Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO, USA

Reviews

Colorado School of Mines
3.81 Average Rating

Katlin from Woodland Park, CO

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I'll tell you now, it is not at all like high school at CSM. Keeping up with the demands of your courses can be extremely tiring and make your brain feel like it's melting. However, it forces you to not only learn the course material, but you end up learning a lot about yourself. You realize very quickly how high your frustration level is, how determined you are, how late your body can really stay up and still function, and how fast you can dressed for an early morning class. The professors push you hard and expect you to keep up. If you don't and don't look for help, they won't stick their hand out to help you up unless you go to them.
Am enjoying being here
Even as difficult as the courses are, there is always something to do to get your mind off the brain-melting. Sleeping became an amazing thing that made my and my roommates world go round. When we were studying, our breaks were 3 A.M. dance parties. There is ALWAYS somewhere to go and wonderful people to be with. You just have to be willing to step outside yourself those first few weeks to find them. Introverts force Extroverts to stay indoors and do what needs to be done, while Extroverts drag the Introverts out and about looking for anything to take every one's mind off of academics.

CSM is a work hard to play hard(er) kind of school. No one gets crazy every night and some weeks, the campus is silent; but there is always some way to have fun and let loose.
Bang for the buck
CSM is amazing for the amount you spend. The classes prepare you completely for every future course and there is so much hands on learning you actually do what you're going to do in your career. The professors in your major know exactly what they're talking about because they have all worked in the area they're teaching you. There aren't as many class fees and tons of free tutoring and extra recitations to help you get ahead.
They have abroad opportunities that cost the same as going to CSM and they can be full semester or during a summer.
If you want to go to CSM they will help you find a way.
Tips for prospective students
I encourage you to learn how to study. It sounds ridiculous because at one point we all think we know how to study and memorize facts. But at CSM, studying is how a majority of your time is spent. If you're struggling, take advantage of the free tutoring, office hours, and recitations. They're there to help you understand concepts and applying them. Even joining a study group with friends, at least one person in that group will be able to explain something to you and if you can be that person, it helps solidify the concept in your head even more. The first year at Mines tries to knock you down as hard as it can. It wants you to get to the edge of yourself and it forces you to decide if you really have what it takes to make it for four or even five years. I know plenty of upperclassmen that have told me that they've had their share of breakdowns and freak outs, but they weathered through them. At the end of the day, you only thought you were the smartest kid in school. And every day, we are reminded of that fact: Just because we thought it, doesn't make it so.
CSM challenges everyone, no matter what level they are at. In the end your internal drive will carry you through.
Great for these types of students
If you are driven, wanting an amazing career, and are a lover of math and science, there is a place for you at Mines.
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Jenna from Grand Junction, CO

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
CSM is a great engineering school. When I visited CSM I immediately knew this is where I wanted to further my education. The atmosphere at CSM is great, the professors are the best, and student life is just what I wanted. Golden is an awesome small town with all the amenities a student needs. Students are very friendly and willing to help each other out. Denver is only 20minutes away. There are a lot of great recreation to do around the school and golden.
Tips for prospective students
CSM is not a party school. Make sure you are ready to study, the classes will challenge even the most intelligent. Tutor program is good.
Academic Rigor
Classes are difficult but a great tutoring program. Don't expect to get a 4.0. Work hard and take a break.
Dorm Life
Had fun my freshmen year but ready to move into affordable housing. R.A. Was helpful. Dorms are fairly quiet.
Food and Dining
Good selection of food in cafeteria. Great places downtown. Good variety of foods.
What to do for fun
Ski, hike, tube, rock climb, go to sporting events, Denver is only 20 minutes away. Watch the Broncos. Lots of shopping, museums, and parks.
Bang for the buck
CSM has a great rate of getting students a job after graduation.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The M climb and engineering days.
Great for these types of students
Science and math.
Clubs and Activities
Skiing, rock-climbing, hiking, sports.
Greek Life
A few frays and sororities.
Campus Safety
I feel safe all the time on campus.
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Alisha from Fort Collins, CO

