Written By - Erika Lasrado

Edited By Arlene Ward

Review & Contribution By Sherry Anthony

A Master’s in Petroleum Engineering Online is customized for those interested in designing innovative methods for resource extraction. This degree equips professionals with the skills to navigate the oil and gas industry. Petroleum Engineers often collaborate on-site with workers, customers, and executives. With an average annual wage of $131,800[1, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a projected growth of 2 percent from 2022 to 2032, this program offers a strategic pathway for individuals aspiring to excel in the dynamic field of Petroleum Engineering.

Masters in Petroleum Engineering Online

Table Of Contents

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 GetEducated.com 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 Master’s in Petroleum Engineering Online Programs

Pursuing a master’s from the best petroleum engineering schools elevates profiles significantly compared to peers. In identifying the best petroleum engineering schools for graduate students, meticulous considerations include program quality, affordability, and faculty expertise. The teams at OMC conducted thorough research, evaluating various factors to provide comprehensive rankings. These assessments ensure aspiring graduates can make informed decisions about their academic pursuits, aligning with their career goals and financial considerations. Here are the top petroleum engineering schools:

<a href="https://www.onlinemasterscolleges.com/masters-in-petroleum-engineering-online/">Master's in Petroleum Engineering Online</a>

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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

An online Master’s in Petroleum Engineering program encompasses in-depth reservoir engineering studies, drilling technologies, and petroleum exploration. Through virtual labs, simulations, and collaborative projects, students acquire skills in reservoir management, enhanced oil recovery, and sustainable practices in the oil and gas industry. The curriculum emphasizes cutting-edge technologies and industry trends, preparing graduates for leadership roles in the dynamic field of petroleum engineering. The online format allows working professionals to advance their expertise without compromising their careers.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Petroleum Engineering Programs

The online Master’s in Petroleum Engineering curriculum comprehensively explores advanced concepts vital to the energy sector. Emphasizing virtual learning tools, it covers reservoir management, drilling technologies, and production optimization. Students engage in collaborative projects, gaining expertise in addressing industry challenges. The flexible online format facilitates accessibility and accommodates the diverse needs of working professionals. Here are some of the standard courses offered by universities:

  • Drilling and petroleum production operations: This course is designed to equip students with advanced skills in drilling technologies and efficient petroleum production processes. The curriculum emphasizes industry-relevant knowledge and hands-on experience, preparing graduates for key roles in the energy sector.
  • Reservoir Engineering: This course explores advanced strategies for managing subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs. Students explore reservoir characterization, fluid flow dynamics, and recovery methods. The curriculum emphasizes simulation techniques and technologies, equipping graduates to optimize reservoir performance and address challenges in exploring and extracting oil and gas resources.
  • Thermodynamics of Equilibria: In a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering program, the study of “Thermodynamics of Equilibria” explores the principles governing the equilibrium conditions of energy systems within the context of the oil and gas industry. Students delve into the thermodynamic properties of fluids, phase behavior, and critical phenomena, acquiring essential knowledge for analyzing and optimizing processes in petroleum engineering.
  • Geothermal Reservoir Engineering: In this course, students focus on understanding and managing subsurface reservoirs for geothermal energy extraction. The curriculum covers geothermal reservoir characterization, fluid flow dynamics, and sustainable heat recovery techniques. Graduates are equipped to address challenges and optimize geothermal energy production.
  • Petroleum Production Engineering: This course covers advanced techniques for optimizing the extraction and production of oil and gas. The curriculum covers well design, artificial lift methods, and reservoir management, preparing graduates to enhance operational efficiency in the dynamic field of petroleum production.

Students can expect to gain the following skills and learning outcomes upon completing this program:

  • Advanced knowledge of reservoir engineering principles
  • Proficiency in drilling technologies and techniques
  • Competence in petroleum production optimization
  • Skill in reservoir characterization and simulation
  • Understanding of fluid flow dynamics in subsurface reservoirs
  • Proficient in well design and artificial lift methods
  • Ability to analyze and address challenges in the oil and gas industry
  • Knowledge of sustainable practices in energy extraction
  • Collaborative and effective communication skills for industry engagement
  • Hands-on experience with industry-relevant tools and technologies.

Degree Types

Master’s in Petroleum Engineering programs offer specialized degrees to meet diverse career objectives. There are broadly two types of degrees students could take up: the Master of Science (MS) and the Master of Engineering (MEng) in Petroleum. These options enable students to customize their education for targeted roles within the oil and gas sector.

Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (MS)

The Master of Science (MS) in Petroleum Engineering emphasizes research and academic excellence. Students delve into advanced concepts in reservoir engineering, drilling technologies, and petroleum production. The program equips graduates with a deep understanding of industry complexities and analytical skills, preparing them for leadership roles in research, development, and innovation within the field.

Master of Engineering (MEng)(Petroleum)

The Master of Engineering (MEng) in Petroleum focuses on practical applications, equipping students with hands-on skills for real-world challenges in the oil and gas industry. The program emphasizes technical proficiency in drilling, reservoir engineering, and petroleum production. Graduates are prepared for practical roles, ensuring operational efficiency and problem-solving in the dynamic petroleum engineering landscape.

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 based on the extraction process students are equipped with. Here are some of the concentrations:

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers This Concentration Prepares For
Reservoir EngineeringIn this specialization, students master techniques for analyzing and managing subsurface reservoirs. Graduates are equipped to optimize resource extraction, addressing critical challenges in the sustainable development of oil and gas reserves.
  • Reservoir Engineers
  • Reservoir Simulation Engineers
  • Reservoir Management Specialists
  • Reservoir Geologists
  • Petroleum Economists
Drilling EngineeringThis specialization involves an in-depth study of advanced drilling technologies and techniques. Students gain expertise in well design, drilling operations, and drilling fluid dynamics. Graduates are equipped to manage drilling projects, optimize efficiency, and address challenges in exploring and extracting oil and gas resources.
  • Drilling Engineers
  • Drilling Operations Managers
  • Well Planning Engineers
  • Drilling Supervisors
  • Drilling Optimization Specialists
Petroleum GeoscienceThis specialization focuses on integrating geological and geophysical principles for efficient resource exploration. Students acquire skills in seismic interpretation, reservoir mapping, and geological modeling. Graduates are well-equipped to analyze subsurface structures, assess hydrocarbon potential, and contribute to strategic decision-making in the oil and gas industry.
  • Petroleum Geologists
  • Seismic Interpreters
  • Geophysical Analysts
  • Geochemists
Natural Gas EngineeringThis specialization involves advanced study of technologies and processes specific to natural gas extraction and production. Students explore gas reservoir engineering, processing techniques, and transportation systems. Graduates possess expertise in optimizing natural gas operations, addressing industry challenges, and contributing to sustainable energy solutions.
  • Natural Gas Engineers
  • Gas Processing Engineers
  • Gas Facilities Engineers
  • Gas Reservoir Engineers
Well Completion EngineeringThis specialization focuses on advanced techniques for designing, implementing, and optimizing well completions. Students delve into aspects such as downhole equipment, reservoir connectivity, and stimulation methods. Graduates are equipped to enhance well performance and address challenges in effectively completing oil and gas wells.
  • Well Completion Engineer
  • Well Intervention Engineer
  • Completions Specialist
  • Well Services Engineer
  • Well Stimulation Engineer

Graduation Timeline for a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering

A typical Master’s program takes about two to three years to complete. But again, the duration depends on the program format chosen to pursue Petroleum Engineering. The duration for an online Master’s in Petroleum Engineering is also calculated based on the credits required to complete the program. Some universities offer the flexibility of letting students finish the program at their own pace; students can graduate sooner, depending on their background and university policies.

Accelerated Master’s in Petroleum EngineeringPrograms

Accelerated Master’s programs in Petroleum Engineering offer students a quicker path to advanced degrees. Prospective students benefit from expedited education and entering the workforce sooner. They must research accredited programs to ensure quality education and explore affordable options to minimize costs, making informed choices to pursue their career goals. Here are two universities that offer accelerated Master’s in Petroleum Engineering:

Master’s in Petroleum Engineering Online Admission Requirements

A prospective student must submit certain documents for a university to accept and process an application. Before applying for an online degree, understanding petroleum engineering requirements and preparing is advisable. Here is the list of standard degree requirements for most universities offering a master’s in petroleum engineering online:

  • Official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate courses
  • Application form and fees
  • Transcripts from undergraduate degrees
  • GRE scores/ GMAT scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose

Master’s in Petroleum Engineering Online No GRE Programs

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test often required for admission to master’s or doctoral programs. Some universities, however, offer GRE waivers based on factors like professional experience, academic achievements, or specific criteria outlined by each institution. Waivers provide flexibility, attracting applicants with diverse backgrounds and expertise. The Missouri University of Science and Technology4 is a fine example of a university offering a Master’s in Petoleum Engineering without a GRE.

