Frequently Asked Questions – EB Programs

Nov 21, 2022

Explore the most Frequently Asked Questions about the Economics and Business Programs at Mines below!

General FAQs

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Program Specific FAQs


Undergraduate Economics
Prospective Student Questions

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Business Engineering and Management Science
Prospective Student Questions


Current Student Questions


Curriculum Questions


Engineering Technology Management
Prospective Student Questions

What background is required for admission into the program?
Students in the ETM program should be able to apply their analytical and scientific experience in science and technology with coursework in management, strategy and operations research. Therefore a BS degree in engineering or an applied science is preferred.

Do I have to submit GRE or GMAT scores to apply?
No need to submit GRE or GMAT scores, unless requested by the ETM Admissions Committee.

For what job opportunities will the ETM degree prepare me?
Graduates with a MS degree in Engineering and Technology Management are prepared for numerous categories of positions in a cross-section of industries. Among those are engineering management support, investment analyst, operations research analyst, risk management, various consultant positions, project management, financial analyst, technology entrepreneurs, etc.

Can I be enrolled in the ETM program as a Mines undergraduate and a graduate student?
You may apply and be accepted into the ETM Master’s program as a Mines undergraduate student as early as your junior year. See Combined Programs information.

May I count any of the undergraduate courses towards my ETM graduate degree?
Students in an approved combined degree program who take ETM classes from the list shown in the catalog as undergraduate electives are able to double count six of these credits towards the MS degree in ETM. See Combined Programs information.

Can I receive the ETM degree before completing my undergraduate studies?
No. As stated above, you may begin taking ETM master’s courses, but they must not count towards your undergraduate degree. In fact, the Office of Graduate Studies requires students to complete their undergraduate degree one semester prior to earning a graduate degree.

What is the approximate length of the program?
The ETM program consists of 30 hours of course credit. The faculty recommends enrolling in 15 hours (five courses) each semester. Most students complete the program in just two semesters. Some students enroll in the ETM program with the support of their employer while working, and may choose to take only one to two courses per semester.

Can I take ETM courses in the evening while working full time?
The ETM program is not designed as an evening part-time program. Almost all of the courses are scheduled during the day, typically Monday through Thursday. Students who take the ETM program while working will need to arrange to be in class during the day. This generally requires flexibility from your employer.

What is the average age of students in the program?
The average student age for the ETM program is 26.

Current Student Questions

When should I take the ETM Capstone course?
The Capstone project may only be taken in your final semester of the ETM program.

I entered the program with a deficiency, but I still want to graduate on time. How do I register for more than 12 hours in a semester?
Nine graduate credit hours are considered to be a full course load. Fifteen credit hours is the absolute maximum number of credit hours that may be taken during the fall and spring semesters; this rule is enforced by the ETM Committee.

Answers to Curriculum Questions

What are the course requirements?
To earn a non-thesis MS in Engineering and Technology Management, students must complete five core courses (15 semester hours), and five courses (15 credit hours) of ETM electives. See the ETM Advising Sheet for more information.

What is the recommended course sequence?
It is recommended that students enroll in all core courses offered each semester. If you plan to enroll part-time, please see your advisor for recommendations. The Capstone course (EBGN 585) is to be taken only in your final semester.

Are there any “areas of specialization” in the program?
No. There are no formal areas of specialization. Students may select from a range of ETM courses to complete the elective course requirement. More information is available from the ETM Advising Sheet.

May I choose a Thesis option?
Yes, the thesis option is available. Master’s Thesis students will complete the core courses and select nine hours of ETM elective courses, and complete a Masters-level thesis, the equivalent of six additional credit hours, under the supervision of a division faculty member. Contact your program advisor for more details.

Who is my academic advisor?
Your academic advisor is assigned upon admittance into the ETM program. One of the ETM faculty members will act as your advisor.

What are the GPA requirements for graduation?
All graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Mineral and Energy Economics

What are the career prospects for graduates of the programs?
Our program prepares students for careers in industry, banking and investment, government, international organizations and consulting firms. These fields require training in economics, management, and policy relating to mineral and energy industries. Our Master’s students are highly competitive with MBA students, but have the added advantage of having much stronger quantitative training and a thorough understanding of energy, minerals, and related environmental and technology issues. Our PhD students are more applied than those from more traditional economics programs, making them particularly well-suited for non-academic positions that require greater analytical and research abilities than at the Master’s level.

Can I work part-time while taking the MEE program?
MEE classes are almost exclusively offered on a 2-day schedule. Many students work part-time while doing the program. It is not possible to guarantee classes will be on a 2-day schedule, we do all that we can to schedule classes in this manner.

