Additive Manufacturing

Graduate Program at Colorado School of Mines

Additive Manufacturing: The Next Generation of Manufacturing

Explore the future of manufacturing with our innovative additive manufacturing graduate program at Colorado School of Mines. As manufacturing returns to the U.S., driven by technological and logistical advances, industries require a well-trained workforce adept in using the latest tools and techniques and pushing the edge of innovation.

Our additive manufacturing graduate program focuses on 3D printing and other technologies that create objects one fine layer at a time. As a result, this method allows for the development of parts that are lighter, stronger and more intricate. This approach to manufacturing can also reduce the need for large and costly equipment.

With extensive experience in industrial manufacturing environments, our faculty effectively prepare students to apply cutting-edge manufacturing techniques for products within a variety of leading industries, including defense, aerospace, biomedical and energy.

iron man icon

Students helped build Iron Man suit for Adam Savage of ‘Mythbusters’ fame

3-d printer

Teaching lab features multiple high-performance 3D printers


Home to ADAPT, an industry-academia consortium for additive manufacturing

Students may pursue either our graduate certificate or professional master’s program:

The 12-credit-hour graduate certificate serves as the core of the master’s program. Students receive an introduction to additive manufacturing processes, learn about the materials used (with a focus on polymers, ceramics and metals), understand how to design parts for these innovative methods and apply data informatics and programming skills to real-world problems.

Students in the professional master’s program choose 21 credits in electives in addition to the core courses, delving further into the various aspects of advanced manufacturing. Mines offers dozens of courses in this area, including Analysis of Metallurgical Failures, Finite Element Analysis for Advanced Design Applications, Lean Manufacturing, Advanced Robot Control and more.

Degree Options


  • Additive Manufacturing (Non-Thesis)

Graduate Certificate

  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Smart Manufacturing

Graduate Program Details


  • Bachelor’s Degree: Required
  • GRE: Not Required
  • Letters of Recommendation: Not Required
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV): Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Not Required. Suggested if GPA is less than 3.0/4.0
  • Transcript(s): Required. Must be submitted for all schools attended (unofficial transcripts accepted for admissions review and must show successful completion of any required prerequisite course(s).
  • For international applicants or applicants whose native language is not English, please review the ENGLISH PROFICIENCY requirements

Professional Master’s

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Required
  • GRE: Not Required
  • Letters of Recommendation: Required – two letters. Letters of recommendation are not required for current Mines students.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV): Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required
  • Transcript(s): Required. Must be submitted for all schools attended (unofficial transcripts accepted for admissions review and must show successful completion of any required prerequisite course(s).
  • For international applicants or applicants whose native language is not English, please review the ENGLISH PROFICIENCY requirement.

For additional information, please refer to the Admissions Requirements page



View Annual Cost of Attendance

*Allowance for fees based on mandatory fees charged to all students. Does not include fees for orientation, library, yearbook, refrigerator rental, voice messaging, ect.

At less than 4.5 credit hours, you may be ineligible for financial aid.


From our dedicated faculty, hands-on research opportunities to our unique student life, it’s no wonder that Mines has been ranked the #1 STEM college in Colorado. When pursuing your graduate certificate or professional master’s in additive manufacturing at Mines, you’ll learn from and work alongside some of the top instructors and researchers in the field. And with hands-on learning opportunities, like our innovative teaching lab, you’ll learn by diving head first into the world of additive manufacturing. Don’t just plan for your future—build it here at Colorado School of Mines. 

Why study additive manufacturing at Mines? Just take a look: 

  • Hands-on learning in our Additive Manufacturing teaching lab
  • ADAPT, Mines’ industry-academia consortium for additive manufacturing
  • Strong ties with local, national and international industry partners
  • Opportunities for research assistantships

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Dr. Craig Brice headshot


Craig A. Brice is a Professor of Practice in Mechanical Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. He is currently the director of the Additive Manufacturing Program, which focuses on undergraduate and graduate education in additive manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing techniques. He is also involved in additive manufacturing research with the Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies (ADAPT) at Mines and serves as the director for the ADAPT consortium. 

Dr. Brice has a BS in metallurgical engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology, an MS in materials science and engineering from The Ohio State University, and a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Canterbury. He has contributed to over two dozen technical journal publications and has 13 issued patents. 

