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Best Petroleum Engineering Degree in 2021

March 22, 2021 | Staff Writers

Petroleum Engineering Degree
Degree Finder
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Individuals that work with a petroleum engineering degree perform a variety of duties in this important, ever-evolving field. Professionals that work in engineering are expected to stay abreast of changes and advances in the field. Having the appropriate educational background is one way of staying informed of advances in petroleum engineering.

Benefits of Earning a Petroleum Engineering Degree

One benefit of earning a petroleum engineering degree is the security of the career field. The University of Texas at Austin explains that the experts agree that oil and gas will continue being important to the global energy supply, and that petroleum engineers perform a variety of important roles within the industry.

Obtaining a degree in petroleum engineering also provides the opportunity for graduates to expand their career opportunities and their earnings. The University of Southern California Viterbi indicates that wherever an individual is in their engineering career, whether working in the field for a while, just getting started or taking their career in a new direction, earning a degree in petroleum engineering expands the knowledge and expertise of career professionals. Students become knowledgeable in disciplines that enables them to perform duties of engineers, geologists, chemists, physicists, and economists.

The high salary is another benefit of working in the profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the 2019 median earnings for a petroleum engineer was $137,720 or $66.21 per hour.

Earning a Degree in Petroleum Engineering

Starting a degree in petroleum engineering does not mean that a person needs to pursue the most expensive program in the country. There are affordable programs available at different degree levels, ranging from associate’s degree programs to doctoral degree programs to help current and future petroleum engineers reach their goals in the challenging and rewarding profession.

These colleges and universities offer accredited petroleum engineering programs, with some schools offering specializations in their degree programs. The programs prepare professionals with the skills to apply research and theory as they relate to the field, and to have a long career in petroleum engineering.

Rank School Location
1University of WyomingLaramie, Wyoming
2University of OklahomaNorman, Oklahoma
3University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanks, Alaska
4Nicholls State UniversityThibodaux, Louisiana
5New Mexico Institute of Mining and TechnologySocorro, New Mexico

Here are the 15 best Petroleum Engineering Degrees in 2021!

1

University of Wyoming

  • Laramie, Wyoming
  • Graduation Rate: 54%

The University of Wyoming prepares graduates to work in all areas of oil exploration and development, ranging from identifying the reservoir, to drilling, completion, and production. The state-of-the-art facilities and equipment help students gain the skills necessary to succeed in the field of petroleum engineering. The school offers an accelerated master’s degree in petroleum engineering for students currently enrolled in the bachelor’s degree program that have a minimum 3.4 GPA.

School Overview

Tuition: $145 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher learning Commission, ABET
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2

University of Oklahoma

  • Norman, Oklahoma
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

The Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma offers the opportunity for students to earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree in petroleum engineering. The Petroleum Engineering undergraduate program is designed to allow students to graduate after successfully completing 130 credit-hours in a standard four-year plan. The Accelerated B.S./M.S. in Petroleum Engineering program allows undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue a graduate education in petroleum engineering while completing their undergraduate degree. The Accelerated BS in Petroleum Engineering/MBA program is designed for the petroleum engineering student with an interest in business. Graduate programs at MPGE include the MS in Petroleum Engineering, MS in Natural Gas Engineering and Management online program, the MS in Geological Engineering, and Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering.

School Overview

Tuition: $159.60 per credit hour
Accreditation: ABET
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3

University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Graduation Rate: 29%

The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering degree program that provides students with the high-quality education and training necessary to succeed in the profession. The school accomplishes this through research, public service, teaching from knowledgeable faculty and public service, with focus on the petroleum resources of the State of Alaska. Program graduates are expected to contribute to the global petroleum engineering profession, to use the acquired technical knowledge and skills to analyze petroleum engineering problems and develop innovative solutions to those problems. Graduates also demonstrate professionalism, and will continue their professional development throughout their career in petroleum engineering. The university also offers a Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering for students that continue their education.

School Overview

Tuition: $234 per credit hour
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, ABET
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4

Nicholls State University

  • Thibodaux, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 47%

Nicholls State University understands that some petroleum engineers do not have the time available to work and pursue a degree in the field. The school offers what they describe as the only known program of its kind, developed specifically for accommodating rotational work schedules of seven days on, seven days off, and schedules of 14 days on and 14 days off work. The Associate of Petroleum Services degree, delivered through the Department of Petroleum Engineering and Safety Management, has helped graduates gain employment around the globe. Students that cannot travel to the main campus have the benefit of earning a degree to enhance their earnings and career opportunities in the petroleum engineering field.

School Overview

Tuition: $275 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)
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5

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

  • Socorro, New Mexico
  • Graduation Rate: 49%

The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology offers a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering that focuses on the development, exploration, and conservation of oil and gas resources. Students in the program learn to apply their knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering. They learn to design and conduct experiments, and to interpret data. Graduates have the knowledge to resolve different types of petroleum engineering problems, and integrate the concepts of petroleum engineering in a design project. The school also offers a graduate degree in petroleum engineering.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $280.86 per credit hour
Accreditation: ABET
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6

West Virginia University

  • Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Graduation Rate: 56%

West Virginia University indicates that the petroleum engineering program at the school is one of only four accredited programs in the country that encompasses both petroleum engineering and natural gas engineering. The Bachelor of Science in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering educates students in the design and application aspects related to the discovery, the production, and the transportation of oil and natural gas resources. The school also offers master’s and doctoral degree programs in petroleum and natural gas.