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Colorado School of Mines is a small and difficult school. Every freshman class is a weed-out class. However, the community and support is strong.
Tips for prospective students
If you work hard and study a lot, you will be fine at Colorado School of Mines.
Academic Rigor
Colorado School of Mines takes a lot of work and every class will push you to your intellectual limits.
Dorm Life
The dorm life is average. The traditional halls have small rooms.
Food and Dining
The food here is not very good. However, they are adding more food options starting spring semester 2015.
What to do for fun
There are lots of outdoor activities, skiing, and hiking opportunities. Additionally, Golden is very close to Denver where there are many more things to do for fun.
Bang for the buck
The return on investment for graduated of Colorado School of Mines is one of the highest in the country.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The freshmen do the m-climb where they take a rock from their home town, all hike together to the painted M on a mountain right next to campus, and leave their rocks. When they are seniors, they then go back to the M and take a rock back.
Great for these types of students
Engineering brains
Clubs and Activities
There are the average amount of clubs and activities on campus.
Greek Life
There are three sororities and nine fraternities.
Campus Safety
Due to the low ratio of girls to guys, the campus makes an extra point to make the campus safe.
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Krista from Colorado Springs, CO

a current student here
24 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
For the first year at the Colorado School of Mines, the majority of the required classes are classes that many honor students have already taken in high school. The classes include calculus 1, chemistry 1 and 2, and physics 1. Granted, these classes are much more difficult in college than they were in high school.
Am enjoying being here
The environment that encompasses the School of Mines is incredible. From the scenery to the people, the feeling is priceless. There are so many different people from all around the world that it is an incredible experience. If there is something that you enjoying doing, there is probably a club or group here that you can join. The teachers are helpful and really do care about your learning and success.
Bang for the buck
The cost to go to the School of Mines seems high for most people, but the opportunities that arise after graduation are immense. The education that you will receive is worth almost every penny and the extra help that is available to everyone eats up most of the rest of the change. The food however, is not worth the money.
Tips for prospective students
My advice to anyone who is looking to apply to the Colorado School of Mines, is not to get discouraged if you have a lower GPA than others. This just means that you need to keep working on your grades and make sure to make an appointment to tour the campus, as well as talk with the admissions office. Immediately after returning home write whomever you spoke with at the admissions office an e-mail thanking them for there time. This will not necessarily get you in but it keeps your name in the admissions personnel's head. When you apply, make sure to write everything in your application. (i.e. extra-curricular activities, GPA, volunteer information etc.) Also make sure to check up on your application status, to make sure that it is getting looked at in a reasonable manner of time.
Great for these types of students
This school is great for students who are self motivated and have a passion for math, science, and engineering. Whether you are more introverted or extroverted, if the above applies to you, then you will do well here.
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Elijah

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I would definitely say I'm learning a lot. As is par with the idea of Mines being super hard and everyone always doing homework, there is always work to do and new material to be learned. The material is very interesting, though, and thoroughly engaging.
Am enjoying being here
Even though I just said that Mines is super hard, there really is a lot of fun to be had. There are so many clubs that a person can join, it made my head spin. The community in the dorms is tight knit and friendly. Even as a freshman living off campus, I find plenty of ways to have fun and hang out with other people.
Bang for the buck
Right now, I'm finding few blessings in the price of college, but I'm hoping as I approach graduation and start finding jobs or internships, the college will pay for itself. Aside from the the cost of college itself, Mines is a very well priced school for the education you are receiving. For Colorado students, Mines is on par for tuition costs with CU; for non-resident students, Mines is considerably cheaper. Both situations are indicative of a much better education for a much better price.
Tips for prospective students
I would recommend staying focused on your studies. Don't let them overwhelm you. And when you start out, try joining a club or something of that nature. At Mines, it's nice to have a break from the day to day stresses.
Great for these types of students
-Prospective Engineers.
-Lovers of Math and Science.
-People seeking a challenge.
-Residents of Colorado.
-Students looking for a school with a smaller student body and campus.
-People who love the outdoors.
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Cody from bennett, CO

