Does the process of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting, and marketing of petrol products (oil and gas) – interest you? Would you like to design and develop new methods of extracting the oil and gas deposits from the Earth’s surface? If the answer is yes, then a petroleum Engineering degree, especially a Masters in Petroleum Engineering Online, will help you become a professional in this area. Being a Petroleum Engineer, you might be a frequent traveler as you have to go to the oil sites, collaborate with the workers, customers, engineers, and every executive related to the petroleum field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for a petroleum engineer is $137,720. And the projected growth is 3 percent from 2018 to 2028. 

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best Petroleum Engineering Schools for Graduate Students

Pursuing a master’s from the best petroleum engineering schools notches your profile a lot higher than your peers. Our authors went through to several programs and created the petroleum engineering graduate program rankings. Our methodology includes several factors like the quality of the program, reviews from the alumni, staff expertise, affordability, etc. The results are below that show the top petroleum engineering schools.

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of Texas, Austin
110 Inner Campus Drive, Austin, Texas 78705
Texas A&M University
JKW Administration Building, Suite 200, College Station, Texas 77843
Colorado Schoool of Mines
1500 Illinois St, Golden, Colorado 80401
University of Oklahoma
660 Parrington Oval, Norman, Oklahoma 7301
Pennsylvania State University
201 Old Main, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
University of Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305
University of Southern California
University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089
University of Utah
201 Presidents Circle, ROOM 201, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
Texas Tech University
Broadway and University Avenue, Lubbock, Texas 79409
University of Houston
212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, Texas 77204
Louisiana State Agricultural and Mechanical College
156 Thomas Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
Missouri University of Science and Technology
300 W.13th Street, Rolla, Missouri 65409
University of Wyoming
1000 E University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071
University of North Dakota
264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202
Montana Tech
1300 W Park St, Butte, Montana 59701
University of Louisiana, Lafayette
801 Leroy Place, Socorro, New Mexico 87801
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
801 Leroy Place, Socorro, New Mexico 87801
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
1731 South Chandalar Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775


Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering Online Program

Getting a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering is not difficult. But before you sign up, it is essential to under the full details of the programs. In this section, we will drive deeper into the programs and topics related to the extraction of oil and gas. 

During this program, you will learn about the advanced concepts of petroleum drilling systems, reservoir fluids, thermodynamics, and every detail related to the petroleum industry. Through the program, you will also learn about subsurface engineering and tunneling, analyzing the well through tests, and evaluating the petroleum project. The online program ensures that you are adept with the concepts of petroleum and are ready to face the job market.

Master’s in Petroleum Engineering Online Degree Types

A master’s degree in petroleum engineering online has become the most common pick of many students. The online programs are increasingly getting popular (even more so with the pandemic situation that started in 202) because of its flexibility, interested students are located in varied places, and online is the only medium to gain knowledge and enhance skills in this field. The petroleum graduate programs comprise of topics related to the technology of economically developing and producing underground reservoirs of oil, gas, steam, and hot water. You are taught how to design underground waste disposal facilities. Most universities offer a Petroleum engineering graduate degree as a Masters of Science (M.S.S.) in Petroleum Engineering. 

Specializations related to Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Engineering has evolved over the years, catering several specializations to the pursuers of a master’s degree in petroleum engineering. These specializations or titles are given to you based on the extraction process you are equipped in. Here are some of the concentrations:

Oil field degreesPetroleum degree is also called an Oil field degree, where you are taught about the extraction of oil from the hidden part of the Earth. The program also comprises exploration, refinement, and delivery of fuel.
Oil & Gas engineeringAs part of the Oil & Gas engineering, you are taught about oil & gas production, maximizing oil & gas recovery, well planning, stimulation, completion, and damage control. The degree also imparts knowledge of natural gas processing.
Petroleum geologyPetroleum geology specialization teaches you about the origin, occurrence, movement, accumulation, and exploration of petroleum reservoirs. It imbibes the process of generation and transformation of organic material in source rocks and migration of these hydrocarbons to reservoir rocks 
Drilling engineeringIt is the first application of technology in the Petroleum field. In this specialization, you are taught the skills of selecting the right casing and safety equipment, techniques controllingly able to drill the underground reservoirs, measuring of the fluids (oil, gas, and water), and delivering the raw products pipeline and other transportation companies.
Reservoir engineeringIf you take Reservoir engineering as a specialization, then you are taught about various hydrodynamic, thermodynamic, gravitational, and other forces involved in the rock-fluid system. You are informed about the tools and analytical techniques for determining rock and fluid characteristics.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Petroleum Engineering Programs

