Petroleum Engineering (subsurface resources recovery) involves the technology of economically developing and producing subterranean reservoirs of oil, gas, steam, and hot water and designing underground waste disposal facilities. This technology relies on basic concepts of physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and economics. Because more than 300 products are derived from petroleum, it has become a vital part of our everyday life. The petroleum industry is one of the largest and most prominent in the United States and other countries today, and the companies involved are dependent on the services of petroleum engineers to explore, discover, and produce oil and gas to meet energy needs. The USC Viterbi School of Engineering's Petroleum Engineering program is one of the oldest in the country with considerable industry support and interaction. Its assets are numerous - the advantages of a relatively small, friendly program, combined with the University's impressive academic and research facilities; its proximity to major oil fields in California; and a quality education provided by experienced and nationally renowned faculty.
The graduate program offers Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and Engineer degrees and a Certificate Program in Smart Oilfield Technologies. For students entering with a B.S. degree, it normally takes 5 semesters (including a summer semester) to obtain an M.S. degree and a total of about five years from the B.S. for the Ph.D. degree. All students entering the program without a B.S. in Petroleum are also required to complete deficiency courses as determined by their advisor.
All Petroleum Engineering courses are available through the DEN program.