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Dedication to the opportunities given to a student at the Colorado School of Mines will prepare him or her for not only the career in which he or she may become engaged, but also many other careers within the fields of engineering pursued by graduates from the school. The school has a reputation for its rigorous academic program, and if one can dedicate to trying his or her hardest, then he or she can succeed. The professors at this school are almost all acclaimed experts in their respective fields, and they have immense amounts of experience in the field. This provides a connection between the course material and an example of the material's application in a certain career.
Am enjoying being here
The Colorado School of Mines campus offers numerous clubs and organizations that one can enjoy at their own leisure. If one is looking to join a group that shares common ideas, or if one is simply looking to stop by occasionally to relax and have fun with fellow students, there is a club/organization for all. The Student Recreation Center hosts numerous intramural sports that can be joined by any team. The gym in the Rec Center is adequately supplied for type of strength conditioning that one could pursue, and includes an indoor track and numerous basketball courts. If one is looking to take a break from studying or just looking to belong to something, then the Colorado School of Mines does not fall short of providing a fun, interactive college experience.
Bang for the buck
The prices to attend the Colorado School of Mines, both out-of-state and in-state, can seem quite high compared to other schools in or around the Denver area or even other schools with the same academic orientation. What needs to be looked at are the statistics for graduating students from this school. The job placement rate for graduating students from this college is astounding, The placement for Petroleum Engineering Majors is 100%. This is just in part of the school's 95% job placement rating overall up to 12 months after graduation. The average for all starting salaries including all majors is $65,000. The cost of attending the Colorado School of Mines is by far outweighed by the benefits of graduating from this school.
Tips for prospective students
Tip #1: Bring your game face.
- If you want to work hard and learn more than you ever have, but have fun while you're doing it then this school is for you. Expect to roll into this school, work harder than you ever have, but roll out with a great job and one of the brightest futures possible.
Tip #2: Learn how to take your game face off.
- One will learn to work hard at this school, but he or she needs to learn how to play hard too. The school offers too many ways to have fun while learning to not be involved in something fun.
Tip #3: Seek help where help is needed.
- At the Colorado School of Mines one can expect to have a hard time in some classes. There is hope! In almost every nook and cranny around the school one can find a study group, a tutoring program, an academic workshop, et cetera. Seek help if you need it! There is always someone willing to help, you just have to ask.
Great for these types of students
This school is great for students looking to get the best out of their college experience; the best engineering education one can find, along with all of the joy that comes from being in college, that last step before choosing a career. If one is gifted in mathematics and sciences, has a drive to always learn more, and seeks to put him or herself on the best path to a great career in fields of engineering, then this is the right school for him or her.
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Molly from Billings, MT

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The academics of this school are amazing. I am truly astounded at everything I have learned so far, just in one semester. The classes are rigorous, no doubt, but completely worth it. The harder you work, the more you learn, and this school is all about learning.
Am enjoying being here
The college is nestled right beneath the mountains, so it's a beautiful place to be. There's tons of stuff to do here, especially if you love the outdoors. I am literally minutes away from great hiking and biking trails and the Clear Creek that runs through downtown Golden has a kayaking park through it! And if you love skiing or snowboarding, what better place to be than Colorado? Often times, though, I find that I don't have enough spare time to utilize all that is offered. Every spare minute, though, I'm outside enjoying beautiful Colorado!
Bang for the buck
As an out-of-state student, the cost of attending CSM is very expensive. I was able to get grants and scholarships from the school that made it more affordable, though (don't rule it out if you think you can't afford it!). The cost is definitely worth everything offered at the school. The academics couldn't be better and there are wonderful academic services offered for free: tutoring every weeknight, academic excellence workshops, and very open and helpful instructors.
Tips for prospective students
I came to this school as a very open-minded, liberal individual. Being as it is an engineering college, the general vibe of the campus is fairly conservative. It made it a little more difficult to adjust and find friends that I could connect to well. However, the farther you get in school and your intended major, the more people you will meet with interests and values that match your own.
Also, don't get behind on your schoolwork. You have to be very self-motivated, but completing your work ahead of time saves a lot of stress and worrying on your part. It's worth it, I promise.
Great for these types of students
Hard-working, driven, self-motivated, math and science loving.
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Becca from Morrison, CO

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Throughout high school I took a lot of AP classes and thought what could be different between this and college? But Mines covers everything from high school and more. In every class, something new comes up all the time and proves to be challenging every day.
Am enjoying being here
I enjoy being at Mines because the school focuses on my favorite subjects, math and sciences. Its not like high school where the students are here just to be here, like other colleges; Mines students care about their education and what they get out of it when at school.
Its true, the nerdy vibe that Mines gives off, but the environment encourages more than just studying. The campus is very open and the school itself wants the students to have a rounded life. On Thursday nights the school sponsors a movie night and the ORC rents out equipment for activities such as boarding, skiing, camping, and tubing. I live so close to the mountains now, every weekend I go up and board. The city of Golden is cute and very friendly, but there are several, i guess, entertainment areas near by such as Colorado Mills mall and Belmar shopping center.
Bang for the buck
Colorado School of Mines is THE best bang for your buck. When students graduate the chance of employment is higher for Mines students then anywhere else for their expertise. When working Mines graduate make bank. The average income for a new graduate is 60,000. That almost covers 4 years of tuition. Yes, Mines is the most expensive public school in Colorado, but don't be to frightened by the dollar sign. There are several grants and scholarships available from the school to help with the cost of tuition and room and board.
Tips for prospective students
Tips... hm well just for like every other university.. Keep your grades up and take advanced classes. Just because you school doesn't require you to take another year of science, math, or foreign language doesn't mean you shouldn't. You will be highly recognized at Mines for having the initiative to take the advanced courses. Plus it helps in the first semester if you have a year of Calculus, Chem, and Physics under your belt.
And where academics is important, extracurricular activities are almost as equally important. Being well rounded is important plus there are things that you can't learn in the classroom.
Also set up an appointment with a admissions counselor and schedule a tour of the campus. Its important to make an impression, so whenever you have a question stop on by the school or email an admission councilors as much as possible to keep your name in their head.
Great for these types of students
Mines is great for students who take initiative. Here, you have to want to learn, and you have to want it bad. The first year students who never had to study in high school find that they need to learn studying techniques. If you do not study, and sometimes if you do, there will be classes that you will not do well in. Students need to be able to accept and handle setbacks, need to be able to adapt. The main thing is, you better like math and science a lot because that is what you will be doing for the next 4, 5, or 6 years.
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Mary from Colorado Springs, CO

