Why Study Petroleum Engineering at Montana Tech?

If you're interested in meeting the challenges of supplying the world with energy, consider earning your master's degree in petroleum engineering from Montana Technological University.

The Montana Tech Petroleum Engineering department guarantees relevant industry exposure and meaningful contact with faculty. Students grow through participation in student organizations like our Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Student Chapter, and opportunities to work with faculty on interesting research projects.

State-of-the-Art Labs & Equipment

You'll have numerous hands-on learning opportunities at Montana Tech. Get the skills necessary to operate sophisticated instruments through our petroleum engineering degree program. Our petroleum engineering labs use state-of-the-art analytical, laboratory, and field equipment. You'll have access to instruments in your lab courses and opportunities to assist faculty on innovative research projects.

Three Options for Specialization

The areas of expertise that graduate students may study in Petroleum Engineering are drilling, reservoir, and production engineering.

  • Drilling deals with all aspects of wellbore drilling, casing design and cementing, and well completion.
  • Reservoir Engineering deals with all aspects of modeling the reservoir fluid movement and maximizing oil and gas recovery.
  • Production is primarily the science of removing the crude oil, gas and water from the reservoir to the surface and separating and treating each fluid.

Petroleum Engineering Internships

Receive even more hands-on experience through a variety of petroleum engineering internships in multiple employment areas, such as engineering consulting, natural resources, and energy industries. As an in-demand petroleum engineering student, you'll have your pick of top internships in your area of interest.

Outstanding Location

Live and learn in Butte, an outdoor adventurer's paradise. Six mountain ranges surround the Montana Tech campus, and two national parks and five rivers are nearby for weekend adventures. You'll benefit inside and outside the classroom while earning your bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering here.

Study Petroleum Engineering and Have Fun Too

Get involved in various clubs and organizations on campus, such as the Engineers Without Borders club. Ski at nearby resorts or in the backcountry. Enjoy southwest Montana's hot springs. Hike the Great Divide and other trails. Fish in pristine mountain streams. While you earn your petroleum engineering degree, you'll enjoy it at Montana Tech.

Be Ready for a Career in Petroleum Engineering

Through this rigorous petroleum engineering degree, you'll not only gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. You'll also develop communication, interpersonal, and project management skills employers seek. From Montana Tech's engaged petroleum engineering faculty to Career Services, you'll have the resources, support, and connections you need to land coveted internships and jobs and receive a top petroleum engineering salary.

Among the Nation's Best Programs

If you're interested in exploring for oil and natural gas, consider a major in petroleum engineering. You'll develop an in-depth understanding of natural resource recovery, the economics of the industry, and respect for the environment.

You'll also gain hands-on practice through five high-tech labs on campus and in field experiences across the state and beyond. And, with a degree from Montana Tech, you'll be in demand whether you enter the marketplace or pursue a graduate degree.

Montana Tech is ranked #1 among the best engineering schools in the nation by Best Value Schools, and we also boast a 100% career outcome rate. We're also 1 of only 20 universities in the United States to offer this degree. There is no better location than Montana Tech to earn your petroleum engineering bachelor's degree because of our field-based coursework that gives you hands-on experience perfect for a career in petroleum engineering.

Network Outside the Classroom

Join clubs and make personal and professional connections. The Society of Petroleum Engineers student Chapter offers many resources and opportunities for students to expand their knowledge and enhance their skills. The American Association of Drilling Engineers Student Chapter provides a forum for the dissemination of practical drilling technology to those employed or interested in the drilling industry.

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Ryan Lance: An Extraordinary Montana Tech Alum, Chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips
Discover how Montana Tech graduates go on to extraordinary careers.

What is Petroleum Engineering?

A large part of a petroleum engineer’s job is to find crude oil and natural gas for the country’s energy needs and design and develop methods for extracting them from below the Earth’s surface. In petroleum engineering, students develop an in-depth understanding of natural resource recovery, the economics of the industry, and respect for the environment. 

At Montana Tech, petroleum engineering students learn drilling engineering, production engineering, and reservoir engineering, as well as receive hands-on lab and field experience in our unparalleled location in the Northern Rockies. 

What Kinds of Jobs Do Petroleum Engineers Get?  

Even in a challenging economy, petroleum engineers typically enjoy excellent opportunities in degree-related careers. Job placement rates are historically high, and starting salaries and signing bonuses rank at the top of the engineering disciplines. Montana Tech petroleum engineering graduates go on to work in the petroleum (reservoir, production, and drilling) industry as well as geothermal, groundwater, environmental, government and other industries.


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Explore the Petroleum Engineering Degree 

With a petroleum engineering degree from Montana Tech, you’ll gain hands-on practice through five high-tech labs on campus and in-field experiences across the state and beyond. And, with a degree from Montana Tech, you’ll be in demand whether you enter the marketplace.

Applicants must provide at least two examples of technical writing. The documents must be in English and you must be the sole author. Each example can be for any technical subject, should be at least one page in length, and should be recent (written within the past 2 years).

 Although the general structure of a student’s selection of courses for the M.S. degree will be adapted to the student’s area of interest, every candidate must include in the selection at least five (5) of the following courses, which then constitutes the core curriculum for the M.S. in Petroleum Engineering: PET 5010 (Advanced Drilling), PET 5020 (Production Operations Design), PET 5030 (Surface Production Operations), PET 5050 (Pressure Transient Testing), PET 5110 (Reservoir Simulation Methods), PET 5210 (Equations of State), and PET 5440 (Advanced Enhanced Oil Recovery). 

In addition, students are required to take the following seminar courses: TC 5150 (Graduate Writing Seminar) or TC 5160 (Technical Writing & Publishing) and ENGR 5940 (Petroleum Engineering Seminar), which will be taken twice. 

Learn More About Petroleum Engineering at Montana Tech
Petroleum Department

Meet faculty, explore our research expertise, and more.

Accreditation, Outcomes

See our outcomes and accreditation data.

Industrial Advisory Board

The Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) is comprised of representatives engaged in the oil and gas industry.

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Connect with us.

We can answer your questions and help you get started.

Dr. B. Todd Hoffman
Department Head and Professor
(406) 496-4753