About Us

Mines Petroleum Engineering

Learn More About Petroleum Engineering at Mines

Ready to help power the world?

Ranked among the world’s best petroleum engineering programs, Colorado School of Mines is the university of choice for those interested in learning more about this vital energy industry and advancing their careers.

With top-tier research facilities, internationally renowned faculty and unique student experiences and learning opportunities, Mines prepares our students to power the world and lead the petroleum industry into the future of energy.

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Mission & Vision Statement

California field session on an oil rig

Our mission is to provide the necessary skills at the undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education levels to serve the world in developing conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources, water resources, and geothermal energy, while promoting cutting-edge research to improve resource recovery, advancing technologies to combat environmental problems, such as carbon sequestration and other earth disposal processes, and to foster the socially responsible development of Earth’s resources.

The Petroleum Engineering Department’s vision of distinction is to lead the world in education, training, research and innovation for the responsible and sustainable acquisition and development of subsurface energy resources.

Our mission and vision statements, align with the accreditation requirements specified by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

About Our Department

Who We Are

Average Starting Salary

*BS $83,392 

*MS/ME $86,000 

*PhD $120,000 

Placement Rates

*BS 100%

*MS/ME 100%

*PhD 100%

Students working on reservoir engineering


At Mines, we offer both an undergraduate degree program (ABET accredited) and graduate degree programs at Master and PhD levels. We believe in being thorough with our program design, which is why our core courses cover the breadth of fundamental topics in petroleum engineering.

  • Fundamental fluid and rock behavior
  • Well design and construction
  • Well completion and stimulation
  • Formation evaluation
  • Well testing
  • Reservoir characterization
  • Supplemental recovery
  • Reservoir engineering and management
  • Production operations and artificial lift
  • Economic evaluation of petroleum projects
  • Unconventional oil and gas reservoirs

As an interdisciplinary program, we strive to ensure our students are well-rounded and able to tackle any challenge they encounter. In addition to petroleum engineering topics, our undergraduate program also includes areas such as computer science, physics, and technical communication components. At Mines, you’ll earn much more than a degree as we work hard to ensure you’ll graduate with the skills, knowledge and confidence to achieve your goals. 


Innovative research forms the core of our department.

Each of our faculty members brings unique research interests and experience to our program. With specialized topics, along with our other areas of subsurface expertise, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of our field. 

We also understand the value in learning through action. That’s why we offer ample hands-on research opportunities for our students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. That’s why we offer on the ground local and national oil and gas site research opportunities where you’ll gain critical experience to further your understanding and confidence. Because at Mines, we like to innovate and solve problems. 

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Student Experiences

In addition to our academics and research, we strive to create a truly unique and rewarding student experience. We believe that learning in the classroom is just the beginning. In our program, you’ll have the opportunity to engage in hands-on research at local oil and gas sites. But as we all know, the world of petroleum far exceeds Colorado, which is why we offer study abroad opportunities, such as learning in Saudi Arabia. We’re also proud to host one of the largest student cohorts at the annual ACTE Conference.

Mines students holding rocks over their heads at the M Climb

As part of the petroleum engineering department, you’ll be a part of the Mines community. That means you’ll get to study in beautiful Golden, Colorado and take part in many of our cherished and unique traditions, such as the M Climb and Engineering Days. And with a nationally ranked DII football team to cheer on and hundreds of student clubs, you’ll be sure to find your place at Mines.

Program Educational Objectives

The Petroleum Engineering program’s objectives are broad statements that describe what our graduates are expected to attain within three to five years of completing their degree. The Petroleum Engineering Department’s faculty and other constituents have affirmed the following Program Educational Objectives:

  • Obtain an industry, government, or academic position in petroleum engineering, or a related field, or be pursuing a graduate education in petroleum engineering or in a related field;
  • Demonstrate advancement in their chosen careers and exercising leadership in the area of petroleum engineering;
  • Continue to develop personally and professionally, and serve others, through continuing education, professional societies, educational institutions, community groups, and other organizations; and,
  • Identify the ethical implications and social impacts of engineering decisions.

Program Engineering Student Outcomes

The Petroleum Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, under the General Criteria and the Petroleum and Similarly Named Engineering Programs Program Criteria.

  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  • An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  • An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  • An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  • An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  • An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Diversity, Access & Inclusion

From faculty, staff to students, our entire department is dedicated to Diversity, Access & Inclusion. We understand that by committing ourselves to this priority, our department becomes a more creative and innovative space to study and work.

We also encourage you to explore the university’s DI&A website for more information on what is happening campus-wide: https://www.mines.edu/diversity/

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