Petroleum engineering programs confer a large section of skills that helps you in connecting better with real-world scenarios. The curriculum structured by the universities incorporate both theoretical and practical concepts for better understanding and application of the knowledge. To study petroleum engineering online, students need to understand the depth of the courses offered. Here are some of the standard courses offered by the universities:

  • Drilling and petroleum production operations: Basics of extracting petroleum from subterranean reservoirs, well construction, and drilling activities are the concepts covered in this course.
  • Reservoir engineering: You will be taught about mechanical and scientific concepts concerning fluid dynamics, drilling safety, and production stimulation.
  • Energy policy: Here, you are taught about the relationship between energy usage and consumption, and how they are related to the society. Topics like pollution, refining, and petroleum extraction impact are also discussed.
  • Petroleum Engineering capstone project: You are given projects that are approved by the apt committee and analyze your understanding of the advanced petroleum engineering theories and the ability to those concepts to the real-world scenarios.
  • Petroleum production engineering: The technical concepts of extraction, refinement, transportation, and storage of petroleum are taught as part of this specialization. You are also explained how to choose the right tool or equipment while extracting the material from the targeted area.

Free Petroleum Engineering Courses

Free petroleum engineering courses are usually picked by professionals who want to enhance their skills with advanced and current concepts. Or by students trying to catch up before signing up for the full-fledged programs. However, here are some of the sources that offer petroleum engineering online courses free. You have to remember these free online courses do not give a certified degree or the latest content. But they do provide extremely valuable information. Mostly, these courses would be lectures or material of the previous sessions.

Reservoir Geomechanics

This interdisciplinary course encompasses the fields of rock mechanics, structural geology, earthquake seismology, and petroleum engineering to address a wide range of geomechanical problems that arise during the exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs.

MOOC Oil and Gas: From exploration to distribution

Has information related to the processes and techniques of oil and gas exploration and production.

Oil & Gas Industry Operations and Markets

This free course explains your core activities that the Oil and Gas Industry executes to bring natural gas and petroleum products to market. 

Introduction to Oil Country Tubular Goods

You are taught how the geology of ground and drilling conditions require OCTG (Oil Country Tubular Goods) with different characteristics, how tubular string design is performed, and how selected products are manufactured and tested. 

How long does it to take?

A typical Master’s program takes about two to three years for completing. But again, it depends on you what format of the program have you chosen to pursue your Petroleum engineering. The duration for online masters in petroleum engineering is also calculated based on the credits you are required to attain to complete the program. Some universities do offer the flexibility of letting you finish the program at your own pace. This means you can graduate sooner, too, depending on your background and university policies.

Accreditation for Petroleum Engineering Graduate Programs

Your Master’s degree has more weightage if you have pursued and graduated from an accredited university. Accreditation of the university is vital as it is the only way for us to determine if the program maintains quality or not. There are two formats of accreditation – regional and national levels. The university you pick should be having either of the levels of accreditation. Learn more about accreditation on the accreditation guide.

Petroleum engineering accredited schools get their accreditation from accrediting agencies based on many metrics. In the case of the petroleum engineering universities, it is: 

  • ABET: ABET’s Engineering Accreditation Commission ensures that the Petroleum engineering programs are meeting the standards laid by the profession. 

Master’s in Petroleum Engineering Online Admission Requirements

For every university to accept and process your application, it requires you to submit certain documents. Before applying to an online degree, it is better to understand petrol engineering requirements and accordingly get prepared. Here is the list of standard petrol engineering degree requirements for most of the universities that offer a Master’s in petroleum engineering online.

Official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate courses

Application form and fees

Transcripts form undergraduate degrees

GRE scores/ GMAT scores

Letters of recommendation

Statement of Purpose

How to Pay for Petroleum Engineering Programs?

Certifications and Licensing is a channel to get recognized for the proficient knowledge you possess in the area of Petroleum engineering. Apart from the courses of the program, signing up certification courses increases your professional standards and displays commitment towards the field. Here are some of the petroleum engineering certificate programs available:

Scholarships for Petroleum Engineering Students

Scholarships are another way for your Master’s in petroleum engineering online. Many organizations provide scholarships for students pursuing this field. The scholarships may not pay the entirety of your Master’s education, but they do reduce some of the financial burdens. Here are a few scholarships that will help you in your Master’s in petroleum engineering online pursuit.

Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)

SPE is an organization that is 153,000+ strong from 143 countries around the world. SPE’s mission is the collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas resources and related technologies. To support this mission, SPE administers several scholarships for students that are pursuing petroleum engineering degrees. Students that are pursuing petroleum engineering masters online degrees qualify for some of these scholarships. You can get the full details of the Scholarships from SPE.

Award Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Desk and Derek Education Trust Scholarships

The Desk and Derrick Educational Trust (ETT) was created in 1982 by the Association of Desk and Derrick Club to award annual scholarships to students pursuing geology, chemical, and petroleum engineering degrees. ETT administers several scholarships for which students are pursuing petroleum engineering masters qualify. To be eligible for these scholarships, students should plan a career in related fields to petroleum, energy, or an allied industry. You can get the full details of the Scholarships from the ETT.

Award Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Shell Oil Scholarship:

Shell, one of the largest energy companies in the world, administers a scholarship for students pursuing a part-time or a full-time technical degree program. Eligibility requirements include students to fill out a Shell Associate Scholarship questionnaire, resume, providing transcripts along with a degree plan. Selected students will be contacted by shell via email for a phone interview. Get more details about the Shell scholarships.

Award Amount: $500 to $750 per semester ($2,200 maximum/annual)

Deadline: Varies

Michigan Oil and Gas Association (MOGA)

MOGA represents all facets of Michigan’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry. MOGA members have been providing financial support for students in Michigan since 2007. MOGA administers several scholarships for students pursuing energy education in Michigan. The award amount varies by the scholarship award type. For more details, check out MOGA’s scholarship page.

Award Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Certifications and Licensing for Petroleum Engineering Graduates

Certifications and Licensing is a channel to get recognized for the proficient knowledge you possess in the area of Petroleum engineering. Apart from the courses of the program, signing up certification courses increases your professional standards and displays commitment towards the field. Here are some of the petroleum engineering certificate programs available:A Master’s in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, allows you to plan, supervise, design, implement, and do multi-functional steps across different sectors through interdisciplinary teams. Many universities, as part of the curriculum, have he advanced concepts of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence as a combined subject. Below is the list of those universities:

Petroleum Engineering Certification

This certification certifies you globally to recognize you as a petroleum industrial professional.

Registered Landman

There are three parts of this certification at three different levels. Each of these deals and indicates your competency, proficiency, and professionalism in the field.

Internal Audit Q1:

The American Petroleum Institute, the certification indicates if you are eligible to carry out the auditing process either individually or behalf of an organization  

Internal Audit Q2

It is the second-level for Internal Audit Q1.

The requirement for licensed engineers differs from state to state. The rules and regulations are not pinned the same for everyone who is planning to license, as some states do not require any license. At the same time, others need some certification in the field of petroleum.  

Careers and Salary Outlook for Petroleum Engineering Graduates

Petroleum Engineering is a rare skill that is high on demand and low on supply. According to PayScale, the following are some of the job titles and pay structure that you can expect.

Job titleAverage SalaryJob Description
Petroleum Engineer $101,672As part of their responsibility, they develop methods and techniques to extract oil and gas from the underground terrain. They analyze and try to work on any new or old well.
Geo-Scientist$67,782The role of a Geoscientist involves working and analyzing in the field, collecting samples, and conducting laboratory tests—Analyzation of the collected data.
Reservoir Engineer$115,594Help companies in finding underground fossil fuels and using. They also research and analyze if the fuel is fit to be used or not.
Drilling Engineer$123,302As a drilling engineer, you should oversee drilling operations. Keep yourself updated with the new trends in drilling data. Have to work with state and federal for drilling requirements and best methods.
Materials Engineer$75,510Designing and development of new materials. Modifying existing materials for new applications.

FAQs about Petroleum Engineering

Additional Resources for Petroleum Engineering Professionals

Associations, committees, professional organizations help petroleum engineers to network and connect with their peers, get information on scholarships, explore job openings, and more information related to the field. Here is the list of these professional organizations.

  • Society of Petroleum Engineers: This organization serves workers in the oil and gas industry by providing resources and networking opportunities
  • Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: This organization advocates for the safety and responsibility of those working in the oil and gas industry. The group represents various companies and promotes responsible development strategies.
  • Independent Petroleum Association of America: This organization represents thousands of oil and natural gas producers around the country and provides educational materials, courses, news, and information about upcoming meetings and events.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology: Through the US Department of Commerce, this institute works scientifically to enhance and improve the quality of life for industry professionals and all those they serve. This site provides educational resources, updated news information, events, and publications.

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