Career Outcomes

  • Additive manufacturing engineer
  • Additive manufacturing project engineer
  • Advanced manufacturing engineer
  • Computer hardware engineer
  • Cost engineer
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) engineer
  • Development quality engineer
  • Engineered plastics product and applications development process engineer
  • Engineering manager
  • Equipment engineer
  • Hardware engineer
  • Hybrid electronics materials engineer
  • Industrial engineer
  • Innovation engineer
  • Instrument controls engineer
  • Laser additive manufacturing engineer
  • Lithography engineer
  • Manufacturing and integration science researcher
  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Manufacturing innovation engineer
  • Manufacturing process engineer
  • Materials engineer
  • Materials processing engineer
  • Mechanical cost engineer
  • Mechanical manufacturing engineer
  • Medical device design and manufacturing
  • Metallurgical engineer
  • Microfabrication process engineer
  • Operational excellence engineer
  • Packaging engineer
  • Printed electronics engineer
  • Process engineer
  • Product development engineer
  • Production engineer
  • Propulsion development engineer
  • Prototyping engineer
  • Quality engineer
  • Research and development engineer
  • Stress engineer
  • Structures manufacturing engineer
  • Sustainability manufacturing
  • Systems engineer
  • Technical sales engineer
  • Turbomachinery manufacturing engineer
  • Validation engineer
  • Welding engineer

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of industrial engineers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. That’s 30,000 new jobs. “Many companies will be seeking to make use of new technologies to automate production processes in many different kinds of industries,” says the BLS. “Those with knowledge of manufacturing engineering may have the best prospects for employment.”

Plastics Technology magazine, in an article from December 2019, pointed out five additive manufacturing trends to watch in 2020. They predicted greater industrial-scale adoption of additive manufacturing, increased automation, closer collaborations, an emphasis on sustainability and expansion of end markets, particularly in biomedical, consumer goods, automotive, aerospace and electronics.

While the manufacturing industry is at continued risk for disruption due to tariffs, a tight labor market and the COVID-19 pandemic, the uncertainties also offer plenty of opportunities.

“Additive manufacturing has gained plenty of ‘street cred’ through COVID-19 as small and large manufacturers, many that were quietly making unique products that could, of course, be made only through additive manufacturing,” according to SME, an association of professionals, educators and students in the manufacturing industry, which hosts the RAPID + TCT showcase of 3D technology companies. “The big 3D printer manufacturers themselves were also at the top of the news hour on a daily and weekly basis — from HP to Stratasys to 3D Systems and up and coming startups such as Carbon, Desktop Metal, MatterHackers, and even some smaller, lesser-known, but equally strong startup players that may not have been on your radar.”

“Many companies have shifted their efforts toward digital projects that build agility and scalability to help them to manage risk,” according to Deloitte’s 2020 manufacturing industry outlook. “Applying artificial intelligence, cloud computing, advanced analytics, robotics, and additive manufacturing to the value chain can increase visibility and transparency, allowing manufacturers to make faster changes to operations to respond to market-based threats or opportunities.”

In November 2020, 3D printing solutions company Essentium announced the results of its third annual study, which revealed that the use of large-scale additive manufacturing has more than doubled in the past year for 70 percent of manufacturing companies. The company also found that the number of companies that have shifted to using AM for full-scale production runs of hundreds of thousands of parts has doubled from 7 percent in 2019 to 14 percent in 2020.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, AM proved it can step in to make quantities of supplies at scale, or at least the mold to make the product, to keep the assembly lines moving. The survey found 57 percent of manufacturers increased 3D printing for production parts to keep their supply chains flowing during the crisis. 3D printing investment plans have also changed at many companies: 24 percent of respondents have gone all-in; 25 percent of manufacturers are ramping up to meet supply chain needs; and 30 percent of respondents are evaluating industrial-scale 3D printing to fill supply chain gaps.”

“The survey highlighted the increasing expectation for more reliable and affordable 3D printing materials to deliver on AM’s promising range of benefits. The survey showed continued agreement that the manufacturing industry could save billions of dollars in production costs once 3D printing technology matures (90 percent of manufacturers agree). The majority (84 percent) of respondents think that companies investing in AM will have a clear competitive advantage in the next five years, while 87 percent believe 3D printing will increasingly drive local manufacturing. However, to achieve these benefits, materials innovations will be critical to overcome obstacles, including the high cost of 3D printing materials (37 percent) and unreliable materials (24 percent).”

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