Best Petroleum Engineering Schools in the USA

If you're considering which school to attend to give you the best potential at kickstarting your career as a petroleum engineer, then this article will help.

If you want a high return on your investment in school, then consider petroleum engineer as your major. Petroleum engineers look forward to job stability and the potential to make a higher-than-average income.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, petroleum engineers have a much faster than average job outlook with a 15-percent growth rate between 2016 and 2026. Petroleum engineering has also been recognized as the highest-paying college major thanks to graduates' potential to earn an average of $175,000 per year.

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But starting a career as a petroleum engineer also requires finding the best petroleum engineering degree for you. Luckily, you can narrow down your list by looking at some of the best schools that offer the program you're looking for, and some of the best petroleum engineering schools are located right in the United States. 

What Should You Look for in a Petroleum Engineering Degree Program?

If you're considering which school to attend to give you the best potential at kickstarting your career as a petroleum engineer, then it's important to take a few key aspects into account.

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First, the school you are considering should offer the degree or the curriculum that can help you get a job as a petroleum engineer. Most petroleum engineers need a bachelor's degree to enter the workforce. Also, consider the support services the school offers, including support for getting a job, tutoring and research opportunities.

You also want to consider the school's accreditation. Some of the best engineering schools in the United States hold an ABET accreditation. When you enroll in an ABET-accredited degree program, you can count on a high-quality education that prepares you to work as a petroleum engineer.

In fact, many state boards require that you receive an education from an ABET-accredited program to get your license as a professional engineer (PE). While a PE license isn't necessary when you're just starting your career as a petroleum engineer, it may lead to more lucrative and higher leadership positions.

What are the Best Petroleum Engineering Schools for Undergraduates?

Some of the oldest engineering schools in the world offer learning opportunities to help you prepare for a career as a petroleum engineer. But if you're looking to stay close to home, you can find some of the best petroleum engineering degree programs for undergraduates in the United States.

Some of the best petroleum engineering schools around the country include:

  • Pennsylvania State University - University Park
  • Texas Tech University (Whitacre)
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Tulsa
  • University of Wyoming

What are the Best Petroleum Engineering Degree Programs for Graduates

If you're looking to enhance your education and potentially increase your earnings, then a post-graduate educational program in petroleum engineering may be right for you.

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Here are some of the best petroleum engineering degree programs at the graduate level, according to U.S. News & World Report:

The University of Texas---Austin (Cockrell)

The Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (UT PGE) offers graduate students a wide variety of learning opportunities to prepare them as petroleum engineers.

As a graduate student, you can take advantage of the school's strong curriculum and have access to research facilities where you can explore core flooding, drilling, production logging, and other tasks or issues petroleum engineers encounter.

The school offers a world-class faculty and has a low student-faculty ratio of five students per faculty member.

Texas A&M University--College Station

When you study at Texas A&M, you can expect a high-quality education. You'll get to take advantage of an ABET-accredited degree program that gives you a solid foundation in the skills you need to excel as a petroleum engineer.

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You can pursue a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree. Texas A&M University offers graduate petroleum engineering degree students the opportunity to complete their degrees online, too. It's a non-thesis option that grants you a Master of Engineering degree but you'll need to have at least a Bachelor's of Science degree in engineering to pursue your degree online at Texas A&M.

You can also take advantage of the Career Center on campus to prepare for interviews, participate in networking events, and get internships, full-time positions, and co-op opportunities.

Stanford University

Thanks to its strong curriculum and resources, Stanford University offers future petroleum engineers an opportunity to learn and explore a wide variety of subject areas in its master's degree program, such as well test analysis, thermodynamics, and reservoir engineering.

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In fact, Stanford University is one of the best engineering schools in the United States. With just seven students per faculty member, the graduate engineering program at Stanford University also has a low student-faculty ratio.

So, you'll have a better chance of getting more individualized attention when needed.

Colorado School of Mines

The Colorado School of Mines specializes in engineering curriculums and offers graduate degree programs in petroleum engineering at the masters and doctorate levels. You can also take advantage of study abroad programs to enhance your learning.

The school also is home to various state-of-the-art facilities to enhance research opportunities, such as its Drilling Simulator Laboratory and its Fluids Characterization Laboratory.

Final Thoughts

From high earnings to job stability, starting a career as a petroleum engineer has its perks. But if you want to be a petroleum engineer, then it's important to find a school that fits your needs. The great news is that you can take a look at some of the best petroleum engineering schools in the United States to streamline your search.

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Just consider the services and curriculum each school offers that support your needs, and you'll find the best petroleum engineering school for you.

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Nader Mowlaee is an Electronics Engineer, working as an Engineering Career Coach and Technical Recruiter since 2012. Nader is inspired by motivating confidence in engineers and helping job seekers take calculated actions to move towards their career goals. Nader’s mission is to enable engineers to break away from their fears and create the ideal career they want. He helps engineers strengthen their Communication, Personal Branding, and Networking skills, resulting in job interviews and job offers fast. You can contact Nader on LinkedIn.