Why earn a master's degree in petroleum engineering?

Application Deadlines
Aug. 1
Dec. 1
May 1

The master's in petroleum engineering program at the University of North Dakota will prepare you to address challenges in the oil field. Our graduate students are conducting petroleum research in:

  • Geomechanics, production and reservoir studies of hydraulic fracturing.
  • Re-fracturing for optimization of production from unconventional shales.
  • Data driven modeling in unconventional reservoirs.
  • Petrophysical and geochemical analysis of shale oil.
  • Geophysics and seismic analysis of unconventional reservoirs.

M.S. vs. M.Eng. Degree in Petroleum Engineering

UND offers both Petroleum Engineering Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degrees. It is recommended you connect with the Department of Petroleum Engineering before making a final decision. In general, a M.Eng. program is more course-based, while the more popular M.S. program includes a thesis and/or research project.

In addition to completing a faculty-approved design project, you must submit a peer-reviewed manuscript on which you are first author, such as a conference or journal paper or patent application.

What can you do with a master's in petroleum engineering?

A Petroleum Engineering degree gives you the strategic skills you need, including:

  • Computer-Aided Design
  • AutoCAD
  • Solidworks, CAD
  • Creo Elements/Pro, Computer-Aided
  • Finite Element Methods
  • Mechanical Engineering

Petroleum Engineering at UND

  • UND consistently ranks among the best for educational quality, affordability and career outcomes. We are recognized by U.S. News & World report as a top online graduate engineering program in the nation. 

  • Be on top of the latest trends. Our Industry Advisory Council, represented by some of the state's biggest companies, regularly helps us refine our curriculum.

  • All master-level petroleum engineering courses all available online.

  • Gain networking and career opportunities through relationships with the Society of Petroleum Engineers, North Dakota Petroleum Council and other groups.

  • Small class sizes + open-door policy among faculty = a rich, personalized learning experience.

  • Work in the world’s largest – and only - oil drilling simulator and train on cutting-edge simulators at our Collaborate Energy Complex.

Careers for Petroleum Engineering


Median salary in 2019 for a petroleum engineer in the U.S.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


No. of petroleum engineering jobs in the U.S., 2019

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Petroleum engineers are in great demand. More than 90% of our petroleum engineering graduates find jobs in the oil industry. Employers of petroleum engineers are involved:

  • Petroleum exploration
  • Geologic formation characterization
  • Drilling and fracturing
  • Computer simulation
  • Equipment and process design to optimize recovery
  • Monitoring of production and processing

In addition, petroleum engineers are involved in refining, petro-chemical production and transportation of products, as well as geosciences, environmental efforts and international commerce.

UND Petroleum Engineering Alumni

Petroleum Engineering alumni have gone on to a variety of successful careers with:

  • Seconn Automated Solutions, LLC
  • 3M Company
  • Cirrus Design Corporation
  • The Boeing Company
  • Center for Energy and Environment

Graduate Petroleum Engineering Courses You Could Take

Learn to Lead

The Petroleum Engineering program provides hands-on learning experience in a variety of disciplines.