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A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is a research degree obtained after you demonstrate a significant, valuable and recognized contribution in a specific area of petroleum engineering.

Normally our students enter the Ph.D. program after obtaining their Master of Science (M.S.) degree (thesis option). All students enrolled in our Ph.D. program must pass a Department Qualifying Exam and a Preliminary Examination (see Graduate Catalog). The exam results let us know their suitability for conducting research and continuing their education in our program.


  • Include a minimum of 64 credit hours beyond your M.S. degree or 96 hours beyond your Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in your degree plan.
    • Complete at least one academic year (two 9-hour semesters back-to-back) on campus to establish residency if you hold an M.S. degree, or two academic years if you only have a B.S.
    • The minimum course requirement for the Ph.D. degree is eight courses (24 credit hours) with at least four courses in petroleum engineering (PETE).
    • Your graduate committee is in total charge of the courses on your degree plan. In general, you should take 1/3 course work and 2/3 research/seminar courses.
    • Include a minimum of two, but not more than four, courses from outside the petroleum department.
    • Two credits for PETE 684 and PETE 692 courses are used for internships.
    • Undergraduate courses are taken only with the pre-approval of your graduate advisor.
  • Select the chairman of your committee before the start of your second semester.
    • Agree on at least four committee members, with a minimum of one from outside the petroleum department and a minimum of two petroleum faculty, including your chair.
    • File a degree plan before the beginning of your third semester and no later than 90 days before your final oral examination.
  • Take your Ph.D. qualifying examination within one year of entering the program.
  • Take the preliminary examination when you have passed all but the last six credit hours of formal course work (except for PETE 681 and PETE 691 courses) on your degree plan, or no later than the end of the semester when you complete your formal course work.
    • Submit the results of your preliminary examination to the Graduate and Professional School at least 14 weeks before your final examination date.
    • Your preliminary exam should be both oral and written, unless your committee member chooses to waive the written part of the examination.
  • You must have an average GPR of 3.0 for all courses on your degree plan before you take the final exam.
  • Complete your dissertation and final exam.
  • Complete all your degree requirements within 10 years