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The campus is beautiful, in a bowl of mountains and bordered by west Denver. The amenities on campus aren't as shiny as some, but they're everything you could need for any sport or hobby you may have. They do a really good job of keeping campus safe; the entire campus is well lit, and campus PD is friendly and always around to crack a joke and keep everyone safe.
Tips for prospective students
Do your work. Really do it. Understand what you're doing, and why. If you adopt a reflective approach to your learning, you'll go miles above the rest, here.
When it comes to housing and your meal plans, only pay for what you need. It doesn't seem like much now, but when you face the bills, you'll be glad you saved where you could. On that note, save your munch money! Don't spend it all before your first round of tests. You'll want a milkshake from Elements after your first physics test - I promise.
Know what you need. I need to eat breakfast everyday. Some people need 30 more minutes of sleep. Maybe you need to go to every class, maybe you don't. But find out what you need (not just what you want), and stick to it. I need a class before 10am so that I don't sleep until noon!
If you can find a TLC that's right for you - GO FOR IT! I'm a member of the Visual and Performing Arts community and it's the best thing I could've done. You have a family walking into the semester, and people to look for in your classes so you're not alone. Make those friends, but look for a community if you can. It goes a long way.
Explore your resources. Between the design lab in Brown, the 3D printers sprinkled around campus, and the design lab below the engineering annex, there's not a project you can't take on. Go to the library, print on nice paper. Take advantage of CASA help hours on subjects you feel shaky on.
Go to office hours.
Go to lab every week.
Don't skip classes you can't afford to miss.
Don't forget to get out and appreciate the world. Golden is a cute little town. Walk around Golden at 2am, sit on Kafadar Commons at 1 in the afternoon. Soak in the experience, and the sunlight.
Keep a low-calorie snack on hand. Gum works. You'll want to eat something while you study, but the freshman 15 can get real.
Sodexo sucks, and you'll feel it after week 3, but you can make it better in little ways. Ask the deli to toss your cookie in the toaster if they're not busy. Get...
Academic Rigor
If you don't manage your time, and your responsibilities, Mines will eat you alive. 2 lab reports a week on top of 3D modelling homework, lon-capa, and a paper for NHV is too much to handle the day before you have all of these things due. Get ahead on your homework and stay there. Usually assignments open up either a week or two weeks before they're due.
Dorm Life
Some of the dorms have inherent disadvantages. The traditional dorms are older, Elm is huge and hotel-like, Maple is smaller than Elm but newer, and Weaver has suite-style living. Find what you like the best (I live in Weaver, and the suite-style has really fostered a great sense of community on EVERY floor). If you like to keep to yourself, maybe one of the other dorms better suits your needs. The trads are closer to some buildings, and maple is right up against a few others. Know what you need from your building - and remember, the longest walk on campus is maybe 12 minutes (Ford to the annex).
Food and Dining
Like I said, Sodexo really sucks. The stations are all open around the same time, and only operate during 'normal' hours for eating.
Breakfast: 7am-9:30*
Lunch: 11:30-1:30*
Dinner: 5-7*
*The end times vary based on the volume for the day.
Outside of these hours, you have a few options - sandwiches, cereal, bagels and toast, and sometimes the salad bar. I think 10am is a perfectly reasonable time to want eggs and bacon but I'm proven wrong all the time when everything is closed but the deli.
However, all things considered, they're not the worst. Mass producing food is hard, and they do an okay job at it. There are a few golden dishes like Mac&Cheese pizza at the Brick Oven, mac&cheese at the pasta bar (in the little casserole dishes, not the big pans) and chicken sliders at Grillworks that make you think for a minute they might not suck so badly. Cherish these meals. They'll help you deal with crappy days.
Judy at the front is a lovely woman, and you should spend a little bit of time to say hi in the mornings. She gets a lot of unnecessary flak for the bad food - she has nothing to do with it!
What to do for fun
Bring a hammock and tree protectors! Hanging hammocks on Kafadar and chilling or studying is very popular. We also have a pretty active slacklining community, as well. If you're a HP geek, there's also Quidditch this semester on Thursdays. If you like to dance, the Sliderulers would love to welcome you to swing or ballroom dances. Watch for recruiting weeks for the fraternities and sororities; even if you don't plan on pledging, they're full of good food and fun activities. If there's something you're interested in, you can probably find a club on campus that's also interested in doing that thing!
Bang for the buck
If you can make it through your classes and get to graduation, it's absolutely worth it. You'll pay the same you would anywhere else, but your degree frankly means more. Mines is held in high regard for a reason, and it pays off if you earn it.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The M climb will be the best and worst few hours of your life. You'll trudge up Mt. Zion and get soaked with water, learn the fight song, all while carrying a heavy rock. It'll be kinda miserable, but ultimately worth it when you dry off at the top, even if it's just for a few minutes (oops!).

