Petroleum engineering renewed at State

The James Worth Bagley College of Engineering will offer the state’s only degree in petroleum engineering this fall. This new degree builds on Mississippi State’s original petroleum program, which was suspended in 1995 due to budget cuts.

“I am delighted that we have been granted approval to again offer a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering,” said Jerome A. Gilbert, Mississippi State’s provost and executive vice president. “This expands our strong educational base in engineering at Mississippi State and helps us meet the growing needs of industry for more petroleum engineers.”

The petroleum degree will be administered through the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering. With its addition, the Bagley College now offers 11 undergraduate degrees through its eight academic departments.

Jason Keith, Earnest W. and Mary Ann Deavenport Jr. Chair and the dean of engineering, said this new curriculum was proposed in response to a high demand for graduates with experience in drilling, production, petroleum economics and reservoir engineering, which focuses on finding gas and oil deposits beneath the Earth’s crust.

“We worked with world-renowned experts in the petroleum industry to create a curriculum that builds on the fundamentals of fluid flow and thermodynamics,” Keith said. “It will give our graduates the necessary skill set to develop techniques to identify and extract petroleum reserves.”

Keith explained that the emphasis on reservoir engineering will tie in with the college’s existing strengths in computational engineering and the capabilities of the university’s High Performance Computing Collaboratory to make Mississippi State’s petroleum degree unique among peer programs across the country.

Students in existing engineering programs, specifically chemical and mechanical, will be able to transfer to the petroleum degree track in the fall.

For more information about the Bagley College of Engineering's petroleum engineering degree, visit

By Susan Lassetter