Accreditation for Petroleum Engineering Graduate Programs

A Master’s degree holds more weight when pursued and completed at an accredited university. Accreditation is vital to determine if the program maintains quality. Two formats of accreditation exist – regional and national levels. The chosen university should have either of these levels of accreditation. Petroleum engineering-accredited programs get accreditation from specific accrediting agencies based on many metrics. In the case of the petroleum engineering programs, it is:

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)5

ABET’s Engineering Accreditation Commission ensures that the Petroleum engineering programs meet the standards laid by the profession. 

Universities can also be accredited nationally or by one of six regional accrediting agencies:

Learn more about accreditation in the accreditation guide.

Free Online Petroleum Engineering Courses

Free online courses offer valuable knowledge without cost, providing students access to diverse subjects. Although not accredited, they enhance skills, expand knowledge, and serve as a resource for self-paced learning. These courses are ideal for those seeking to explore new topics or supplement their education without formal accreditation. Here are a few free courses that master’s in petroleum students can explore:

CourseDiploma in Technologies for Clean and Renewable Energy Production6
Provided byAlison
DescriptionThis free online course focuses on technologies for clean and renewable energy production, covering concepts of clean and renewable energy and cleaner routes for energy production from coal. The course explores the use of petroleum in energy production and the process of removing impurities from liquid fuel.
CoursePetroleum Engineering Principles and Concepts7
Provided byAlison
DescriptionThis course explores the fundamental principles of extracting, refining, and utilizing petroleum. Covering key concepts, it explores the roles of petroleum engineers and examines the environmental impact of petroleum operations. It is ideal for those seeking an in-depth understanding of petroleum engineering.
CourseOil and Gas Management – Health and Safety8
Provided byAlison
DescriptionThe course categorizes oil and gas projects into three stages, explaining their financial and technical prerequisites to safeguard workers’ health and environmental well-being. Students acquire skills in planning, controlling, and managing projects within the oil and gas sector and effective team leadership through establishing shared organizational objectives.

How to Pay for Master’s in Petroleum Engineering Programs

Funding a Petroleum Engineering program is critical to pursuing advanced education in this field. As tuition costs rise, prospective students face the challenge of finding suitable financial resources. Here are a few options for students to consider in funding their program:


Scholarships are merit-based financial awards that support students in pursuing their education. These funds, often provided by institutions, organizations, or individuals, help alleviate the financial burden, making education more accessible and rewarding for deserving candidates.


Grants are financial aids that do not require repayment, typically awarded based on financial need, academic achievement, or specific criteria. They provide valuable support to students, easing the cost of education and promoting accessibility to various educational opportunities.

Graduate Assistantships 

Graduate Assistantships allow students to work part-time in academic or research roles while pursuing their graduate studies. In exchange for their services, students receive financial support, tuition waivers, and valuable professional experience, enhancing their academic and professional growth during their graduate programs.

Student Loans 

Student loans are financial instruments designed to assist students in funding their education. These loans, offered by various lenders, can cover tuition, living expenses, and other educational costs. Unlike grants or scholarships, loans require repayment, often with interest, after completing the education program.


FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is a crucial form for students seeking financial assistance for higher education. By completing the FAFSA, individuals become eligible for federal grants, work-study programs, and subsidized or unsubsidized student loans. It is vital in assessing financial aid eligibility for college or graduate studies.

Scholarships for Petroleum Engineering Students

Scholarships represent an avenue for a Master’s in petroleum engineering online. Organizations offer financial support for students in this field, alleviating some educational costs. While scholarships may not cover the entire Master’s education, they ease financial burdens. Below are several scholarships beneficial for a Master’s in petroleum engineering online pursuit:

Henry DeWitt Smith Memorial Fellowship9

The Henry DeWitt Smith Memorial Fellowship, administered by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), is an esteemed award for exceptional graduate students in petroleum engineering. Students who are pursuing petroleum engineering master’s degrees qualify for this scholarship.

Award Amount: $5,000

Deadline: April, annually

Shell Oil Scholarship10

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 filling out a Shell Associate Scholarship questionnaire, resumes, and providing transcripts along with a degree plan. Shell will contact selected students via email for a phone interview.

Award Amount: $2,500

Deadline: Varies

Michigan Oil and Gas Association (MOGA)11

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.

