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.
|1||University of Texas||Austin||TX||96.46|
|2||Texas A&M University||College Station||TX||89.96|
|3||Penn State||University Park||PA||84.52|
|4||Colorado School of Mines||Golden||CO||82.35|
|5||University of Oklahoma||Norman||OK||82.34|
|6||Louisiana State University (LSU)||Baton Rouge||LA||70.51|
|7||University of Tulsa||Tulsa||KS||68.99|
|8||Stanford University||Palo Alto||CA||68.73|
|9||Texas Tech University||Lubbock||TX||64.16|
|10||University of Southern California||Los Angeles||CA||58.75|
|11||West Virginia University||Morgantown||WV||54.89|
|12||University of Houston||Houston||TX||50.42|
|13||University of Wyoming||Laramie||WY||46.98|
|14||University of Kansas||Lawrence||KS||45.94|
|15||Missouri University of Science and Technology||Rolla||MO||45.05|
|16||Virginia Polytechnic University (Virginia Tech)||Blacksburg||VA||43.05|
|17||University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||PA||38.54|
|18||University of Louisiana||Lafayette||LA||38.07|
|19||University of Alaska at Fairbanks||Fairbanks||AK||36.97|
|20||New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology||Socorro||NM||33.23|
|21||University of North Dakota||Grand Forks||ND||31.97|
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:
- 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
- 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.