Is the MEE program the right program for me?
If you are interested in a strong applied technical program in energy and minerals and related issues, our program would be a good choice. We have a strong alumni network and excellent reputation in these fields. If you are interested in a broader degree, other business schools may be a better fit. Although the tools you will learn can also be applied to other areas, most of our alumni go into the mineral, energy, or related fields. However, a number of our alumni have subsequently moved into high tech and other areas.

What are the requirements for acceptance into the program?
Typically, the division accepts graduate students who have high intellectual abilities, strong integrity, a good work ethic, and developed quantitative skills as demonstrated by their course work and exams. Your Statement of Goals should illustrate your strong interest in energy, minerals, or related environmental and technological issues. The Statement should also include examples of strong leadership potential as demonstrated by previous academic, personal, and employment successes.

Are GRE or GMAT scores required?

Admissions requirements for GRE or GMAT are here: 

What are the minimum TOEFL or IELTS requirements for students with English as a second language?
Students whose native language is not English must submit acceptable TOEFL scores as part of the application process.  TOEFL or IELTS requirements can be found under the English Proficiency Tab here: 

 What are the approximate program lengths?
MS Mineral and Energy Economics: 3 semesters (minimum 36 credits).
Dual Degree Petroleum Economics and Management – 16 months (minimum of 48 credits).
PhD in Mineral and Energy Economics – 4 to 6 years (minimum of 48 hours of course work plus 24 thesis credits. It takes the average student 1.5 to 2 years to complete their thesis).
Registering for 9 credits is full-time status. Students who transfer in work from other graduate programs may take less time.

How do I apply to the program?
You can apply online at

What are the application deadlines?
Please check the admissions webpage for deadline dates.

Can I start the program in the fall or spring?
It is preferred to start the program in the fall, as the fall courses provide a good introduction to the courses offered in the spring. The prerequisite courses required to begin in the spring prohibit most students from qualifying for spring entry. Prior to starting the program, students must complete a course in Principles of Microeconomics, a course in Probability and Statistics, and one semester of college-level calculus all three with a grade of B or better. Students will only be allowed to enter the program in the spring if they have completed all three prerequisites as well as an undergraduate or graduate course in mathematical economics, a course in natural resource economics.

What are the costs of the program?
For tuition rates, visit

How do I qualify for in-state tuition?
For more information visit:

I am an international student and have been accepted into the program. When can I expect to get my visa paperwork?
Visa paperwork can’t go out more than 90 days prior to enrollment. The visa paperwork is handled by the international office. You will receive information regarding your Visa in your acceptance letter.

As an international student, how long is my Optional Practical Training (OPT) with a MEE degree?
The MEE program is listed under Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code 45.0603 (Econometrics and Quantitative Economics), which is a STEM designated degree program by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As a result, you are eligible for an additional 17 months OPT to the standard 12 months, for a total of 29 months.

I have completed my application packet. When can I expect to receive the decision?
The MEE Committee will review and submit their decision to the Graduate School. Please allow at least one month after your application has been released to the division.

Who should I get to write letters of reference for me?
Professors from classes you have taken as well as employers and supervisors all are acceptable references.

Is there funding available for the MEE programs?
A limited amount of financial aid, awarded competitively, is available for new and returning students. Most of the aid is in the form of teaching assistantships (TAs) or faculty classroom support. Some faculty hire research assistants, but usually these positions go to continuing students. Most awards begin in the fall term. For consideration, you must have your application complete by March 1 (to begin in the fall) or by Oct. 1 (to begin in the spring). Initial awards are made close to March 15 and Oct. 15. The Division of Economics and Business provides partial funding for about 25 percent of the students enrolled in its programs. The awards range from $1,200 to $5,000 a semester. The average award is $2,800 a semester. Mines does not grant tuition waivers.

How do I apply for funding for the MEE programs?
To be considered for financial aid, check “Yes” that you wish to apply for financial aid in your application.

If I am admitted to a MEE graduate program, can I defer admission?
Yes. Students admitted to our graduate programs can request a one-year deferral. If they do not enroll the semester after the deferral period expires, they must reapply, pay application fees, and be accepted, just the same as any new applicant. Financial aid requests will defer with your deferral request. However, your award is not deferred. You will be reconsidered for the semester in which you plan to enroll in the program.

What are the equivalent of a course pre-requisites?
Students must earn a B or better in Calculus 1; Introductory Probability and Statistics; and Principles of Microeconomics. A grade of a B- is not acceptable. For spring semester entry, students must have also completed a course in mathematical economics (EBGN509 or equivalent) and a course in natural resource economics (EBGN510 or equivalent) and hold a degree in economics.