Award Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Careers and Salary Outlook for Petroleum Engineering Graduates

Petroleum engineering graduates can anticipate favorable career prospects with competitive salaries. As vital contributors to the energy industry, these professionals play pivotal roles in extraction, production, and exploration. The demand for their expertise ensures a promising job market with specialization and career advancement opportunities. The following are some of the job titles and pay structures that graduates can expect:

Job TitleAverage SalaryJob Growth (2022-2032)Job Description
Petroleum Engineers12$131,8002% (as fast as average)Petroleum engineers specialize in designing and overseeing the extraction processes for oil and natural gas from beneath the Earth’s surface. They play key roles in oil companies, ensuring efficient production methods and addressing challenges in extracting and processing hydrocarbons to meet energy demands.
Geo-Scientist13$88,829No Data AvailableGeo-scientists study the Earth’s structure, composition, and processes to understand geological phenomena. They utilize various tools, including seismic surveys and satellite imagery, to analyze and interpret data. Geo-scientists contribute to environmental assessments, resource exploration, and hazard identification, playing crucial roles in industries such as energy, mining, and environmental consulting.
Reservoir Engineer14$125,025No Data AvailableReservoir engineers are experts in identifying and optimizing the utilization of underground fossil fuel reservoirs for petroleum companies. Leveraging geological knowledge, fluid mechanics, and advanced technology, they pinpoint the location and assess the reserve capacities of these reservoirs. Their evaluations include determining the long-term viability of the reservoirs aiding in investment decision-making.
Drilling Engineer15$137,505No Data AvailableDrilling engineers oversee every aspect of drilling operations, adhering to project specifications and conducting real-time monitoring. They actively contribute drilling method insights, adapt requirements on the fly, and actively plan and optimize drilling parameters to enhance operational efficiency. Their role is pivotal in ensuring smooth and effective drilling processes.

Certifications and Licensing for Petroleum Engineering Graduates

Certifications and licensing serve as channels for gaining recognition for proficient knowledge in the field of Petroleum Engineering. Beyond program courses, enrolling in certification courses enhances professional standards and demonstrates commitment to the field. Here are some of the petroleum engineering certificate programs available:

Petroleum Engineering Certification16

The SPE’s Petroleum Engineering Certification program offers a chance to secure a globally recognized credential as a petroleum industry professional, validating expertise and proficiency in the field and enhancing career prospects and industry credibility.

Registered Landman17

The Registered Landman certification validates expertise in land-related aspects of the oil and gas industry. Recognized by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), it signifies a professional’s competency in negotiating land agreements, lease acquisitions, and title examination, enhancing credibility and career opportunities in the energy sector.

Additional Resources for Petroleum Engineering Professionals

Associations, committees, and professional organizations help petroleum engineers network and connect with their peers, get scholarship information, explore job openings, and learn more about the field. Here is s list of professional organizations:

  • Society of Petroleum Engineers:
    Since its inception as an AIME committee in the early 1900s, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) has evolved into a global, nonprofit society boasting over 119,000 members across 138 countries. Offering insights, expertise, lifelong learning, and community support, SPE drives member success and industry advancement through resources like OnePetro and PetroWiki, along with numerous global events. Explore our rich history and vibrant community. This organization serves oil and gas industry workers by providing resources and networking opportunities.
  • Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers:
    The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) is a non-partisan, research-based industry association representing companies involved in oil and natural gas exploration, development, and production across Canada. Committed to providing safe, reliable, affordable, and responsibly produced energy, they actively contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting Indigenous participation and prosperity.
  • Independent Petroleum Association of America:
    The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), established over 90 years ago, advocates for independent oil and natural gas producers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., IPAA represents thousands of independent entities, playing a vital role in shaping industry policies and advocating their members’ views before governmental bodies.
  • The Liquid Energy Pipeline Association
    The Liquid Energy Pipeline Association, formerly known as the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL), represents the interests of liquid pipeline operators in the United States. Focused on safety, efficiency, and environmental responsibility, the association plays a crucial role in advocating for policies that ensure the secure transportation of liquid energy products across the nation’s pipeline infrastructure.

FAQs About Master’s in Petroleum Engineering Online Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering?

A Master’s in Petroleum Engineering is an advanced academic program that provides in-depth knowledge and skills in oil and gas exploration, extraction, and production. It encompasses various disciplines, including reservoir engineering, drilling technology, geoscience, and management, preparing graduates for specialized roles in the petroleum industry.

How long does it take to complete a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering?

Are there online Master’s programs in Petroleum Engineering?

Can international students apply, and are there specific requirements for them?

Can mechanical engineers do a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering?

How are online exams conducted for a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering?

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