Petroleum Engineering

Study mode:Full-time Languages: English Duration:4 years
Foreign:$ 46.1k / 1 Academic year(s) Deadline: Dec 1, 2021
StudyQA ranking:307

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Energy is a key component to people's everyday lives. Petroleum engineers are able to address and solve important technology challenges that will lead to energy security and societal prosperity, so the position is in high demand. This challenging and rewarding field of engineering requires creative application of a wide spectrum of knowledge, including, but not limited to mathematics, physics, geology, and chemistry.

Worldwide energy demand is growing, and experts agree that oil and gas will continue to play an important role in the world's energy supply. The decision making for complex projects falls to a great extent upon petroleum engineers, providing them with a high degree of responsibility. In addition, since hydrocarbon reserves are found in such diverse areas as Asia, South America, and Europe, petroleum engineers will have opportunities for exciting assignments all over the globe.

Petroleum engineers play a variety of roles within the energy business. They design and monitor the drilling of exploratory and development wells used to locate and produce the oil and gas from the subsurface. They work with technologies that can describe the characteristics of rocks deep beneath the surface and detect the type of fluids contained in those rocks. They install and maintain the equipment that lifts fluids from subsurface reservoirs to the surface, and they design surface collection and treatment facilities to prepare produced hydrocarbons for delivery to a refinery or pipeline. Hydraulic fracturing of shale gas and tight oil is the responsibility of a petroleum engineer, as is the development and implementation of enhanced oil recovery methods that capture stranded or bypassed hydrocarbons from old oilfields. In addition to these traditional petroleum engineering career choices, there are other emerging careers for petroleum engineering graduates in pollution clean up, underground waste disposal (including the subsurface injection of carbon dioxide to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases), and hydrology.

The objective of the petroleum engineering program is to graduate practical, qualified engineers who can successfully pursue careers in the oil and gas production and services industries or similar areas. Graduates of the program are expected to understand the fundamental principles of science and engineering behind the technology of petroleum engineering to keep their education current and to give them the capability of self-instruction after graduation. They should be prepared to serve society by using the ideals of ethical behavior, professionalism, and environmentally responsible stewardship of natural resources.

The technical curriculum contains the following elements:

  • A combination of college-level mathematics and basic sciences (some with experimental work) that includes mathematics through differential equations, probability and statistics, physics, chemistry, and geology
  • Engineering topics that develop a working knowledge of fluid mechanics, strength of materials, transport phenomena, material properties, phase behavior, and thermodynamics
  • Petroleum engineering topics that develop competence in (1) design and analysis of well systems and procedures for drilling and completing wells; (2) characterization and evaluation of subsurface geological formations and their resources using geoscientific and engineering methods; (3) design and analysis of systems for producing, injecting, and handling fluids; (4) application of reservoir engineering principles and practices to optimize resource development and management; and (5) use of project economics and resource valuation methods for design and decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty
  • A major capstone design experience that prepares students for engineering practice, based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier coursework and incorporating engineering standards and realistic constraints
Requirements Hours
Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Courses  
PGE 301 Engineering, Energy, and the Environment 3
PGE 310 Formulation and Solution of Geosystems Engineering Problems 3
PGE 427 Properties of Petroleum Fluids 4
PGE 322K Transport Phenomena in Geosystems 3
PGE 326 Thermodynamics and Phase Behavior 3
PGE 333T Engineering Communication (writing flag and ethics and leadership flag) 3
PGE 323K Reservoir Engineering I: Primary Recovery 3
PGE 323L Reservoir Engineering II: Secondary and Tertiary Recovery 3
PGE 334 Reservoir Geomechanics 3
PGE 337 Introduction to Geostatistics 3
PGE 362 Production Technology and Design 3
PGE 365 Resource Economics and Valuation 3
PGE 368 Fundamentals of Well Logging 3
PGE 373L Geosystems Engineering Design and Analysis 3
PGE 424 Petrophysics 4
PGE 430 Drilling and Well Completions 4
CH 301 Principles of Chemistry I (part II science and technology) 3
CH 302 Principles of Chemistry II 3
Engineering Mechanics  
E M 306 Statics 3
E M 319 Mechanics of Solids 3
Geological Sciences  
GEO 303 Introduction to Geology 3
GEO 316P Sedimentary Rocks 3
M 408C Differential and Integral Calculus (mathematics; quantitative reasoning flag) 4
M 408D Sequences, Series, and Multivariable Calculus 4
M 427J Differential Equations with Linear Algebra (quantitative reasoning flag) 4
or M 427K Advanced Calculus for Applications I
PHY 303K Engineering Physics I (part I science and technology; quantitative reasoning flag) 3
PHY 303L Engineering Physics II (part I science and technology; quantitative reasoning flag) 3
PHY 103M Laboratory for Physics 303K 1
PHY 103N Laboratory for Physics 303L 1
Rhetoric and Writing  
RHE 306 Rhetoric and Writing (English composition) 3
Other Required Courses  
Approved technical area electives 12
Remaining Core Curriculum Courses  
E 316L British Literature (humanities; in E 316L, 316M, 316N, and 316P some sections carry a global cultures or cultural diversity flag) 3
or E 316M American Literature
or E 316N World Literature
or E 316P Masterworks of Literature
American and Texas government (some sections carry a cultural diversity flag) 6
American history (some sections carry a cultural diversity flag) 6
Visual and performing arts (some sections carry a global cultures and/or cultural diversity flag) 3
Social and behavioral sciences (some sections carry a global cultures and/or cultural diversity flag) 3
UGS 302 First-Year Signature Course (in UGS 302 all sections carry writing flag; in UGS 303 some sections carry a writing flag) 3
or UGS 303 First-Year Signature Course
Total Hours 128


  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and will not graduate from a Texas high school, select the ApplyTexas option to apply for freshman admission as an international applicant.
  • Pay the $75 application fee—$90 for international applicants—when you submit your ApplyTexas application. 
  • Along with your ApplyTexas application, submit at least two essays.
  • If you are an international applicant, you must submit documentation showing that you have completed an accredited secondary school series equivalent to that of a U.S. high school.

  • Submit an official record or transcript (mark sheet) that shows all your secondary school work and grades (or marks) starting with ninth grade and continuing through at least the end of 11th grade. You should also include copies of your official final examinations taken at the end of the secondary school program, including external exams such as the General Certificate of Education (GCE) “O” and “A” level examinations, school leaving certificates and matriculation exams.

  • If the documents you are submitting are written in a language other than English, you must also submit complete and official English translations together with the original-language records.

  • Send us official transcript(s) documenting any college credit earned while in high school (dual credit counts!).

  • TOEFL: 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test) or 79 (internet-based test)
  • IELTS: An overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination
  • Résumé

  • Ask someone who knows you well to write a letter about your character and accomplishments. Letters of recommendation are appreciated but not required.


  • Endowed Scholarships
  • Presidential Scholars Program
  • Texas Exes Scholarships
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