Why earn a Ph.D. in petroleum engineering at UND?

Application Deadlines
Aug. 1
Dec. 1
May 1

As a Ph.D. candidate in UND's petroleum engineering program, you'll have an inside track to participate in practical research projects in line with industry needs - and make significant contributions when you graduate.

Current petroleum engineering research includes:

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

You'll complete two consecutive semesters in residence during your first two years as a Ph.D. candidate at UND, and also complete a qualifying exam (that includes a research proposal), submit a series of peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and successfully defend a dissertation.

Petroleum Engineering Ph.D. at UND

  • Work in world-class labs and train on cutting-edge simulators at our Collaborate Energy Complex.

  • Be on top of oil industry 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 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 for online and on-campus students.

  • Compete for a travel grant from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) to attend the SEG/Chevron Student Leadership Symposium.

Careers in Petroleum Engineering 


Median salary in 2016 for a petroleum engineer in the U.S.*

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Expected growth in demand for petroleum engineers by 2026, much faster than the average for all careers*

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Petroleum engineers are in great demand. More than 90 percent of our graduates find jobs. Employers of petroleum engineers are involved in the following fields:

  • 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.

When You Earn a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering

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

  • Oil and Gas
  • Production Engineering
  • Resevoir Engineering
  • Strategic Planning

UND Petroleum Engineering Alumni

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

  • Center for Energy and Environment
  • Keane Group Holdings, LLC
  • Continential Resources, Inc.
  • Eog Resources, Inc.
  • FedEx Corporation

Petroleum Engineering Courses You Could Take

Petroleum Engineering at UND

Leaders That Do

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