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What is Petroleum Engineering?


Petroleum Engineering 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 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 University of Southern California's Petroleum Engineering Program is one of the oldest in the country with considerable industry support and interaction. Its assets are numerous. Combined with USC's impressive academic and research facilities, along with its proximity to major oil fields in California, which offers an excellent setting for field visits, this small friendly program makes for a quality education provided by experienced and nationally renowned faculties.

Students interested in Petroleum Engineering should have an interest in energy resources, earth sciences, geology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computers, economics and engineering design, as well as management skills.