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How Do I Get a Master's in Petroleum Engineering?

Bobby R. Goldsmith
Bobby R. Goldsmith

To complete a master's in petroleum engineering, you will need to successfully complete a Bachelor of Science degree program in some aspect of petroleum or energy engineering. You may also need to undertake an internship with a company that performs petroleum extraction or refinement. Afterwards, compile a list of the programs that you want to apply for. With your list, you will need to create several application packets, one for each institution on your list, and you may be required to complete an admissions interview as well. Once admitted to a master's in petroleum engineering program, you will have to complete several required engineering and energy production courses, as well as complete a thesis or a practicum project.

The first step to acquiring a master's in petroleum engineering is to obtain a bachelor's degree in a related engineering field. Generally, you need to complete between 70 and 80 lower division units of general education coursework before undertaking your major-related upper division courses. The upper division section usually requires that you take between 40 and 50 units in physics, structural engineering, mathematics, and chemistry to establish a foundation for your master's degree coursework.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

If available, it may be advantageous for you to find an internship with a company that extracts, refines, or provides material support to the petroleum energy industry. The internship is often undertaken during the summer or winter break between academic terms and provides you with two important things: hands-on experience in the industry, and professional contacts in the petroleum industry. Often, these internships will pay a small stipend, and allow you to perform basic tasks as needed.

In the final year of your bachelor's degree program, compile a short list of colleges and universities that offer a master's in petroleum engineering. The list should ideally include between three and five schools and should be realistic in the context of your own academic achievement. Compile an application packet for each program, and be sure you understand what each program requires for the application as they may be different for each university. You will likely need sealed official transcripts, several letters of recommendation from previous instructors in your upper division courses, and a statement of your educational goals in the master's degree program.

Once you have been admitted to the master's program, you will need to file a study plan with the graduate office of the university. The study plan outlines each course you must take and when you will take it, as well as when you will complete your culminating project. You must successfully complete each course as you take it, prepare for your thesis or exit exam, and successfully complete all miscellaneous tasks that the institution requires for the conferment of the master's degree.

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Discussion Comments


I want to ask one question. From your point of view, which one is better: msc by research or by coursework for petroleum engineering?

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