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Oil and Gas Engineering Master's Degrees

Master's degree programs in oil and gas engineering are most commonly offered as petroleum engineering programs. This course of study can help update your skills and prepare you for supervisory positions within the field. Read about the coursework in a petroleum engineering master's degree program and find out the employment outlook for petroleum engineers.

What Oil and Gas Engineering Master's Degrees Can I Earn?

Most programs at the master's degree level award a Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering. Although they're uncommon, some programs allow you to earn a master's degree online. Petroleum engineering programs are also available with both thesis and non-thesis options.

Program Options Online and campus-based master's degree programs in petroleum engineering are available
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree in petroleum engineering or a related field; coursework in engineering and petroleum studies required for applicants with other backgrounds
Common Courses Seismology, hydrology, thermodynamics, differential equations
Median Salary$137,170 as of May 2018 for petroleum engineers
Employment Information Growth in the field is projected to increase 15% between 2016 and 2026*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do I Need to Enroll?

In most cases, you'll need to earn a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering or a comparable engineering or science degree before you enroll in a master's degree program. Some programs will accept students with a degree in another field if they complete courses in petroleum geology, reservoir engineering, and transport processes before applying.

What Can I Learn?

Coursework in a master's degree program covers advanced topics in geology, physics, and mathematics used by petroleum engineers in the field. Geology courses will teach you about seismology, tectonics, hydrology, and well analysis. Physics coursework will teach you about thermodynamics and fluid transfer. You'll also complete coursework in differential equations, linear algebra, and computer modeling.

Before you graduate, you'll learn how to combine this knowledge to design oil extraction facilities. You'll also learn how to evaluate deposits for profitability, potential contaminants, purity, and flow.

Why Should I Earn a Master's Degree?

Graduate-level programs prepare you for research and supervisory positions in oil and natural gas extraction. After earning your degree, you can also work to design oil extraction facilities and operations, bearing in mind such factors as cost effectiveness, environmental friendliness, efficiency, and safety.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for petroleum engineers should increase by 15% between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). While you only need a 4-year degree to enter the field, a graduate degree can qualify you for advanced positions. Coursework in a graduate program can also teach you about new trends or technology in the oil and gas extraction industry.