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15 Best Masters In Petroleum Engineering Programs In 2022

Petroleum Engineering is a very fertile industry with a whole lot of opportunities. To stand out in the industry, you might need a master’s in Petroleum Engineering.

So, in this article put together by The World Scholarship Forum, we’ll be looking at the top schools that offer masters in Petroleum Engineering programs.

Petroleum engineering is a fast-growing career with stellar pay. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 26 percent job increase between 2012 and 2022, compared to 11 percent on average for all occupations.

Carefully read through for details concerning masters program in Petroleum Engineering.

See the table of contents below for a quick overview.

What is Petroleum Engineering?

Petroleum Engineering is a field of engineering that covers activities related to the production of hydrocarbons either crude oil or natural gas.  

It is otherwise known as the branch of engineering that powers the world with reliable and sustainable energy which plays a key role in our everyday lives. Individuals who graduate with a Petroleum Engineering degree are called Petroleum engineers or Chemical Engineers.

Why Should I Study Masters In Petroleum Engineering?

As resources become less accessible and new technology is needed for the extraction of resources, highly prepared professionals will be required to direct the course of resource management.

In masters in Petroleum Engineering, students learn courses in the areas of geology, geophysics, rock mechanics, reservoir engineering, process technology, and natural sciences. The classes in this program furnish students to meet the modern needs of energy consumption, production, and management on a global level.

With a master’s in Petroleum Engineering, you will partake in the production of resources, whether from deep-water, arctic condition reserves, or other areas. Therefore, graduates should be prepared to overcome technological challenges, meet the growing demand for oil and gas, and replace many of the professionals who are currently working in the petroleum industry. They typically enter careers in the areas of research, production, consultancy, and management. These jobs are often available on international levels.

To sum it up, a master’s in Petroleum Engineering program gives room for career advancement for professionals, entry into a competitive and exciting field for new graduates, and many career opportunities for all graduates. Moreso, graduates gain access to further educational opportunities and jobs with excitement, challenges, and comfortable salaries.

What Are The Entry Requirements To Study Masters in Petroleum Engineering?

Most masters in Petroleum Engineering programs are selective in nature, and admission is highly competitive.

Prospective students of Master in Petroleum Engineering must hold an impressive command of mathematics and engineering science. They must also have a sound knowledge of related sciences, such as geology, economics, computer programming, and geophysics.

However, that selectiveness is a result of obligation. In order to ensure high-quality education, many programs limit their enrollment to maintain low ratios of students-to-faculty. Class sizes are often small, with the goal of enhancing student-faculty relationships.

To apply, students will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum GPA and Graduate Record Examination score requirements – GPAs may be calculated based on an applicant’s entire undergraduate education, or a graduate school may only look at the GPA from the student’s final two years of his or her bachelor’s degree. In addition, others may only consider a GPA from a student’s major coursework.
  • Language requirements – Most schools will accept international students who can prove their English language proficiency by submitting a score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language – TOEFL – or an equivalent examination.
  • Prospective candidates need to possess a strong background in mathematics, geology, engineering, data analysis, and other related fields.
  • Typically, applicants will also tender personal essay statements and letters of recommendation.
  • Official transcripts.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Masters In Petroleum Engineering Program?

Ideally, the duration of master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering varies per school and type of program. However, a masters in Petroleum Engineering spans for 2-5 years for full time and part time programs respectively. In some cases, you’ll spend lesser years.

What Type Of Jobs Can You Do With A Masters In Petroleum Engineering?

Petroleum engineering is the field of engineering that deals with the exploration, extraction, and storage of petroleum, among other activities. As a profession, a graduate with a Master in Petroleum Engineering can work as a reservoir engineer, drilling engineer, or a production engineer. These professionals work on the interface between the oil wells and oil reservoirs. They assure that environmental factors, such as flow, silt, and undesirable liquids are in order and they manage the equipment used for monitoring operations as well.

Furthermore, skilled engineers are needed to direct the production of resources, whether from deep-water, arctic condition reserves, or other areas. Therefore, masters graduates should be prepared to overcome technological challenges, meet the growing demand for oil and gas, and replace many of the professionals who are currently working in the petroleum industry.

Graduates typically enter careers in the areas of research, production, consultancy, and management. These jobs are often available on international levels.

How Much Will I Earn With A Masters In Petroleum Engineering?

