LSR Minor

We are proud to offer the country’s first undergraduate minor in social responsibility designed specifically for engineers and applied scientists. The Minor in Leadership in Social Responsibility prepares Mines students to become leaders in advancing a firm’s social responsibility through engineering.

Graduates of the minor will be sought out by corporate employers desiring engineers who are prepared to factor in public perception and community acceptance into the decisions they make and the technologies and processes they design. They will also be well prepared to take jobs that explicitly address corporate social responsibility, stakeholder engagement, and sustainability.

The minor is 18 credits (6 courses), includes a mix of social science and engineering courses, and is designed to fit into the flowchart for your major. Please email Professor Jessica Smith for an up-to-date course listing.

  1. Required courses (9 credits):
    1. EDNS 398 Engineering for Social and Environmental Responsibility
    2. EDNS 430 Corporate Social Responsibility
    3. EDNS 480 Engineers Engaging Communities
  2. One cross-cultural competency course (3 credits):
    1. EDNS 475 Engineering Cultures in the Developing World
    2. HASS 325 Cultural Anthropology
    3. HASS 425 Intercultural Communication
    4. HASS 479 Special Topics in the Anthropology of Development
  3. Two electives, approved by LSR Director, that include at least one engineering course (6 credits)
    1. Approved Petroleum Engineering course, such as
      1. PEGN 350 Sustainable Energy Systems
      2. PEGN 498 Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Law
      3. PEGN 481 Seminar
      4. PEGN498/HASS 498 Environmental Law and Sustainability
    2. Approved Mining Engineering course, such as
      1. MNGN 308 Mine Safety
      2. MNGN 470 Safety and Health Management in Mining
      3. MNGN 498 Water and Environment in Mining
      4. MNGN 427 Mine Valuation
      5. MNGN 510 Mineral Resource Development
      6. MNGN 498 Mine Risk Management
      7. MNGN 498 Designing the Mine of Tomorrow
      8. MNGN 498 Indigenous Peoples and Natural Resource Development
      9. MNGN 598 Sustainable Development of Mineral and Energy Resources
    3. Approved Environmental Engineering course, such as
      1. CEEN 477 Sustainable Engineering Design
      2. CEEN 472 Onsite Water Reclamation and Reuse
      3. CEEN 475 Site Remediation Engineering in Developing Countries
    4. Approved Economics & Business course, such as
      1. EBGN 340 Energy and Environmental Policy
      2. EBGN 443 Public Economics
      3. EBGN 567 Business Law & Ethics
    5. Approved HASS class, such as
      1. HASS 498 Natural Resources: Conflict and Collaboration


Students who graduate with the LSR minor will be able to:

  1. Understand and envision the critical and transformative role that engineers can play inside corporations to advance the interests of environmental and social sustainability, the two pillars of the triple bottom line that can be easily neglected in favor of economic sustainability
  2. Articulate the business case for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the financial costs to companies of operating without a social license to operate
  3. Identify critical social and environmental issues related to project development and operation; the strengths and limitations of current corporate practices for mitigating them; and the relevant international performance standards that set best practices for managing them
  4. Minimize social risks by recognizing best practices in community engagement (including contextual listening; stakeholder mapping, ranking and prioritization; and grievance management), and tailoring these to specific cultural contexts
  5. Select key outcomes and success criteria for CSR programs, including the need for an exit strategy to ensure long-term sustainability
  6. Effectively integrate CSR into the project scoping, planning and development timeline
  7. Define and solve engineering problems and design solutions in a way that promotes a company’s social license to operate with local communities, including by incorporating stakeholder feedback into engineering design criteria
  8. Recognize different perceptions, both positive and negative, around development projects by listening to diverse stakeholders, including special interest groups such as indigenous peoples
  9. Work in multidisciplinary teams, recognizing the value of the knowledge and skills brought by people from other disciplines, industry practitioners, community members, and the trades.