Can I take the pre-requisites while attending the program?
No, deficiencies must be taken before you arrive at Mines.

Can I test out of the pre-requisites?
No, all students must complete the prerequisite courses. An official transcript showing the prerequisite courses must be sent to the division.

What undergraduate majors are acceptable for applying to the program?
We require the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree to consider your application for the program. Any undergraduate degree is acceptable provided you have strong math and quantitative skills and have completed courses with a passing grade of “B” or better, including the 3 prerequisite courses.




What is the recommended course sequence my first semester?
The recommended course sequencing depends on your chosen field (Economics and Public Policy versus Quantitative Business Methods), how many courses you take each semester, and in which program you are enrolled (MEE or IFP). A typical year’s course sequence for a student beginning in the fall term is given below:

1st Fall Semester
EBGN509 Mathematical Economics
EBGN510 Natural Resource Economics
Two electives

What are the GPA requirements for graduation?
All graduate students must maintain a 3.0 (B) Grade Point Average (GPA). No credit is given for courses with an earned grade below 1.7 (C-).

What is the policy for transfer credits?
The MEE Committee at Mines must review and approve all graduate level-transfer credits. These credits must not have been used as credit towards a Bachelor Degree. The committee allows up to 6 hours of approved graduate-level course work to be transferred from other graduate programs towards a non-thesis Masters Degree and up to 9 hours towards a thesis based program. The committee allows up to 24 credits of approved graduate-level course work towards a PhD degree. However, the average number of approved transfer hours for a PhD student is 12. For those students with a completed Master Degree in another program, the committee allows up to 36 credits of approved graduate-level course work towards a PhD. Transfer credits taken outside of Mines are not included in calculating the student’s grade point average at Mines.




How do I choose my elective courses?
Students are encouraged to choose elective courses that build upon the core and specialization classes of the program by selecting additional graduate level courses within any academic department at Mines. However, courses chosen outside the department must be approved by your advisor.




What is the process for selecting a minor?
PhD students may complete at least 12 semester hours in a focused area of study outside of their specialization that will become their minor. Often, but not always, a minor is chosen from another department. To select a minor, consult with your academic advisor and thesis committee. However, it is suggested that you select an academic program at Mines that interests you and compliments your MEE program. Examples of external minors include: Environmental Sciences, Operations Research, Political Science, and Mathematics.

What is the Qualifying Exam and when is it offered? How do I prepare for it?
Upon completion of the core course work, students must pass a qualifying written examination to become a candidate for the PhD degree. The qualifying exam is offered in the summer and is administered by the division qualifier committee. This exam is designed to test the student’s competence in core courses and a reading list of additional topics. Once qualified, the PhD student is required to present a research presentation.

What is the purpose of the Qualifier Exam and who is eligible to take it?
To be eligible to take the Qualifier, you must formally apply and be accepted into the MEE PhD program. The purpose of the Qualifier is to test a student’s ability to apply principles from the prerequisite and core courses and extended core.

How do I select an advisor for my Thesis?
Begin by identifying a faculty member with similar interest and consult with your current program advisor. Your Thesis Advisor must be a faculty member in the Division of Economics and Business, although you may select thesis committee members who are outside this division.

How do I select a Thesis Committee?
Select an area of research interest and a Thesis Advisor. Your Thesis Advisor can provide suggestions for a Thesis Committee. As a general guideline, your Thesis Committee should consist of at least four professionals who are familiar with, or whose area of expertise will significantly compliment your topic of research. You should include additional faculty members from the Division of Economics and Business, and you may wish to (but are not required to) include a professional from another department on campus. You are also permitted one “ex officio committee member” on your Thesis Committee who is outside of Mines. See the Bulletin for more details.

What is a Proposal Defense?
A Proposal Defense is an organized Thesis Committee meeting where you will present the anticipated hypothesis, methodology, and expected outcomes for your Thesis, which must be formally approved by your Thesis Committee. The Proposal Defense also provides an optimal opportunity for you to present an anticipated timeline of when you believe you will be sufficiently ready to take your oral and written comprehensive examinations, and how you believe your research will progress.




What is the Mines/IFP Dual Degree program in Petroleum Economics and Management?
The Mines/IFP program is a unique graduate program offered by the Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business in Golden, Colorado and the IFP School in Paris. It is designed to provide the economic and business skills along with international cultural experience required to become a leader in government and industry in the area of petroleum. This highly focused and demanding program enables students to earn the equivalent of two Master of Science degrees in approximately 16 months. Students will perform half their coursework at Mines and the other half at IFP.

