Graduate Certificate Programs in Petroleum Engineering

Nov 06, 2019

While relatively rare, there are a few graduate certificate programs in petroleum engineering out there. This article contains an overview of what you could expect from them.

A graduate certificate in petroleum engineering is designed for people who already have a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field. Topics such as geology and methods for extracting petroleum are taught in this program.

General Information on Graduate Certificate Programs in Petroleum Engineering

When considering a graduate certificate program in petroleum engineering, you should know that this is a relatively short curriculum with between four to six courses. Here are some of the common courses that you will find in these programs.

Drilling Engineering

In this course, students examine the different techniques and equipment used for drilling. The uses of drilling fluids, pressure loss calculations and bit selection are usually among the topics covered. Information about casing design and other mechanical considerations is generally included in this course as well. Some programs' drilling engineering courses may focus on how these topics are applied to horizontal drilling.

Reserves Estimation

Students could get an overview of the different types of estimation methods used to determine and track reserve material at the site of operations. The interpretation of volumetric estimates, geometric modeling, seismic data and other analytical methods could be taught. Students can also get an insight into reservoir simulation. Cash flow analysis and formulation of international petroleum contracts could also be discussed in this class.


This course includes an analysis of the different materials that make up the earth's surface. Special attention is given to earth's geological processes and the properties of rocks, such as their porosity and fluid flow characteristics. Course material might also include the detailed application of chemistry or physics principles to the study of earth materials.

Advanced Petroleum Production Operations

The latest methods used in the production of petroleum constitute most of this course. Students are taught diagnostic and stimulation methods that could optimize petroleum production, including well testing and fracturing. Production logging and decline curve analysis are also discussed as part of the curriculum.

Unconventional Oil and Gas Technology

In this course, students explore coal bed methane, shale gas and other unconventional resources. Topics of discussion could include the geology and exploration of these resources. Methods of extracting and processing them are also among the main concerns. Students are exposed to such topics as well design, formation evaluation and drilling along with the related environmental issues.

Admission Requirements for a Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Engineering

For a graduate certificate in petroleum engineering, the basic qualification is a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field, with petroleum or geosciences being a preferred field of study. A good GPA can increase an applicant's chances of admission to this program. If you do not have a bachelor's degree, some colleges and universities may allow you to apply if you are currently working toward your engineering degree. Usually, there are no requirements for GRE, GMAT, SAT or other entrance scores.

A graduate certificate in petroleum engineering can help current or aspiring engineers develop their understanding of drilling methods and reservoir analysis. There are relatively few programs offered in this discipline, and they typically consist of around four to six courses.

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