Academics at Mines are very rewarding. Class sizes are small and content is challenging which makes for a competitive atmosphere. Most students who come to Mines were great students in High School and excelled in math and science. As a result, classes move quickly and you have to work hard to set yourself out from the pack. Having said that mines is very academic oriented. There are many opportunities for students to seek help on a concept or assignment if need be. Teachers are accessible during office hours and there are numerous study sessions and help sessions outside of class.
The classes are small enough that students can ask questions at any time. Once you start getting into classes specific to your major, you see the same students in all of your classes. It makes it a little easier to get study groups together. The academics are difficult from both a time management perspective as well as intellectually challenging. As with any school, some classes are easier than other, but for the most part, they're not easy. The most difficult thing for me to learn was time management.
The Courses here are very challenging. They will make sure that you are in a field that you want to work in. It is my belief that some of the courses here are designed to be as difficult as possible and test your level of dedication to the engineering field. If you can find a major you love it is all worth it.