School Overview

Tuition: $319 per credit hour
Accreditation: ABET
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7

University of Kansas

  • Lawrence, Kansas
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

The University of Kansas offers several options for students interested in earning a degree in petroleum engineering, including the Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering program. Students take courses concerned with the fundamental concepts describing properties of fluids and rocks in subsurface and surface environments. Students also learn about fluid flow in reservoirs, drilling, production, and other important skills and concepts of petroleum engineering. Some students continue their education and earn a graduate degree in petroleum engineering at the university.

School Overview

Tuition: $399.40 per credit hour
Accreditation: ABET
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8

Colorado School of Mines

  • Golden, Colorado

The Petroleum Engineering Department at the Colorado Schools of Mines has a vision of distinction, which is to lead the world in education, research, innovation and training for responsibility in the sustainable acquisition and development of energy resources. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering. Students have their choice of five specializations, which includes reservoir, data analytics, drilling, completions, and production. The school also offers master’s degree programs and doctoral degree programs in petroleum engineering.

School Overview

Tuition: $555 per credit hour
Accreditation: ABET
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9

Texas A&M University

  • College Station, Texas

The Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University prepares students to gain the expertise needed to work in petroleum engineering and similar fields. The Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering program provides students with the knowledge and skills to design and conduct experiments, to analyze and interpret data, to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems, and to understand professional and ethical responsibilities, among other duties. The university also offers graduate degree programs in petroleum engineering and on online certificates of continuing education.

School Overview

Tuition: $752.76 per credit hour
Accreditation: ABET
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10

Louisiana State University

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 68%

Some students enrolled in the Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering at Louisiana State University started their education by earning a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering at the university. The school also offers a doctorate program in petroleum engineering. The Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering program is designed with the guidance of and in consultation with each student’s graduate advisory committee. There is both a thesis and a non-thesis option. The non-thesis option requires a three-credit hour special project. Graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in research or in applying advanced technology as they relate to petroleum engineering. Graduates also gain advanced understanding and skills of engineering principles.

School Overview

Tuition: $786 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC, ABET
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11

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

  • Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Graduation Rate: 44%

The Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette takes pride in discovering solutions to complex engineering problems through research and classroom projects. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering program follow a curriculum of courses in engineering mechanics, math, geosciences, fluid flow, thermodynamics, probability and statistics, and possibly other courses related to the degree. Students earn their Wild Well Control (WWC) and Helicopter Underwater Egress Training (HUET) certifications. Some students go to work in the industry immediately upon graduation while others continue their studies and earn a graduate degree at the university.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,244 per credit hour
Accreditation: ABET
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12

Stanford University

  • Stanford, California
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

The Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering at Stanford University prepares graduates for professional employment in the industry and to have an advanced understanding of the theories, research and concepts of the profession. Students in the program must have an undergraduate degree in energy resources, and demonstrate competence in an advanced computer programming language.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $1,285.80 per credit hour
Accreditation: WASC, ABET
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13

University of Tulsa

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

The McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Tulsa is a highly ranked school that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in petroleum engineering. Students that earn their bachelor’s degree or master’s degree at the school have the opportunity to earn a doctoral degree in petroleum engineering. The PhD in Petroleum Engineering program is primarily characterized by the requirement of a dissertation. The dissertation must contain significant original research and materials that are suitable for publication. Program graduates have the highest degree available to petroleum engineers, and should possess broad knowledge, skills and expertise in their specific discipline area. Graduates should have abilities that includes directing teams in their state-of-the-art research, demonstrate proficiency in the skills necessary to become researchers, university professors or petroleum industry scientists.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,310 per credit hour
Accreditation: ABET
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14

University of Texas at Austin

  • Austin, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

The Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering program at the University of Texas at Austin prepares graduates to understand, address, and solve important technology challenges that leads to energy security and societal prosperity. Students gain the knowledge and professional skills for a career in the oil and gas production and services industries, and to demonstrate environmentally responsible stewardship of the world’s natural resources.

School Overview

Tuition: $300/credit hour
Accreditation: ABET
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15

University of Southern California Viterbi

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

The University of Southern California Viterbi offers a Master’s degree in petroleum engineering in both the on-campus format and online format. Discover the technology involved in developing and producing the underground reservoirs of oil, gas, steam, and hot water. Learn about designing underground waste disposal facilities in an economic manner.

Students have the advantage of a small program combined with the close proximity to research facilities and major oil fields within the State of California.

The University of Southern California Viterbi offers a Master’s degree in petroleum engineering in both the on-campus format and online format. Discover the technology involved in developing and producing the underground reservoirs of oil, gas, steam, and hot water. Learn about designing underground waste disposal facilities in an economic manner.

Students have the advantage of a small program combined with the close proximity to research facilities and major oil fields within the State of California.

School Overview

Tuition: $2,148 per credit hour
Accreditation: WASC Senior
Visit School Website

Our Ranking Methodology

Finding a petroleum engineering degree is not always an easy task, so we did the difficult work for you. Each of these schools offers at least one accredited petroleum engineering program. We ranked the top accredited schools by tuition rate, which is stated as the cost of one credit hour of instruction.

Students should take into consideration that colleges and universities typically add other costs to the total price of attendance, such as fees, materials, or supplies.

Do you need help finding the right school? We can help you, based on your selected program.

Please contact us if you need to update the information that we have for your school.

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