Best Colleges for Energy and Petroleum Engineering

Classic Gas Station Pump illustrating Rankings of Best Petroleum Engineering Colleges

The energy industry is one of the biggest industries, so it is not surprising that energy and petroleum engineering should have their own departments at some of the leading universities. In recent years, the energy industry has seen increasing government support for alternative sources of energy, whether solar, wind or other renewable sources. That has meant a larger support for the energy departments at universities, as well as a retooling to provide courses not just in petroleum and coal mining, but also in other energy disciplines. However, the overwhelming job opportunities for recent graduates remain in the petroleum sector.

Ranking The Top Colleges for Energy and Petroleum Engineering

The energy industries remain centered in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana where the major oil companies are located. Coinciding with the industry locations, the universities in those regions have risen to the top in our rankings of the top colleges for energy engineering. Other energy producing regions, such as Wyoming, Colorado, West Virginia and Pennsylvania also have top universities in the field, as seen from the listing below.

1University of TexasAustinTX96.46
2Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationTX89.96
3Penn StateUniversity ParkPA84.52
4Colorado School of MinesGoldenCO82.35
5University of OklahomaNormanOK82.34
6Louisiana State University (LSU) Baton RougeLA70.51
7University of TulsaTulsaKS68.99
8Stanford UniversityPalo AltoCA68.73
9Texas Tech UniversityLubbockTX64.16
10University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesCA58.75
11West Virginia UniversityMorgantownWV54.89
12University of HoustonHoustonTX50.42
13University of WyomingLaramieWY46.98
14University of KansasLawrenceKS45.94
15Missouri University of Science and TechnologyRollaMO45.05
16Virginia Polytechnic University (Virginia Tech)BlacksburgVA43.05
17University of PittsburghPittsburghPA38.54
18University of LouisianaLafayetteLA38.07
19University of Alaska at FairbanksFairbanksAK36.97
20New Mexico Institute of Mining and TechnologySocorro NM33.23
21University of North DakotaGrand ForksND31.97

More information on our RealRankTM analytics used in creating this ranking can be found on the About page.

What is a Petroleum Engineering / Energy Engineering Major?

Energy / Petroleum Engineering majors overlap on many other engineering disciplines, such as mechanical, civil, and chemical engineering. The reason of course is that energy production typically involves major mechanical tasks, and in the case of petroleum production, fluid flow and extraction technologies. Likewise, since many energy companies operate internationally, majors in this field also can have an international aspect to them. Besides core sciences and mathematics, among the subjects covered in a typical Energy Engineering major are:

For Petroleum Engineering:

      • Geology
      • Petroleum fluid systems
      • Materials and Fluid Sciences
      • Drilling and Well Technologies
      • Petroleum extraction technologies
      • Petroleum reservoir physics and mechanics
      • Fluid systems and hydraulics
      • Engineering Management
      • Thermodynamics
      • Electromechanical Control Engineering
      • Engineering Economics
      • Well Test Analysis
      • Oil and Gas Production Engineering
      • Rock Physics
      • Environmental Engineering.

For Majors With an Emphasis on Alternative Energy Sources:

  • Many of the courses in petroleum engineering majors also are required for alternative energy study.
  • Renewable Power
  • Carbon Capture and Sequestration
  • Sustainable Energy.

Petroleum and Energy Engineering Careers

Students graduating with degrees in petroleum or energy engineering qualify for positions in one of the largest industries, whether in research, exploration, production or management. As with other engineering fields, the salaries for recent college graduates with these degrees tend to be at the relatively higher end of entry level jobs. Among the careers available in these fields are:

  • Oil drilling engineers.
  • Oil exploration engineers.
  • Oil field management and operations.
  • Natural gas engineers.
  • Wind turbine designers.
  • Solar station engineers.

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