Petroleum Engineering

Bachelor’s Degree

Petroleum Engineering

Bachelor’s Degree


The Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering program at Colorado School of Mines produces engineers equipped to conduct the safe and environmentally sound exploration, evaluation, development and recovery of oil, gas, geothermal and other fluids in the earth.

Via classroom and laboratory instruction, as well as on-site field work, students will learn about a variety of concepts and topics essential to the mastery of petroleum engineering, including:

  • Drilling
  • Fundamental fluid and rock behavior
  • Formation evaluation
  • Well completions and stimulation
  • Well testing
  • Production operations and artificial lift
  • Reservoir engineering
  • Supplemental and enhanced oil recovery
  • Economic evaluation of petroleum projects
  • Environmental and safety issues
  • Computer simulations

Engineering design is taught throughout the curriculum, including a senior design course that applies learned skills to real-world reservoir development and management problems.

Learn more about our top-ranking undergraduate program here: Petroleum Engineering website

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Top 2 petroleum engineering program Hands-on fields sessions at oil and gas sites
100% placement in 2021-2022 Active student chapter in Society of Petroleum Engineers that interacts directly with industry and travels to conferences


The primary objectives of petroleum engineering are the safe and environmentally sound exploration, evaluation, development and recovery of oil, gas, geothermal and other fluids in the earth. Skills in this branch of engineering are needed to meet the world’s ever-increasing demand for hydrocarbon fuel, thermal energy and waste and pollution management.

Graduates of our program are in solid demand, with the petroleum industry offering a wide range of employment opportunities for petroleum engineering students during summer breaks and after graduation. Exciting experiences range from fieldwork in drilling and producing oil and gas fields, to office jobs in small towns or large cities. Worldwide travel and overseas assignments are available for interested students.

Petroleum Engineering Curriculum

Available Minors

  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Petroleum Data Analytics

Additional details of Petroleum minors.

Petroleum engineers may work as:

  • Production engineers, handling daily management of oil and gas production operations
  • Production operations, implementing safe and environmentally sound practices in field operations and maintenance
  • Reservoir engineers, evaluating field performance opportunities and help maximize the ultimate value of a property
  • Petroleum engineers, designing and developing methods of extracting oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface


Colorado School of Mines is consistently ranked as one of the top universities for petroleum engineering in the world. In fact, according to the 2023 US News report, Mines was ranked as the second best petroleum engineering program. With a top-tier faculty, advanced research facilities and technology, and a geographic location that provides our students with access to man active oil and gas sites, Mines should be your choose to pursue petroleum engineering.

Why do so many students choose Mines?

  • Hands-on research field research opportunities
  • Close relationships with industry leaders
  • Numerous scholarships awarded to undergraduate students
  • Study abroad opportunities, such as students visiting Saudi Arabia
  • Petroleum engineering ambassador program to help new undergraduate and graduate students
  • One of the largest student cohorts attending ACTE conference


Some of the most common careers for graduates include:

  • Reservoir engineers: creating models and studying how types of rocks, gases, and liquids interact to identify the location of oil and the best method of extraction.
  • Drilling engineers: focusing on understanding how fluids, pressure and a variety of other factors will impact the drilling process.
  • Completions engineers: after the drilling is complete, assessing how to operate the well, such as identifying which types of pipes to use, to enhance production and safety.
  • Production engineers: focusing on how to successfully extract oil or gas and then determine the most effective transportation methods and best facilities.
  • Data analytics engineers: providing insights into essential data to identify the best methods for making petroleum extraction safe, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly.

However, with a degree in petroleum engineering, students can expect to enter a diverse field with a variety of career paths. While, traditionally, a career in petroleum engineering would focus solely on the exploration and production of oil and gas, the field has evolved to include a wide range of career options and paths.

For example, students may pursue careers in geothermal energy production, hazardous waste remediation and disposal, environmental protection, or even consulting or academics. Some of our recent graduates have even gone on to pursue successful careers in law and medicine.

The scope of our petroleum engineering program prepares graduates for a successful and rewarding career in the evolving energy industry as we focus on imparting our students with technical competence, critical thinking and advanced problem-solving skills.


Dr. Jennifer Miskimins Colorado School of Mines


Dr. Jennifer Miskimins is a Professor and the Department Head for Petroleum Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Miskimins has over 30 years of experience in petroleum engineering, both in academics and industry, and has served as a technical editor for many top journals in the field.

Recently, Dr. Miskimins has led a team in developing new ways to utilize geothermal technology to supplement a more sustainable energy future. Her research interests include geothermal well applications, hydraulic fracturing and more.

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Mines’ financial assistance program awards more than $60 million per year, and over 82 percent of the student body receives some form of financial aid.










Mines by the Numbers

median pay for petroleum engineers, 2019, Bureau for Labor Statistics

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