Top Petroleum Engineering Schools

Crude oil and natural gas are two of the world’s primary energy resources. In America, the need for energy independence is moving the bar a bit higher every year.

In order to effectively and efficiently extract and refine these resources, companies need talented Petroleum Engineers who are trained in dealing with the complex issues regarding the extraction process.

Within this industry, the wage scales are lucrative and the need for well educated Petroleum Engineers has created a highly competitive job market. In order to gain every possible advantage, individuals should consider attending one of the best Petroleum Engineering schools that are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Here are the top Petroleum Engineering schools in the U.S.

1. University of Texas at Austin

Flickr / Ronnie Pitman

Flickr / Ronnie Pitman

This school was founded in 1883. U of T is a public university located in the city of Austin. The Petroleum Engineering curriculum can be found in the Cockrell School of Engineering.

The school offers a BS degree in Petroleum and Geo-systems Engineering. The course curriculum requirements include core classes plus Chemistry, Math and Geology. Along with the standard lab and research requirements, students can earn a great opportunity for hands on work at Halliburton’s Camp Bevo in Oklahoma or Shell’s Camp Longhorn in Louisiana. Advanced degree opportunities include a one-year Master’s program and a PhD program in Engineering with a concentration on Petroleum Engineering. Annual Tuition: $10,214 (resident), $35,110 (non-resident)

2. Texas A&M University

Flickr / Stuart Seeger

Flickr / Stuart Seeger

Texas A&M was founded in 1876. This top public research school is located College Station. The Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering is home to the Petroleum Engineering program.

The department offers students a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering. Course requirements include Physics, Math, Intro to Engineering, Geology and Chemistry. Students will also be trained to apply their knowledge in a research environment. Advanced degree offerings include a Master of Science, Master of Engineering and PhD. The MS degree requires 32 units plus a written thesis in a particular concentration area. Annual Tuition: $9,306 (resident), $25,925 (non-resident)

3. Colorado School of Mines

(Wikimedia) Colorado School of Mines

(Wikimedia) Colorado School of Mines

This school was established as a leading public energy research university. It was founded in 1874 and is located in Golden. The Petroleum Engineering program is administered by the Petroleum Engineering Department.

The department’s undergrad program offers a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering. Students are required to complete all core subjects plus courses in Geology, Physics, Chemistry and Math. Based on the school’s reputation, many students are given opportunities for summer work within the industry. As part of the Master’s and PhD programs, students are encouraged to complete summer research studies abroad in places like Leoben, Austria and Adelaide, Australia. Annual Tuition: $14,790 (resident), $31,470 (non-resident)

4. Stanford University                                                                                                      

Flickr / Wally Gobetz

Flickr / Wally Gobetz

Stanford was founded in 1885 and has an established reputation as the top school on the West Coast. It is a private university located in Stanford, California. The Petroleum Engineering curriculum is handled by the School of Earth Sciences. They provide a Bachelor of Science in Energy Resources degree for interested students.

Students receive a well rounded education from courses like Geology, Energy Resources, Chemistry and Physics with emphasis on fluid flow under the earth’s surface. Students are also given ample research opportunities. Advanced degrees offered are a Master of Science and Doctorate in Petroleum Engineering. The PhD requires completion of an meaningful, original research project. Annual Tuition: $42,690

5. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

(Wikimedia) New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

(Wikimedia) New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

This is one of the top rated public schools in the state. It was founded in 1889 and the campus is located in Socorro. The Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering has produced many top leaders in the industry. Its Bachelor of Science in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering is specifically geared towards a career in the Oil and Natural Gas Industry.

The degree requires participation in research studies as well as class work in Math, Physics, Chemistry, Geology and an assortment of core related topics. The Master’s program offers a thesis and non-thesis option. They also offer a PhD program. Annual Tuition: $12,838 (resident), $23,709 (non-resident)

6. University of Southern California

Flickr / Ting Chen

Flickr / Ting Chen

USC is a historic university founded in 1880. This private school is located in the heart of America’s second largest city, Los Angeles. Students interested in pursuing a career in Petroleum Engineering are encouraged to earn a Master of Science in Engineering from the Viterbi School of Engineering.

They will be provided with a well rounded education in many facets of engineering. The graduate program offers a Master of Science and Doctorate in Petroleum Engineering. Both programs focus on a vast array of interesting topics within the industry. These areas include biotechnology, reactor design, energy research, and oil and gas exploration. These programs are administered by the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science. Annual Tuition: $45,602

7. Oklahoma University

Flickr / LLudo

Flickr / LLudo

OU was established in the heart of the oil rich southwestern portion of the country during 1890 in Norman. The Petroleum Engineering department can be found in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering.

The department administers the undergrad program that offers a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering. Course studies include over 20 core classes plus Chemistry, Geology, Physics and Math. Students are also required to complete the Petroleum Engineering Practice II (Internship) during the summer after their sophomore year. The school also offers a Master’s and PhD in Petroleum Engineering. Annual Tuition: $8,915 (resident), $21,104 (non-resident)

8. Texas Tech

Flickr / Mark Romero

Flickr / Mark Romero

TTU was founded in 1923. The main campus for this public university is located in Lubbock. The Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering oversees the Petroleum Engineering program. The department offers a BS in Petroleum Engineering.

In recent years, the school has awarded 100-150 of these BS degrees. Requirements includes core heavy classroom work and exposure to research studies. Advanced degrees include a Master of Science with Thesis, Master of Science without Thesis, and a PhD research degree. Annual Tuition: $8,956 (resident), $17,380 (non-resident)

9. University of Louisiana at Lafayette

(Wikimedia) University of Louisiana at Lafayette

(Wikimedia) University of Louisiana at Lafayette

UL Lafayette was founded in 1898. This public university is located in the city of Lafayette. The school’s highly rated Petroleum Engineering program is housed in the College of Engineering. They offer a BS degree in Petroleum Engineering.

The program is designed to train students for careers in the oil and gas industry as Drilling Engineers, Production Engineers, and Reservoir Engineers. Coursework includes Petroleum Engineering studies, Math, Physics, Chemistry and Geology. The department also administers a MS and Doctorate program in Petroleum Engineering. Annual Tuition: $6,244 (resident), $15,793 (non-resident)

10. University of Alaska

(Wikimedia) University of Alaska

(Wikimedia) University of Alaska

The university campus is located in Fairbanks within close proximity to the Alaskan pipeline. This public university was founded in 1917. The Petroleum Engineering program can be located within the College of Engineering and Mines.

The college offers a BS, MS and PhD degree in Petroleum Engineering. The program is loaded with core subjects as well as courses in Math, Chemistry, English, Physics and Geology. Students will also receive hands on experience working within the oil rich areas of Alaska. Annual Tuition: $6,012 (resident), $18,972 (non-resident)

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