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Petroleum engineering is a specialized discipline that prepares students primarily for careers in the exploration, production, processing and transportation of crude oil and natural gas.

The petroleum engineer deals with a product that cannot be seen, held, examined or tested until it has been located in rock formations deep within the earth and brought to the surface. In light of this, petroleum engineers must be capable of:

  • designing, drilling, completing and analyzing subsurface well systems;
  • characterizing and evaluating subsurface geological formations and their resources;
  • designing and analyzing systems for producing, injecting, and handling fluids;
  • applying reservoir and production engineering principles and practices to optimize resource development and management; and
  • applying economics to these tasks under conditions of risk and uncertainty.

The engineering science and technology involved in petroleum engineering also has direct application in the fields of environmental engineering and hydrology where subsurface well systems are used to access fluids in the earth.

Vision, Mission, Educational Objectives, and Educational Goals of the Petroleum Engineering Program

The Vision, Mission, Program Educational Objectives, Program Educational Goals, and Student Outcomes of the program appearing below were reviewed at the April 2019 Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) Meeting.

Vision: To be recognized by the petroleum industry and other educational institutions as one of the premier petroleum engineering programs in the United States.

Mission: To graduate well-educated baccalaureate petroleum engineers who are prepared for entry-level positions in the petroleum industry, graduate school, and life-long learning and professional development, and are capable of becoming professional engineers and leaders in the global petroleum industry.

Program Educational Objectives: A graduate of Marietta College’s Petroleum Engineering program who has been working in the industry for approximately five years should demonstrate:

  1. Employ his/her understanding of petroleum engineering, coupled with understandings of geology, geophysics, land, marketing, and accounting principles to support business decision;
  2. The knowledge and confidence to undertake and complete projects of increasing complexity with limited guidance;
  3. Exhibit Integrity and professionalism in the practice of engineering and a commitment to social responsibility;
  4. Work effectively and provide appropriate leadership to teams that advance the corporate vision, mission, and goals; and
  5. Utilize communication skills effectively to advance their work.

Program Educational Goals: The following educational goals are tied to our student outcomes and are critical to helping us achieve our vision and mission. The goals of our program are to:

  1. Provide students with a fundamental knowledge of petroleum engineering in the areas of drilling, completions, production, and reservoir engineering, and formation evaluation;
  2. Provide students with an integrated, comprehensive design experience beginning with exposure to industry practice and exercises in the freshman year, leading to a capstone design experience in the senior year;
  3. Provide students with opportunities throughout the curriculum to develop good written and oral communication skills; problem solving and decision making skills; and computational and technological literacy;
  4. Provide students with a recognition and understanding of the professional and societal responsibilities associated with being a petroleum engineer; and
  5. Provide students with opportunities to address global and multi-cultural issues, investigate models of social behavior and leadership, sharpen their aesthetic sense, and embrace their own social and personal development.

Student Outcomes: In order to achieve the five program goals of the Petroleum Engineering program, graduates of the program must demonstrate that they have achieved the following outcomes. Our graduates must have:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies

Specifically related to petroleum engineering, our graduates must demonstrate competency in:

8.a. Differential equations
8.b. Probability and statistics
8.c. Fluid mechanics
8.d. Strength of materials
8.e. Thermodynamics
9.a. Design and analysis of well systems
9.b. Procedures for drilling and completing wells
10. Characterization and evaluation of subsurface geological formations and their resources using geoscientific and engineering methods
11. Design and analysis of systems for producing, injecting, and handling fluids
12. Application of reservoir engineering principles and practices for optimizing resource development and management
13. Use of project economics and resource valuation methods for design and decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty

The Edwy Rolfe Brown Building
Constructed in 1955 for use by the Petroleum and Geology Departments, the Edwy Rolfe Brown Building underwent major interior renovations in Fall 2005. It houses:

  • professors' offices,
  • smart classrooms,
  • a conference room,
  • a core and drilling laboratory,
  • a natural gas laboratory,
  • a student lounge, and
  • petroleum and geology capstone rooms for seniors completing their capstone project.

The Edwy R. Brown Department of Petroleum Engineering and Geology offers a B.S. degree program in petroleum engineering that is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Committee (EAC) of ABET, Inc., a federation of 28 professional and technical societies that is recognized as a U.S. accreditor of college and university programs.

Petroleum Program Enrollment Data

  Enrollment Year TotalDegrees
 Academic Year 1st2nd3rd4thOthersUndergradBachelors
Current year2023–24FT/PT19/011/010/114/02/0572