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Schools with Explosives Engineering Programs: How to Choose

Explosives engineering programs are available at 4-year colleges and universities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Prospective explosives engineers may consider schools with mining engineering programs, since 85% of explosives in the U.S. are used in the mining industry.

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Explosives engineering coursework can focus on both the practical and scientific aspects of the primary areas of explosives, such design and technology, demolition of buildings and structures, drilling and tunneling techniques, and rock fragmentation To avoid higher out-of-state tuition, students may consider programs in their state of residence.

Top 10 Engineering Schools

The following ten schools were ranked by U.S. News & World Report as having the best undergraduate engineering programs in the country in 2016.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition* (2015-2016)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $46,704 (Undergraduate); $46,400 (Graduate)
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate $46,320 (Undergraduate); $45,729 (Graduate)
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $13,431 (In-state Undergraduate); $11,220 (In-state Graduate)
California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate $45,390 (Undergraduate); $43,710 (Graduate)
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $12,204 (In-state Undergraduate); $13,452 (In-state Graduate)
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $15,054 (In-state Undergraduate); $15,023 (In-state Graduate)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $13,856 (In-state Undergraduate); $20,638 (In-state Graduate)
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $50,665 (Undergraduate); $40,625 (Graduate)
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $49,116 (Undergraduate); $29,500 (Graduate)
Purdue University - West Lafayette West Lafayette, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $10,002 (In-state Undergraduate); $9,208 (In-state Graduate)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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School Selection Criteria

Students interested in explosives engineering programs may want to keep these considerations in mind.

  • Schools with explosives testing grounds and internship opportunities provide students with hands-on experience that is important when working with explosives.
  • The cost of attendance is slightly more for engineering students than those in non-science programs due to items such as lab fees.
  • Accredited programs can be found on the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology's website.
  • Students can also find cooperative internship programs that offer explosives training.

Bachelor's in Mining Engineering with Explosives Engineering Minor

A mining engineering program needs to have a strong background in geology and underground construction practices. Many explosive engineering minors can be earned in as few as 20 credits. Coursework often includes a sequence that covers general principles of explosives and at least one course that covers the technological applications of the field. Students may be required to complete a final project in which they design a mine. Programs may also require students to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam during their senior year.

Master's in Explosives or Mining Engineering

Since there are only a few explosives engineering master's programs, a master's in mining engineering with a focus on explosives is a plausible option. Many schools offer concentration areas such as materials handling, mining safety or underground construction which can allow for explosives as the focus. Most programs can be completed over a 2-year period and give students the option of completing a thesis, independent study or comprehensive examination.

Ph.D. in Mining Engineering

Those wishing to specialize in explosives engineering as a researcher or university professor should consider earning a Ph.D. in mining engineering. The completion of a doctoral degree may require a campus residency of at least six months, some advanced courses, seminar work and original research in a specific area of explosives. Programs typically culminate in a comprehensive examination and dissertation.

Some schools may offer programs specifically in mining or demolitions engineering, while other schools may encompass demolitions training in programs such as structural or civil engineering. There are many reputable engineering schools for prospective students to choose from, and most offer programs at undergraduate and graduate levels.

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