Response to an inquisitive high school senior

Thursday, March 23, 2023

The following message is Chancellor Mo Dehghani’s response to a high school senior who recently reached out requesting more information about Missouri S&T. Specifically, the student wrote, “I've already been accepted into Missouri S&T for Aerospace Engineering, and I've received my financial aid package. Now I have the difficult task of committing to a college, and to do that, I want to step back and reevaluate everything. Essentially, I'm asking for you to remind me exactly what makes S&T my best choice. Any answer won't make my decision, it's just to help me straighten things out. Thank you for your attention and input.”

Dear ________,

Good Saturday morning and thank you for reaching out! By reading your inquisitive email, I can tell that you could fit in well at S&T. Here you’ll find fellow students who are curious and seek out answers.  Let me also say that you are not alone in trying to decide and you’re not alone in reaching out to me with similar questions. So let me highlight a few distinguishing aspects of S&T:

  • We are a rigorous and broad-based educational institution, emphasizing experiential learning. This latter point is critical. Many universities claim experiential learning but ours is built into our curricula and is a requirement for graduation.
  • We actively nurture curiosity and the instinct to seek solutions. This is perhaps the most important contribution that we make to our bright and inquisitive students such as yourself. With time we all forget many facts that we learn, but we never lose the excitement of discovery. We grow possibility thinkers, not just graduates.
  • We are an institute of technology, and as such technology is woven through the fabric of our university.
  • Research, innovation and entrepreneurship are institutional priorities for us. We have developed many programs to support all three of these key elements.
  • Our faculty are best in their fields and are efficient and quick in responding to opportunities and challenges. I can cite many examples.
  • You will find people with similar interests who also love learning, all in one place. Sure, other universities offer engineering programs but at S&T approximately 75% of all students are pursuing a degree from the same College of Engineering and Computing.
  • We offer 19 design teams, in which students design, build and compete with their creations, including rockets and remote-controlled planes. Not only do you put lessons learned in the classroom to work but you hone your teamwork and leadership skills. Employers love how our students are “street-ready engineers,” prepared for the workplace immediately following graduation.
  • We’re future focused at S&T. In your first year, you can attend our massive Career Fair (more than 400 companies!) to network with employers for internships.
  • Most of our students will receive multiple job offers before they even graduate. The average reported salary for students with a bachelor’s degree this past year was over $72,000, according to the website SmartAsset.
  • In your first year, you can also conduct research with faculty. Our research projects are conducted to find solutions for real challenges, from aging infrastructure to environmental issues to health care. As one example, in your area of interest, Dr. Serhat Hosder, professor of aerospace engineering, is leading a research study on hypersonics for national defense, funded with a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.

You will soon receive a letter in the mail from Dr. Dave Bayless, chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Missouri S&T. Feel free to reach out directly to Dr. Bayless – he graduated from Missouri S&T himself with his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and then went to University of Illinois for his M.S. and Ph.D. He can share his story with you!

I encourage you to check out Missouri S&T for yourself by scheduling a campus visit. (You can find details at When you are here, I will be delighted to meet with you personally and tell you our story in-person.

I hope this note provides some answers. I will be happy to provide additional information as well.

Finally, I wish you all the best regardless of your final decision. If you decide to come to S&T, you will join generations of Miners who have provided critical solutions to many of the world challenges.

All the best,


Mohammad Dehghani, PhD
Chancellor | 573-341-4116

206 Parker Hall, 300 West 13th Street, Rolla, MO 65409-0910