Masters Degree in Oil and Gas Engineering: Program Information
Master's degree programs that focus on oil and gas engineering are multi-faceted and directed toward managing the extraction of natural gas. At most institutes of higher learning, oil or petroleum and gas engineering are specializations offered within a school or college of engineering.
Graduate programs, such as the Master of Science in Oil and Gas Engineering, are focused primarily on training students in the common processes and procedures used in this field. Various engineering disciplines are also covered in most of these programs, including reservoir, natural gas, and geological engineering. Both thesis and non-thesis programs are available, and students complete a comprehensive exam. Graduates can keep up with technological advancements by participating in continuing education programs.
- Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in science or engineering field; some exceptions may apply for applicants without this level of education
- Program Lengths: 36 credits
- Other Requirements: Thesis may be required depending on program; comprehensive exams
Master's Degree in Oil and Gas Engineering
Thesis options typically require completion of approximately 30 credits in core and elective courses plus 6 credits earned by preparing and defending the thesis. Non-thesis students traditionally complete about 36 total credits plus a final all-inclusive exam. This program involves advanced study in areas such as rock mechanics, petrophysics, enhanced oil recovery, and oil field management, in addition to well drilling, completion, and stimulation. Some of the coursework ordinarily found in an oil and gas graduate degree program can include:
- Steady and unsteady state flow in porous media
- Petroleum engineering
- Well stimulation design and analysis
- Advanced reservoir engineering
- Conservation theories and applications in petroleum engineering
Job opportunities for oil and gas engineers, also known as petroleum engineers, are predicted to be favorable between 2014 and 2024, primarily because of the number of jobs opening due to retirements, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www. bls.gov). They are projected to have a 10% growth during this time frame. In May 2015, the BLS reported that petroleum engineers earned an average annual salary of approximately $149,590.
The BLS states that in order to keep up with improvements in technology, continuing education is vital for engineers. This can be accomplished via a doctorate (Ph.D.) degree program. Some professional organizations, like the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), also offer continuing education training programs, conferences, and competency certification courses.