Only the U.S. Naval Academy and the Air Force Institute of Technology offer engineering degrees specifically related to weapons, but weapons design incorporates several areas of engineering, including mechanical, aeronautical, chemical and nuclear concentrations. More typical four-year engineering degrees, which might also qualify as weapons engineering training, are available from many private and public colleges and universities.
U.S. Naval Academy
The U.S. Naval Academy’s weapons and systems engineering department offers what it calls a systems engineering degree. Unlike the systems engineering programs taught by other schools, however, the U.S. Naval Academy systems degree resembles a relatively new hybrid of engineering called mechatronics, which incorporates skills from mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. Most of the topics addressed by the USNA’s systems degree are taught in the mechanical and electrical engineering departments at other colleges and universities. Some popular electives include robotics, computer vision, control systems, autonomous vehicles and communications systems.
Air Force Institute of Technology
The Graduate School of Engineering and Management at the Air Force Institute of Technology offers a degree in combating of weapons of mass destruction. This master’s level program, which lasts for six academic quarters, addresses nuclear, biological and chemical weapons technology. Students also participate in a combating WMD engineering practicum.
Available usually at the graduate level, mechatronics engineering instruction combines topics related to mechanical, electrical and computer engineering to train students to work with robotics, automated manufacturing equipment and artificial intelligence. Subjects covered by these programs include robotics, motion control, intelligent control, automotive systems, manufacturing, sensors, system integration, optoelectronic systems and micro devices. After graduation, mechatronics engineers work in the aerospace, automotive, medical device, electronic and other industries.
Trained engineers use math and science to solve technical problems. Available at many four-year colleges and universities, engineering degrees are usually categorized as civil, electrical, chemical or mechanical, but other specialties offered under their collective umbrella include computer, industrial, environmental, nuclear, petroleum and materials engineering. In addition to a broad liberal arts education, engineering students take advanced math and science classes, as well as technical courses related to their specialties. To independently offer their services to the public, engineers must also apply for their professional engineer’s license.