Schools with Pyrotechnics Programs and Courses: How to Choose

Dec 08, 2019

It is not possible to earn a degree specifically in pyrotechnics. However, there are broader degree programs and standalone courses that cover the topic.

10 Schools with Pyrotechnics-Related Programs

The following schools offer programs in pyrotechnics or related fields such as explosives engineering and chemistry among others.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2018-2019)*
Missouri University of Science and Technology Rolla, MO 4-year, Public Minor, Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $9,440 in-state undergraduate, $26,461 out-of-state undergraduate
Middlesex County College Edison, NJ 2-year, Public Standalone Course $1,995**
University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT 4-year, Public Bachelor's $9,222 in-state undergraduate, $29,215 out-of-state undergraduate
Miami Dade College Miami, FL 2-year, Public Associate's $2,838 in-state undergraduate, $9,661 out-of-state undergraduate
Alvin Community College Alvin, TX 2-year, Public Associate's $1,680 in-district undergraduate, $2,784 in-state undergraduate, $3,936 out-of-state undergraduate
Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City, UT 2-year, Public Standalone Course $270**
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Socorro, NM 4-year, Public Master's $6,727 in-state graduate, $22,250 out-of-state graduate
Elmhurst College Elmhurst, IL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $37,055 undergraduate
University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI 4-year, Public Course N/A
University of Maryland College Park, MD 4-year, Public Standalone Course N/A

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School website

Program Selection Criteria

Students in search of a pyrotechnics program should keep in mind the following:

  • Students should make sure that the course covers the aspect of pyrotechnics in which they are most interested, such as the chemistry of fireworks or the use of pyrotechnics displays in theater.
  • Because pyrotechnics-related coursework is most commonly included within broader programs, it is important for prospective students to make sure that the rest of the program coincides with their future career goals.
  • Prospective graduate students who are considering research-focused master's or doctoral degree programs should make sure that there are faculty members at the school with whom they share research interests in the field of pyrotechnics, as they may act as thesis or dissertation advisors.
  • Depending on their program of study, prospective students may want to find out if the school facilitates internship opportunities with companies that manufacture, sell or utilize fireworks.

Associate's Degree Programs

Pyrotechnics-related coursework may be available within broader associate's degree programs in theater and entertainment technology. Students in these programs get a broad overview of the field, which can include a special effects course that cover how pyrotechnics can be used in a dramatic production. They must also fulfill general education requirements before they can graduate.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

At the bachelor's degree level, courses that cover pyrotechnics are most commonly offered for students who are earning bachelor's degrees in the field of chemistry. Students may learn about the properties of fireworks and the chemistry behind the different colors they produce, as well as the history and modern applications of fireworks. In total, these programs take four years of full-time study to complete.

Master's Degree Programs

At the master's degree level, it is possible to study pyrotechnics as part of a Master of Science (MS) in Explosives Engineering program or a Master of Science (MS) in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in explosives engineering. In addition to taking advanced courses in the theory and applications of explosives technology, students also write a thesis or conduct an independent study project. Depending on the school, they may be able to focus their research on pyrotechnics.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Another option for aspiring pyrotechnics researchers is a PhD in Explosives Engineering. These programs consist of high-level coursework and faculty-supervised research leading to a final dissertation. Students who are interested in pyrotechnics may be able to conduct research on pyrotechnics.

Standalone Courses

Some schools offer pyrotechnics-related coursework through their continuing education departments. Students may find programs that cover the manufacturing and use of pyrotechnics technologies. There are also schools that offer courses in event management, including the successful setup of fireworks shows. Course length can vary from a few days to a few months.

Even though it is not possible to earn a degree in pyrotechnics, there are a wide variety of educational opportunities in this field. When choosing between programs, students should consider how well programs fit with their academic interests and career goals.

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