Master of Science - Metallurgical and Materials Engineering - Montana Tech

Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

Master of Science

Program Overview

Managed by the Metallurgical & Materials Engineering (M&ME) Department, the Metallurgical/Mineral Processing Engineering (MMPE) M.S. Program expands upon its B.S. Program and thereby increases the depth and breadth of students wanting to expand their knowledge in the five disciplines:

  • Mineral Processing, the engineer takes advantage of differences in physical and/or chemical properties to develop, manage, and control processes for liberating, separating and concentrating valuable minerals from associated waste rock;
  • Extractive Metallurgy, the engineer produces and purifies metals from ores, concentrates and scrap (recycling) using hydrometallurgy (water chemistry), electrometallurgy (electrochemistry), and/or pyrometallurgy (thermal chemistry);
  • Physical Metallurgy, the engineer processes the metals into products by, for example, alloying, forging, casting, and powdering to control chemical, physical and mechanical properties such as corrosion resistance, strength and ductility;
  • Materials Processing, the engineer applies similar principles as the above to develop the best materials for applications involving, for example, ceramics,glasses, composites, and polymers as well as certain minerals and metals

Graduate research may be pursued in and of these disciplines which, together, are nicknamed the chemical and process engineering of minerals, metals and materials. 

M.S. Options

M.S. degrees in Metallurgical/Mineral Processing Engineering can be obtained by two options, described below. 

Curricular programs will be established by the student and the graduate advisor in consultation with the graduate advisory committee. The student must demonstrate competence in both oral and written communication, advanced mathematics, and use of computers.

Thesis Option:

Option A, the thesis option, requires 20 course credits, 8 thesis credits, and 3 seminar credits.

Non-Thesis Option:

Option B, the non-thesis option, requires 34 course credits and 3 seminar credits. 

Seminar Requirements:

T.C. 5150 Graduate Writing Seminar or equivalent and EMET 594 M&ME Graduate Seminar (twice). More than 50% of course credits must come from the list shown in the Curriculum below.  At least half of the course credits must be at the 500-level.


Graduate research may be pursued with an Option in Metallurgical Engineering (Option A or B) or Option in Mineral Processing Engineering (Option A or B). Recent thesis topics have included (1) Dual Ecosystem Enhancement by Slag Remediation of Acid-Rock Drainage, (2) Impregnating Activated Carbon for Extracting Gold from Thiosulfate Solutions, (3) Electroless Plating of Platinum for Fuel-Cell Development, (4) Arsenic Removal by Modified Ferrihydrite Precipitation, (5) Simultaneous Ferrous Oxidation/Copper Reduction in Membrane Systems, (6) Alkaline Sulfide Leaching of Gold, (7) Selenium and Thallium Removal by Zero Valence Iron, (8) Characterization of Powder Prints for Fuel Cells and (8) Nanopolysilicon Powder Formation.

Off-campus research is encouraged. The degree requirements are the same as those described above for in-house research thesis projects. This allows students to pursue a thesis research project at their place of employment. Selection of a student to participate in the off-campus research option is dependent upon specific criteria, i.e.,

  1. The student must already be employed by the company;
  2. The student must be able to attend in residence at least one semester in order to complete course and some seminar requirements. Some courses can be completed on-line or self-study;
  3. There must be a qualified on-site thesis instructor;
  4. The thesis research project must be well defined and acceptable to the graduate student’s advisory committee;
  5. A student must be registered every semester that he or she is working toward fulfillment of the degree requirements;
  6. The student must be able to travel to Montana Tech at least once to present a seminar; and
  7. The thesis defense must be conducted on campus, and the student must follow the guidelines for thesis defense.


The final examination for thesis-option students will consist of an oral presentation and defense of the thesis. Questions may be asked on any topic related to the thesis or course work taken as part of the graduate program. The presentation will be open to all interested parties, but the defense of the thesis will be open only to the graduate committee.

The final examination for non-thesis-option students will consist of a written and/or an oral examination. The committee chairman will administer a written examination formulated by the committee. The oral examination will draw questions from the written examination plus any of the course work that is part of the graduate program.


Placement for graduate students in Metallurgical/Mineral Processing Engineering has been 100%. Approximately 15% of  M.S Graduates further their education by pursuing PhD’s most recently at University of Montana-Missoula, Colorado School of Mines, University of Arizona, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and Curtin University (Australia).  Companies who have hired our graduates in recent years include Newmont Mining Corporation, FLSmidth, Stillwater Mining Company, Barrick Gold, Freeport McMoRan, Rio Tinto, Hazen Research, ALCOA, and Cliffs Natural Resources.

View the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering pages of the Catalog »
View the Metallurgical/Mineral Processng Engineering, M.S. pages of the Catalog »