Undergraduate FAQs

Question: If I come to S&T to do explosives what undergraduate degree should I pursue?

Answer: Over 85% of explosives are used in mining therefore I recommend you take mining engineering unless you have a focused path already. For example a member of our development board who heads a group in the major world explosives company recently told me that someone with 2 years experience in the mining industry before coming to them was what they would deem perfect.

Question:  I would like to take psychology as a major and minor in explosives engineering.  Is that possible?

Answer:  No unfortunately not.  The minor title has engineering in it and therefore is limited to engineering physical science majors who have the necessary calculus, physics, chemistry and other engineering basic classes background.  The alternative is the explosives technology certificate which is designed for non engineers.

Question: I am considering taking Mechanical Engineering or Chemistry as a major, with a minor in explosives engineering.  Is that a good choice?

Answer: Both of these majors are good examples of major degrees that are suitable backgrounds for explosives engineering.  However, the size of the mining program has significantly increased and the basic blasting class (a compulsory class) is now over subscribed.  We are therefore having to give preference to undergraduates and post graduates of the department of Mining & Nuclear Engineering, second priority to declared minors from other departments and so on down the line.  If you are an excellent student but dedicated to another major for a BS and want to do explosives engineering, I would recommend completing your degree and applying for the Masters in Explosives Engineering which will give you top priority.

Question: Can I just take a minor in explosives engineering?

Answer: No. A minor can only be conferred with a degree.  Not without, before or after.  Thise are the univeristy rules enforced by the registrars office. In addition to get a minor you have to enroll for the minor and also fill out the paperwork for intent to graduate with the minor. In your final semester your degree report must also match the courses on your original minor application.  If you have substituted other explosives courses you must have a substitution form approved.

Question: What pre-requisites do I need for explosives classes?

Answer: The pre-requisites for all of the explosives classes are given for each course in the undergraduate handbook available on the registrar’s web site. For any of the explosives options explosives engineeirng 307/5612 is a mandatory class and its principle pre-requ is the Mine Safety class (mining 151), which is given in the spring semester. All undergraduate students should take this class before enrolling for an emphasis, certificate or minor. You are required to pass a background check before taking any of the explosives classes.

Question: How do I get my background check?

Answer: The back ground check is the standard state highway patrol check with name and social security number. The current cost is $11 ($12 if you use a credit card (as of March 2014)). You should go and see Ms Shirley Hall at the mining department as she has the specific paperwork with the return address to us. Shirley can answer any further questions you might have about the clearance and how to get it. She co-ordinates everyone’s security clearances and let’s people into classes based on their successful background check.

Detailed instructions and the background check form can be found here.

Question: All of the explosives classes are waitlisted, how do I get into one?

Answer: Wait listing everyone is standard procedure. People are let in that have passed the background check and the necessary pre-requisites. Due to the popularity of the explosives classes from time to time priorities are put in place depending on the course. For example for 307/5612, mining program undergraduate students are given first crack, followed by department and then explosives minor etc. Do not delay in signing up for a class though as leaving it to the last minute may cause you problems.

Question: Will you guarantee me a job when I graduate?

Answer: We try and match people where possible with potential employers. It is up to you to build your portfolio, people & interviewing skills, and take full advantage of the opportunities that we offer (see the careers web page second paragraph). Employers in our field tend not to hire on losers, but winners are usually snapped up. If you have 2 heads you will have to get that seen to by a medical professional. Our expertise is in explosives & blasting.  That siad the faculty workload has significantly increased over the last few years and therefore we have to set prioritites.

See this link for more information

Question: How much will it cost me to get a degree?

Answer: This all depends on whether you are in state or out of state and how many years it takes you to get your degree. Cost information is regularly updated on the admissions page and can be found at

http://futurestudents.mst.edu/cost-calculator/index.html. Costs can be offset by state, university and departments scholarships which are often linked your ACT score. Once in the mining department there are opportunities to further offset costs by summer and coop employment in industry and eligibility for further industry scholarships and sponsorship. The cost of getting a degree should be balanced against the great salaries that are available in our industry for qualified people.

Question: What should I do when I get to S&T as a freshman or transfer?

Answer: Immediately come to the mining office to see Barb and get put on the email list serves so that you are notified of all department activities and opportunities such as summer jobs, float trips, get-togethers and society functions. Also joining the

student chapter of the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) is a must. In the dorms there is a rumor that pervades about the departments not being interested in freshmen and that whilst in freshmen engineering everyone is treated the same. This may be the case for some departments but definitely not our department. We encourage and expect our lower classmen to fully participate in departmental activities, the majority of which are great fun, like haunted mine. Also think about looking into the competition teams such as mucking, mine rescue etc.