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The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is a research degree obtained after a student demonstrates a significant, valuable and recognized contribution in a specific area of petroleum engineering. Normally our students enter the PhD program after obtaining a Master of Science (MS) degree (thesis option). All students enrolled in our PhD program must pass a Department Qualifying Exam and a Preliminary Examination (see Graduate Catalog) to determine their suitability for conducting research and continuing in the program.


  • Include a minimum of 64 credit hours beyond the MS degree or 96 hours beyond the Bachelor of Science degree in your degree plan.
    • Complete at least 1 academic year (9 hours in back-to-back semesters) on campus to establish residency if you hold the MS degree or 2 academic years if you hold only the BS.
    • The minimum course requirement for the Doctoral degree is 8 courses (24 credit hours) with at least 4 of these courses being in PETE.
    • Your graduate committee is in total charge of the courses that will be on your degree plan. In general, you should take 1/3 course work and 2/3 research/seminar courses.
    • Include a minimum of 2, but not more than 4, courses from outside the petroleum department.
    • Two credits for 684 and 692 courses are used for internships.
    • Undergraduate courses are taken only with pre-approval of your Graduate Advisor.
  • Select the chairman of your committee before the start of the second semester.
    • Agree on at least 4 committee members, with a minimum of 1 from outside the petroleum department. Your committee must include a minimum of 2 petroleum faculty, including your chair.
    • File a degree plan before the beginning of your third semester but by no means later than 90 days before your final oral examination.
  • Take your PhD qualifying examination within 1 year of entering the program.
  • Take the preliminary examination when you have passed all but the last 6 credit hours of formal course work (except for 681 and 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 Office of Graduate Studies at least 14 weeks before your final examination date.
    • The 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.
  • Submit your dissertation proposal to the Office of Graduate Studies at least 14 weeks before you schedule your final examination.
  • Complete your dissertation and final exam.
  • Complete all degree requirements within 10 years