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Oklahoma State University

PetE MS Degree Program

MS Degree Program

An M.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering from Oklahoma State University signifies that the recipient has demonstrated advanced knowledge of fundamental petroleum engineering topics. In addition, an M.S. graduate has exhibited the ability to successfully and independently integrate this knowledge to solve complex quantitative problems in a logical manner.


Specific educational objectives have been established for the M.S. program, and they can be met through a combination of course work, independent study and other mechanisms (e.g., seminar). These objectives are shown below, along with the criteria used to assess success in achieving them.

Educational Objectives

Outcome Assessments

1. Build upon and expand the student’s undergraduate education by emphasizing depth in drilling, production, and stimulation engineering

Complete the “core” courses in the M.S. curriculum

2. Expand personal knowledge of the broad range of applications of petroleum engineering

Complete at least one SPE/AADE/ARMA paper or equivalent and present orally

3. Develop the skills required to work independently to solve unique problems in petroleum engineering

Complete an M.S. thesis research project

4. Attain additional knowledge (breadth and/or depth) in topics related to petroleum engineering

Complete at least two M.S. elective courses related to the student’s career objectives

5. Develop effective written and oral communications skills

Write, and defend orally, an M.S. thesis

The emphasis in course work during the M.S. degree is on depth of understanding of subject matter and on preparing students for careers in the areas of their interest. Depth is obtained through broad-based “core” courses addressing knowledge expected of all petroleum engineers, while other courses are targeted toward the student’s research and specific career interests. The core areas include fundamentals and applications of mathematics, statistics, simulation and modelling in the areas of applied drilling, completion, production, reservoir and stimulation engineering. The courses are structured to expand and add depth to the students’ undergraduate knowledge.

Additional “elective” courses must be selected, with the advice and consent of the student’s research advisor, from graduate-approved courses in any department. The choice of courses is based solely on improving skills related to the student’s educational objectives. Students also complete “research” courses as part of the M.S. thesis research project.

Minimum Performance Requirements

Satisfactory academic performance is required of all students in the M.S. program. Minimum acceptable performance is evaluated as follows.

If a student receives a grade of “C” in any PETE course, the student’s performance will be reviewed before the beginning of the next semester or summer term by the entire PETE faculty.  A decision regarding the student’s retention or dismissal from the program will be made, based on a) overall classroom performance, b) progress to date on the research topic, and c) the faculty’s assessment of the student’s prospect for successful future progress in the graduate program.  Results of this review may include, but are not limited to:

a. Continuation in the program,
b. Required enrollment in remedial course work,
c. Required defense of research progress to date and/or an effective outline of future research plans, or
d. Dismissal from the graduate program

In all cases, any PETE course with a grade of “C” must be repeated at the next offering of the course.  A grade of “C” in a second course will again result in a review of the student’s progress. In all but the rarest cases, a second “C” in a PETE course (or a “D” or “F” in any course) will result in dismissal from the graduate program.  Further, at the completion of 25 or more credit hours in the M.S. program, the student must have a cumulative grade point average of no less than 3.00/4.00.  In all cases where satisfactory performance is in question, the faculty has the prerogative to alter the degree program of the student. 

Course Work

A minimum of thirty (30) semester credits is required by the University for Graduation; this requirement is met by the PETE M.S. curriculum, which is summarized as follows:


Course Description


Core courses

PETE 5313 - Advanced Drilling Modeling and Simulation

PETE 5333 - Advanced Production and Flow Assurance

PETE 5373 - Advanced Well Stimulation



PETE 5000- M.S. Thesis



Graduate-approved elective (PETE or other) courses, selected by the student, with approval of the student's advisor. Suggested Elective Courses





Thesis and Oral Examination

Each M.S. candidate must prepare a written thesis and defend it before an examining committee of at least three faculty members (minimum two from the department). The written document must satisfy the requirements of the Graduate College for format and structure. The thesis defense consists of a twenty-minute (maximum) oral presentation by the student, followed by questions from the committee. Questioning continues for as long as the committee chairman deems appropriate. The student is then dismissed, and the committee deliberates in private. When a decision is reached the committee informs the student of their decision. The committee will normally reach one of the following conclusions:

  • The candidate has completed the PETE M.S. thesis requirement,
  • The candidate must revise the thesis to the satisfaction of the Examining Committee, with possible reexamination, or
  • The candidate has failed the examination and is dismissed from the M.S. program or converted to the creative component option.

Minimum Enrollment

First Semester

  • Nine (9) credit hours must be taken
  • Courses must include all required PETE core courses offered that semester
  • Remedial English (ENGL 0003) may be taken in place of one of the above courses, if necessary (but may not be used to satisfy any graduation requirement)

Second Semester

  • Nine (9) credit hours must be taken
  • Courses must include all required PETE core courses offered that semester

Subsequent Semesters

  • At least three (3) hours of PETE 5000 must be taken.
  • Minimum enrollment is six hours in the fall and spring semesters, and three hours in the summer. The specific courses will be determined by the student with approval of the advisor.

Exceptions to these minimum enrollment requirements can be made to permit a student to carry fewer than 9 hours in the first two semesters if, upon initial enrollment in the program, the student agrees not to request financial support at any future time while in the M.S. program.