While there is much to think about when it comes to paying for college after graduation, students can look forward to a well-paying career. The job outlook for qualified and well-trained petroleum engineers is outstanding. 

According to U.S. News & World Report, Petroleum Engineers as holding the No. 8 best-paying engineering job and the No. 12 best paying job overall with an average annual salary of over $137,000.

Nevertheless, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook warns that salaries for petroleum engineers are often tied to gas and oil prices, which have been known to fluctuate based on a number of factors. However, the bureau expects a job growth rate of 15.2% between 2016 and 2026, with an estimated 5,100 jobs to be created during that period.

At the senior level, Petroleum Engineers often earn over $200,000 per year. A graduate degree in petroleum engineering pairs well with education in other areas, such as business, communications, or another engineering field.

Sounds convincing, right?. Now, it’s ideal to see the list of the best masters program in Petroleum Engineering.

Can I Get An Online Masters In Petroleum Engineering?

To beat the stress of traditional academic learning, some schools offer virtual masters in Petroleum Engineering program. This online masters in Petroleum Engineering follows the same curriculum and course structure with the traditional program.

The curriculum emphasizes connects classroom lessons and their real-world applications through professional development and research opportunities.

Furthermore, online and on-campus students are admitted according to the same criteria, adhere to the same course and degree completion requirements, and receive instruction from the same faculty members.

See the list of schools that offers online Masters in Petroleum Engineering;

Which Schools Offers Masters In Petroleum Engineering

The petroleum industry remains one of the most productive in the world today despite increasing pressures from renewable energy. Therefore, with a Master in Petroleum Engineering, you will have great potential for successful and lucrative careers.

See the list of best masters programs in Petroleum Engineering. The list was selected based on the following ranking factors;

Reputation – The reputation of a school highlights its ranking performance on other reputatble websites.

Graduation rate – This shows the ability of the program to produce graduates.

Employability index – This data represents the performance of the university’s graduates in the labor market.

Accreditation – The accreditation status of an institution shows that the program has achieved an industry-recognized standard of competency. 

1. University of Texas–Austin (Cockrell)

The University of Texas at Austin petroleum engineering graduate program, by the numbers, is a strong and influential community that is dedicated to changing the world.

Graduate students conduct research in state-of-the-art facilities that provide unique capabilities in a variety of areas including big data, production logging, vertical and inclined flow in wells, artificial lift, core flooding for enhanced oil recovery, subsurface environmental remediation, drilling, rock mechanics, well log digitizing and interpretation, and PVT analysis.

The Cockrell School of Engineering at University of Texas–Austin (Cockrell) has a rolling application deadline. The application fee is $65 for U.S. residents and $90 for international students. Its tuition is full-time: $10,554 per year (in-state) and full-time: $19,320 per year (out-of-state).

You will be asked to submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose that is no more than 1-2 pages, results from the general GRE test (subject tests not required), a pdf copy of your current transcripts, and TOEFL test scores for international applicants. You will also have to pay the application fee ($65 for domestic students, $90 for international).

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2. Stanford University

The university’s master’s in Petroleum Engineering program prepares students for professional work in the energy industry, or for doctoral studies, through the completion of fundamental courses in the major field and in related sciences as well as independent research.

Students entering the master’s program are expected to have an undergraduate-level engineering or physical science background. Competence in computer programming in a high-level language (CS 106X or the equivalent) and knowledge of engineering and geological fundamentals (ENERGY 120, 130, and GES 151) are prerequisites for taking most graduate courses.

The application fee is $125 for U.S. residents and $125 for international students. Its tuition is full-time: $55,905 per year.

The candidate must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Register as a graduate student for at least 45 units.
  • Submit a program proposal for the Master’s degree approved by the adviser during the first quarter of enrollment.
  • Complete 45 units with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0. Students electing the course work only M.S. degree are strongly encouraged to select an additional elective sequence in place of the research requirement. Students interested in continuing for a Ph.D. are expected to choose the research option and enrol in 6 units of ENERGY 361. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Students entering without an undergraduate degree in Petroleum Engineering must make up deficiencies in previous training.
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3. Colorado School of Mines

One of the objectives of the Petroleum Engineering Master’s program is to prepare students to succeed in an energy ­industry that is evolving into industry working with many energy sources. Besides developing technical competence in petroleum engineering, you will learn how your education can help you contribute to the development of alternative ­energy sources. In addition to exciting careers in the petroleum industry, graduates find rewarding careers in the environmental arena, law, medicine, business, and many other walks of life.

