Though there are relatively few petroleum engineering programs in comparison to other engineering specialties, programs do exist at the undergraduate and graduate levels, many of which are offered by schools on the west coast.
10 Schools With Petroleum Engineering Programs
The following universities all offer programs in petroleum engineering:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degree Types||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Pennsylvania State University||University Park, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$17,514 (in-state), $31,346 (out-of-state)|
|University of Kansas||Lawrence, KS||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$10,825 (in-state), $26,659 (out-of-state)|
|University of Alaska Fairbanks||Fairbanks, AK||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$5,674 (in-state), $17,303 (out-of-state)|
|Texas Tech University||Lubbock, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$8,028 (in-state), $17,388 (out-of-state)|
|Montana Tech of the University of Montana||Butte, MT||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$6,539 (in-state), $19,571 (out-of-state)|
|Louisiana State University||Baton Rouge, LA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$9,714 (in-state), $26,877 (out-of-state)|
|Marietta College||Marietta, OH||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$34,300|
|Texas A&M University||College Station, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$10,176 (in-state), $28,768 (out-of-state)|
|University of Tulsa||Tulsa, OK||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$39,521|
|New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology||Socorro, NM||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||$6,613 (in-state), $19,137 (out-of-state)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
When selecting a petroleum engineering program, there are a number of factors that are relevant in the decision. Students may want to keep these considerations in mind:
- Students should ensure that the program they enroll in is accredited by ABET and the Society for Petroleum Engineers (SPE) to make sure the programs meet industry standards for training new engineers.
- For individuals interested in receiving financial aid, they may wish to check out which programs offer scholarship opportunities to students.
- A school's corporate research endowments typically represent companies that offer students co-operative internship opportunities, so students may want to find out which companies their school is affiliated with.
- If a student has a particular interest within the field of petroleum engineering, such as drilling or reservoirs, they should look for programs that offer various specializations.
Bachelor's Degree in Petroleum Engineering
Bachelor's degree students should complete most of their general educational courses in the first two years of the program. The final two years should be predominantly petroleum engineering courses, although some courses will be borrowed from other fields, such as electrical, mechanical and materials engineering. Most programs conclude with either a senior project or technical presentation. Coursework for the major covers areas like petrophysics, reservoir engineering and drilling.
Master's Degree in Petroleum Engineering
Master's degree programs are an option for those seeking management positions or who have a bachelor's degree in another field of engineering and want to specialize in petroleum engineering. Some schools offer tracks that include courses from the college of geosciences or business. The coursework consists of advanced production and drilling courses, and students are given the option of either completing a thesis or research project.
Doctoral Programs in Petroleum Engineering
Ph.D. candidates in a petroleum engineering program complete a dissertation based on original research, which could be done in an area like production engineering, reservoir engineering, and drilling engineering. They must also pass diagnostic examinations in several areas.
To summarize, individuals can study petroleum engineering at the undergraduate and graduate levels, though coursework for bachelor's degree programs might be slightly more general in nature than curricula for master's and doctoral degrees.