Earn a PhD in Explosives Engineering

What sets S&T's PhD degree in explosives engineering apart? It is the only one in the nation! 

Missouri S&T’s PhD degree in explosives engineering prepares students for careers in academia, consulting and industry by providing them the opportunity to conduct novel research in energetic materials (including explosives) and related areas. You will be mentored by leading experts in explosives engineering and work with unique research facilities.

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Degree Information

The Ph.D.degree requires a minimum of three years of full-time study beyond the bachelor’s degree, including research work for the dissertation. Ph.D. candidates must complete course requirements and novel research in explosives-related topics.

For more information, check out the university catalog:



Ph.D. candidates must complete at least 15 credit hours of coursework at Missouri S&T and are required to pass the qualifying, comprehensive and final oral examinations of the Ph.D. program. Doctoral students in explosives engineering must consult the graduate degree requirements in explosives engineering, Missouri S&T’s graduate catalog and their respective advisors to develop a program of study.

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We recommend that you secure a tentative graduate advisor even before you formally apply. Check the department's faculty directory to review our faculty members’ research interests to see how they align with your aspirations. Contact those faculty members who fit your own aspirations by email with your portfolio (CV, transcript, publication, etc.) to ask if they are willing to serve as your Ph.D. advisor. If you find a tentative advisor prior to applying, specify them in your statement of purpose as part of your application package. The confirmation from the faculty member to serve as your advisor does not mean you will be automatically offered a paid assistantship. You will need to ask the potential advisor about the availability of any assistantship or fellowship.

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What Students Say About S&T

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I have worked for the National Labs since 2019 and the demand for students with the expertise gained from this program has never been higher. The explosives program here at S&T has the resources and facilities to allow students to gain hands on research experience in energetic materials, detonation, and shock physics, which is not available at other universities and has the ability to grow as the department and demand for research in this field grows. I couldn't have chosen a better program to facilitate my career goals.

— Emily Johnson, PhD

A photo of Nathan Skopak

When I initially thought of leaving the military, I knew I needed something to bridge the gap from a skill set that didn't "exactly" apply. This program taught me how to transition my military explosives and engineering knowledge for use in the construction and mining industries all while online. The Master and Doctoral programs are truly the catalyst for my professional success.

— Nathan Skopak, PhD

Research in Explosives Engineering

The United States recognizes the increasing importance of securing the supply chain for explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics because of their importance to industry and national defense. Explosives engineering faculty and students conduct research related to energetic materials, including explosives hazards and effective manufacture, transport, use and storage of explosives using experimental testing and numerical simulation. This research includes traumatic brain injury, rock blasting, structural response to blasts, effects of explosively formed projectiles (EFPs), shock physics and many other areas.

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Your Career in Explosives Engineering

Continue your education in an exciting and growing field. 

Explosives engineers can choose from a variety of exciting careers, including research and development, testing, safety, production, field technical service, marketing, and teaching. Explosives engineers work for national laboratories, universities, companies that develop and supply personal protective equipment, defense contractors, blasting & explosives companies, heavy civil construction companies, and many more.


Career Paths

  • Researchers (both government and private companies) 
  • Technical services engineers with explosives and blasting companies
  • Engineers with consulting firms
  • Law enforcement


Explosives Engineers Work With:

  • Universities
  • National laboratories
  • Explosives manufacturers
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Consulting companies

Two students work to load a type of canon using a ramrod one student is wearing a hard hat the other arms on only visible the rest out of frame

Information for Future Students