Minimum scores required for applications to be reviewed are:

  • GRE
    • Masters: Verbal 139, Quantitative 155, Analytical 3.0
    • PhD: Verbal 139, Quantitative 159, Analytical 3.5
  • GPA: 3.0 on 4.0 scale
  • TOEFL: 79 out of 120
    • Reading 20, Listening 21, Writing 17, Speaking 21

Applicants with low background in petroleum engineering will be reviewed if their undergraduate record (geophysics, chemical, civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering) is satisfactory, and if their GRE scores and the TOEFL scores (for international applicants) are satisfactory.

The application fee is $60 for U.S. residents and $80 for international students. Its tuition is full-time: $16,650 per year (in-state) and full-time: $37,350 per year (out-of-state). 

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4. University of Tulsa

Internationally recognized as one of the top petroleum engineering schools in the country, the McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering is the largest department on the TU campus. The master’s program provides a high-quality educational experience that prepares each graduate either to work in the petroleum industry or to pursue an advanced petroleum engineering degree.

Graduate students learn advanced petroleum production concepts and collaborate on multi-disciplinary research projects to continue the development of their petroleum engineering skill set and professional careers.

At the end of this program, students will have the ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.

To be considered for graduate admission, the following items must be submitted to the Graduate School:

  • A completed Graduate School application
  • Statement of Purpose (admission essay)
  • 2 – 3 letters of recommendation from individuals who can comment on your academic potential.
  • Official or unofficial transcripts from all universities attended
  • GRE General Test results
  • $55 application fee
  • International students who studied at a university outside of the U.S. will also need to submit TOEFL or IELTS results

The application fee is $55 for U.S. residents and $55 for international students. Its tuition is full-time: $1,272 per credit and part-time: $1,272 per credit.

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5. University of Oklahoma

The degree of Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering usually demands the completion of an original research thesis in addition to coursework beyond the baccalaureate level.

The program is of two forms; the thesis program and non-thesis program.

The traditional, research-oriented M.S. program with the thesis emphasizes the advanced study and research experience. To be eligible for research, a student must have identified an appropriate research area and be accepted as an M.S. thesis student by a member of the MPGE faculty.

This program is designed to meet the professional needs of part-time students and other students whose background and educational goals may be best served by additional instructed study in lieu of the research investigation involved in an M.S. thesis. To pursue this plan-of-study, students must indicate interest in the coursework-emphasis program on the application for admission.

Its tuition is full-time: $274 per credit (in-state); full-time: $885 per credit (out-of-state); part-time: $274 per credit (in-state); and part-time: $885 per credit (out-of-state).

To be considered, candidates should have

  • 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for the most recent two years of academic work
  • Taken the GRE exam
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6. University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming offers the Master’s of Science in Petroleum Engineering to students seeking rewarding careers in academia or industry.

Along with an MS in Petroleum Engineering, the university offers a special concentration in Unconventional Resources and a combined degree program that pairs the MS with a Master of Business Administration.

The program is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering with at least a 3.0 GPA. Students will also need a score of at least 305, or 1150, from the Graduate Record Examination.

Students can choose either a research thesis or coursework option in the degree program. In the research thesis option, you will complete 30 graduate credits, four of which will be earned by conducting research. The coursework option requires students to complete a research report worth two credits while also developing a plan for earning 14 credits through electives.

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7. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

The Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology was formed to meet the technical needs of the growing and dynamic gas and oil industry. Offered by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Department, the degree has undergone remarkable growth in the last decade.

To meet demand, the university allows students access to groundbreaking research, hands-on training, and many opportunities for faculty and industry collaboration. The MS in Petroleum Engineering is available in both thesis and independent study options. Students in both options will take required courses in; formation evaluation, drilling engineering, reservoir engineering, and production engineering, along with participating in a graduate seminar.

Students completing a thesis will earn at least 30 credit hours while earning six credit hours through their research activities. Independent study students earn 36 credit hours through a combination of required classes and independent study.

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8. University of Houston – Cullen

The master’s degree program welcomes students with a strong background in math, science, and engineering. Students who enter the program with a degree in civil, environmental, chemical, or mechanical engineering will undergo a series of leveling courses designed to introduce the concepts of petroleum engineering. 

