attending college in the Centennial State, consider throwing your hat into the ring at Colorado College, University of Denver, University of Northern Colorado, or University of Colorado–Denver as well. Additionally, future engineers might want to consider schools with comparable engineering programs, such as University of California–Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, or Carnegie Mellon University.
Curious about your chances of acceptance to the Colorado School of Mines? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!
Gearing up for the application season? Be sure to check out some of our other posts: