The Naval Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science details four engineering majors directly applicable to weapons engineering. Although the programs are postgraduate, a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics; physics; electrical or aerospace engineering will establish the knowledge base required to begin career in weapons engineering. Such degrees are offered at many universities.

Applied Mathematics

Prospective engineers may not initially consider applied mathematics as a viable path of study for weapons engineering. According to the Naval Postgraduate School, mathematics is the foundation of all science and engineering occupations. A student of applied mathematics at a military institution learns how to apply the principles and analysis of the subject toward warfare engineering. Examples of this are found in encryption coding and satellite defenses.

Electrical Engineering

A student of electrical engineering with an emphasis on weapons or defense learns how to design military instruments, such as GPS guidance, robotics, radars and lasers. An electrical engineer discerns a need for a new instrument; defines the scope of the project and its requirements; draws up blueprints and framework using a computer; and then implements his knowledge by creating the new piece of electronic equipment. New equipment goes through many testing and troubleshooting phases as the engineers discover problems.


Physics for engineers is also called technical physics or engineering physics. Students of this discipline may specialize in a particular subject area, such as nuclear power engineering, nanotechnology or ballistics. Other options for physics majors interested in weapons engineering are quantum electronics, optics and space physics. The Naval Postgraduate School refers to physics as the most crucial component in the development of new technologies.

Aerospace Engineering

Many military defenses are created at least partially by highly skilled aerospace engineers. These professionals design, maintain and optimize aircraft, helicopters and rockets. Aerospace engineers usually work as part of a team of engineering specialists, since this branch of the field may overlap with other engineering specialties.