The university’s Petroleum Engineering Department administers more than 50 classes, giving students a chance to design a plan of study that meets their individual career goals. Advanced electives include such courses as the Evaluation of Petroleum Formations, Petroleum Production Economics, Enhanced Oil Recovery, Natural Gas Engineering, and more.

Admission to the University of Houston Ph.D. Program in Petroleum Engineering will require the following:

  • GRE — An acceptable score within the Cullen College of Engineering standard on the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical portions of the Graduate Record Examination. 
  • LETTERS — Three letters of recommendation from known professionals who can attest to the applicant’s capability for independent and creative thinking for graduate-level research in petroleum engineering.
  • STATEMENT — A written statement of the applicant’s professional goals.
  • APPROVAL — Approval by the Petroleum Engineering Graduate Committee.
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9. University of Southern California (Viterbi)

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Petroleum Engineering program is one of the oldest in the country with considerable industry support and interaction. The university offers a master’s in Petroleum Engineering which provides students with the required sufficient practical and theoretical knowledge.  For students entering with a B.S. degree, it normally takes 5 semesters (including a summer semester) to obtain an M.S. degree.

The application fee is $90 for U.S. residents and $90 for international students. Its tuition is full-time: $2,075 per credit and part-time: $2,075 per credit. 

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10. Texas Tech University (Whitacre)

Texas Tech offers a master’s in Petroleum Engineering. You can choose to enroll for the masters of science with the thesis that requires a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours above the baccalaureate degree, including 6 credit hours allowed for the thesis or the masters of science without thesis program that requires a minimum of 33 graduate credit hours approved by the graduate advisor (excluding seminar).

The ideal graduate applicant would have a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering with a GPA of 3.0. In addition, he or she needs to tender the following:

  • Financial Statement (Proof of Financial Support)
  • Official Transcript
  • Proof of Proficiency in English (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic, Cambridge CPE, Cambridge CAE or Completion of ELS Level 112 )
  • Official GRE Scores (Quantitative, Verbal and Written)
    • GRE may be waived if the applicant has 2 years or more experience in the Oil and Gas Industry.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

The Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering’s undergraduate petroleum engineering program is ranked 4th in the nation, while the graduate program is ranked 9th in the nation with the U.S. News and World Report.

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11. Louisiana State University–Baton Rouge

The master’s program is for students holding BS degrees in petroleum engineering, other engineering disciplines, or sciences. The department level academic course plan for each student will be developed in consultation with and approved by the student’s advisory committee.

The degree is either a thesis or a non-thesis degree that requires a special project. The thesis option requires completion of 24 hours of approved coursework, 12 coursework hours should be at the 7000 level or above, excluding thesis hours, 6 hours credit for thesis research. While the non-thesis option requires completion of 36 hours of approved graduate coursework that may include 3 credits for the special project and at least 18 hours at the 7000 level or above, including credit earned for the special project. 

To be considered eligible for admission, you have to tender the following;

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a foreign institution.
  • A grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 (A = 4.0) on all undergraduate work (or in the final 64 credit hours) and any graduate work already completed.
  • Official GRE – minimum score of 300 
  • Official TOEFL – minimum score of 79 (Internet Based), 213 (Computer Based), or 550 (Paper Based) or IELTS score of 6.5 for international applicants only.
  • Three (3) recommendation letters
  • Statement of purpose
  • A writing sample is not required but may be submitted with your application.
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12. Imperial College London

This program will train you to understand and effectively utilize the workflow concepts now prevailing in the oil industry and prepare you to work in multidisciplinary teams.

This MSc is a one-year, full-time course that trains petroleum engineering professionals to understand and effectively utilize the workflow concepts now prevailing in the oil industry, and prepares them fully for work in multidisciplinary teams.

The program provides a 12-month conversion from other engineering and science-based foundations into the specialties of petroleum engineering and is designed for both those with industrial experience and recent graduates.

This course is professionally accredited by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

Our minimum requirement is a first-class degree in science or engineering. Applicants with other qualifications, and a minimum of three years of industrial experience, may be considered.

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Petroleum Engineering is a very fertile industry with a whole lot of opportunities. To stand out in the industry, you might need a master’s in Petroleum Engineering.

Therefore, with the relevant information on your desk, we believe you will be able to make informed decisions as regards choosing a study destination for a master’s in Petroleum Engineering. Cheers!


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