Graduate Program

Program Description

Skills in this branch of engineering are needed to meet the ever-increasing demand for energy. The program emphasizes integrated, multidisciplinary teamwork in classroom instruction and research and actively pursues interdisciplinary activities with many other Mines departments, particularly the Earth Science/Engineering programs.

Degree Options

The Petroleum Engineering Department offers students a choice of a Master of Science (MS) degree or a Master of Engineering (ME) degree. For the MS degree, a thesis is required in addition to course work. For the ME degree, no thesis is required, but the course work requirement is greater than that for the MS degree.

The Petroleum Engineering Department also offers Mines Petroleum Engineering (PE) undergraduate students the option of a Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Program. This is an accelerated program that provides the opportunity to PE students to have a head start on their graduate education.

Applications from students having a MS in Petroleum Engineering, or in another complimentary discipline, will be considered for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program. To obtain the Ph.D. degree, a student must demonstrate unusual competence, creativity, and dedication in the degree field. In addition to extensive course work, a dissertation is required for the Ph.D.

Depending on the applicant’s undergraduate degree, various basic undergraduate petroleum engineering and geology courses will be required. These deficiency courses are not counted towards the graduate degree; nonetheless, the student is expected to pass the required courses and the grades received in these courses are included in the GPA.


PE Graduate Student Handbook |Graduate Student Values & Responsibilities

PE Graduate Program Coordinator: Ms. Denise Winn-Bower

Sample Proposals
Experiment-based Thesis Proposal | Statistics-based Thesis Proposal | Modeling-based Dissertation Proposal | Experiment and Modeling-based Dissertation Proposal

Fields of Research

Current fields of research include:
  • Rock and fluid properties, phase behavior, and rock mechanics
  • Geomechanics
  • Formation evaluation, well test analysis, and reservoir characterization
  • Oil recovery processes
  • IOR/EOR Methods
  • Naturally fractured reservoirs
  • Analytical and numerical modeling of fluid flow in porous media
  • Pore-scale modeling and flow in nanopores
  • Development of unconventional oil and gas plays
  • Geothermal energy
  • Gas Hydrates
  • Completion and stimulation of wells
  • Horizontal and multilateral wells
  • Multi-stage fracturing of horizontal wells
  • Drilling management and rig automation
  • Fluid flow in wellbores and artificial lift
  • Drilling mechanics, directional drilling, bit vibration analysis, tubular buckling and stability, wave propagation in drilling tubulars
  • Laser technology in penetrating rocks
  • Environment, health, and safety in oil and gas industry

Research Opportunities
The Petroleum Engineering Department houses a research institute, two research centers, and three consortia

Research Institute
  • Unconventional Natural Gas and Oil Institute (UNGI)

Research Centers
  • Marathon Center of Excellence for Reservoir Studies (MCERS)
  • Center for Earth Mechanics, Materials, and Characterization (CEMMC)

Research Consortia
  • Fracturing, Acidizing, Stimulation Technology (FAST) Consortium.
  • Unconventional Reservoir Engineering Project (UREP) Consortium.
  • Petrophysics of Reservoir Sediments: Organics, Clay, Sand and Shale (OCLASSH) Consortium


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