M.S. Humanitarian Engineering

About The Program

The Humanitarian Engineering and Science (HES) program educates technical professionals to promote sustainable community development by drawing on a unique mixture of faculty expertise in engineering, applied sciences, and social sciences. HES students engage in direct research and outreach within and alongside the communities they seek to serve. Project experiences prepare graduates for careers in development, corporate responsibility, or further study.

The HES program combines advanced technical or scientific content in an affiliated stream with attention to community engagement practices in order to ground students’ expertise. Disciplinary tracks in environmental engineering, geological engineering, and geophysics prepare students to apply knowledge about the Earth to promote more sustainable and just uses of water, energy, and other Earth resources as well as to understand and mitigate potential hazards.

HES graduates are prepared to become impactful leaders who can harness engineering and science to foster sustainable community development for people around the world.

Information

If you have questions or would like more information about the program, please contact Jessica Smith, Director of Graduate Humanitarian Engineering programs,  jmsmith@mines.edu.

What is HE?


Harnessing the power of engineering and social science, we work directly with communities to jointly define problems and create sustainable solutions.

Areas of Practice:

  • Sustainable Community Development
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Social Innovation
  • Risk Perception & Mitigation
  • Engineering for Social Justice

 

Application Requirements
  • Statement of purpose, updated curriculum vitae or resume, and transcripts for post-secondary degrees are required for all students.
  • Background in engineering or physical sciences. Consult each of the track descriptions below for more specific requirements.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and three letters of recommendation are required for students pursuing the MS thesis option.
  • Non-native English speakers must meet one of the following minimum requirements: TOEFL iBT score of 79; TOEFL paper-based test score of 550; TOEFL computer-based test score of 213; IELTS score of 6.5; or have received a prior degree from an English-speaking university.
  • Mines undergraduate students may include up to six credits from their undergraduate program counted toward a combined BS/MS degree. External applicants may substitute approved electives with courses brought from elsewhere with written permission from the HES program director.
  • Applications are directed through graduate admissions office.
CORE HES COURSES
  • EDNS 577: Engineering and Sustainable Community Development (3 credits)
  • EDNS 479: Community-Based Research (3 credits)
  • EDNS 580: HES Capstone Practicum (3 credits)
  • EDNS 590: Risks in Humanitarian Engineering and Science (3 credits)
  • 3 credits of approved HES electives
Thesis & Non-Thesis Option

Thesis MSc option
To obtain the 30 credits, students must satisfy the following program requirements: (1) 9 credits of required HES courses; (2) 3 credits of elective HES classes approved by Engineering, Design & Society (500+ level);  (3) 12 credits of approved Disciplinary Track classes (500+ level); and (4) 6 credits of MSc thesis research on a thesis topic approved by HES faculty in the Engineering, Design, & Society Division and the affiliated disciplinary track.

HES courses (12 credits) – unchanged:

  • EDNS 577: Engineering and Sustainable Community Development (3 credits)
  • EDNS 479: Community-Based Research (3 credits)
  • EDNS 590: Risks in Humanitarian Engineering and Science (3 credits)
  • 3 credits of approved HES electives

Non-thesis MSc option
To obtain the 30 credits, students must satisfy the following program requirements: (1) 9 credits of required HES courses; (2) 6 credits of elective HES classes approved by Engineering, Design & Society (500+ level);  and (3) 15 credits of classes (500+ level) approved by the affiliated Department.

HES courses (15 credits) – unchanged:

  • EDNS 577: Engineering and Sustainable Community Development (3 credits)
  • EDNS 479: Community-Based Research (3 credits)
  • EDNS 580: HES Capstone Practicum (3 credits)
  • EDNS 590: Risks in Humanitarian Engineering and Science (3 credits)
  • 3 credits of approved HES electives
Graduate Certificate

Graduate Certificate: 12 credit hours of coursework mainly from the HE Core Courses focused exclusively on humanitarian engineering theoretical foundations and practical applications.

Choose From Three Unique Tracks
Geophysics | Environmental Engineering | Geological Engineering

Track 1: Geophysics

Degree candidates should have an undergraduate degree in geophysics, physics, quantitative earth sciences and engineering, or equivalent coursework. In addition, candidates will need to complete necessary prerequisite courses for the graduate courses.

Courses:

  • GPGN 577: Humanitarian Geoscience (3 credits)
  • GPGN 533: Geophysical Data Integration & Geostatistics (3 credits)
  • GPGN 570: Applications of Satellite Remote Sensing (3 credits)
  • GPGN 574: Groundwater Geophysics (3 credits)
  • 3 credits of approved 500-level GPGN electives
Track 2: Environmental Engineering

Students entering this degree program should have a BS degree in a science or engineering discipline. Candidates will need to have completed the necessary pre-requisites for the Environmental Engineering and Science degree, also found in the Mines graduate catalog.