What are the two degrees that I will earn?
The two distinguished degrees are Masters of Science Degree in Mineral and Energy Economics at Mines and Diplôme d’Ingénieur in Petroleum Economics and Management from IFP.

What background is required for admission into the program?
Qualifications for the program include the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree with a strong academic background, a keen interest in an international career in the public or private sector relating to the petroleum and other energy industries, plus a commitment to excellence and leadership. For professionals working in industry, research or government organizations, both experience and academic background will be taken into consideration.

How does the IFP program prepare me for a job?
Graduates are able to work in teams in an international environment and have developed strong economic, management, and decision-making skills. Thus, they are well positioned to become leaders in the fast-paced petroleum industry. Because students earn a MS in Mineral and Energy Economics at Mines, we track the placement of the Dual Degree students with the full-time MEE students. A list of recent companies who have hired our students and a sample of the positions titles can be found here.

What advantage does the IFP program present over other Master of Science degrees in Management?
The Mines/IFP program is highly quantitative and provides students the opportunity to specifically focus in the area of petroleum management. To better prepare for occupational interests, students have the opportunity to specialize in either economics/public policy (EPP) or quantitative business analysis (QBA). Both the international nature of the program and its students also provide important intercultural experiences as preparation for work in a truly global industry.

What is the approximate program length?
The program consists of 48 semester hours, with 24 hours taken at each institution. The entire program will take 16 months if you start in August. Students spend the fall at Mines, then the spring and summer sessions at IFP, and return to Mines for the fall term to finish the degree. To get a general idea, the dates are approximately as follows:

First semester: Third week in August to mid December at Mines.
Second Semester: First week in January to third week in April at IFP.
Third Semester: First week in May to third week in July at IFP.
Fourth Semester: Third week in August to mid – December at Mines.

I understand that the IFP program is highly structured, but may I choose my classes?
While completing coursework at Mines, non-thesis students may choose from courses within their Field of Specialization and one elective in addition to the required core courses. Most classes at IFP are considered core courses and may not be changed.

How do I choose my elective courses?
Students are encouraged to choose elective courses that build upon the core and specialization classes of the program by selecting additional graduate level courses within EB or with permission from any other academic department at Mines.

May I choose a Thesis option?
A thesis option is available for IFP students but it would typically require an extra semester of work. The thesis students take 2 courses in their specialization instead of 3, no electives, but are also required to complete 12 credits of thesis work.

Do I have to learn French?
Courses at both Mines and IFP are taught in English; however, to fully maximize your educational and cultural experience it is recommended that you prepare yourself by taking a course in French.

I have already taken graduate courses at another school. Can I transfer these courses in for my Master’s Degree?
Only the transfer credits from IFP are allowed in this program. However, you will not have to retake any core courses you have already taken if the previous course is approved by the current instructor of the relevant course and your advisor.

What financial aid is available for the program?
We have a limited amount of financial aid available, which is awarded competitively. Aid is usually in the form of teaching and research assistantships and is only available while at Mines. Some faculty hire research assistants, but usually these go to continuing, not new students.

What are tuition and fees and other costs for the program?
The latest tuition and fees for Mines can be found here. In addition to the normal tuition and fees, the Mines/IFP program charges and additional surcharge of $1,000 per semester. Mines students have about $500 in fees each semester to pay at IFP. IFP students have about $800 in fees to pay each semester at Mines.

I am currently Colorado resident. Will living in France for 8 months impact my residential requirements for Colorado residency?
No, you are considered a student at the Colorado School of Mines even while abroad. For additional questions about Colorado residency requirements please contact the Mines Registrar’s office.

How do I find housing in Golden?
The best way to find appropriate housing is to come a bit early. The earlier you arrive the better your selection will be. When making arrangements for housing in Colorado, be mindful that you will only be attending classes from August through December. On-campus housing at Mines sometimes has a waiting list. If you are interested in on-campus housing, get on the waiting list as soon as possible. See the website for information on Mines Park.

How do I find housing in Paris?
Housing in Paris for single students is usually available through IFP at rates somewhat comparable to those in Golden. For this housing you will make arrangements before you leave for Paris by filing out a housing request form. IFP housing for families is somewhat more limited. Non-IFP housing is typically secured after your arrival in Paris.

When should I arrive in Paris?
The dates on which you should arrive will vary each year. Class typically begins the first week in January.

Do I need a visa for France?
E.U. residents do not require French visas. Most other students will require a student long stay visa. We will fill out visa paper work and send for visas early in the fall semester to the French Consulate in Los Angeles.


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