There's also a tradition you'll need to fulfill on your own with a few friends - hike South Table at night. It's a gorgeous view up there, overlooking Golden and Denver.
Great for these types of students
Hard working, dedicated, procrastinating students who want to do something significant with their degrees.
Campus Safety
Mines PD is great. They cooperate very closely with Golden PD, and they're genuinely good guys. Don't be a problem, and realize they are a "real police" department. They can arrest you. They can give you a ticket. And they will. But they can also be really cool dudes who really just want everyone to stay safe.
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Michael from Leesburg, VA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
This school is academically more challenging than anything you have or will ever experience. The social life is almost non-existent, but school spirit is very strong. The hard work put in at the school will pay of huge down the road when it's time to start a career because employers know that this school is one of the best there is.
Tips for prospective students
You will see grades that you have never experienced before, and not in a good way. Do not be disappointed by this. Make sure you stay completely focused the entire time you are here or you aren't going to make it at this school. During the week, you will study more and work harder than you ever have before. This will wear you out, but hang in there... It's worth every bit.
Academic Rigor
Hardest academic experience of my life. I have never studied so much and devoted so much time to school before.
Dorm Life
Because of the amount of work you are given at the school, week days are very quite and you don't usually see people out and about socializing. For the most part, everyone is cooped up in their room studying. It has almost a hotel atmosphere to it.
Food and Dining
This past year the school hired a brand new company for the on campus dining. They started out really well and the food tasted great, but after a few weeks the quality started to decline. By the end of the year, it was almost the same thing every night and none of it was very good.
What to do for fun
On campus, there isn't much to do for fun. All your time during the week is devoted to your school work. Because of this, most people leave campus on the weekends. The school is located in the most ideal spot for all outdoor activities. There are the Rockies just a stones throw to the west for all the hikers and rock climbers and skiers and all the other outdoor adventure types. In town there is a white water creek that you can go rafting and kayaking on as well as swim in. Just east of town are a pair of tables that you can bike, hike, climb, etc... and only 20 minutes east of town is the city of Denver which has tons of fun things to do for people with all sorts of interests.
Bang for the buck
Don't come here looking for a good time or a great social experience. If you come here, it should be to get a good education. And let me tell you, it doesn't get any better than what Mines has to offer. For the price of a state school, Mines offers the best education around and if you graduate from here, you will be miles ahead of everyone else when it comes time to find a job.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
When you arrive as a freshman, be prepared to hike two miles up the mountain. As part of the orientation, you have to take a 20lbs rock from your hometown and carry it up the mountain. Enjoy!
Clubs and Activities
All the majors have clubs associated with them. I am in the Mining Department and I'm a member of two clubs, SME and UCA. They offer students of all levels of knowledge and experience a chance to see what the degree they're working for has to offer. The clubs are great for networking and learning what can't be taught in the classroom.
Greek Life
The fraternities and sororities on campus attract a lot of people, especially the sororities. Because there aren't many girls at Mines to begin with, most tend to join a sorority so that they don't feel as overwhelmed by the ratio. While a lot of people join the greek life, it doesn't really impact the school as much as at other schools. They may host an event from time to time, but for the most part they stay in the background.
Campus Safety
In the year that I've been going to school, I didn't hear of any problems on campus. It's a small campus and a tight knit community, so if something happened, you would definitely hear about it. The only real issues were a few bike thefts.
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