Required courses:

  • CEEN 550 Principles of Environmental Chemistry (3 credits)
  • GPGN 577 Humanitarian Geoscience (3 credits)
  • CEEN 580 Chemical Fate and Transport in the Environment (3 credits)

One of the following:

  • CEEN 560 Molecular Microbial Ecology and the Environment (3 credits)
  • CEEN 562 Environmental Geomicrobiology (3 credits)
  • CEEN 566 Microbial Process Analysis and Modeling (3 credits)

One of the following:

  • CEEN 472 Onsite Water Treatment
  • CEEN 570 Water and Wastewater Treatment (3 credits)

Electives: The following courses can be substituted for required track courses if incoming students have already taken some of the required courses:

  • CEEN 477 Sustainable Engineering Design
  • CEEN 479 Air Pollution
  • CEEN 501 Life Cycle Assessment
  • CEEN 556 Mining and the Environment (cross listed as Mining, Water & Environment)
  • CEEN 573 Reclamation of Disturbed Lands
  • CEEN 575 Site Remediation
  • CEEN 576 Pollution Prevention: Fundamentals and Practice
  • CEEN 581 Watershed Systems Modeling
  • CEEN 592 Environmental Law
  • Other CEEN 500- or 600-level courses as approved by the CEEN Program Coordinator

 

Track 3: Geological Engineering

Degree candidates should have an undergraduate degree in engineering or the equivalent coursework. In addition, candidates will need to complete necessary prerequisite courses for the graduate courses, including engineering geology, ground-water engineering, soil mechanics, and rock mechanics.

Required courses:

  • GEGN 532: Geological Data Analysis (3 credits)
  • GPGN 577: Humanitarian Geoscience (3 credits)

Candidates must also take at least three of the following courses.  The student and the instructor will work together to develop humanitarian themes in the project assignments within each course.

  • GEGN 563: Applied Numerical Modelling for Geomechanics (3 credits)
  • GEGN 570: Case Histories in Geological Engineering and Hydrogeology (3 credits)
  • GEGN 673: Advanced Geological Engineering Design (3 credits)
  • GEGN 573: Geological Engineering Site Investigation (3 credits)
  • GEGN 575: Applications of Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
  • GEGN 580: Applied Remote Sensing for Geoengineering and Geosciences (3 credits)
  • GEGN 671: Landslides: Investigation, Analysis and Mitigation (3 credits)

 

 Funding & Scholarships

RESEARCH

Apply by February 15 to be considered for full funding through the Responsible Mining, Resilient Communities NSF research project, with fieldwork in Colombia and/or Peru. Email humanitarian@mines.edu for more information.

SHULTZ SCHOLARSHIPS

Apply by March 15 to compete for a Shultz graduate scholarship, which provides $20,000 for one year of graduate study in HES. Separate application materials are required and available online. Email humanitarian@mines.edu for complete up-to-date information.

Teaching Assistantships

Apply by March 1 to compete for limited teaching assistant (TA) positions to begin in the following fall semester. We also hire students to work as hourly graduate assistants to grade for courses. Faculty members will hire students as research assistants (RA) when research projects are secured. Once you enroll at Mines students may search for on-campus positions in Diggernet.

Outside Scholarship Opportunities

Check with the Financial Aid office for more information. 

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

MInes Without Borders

Mines Without Borders combines Engineers Without Borders USA and Bridges to Prosperity. EWB-USA is committed to bringing sustainable development projects to the developing world. Projects include water, waste-water, sanitation, energy, and shelter construction. EWB-Mines helps underserved communities abroad that request specific engineering expertise. EWB-Mines is currently working in Nicaragua to help villages install suspended cable bridges — giving access to schools, hospitals, and markets during the rainy season. B2P builds literal bridges in under-served communities worldwide. On the Mines campus, B2P and Engineers Without Borders have now merged and students can build bridges by joining EWB/B2P at Mines.

Socially Responsible Scientists & Engineers (SRSE)

Socially Responsible Scientists and Engineers (SRSE) is the new Humanitarian Engineering student club! 

Are you looking for professional and individual development outside of the classroom in understanding what it means to be a socially responsible scientist and/or engineer? SRSE is focused on just that. With plans to host student and faculty presentations, professional speakers, an annual symposium, and opportunities for networking and attending conferences we can further discuss what social responsibility in engineering is and how we can encourage it in others. 

INternational Associations

Check back for International Associations