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

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. Technical competency in the area of petroleum engineering and an understanding of geology, geophysics, land, marketing, and accounting principles as they relate to the business;
  2. The ability to undertake and complete projects with limited guidance; 
  3. Integrity and professionalism in the practice of engineering and a commitment to social responsibility; 
  4. Effective teamwork skills necessary to promote the advancement of corporate vision, mission, and goals; and
  5. The ability to effectively communicate technical ideas to peers and supervisors.

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, 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 apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs;
  4. an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams;
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
  7. an ability to communicate effectively;
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context;
  9. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning;
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues; and
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

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

  1. mathematics through differential equations;
  2. probability and statistics;
  3. fluid mechanics;
  4. strength of materials;
  5. thermodynamics;
  6. design and analysis of well systems;
  7. procedures for drilling and completing wells;
  8. characterization and evaluation of subsurface geological formations and their resources using geoscientific and engineering methods;
  9. design and analysis of systems for producing, injecting, and handling fluids;
  10. application of reservoir engineering principles and practices for optimizing resource development and management; and
  11. use of project economics and resource evaluation 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.

Enrollment Data

    Enrollment Year Total Degrees
  Academic Year   1st 2nd 3rd 4th Undergrad Bachelors
Current year 2018-19 FT/PT 35/0 36/0 48/0 66/0 185/0 XX
1 2017-18 FT/PT 48/0 59/0 69/0 91/1 267/1 92
2 2016-17 FT/PT 60/0 67/0 86/1 111/0 324/1 113
3 2015-16 FT/PT 82/0 76/0 97/0 106/2 380/2 92
4 2014-15 FT/PT 107/0 92/0 83/1 93/4 380/5 77