Online Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineers are responsible for extracting oil and gas from the earth. Once a deposit is discovered, the petroleum engineer with develop extraction methods that will ensure the maximum amount of oil and gas is retrieved in the most efficient way, as well as design equipment or modify current equipment to increase performance and efficiency. Petroleum engineers typically work on a team with geologists, oceanographers, surveyors, and other experts to ensure the methods and equipment will be effective and safe. Petroleum engineers who want to expand their knowledge of the industry and open opportunities for advancement often pursue a master’s degree.

An online master’s degree in petroleum engineering generally requires completion of 30-40 credit hours and may take around two years for a full-time student, depending on the institution, the program, how many courses can be taken at one time, and the student’s ability to pass each course and progress through the program.

Classes for an Online Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering

An online master’s degree in petroleum engineering program will expand on the knowledge gained from earning a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering, often offering advanced courses that delve deeper into subjects students have already learned about. Many of these programs will also focus on research methods, theories, development, and instruction. A master’s in petroleum engineering degree program is designed to give students extensive knowledge of oil and gas extraction, making them experts in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common courses found in an online petroleum engineering master’s degree program:

  • Advanced Petroleum Production Operations
  • Reservoir Modeling Theory
  • Evaluation of Petroleum Bearing Formations
  • Advanced Drilling Engineering
  • Petroleum Project Evaluation and Management

All master’s degree programs will consist of exams and written assignments, and some programs also require participation in group projects and completion of online simulations. For students to gain hands-on experience, some online programs require students to complete a certain amount of fieldwork, usually through internships. Many colleges offering online master’s in petroleum engineering degree programs allow students to choose between a thesis or non-thesis program. A thesis program will require students to write and successfully defend a thesis before being allowed to graduate.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that entry-level petroleum engineering positions typically require a bachelor’s degree. However, the BLS also shows that positions such as petroleum engineering instruction, research, and development typically require a master’s degree in petroleum engineering. A master’s degree can also lead to rapid advancement in to supervisory and managerial positions. According to the BLS, licensure is required of all petroleum engineers when their services are offered directly to the public, and, among other things, licensure requires an ABET-accredited degree and a minimum of four years of relevant work experience. In other cases, licensure in voluntary.


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