Doctor of Philosophy in Petroleum Engineering

The Ph.D. degree represents the highest degree awarded by universities in the United States. The Ph.D. degree usually requires course work beyond that required by a master’s degree program in the same discipline, but is primarily characterized by the Ph.D. dissertation requirement. The Ph.D. dissertation should contain significant original research and should contain material suitable for publication as a refereed manuscript, normally as a research journal article or articles. The recipient of a Ph.D. degree should possess a broad knowledge of his or her discipline and should be prepared for a lifetime of creative intellectual inquiry. The Ph.D. dissertation should establish the candidate’s ability to read and comprehend the literature, to formulate a significant intellectual problem, to formulate the solution to the problem utilizing state-of-the-art knowledge and creativity, and to communicate the findings in a lucid, professional document, the Ph.D. dissertation.

Joseph & Anton walking together down a campus path

Joseph Ocheja and Anton Skopich

Joseph Ocheja and Anton Skopich found the intersection between Kogi, Nigeria and Shymkent, Kazakhstan in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Joseph Ocheja and Anton Skopich found the intersection between Kogi, Nigeria and Shymkent, Kazakhstan in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Joseph and Anton, who are both studying petroleum engineering in the world-renown College of Engineering and Natural Sciences at The University of Tulsa, have become close friends. They met on Anton's first day at TU.

"I was new to campus," recalls Anton. "Joseph was the resident assistant in the dorm, and he was great - plus, his name was easy to remember."

"As the RA, I helped incoming students get acquainted with the campus and make a smooth transition to TU," says Joseph, who is also a University Ambassador, someone who gives tours of the University to prospective students. "I'd been at TU for three semesters by the time Anton arrived," Joseph recalls, "and it turned out that we lived on the same floor in Twin Towers."

Both Joseph and Anton are fully engaged in all that the University offers. Joseph continues to be a university ambassador, and recently talked Anton into taking over for him as president of The Association of International Students. Anton is also an officer in the TU chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

"Getting involved in campus activities is important because it helps you meet other students and really get to know the school and the city," says Anton.

"And, because our classes are small, we get to know our professors well," adds Joseph. "It is just amazing to talk with a professor who is known throughout the world as an industry expert - to find yourself interacting and being taught by someone who is considered the best in their field!"

Each acknowledges that the academic standards at TU are challenging. Anton says: "I was always comfortable in my life before and did not ask for a lot of help. Here, I've learned to communicate when something isn't clear to me, and my professors are always willing to make sure that I understand."

Beyond the classroom, both participate in extracurricular activities. Joseph plays soccer and was on the winning team in the A league intramural competition. (Anton teases that he got on the team because of his size.) Table tennis is another fun pastime. Together they helped organize the "Welcome Picnic" for international students and helped plan the International Student Bazaar, which showcases students' various countries, culture and food.

"American students are eager to learn about cultures outside the U.S.," Joseph says. As officers for The Association of International Students, they also helped organize the international banquet, a semi-formal dinner and dance, designed to unite all cultures.

Anton and Joseph find the city of Tulsa a very friendly and welcoming place. "Everyone says 'hello,' on and off campus," notes Anton.

Joseph concludes: "If you are interested in an academically challenging school with great professors who are always available, come to TU."

General Ph.D. Program Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy The University of Tulsa's general admission requirements. For detailed information, refer to the Graduate Bulletin and contact the Graduate School.

  • An applicant must have a baccalaureate degree in engineering, physics, or mathematics from an accredited institution.
  • A student with a baccalaureate degree must meet the requirements for admission to a master’s program within the division. Admission for Ph.D. work then requires at least a 3.5 grade point average in the first 30 hours of graduate work and approval of the graduate faculty in the department and the Dean of the Graduate School.
  • All applicants must take the General Tests of the Graduate Record Examination prior to admission and have an official copy of the scores submitted to the Graduate School.
  • It is emphasized that the above requirements are minimum requirements. It is expected that the qualifications of students entering the program will substantially exceed the minimum requirements. A student who meets only the minimum requirements in each of the above areas will, normally, be denied admission.
  • The number of candidates in this program, both part-time and full-time, is limited. Normally, part-time students are not admitted to this program. Applicants must designate their major fields of research interest.
  • Applicants usually are selected for admission on February 1 and September 1, but will be considered throughout the year.
  • All applicants from non-English-speaking countries who have not received a degree from a U.S. university must satisfy English proficiency requirements (minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the internet-based test, 213 on the computer-based exam or 550 on the paper test). A minimum score of 6.0 on the IELTS examination may be substituted for the TOEFL.

Curriculum Requirements

  1. The Ph.D. program requires at least 90 approved credit hours of graduate credit above the baccalaureate level, generally distributed in the following manner:
  2. At least 20 credit hours of research and dissertation (including master’s degree thesis).
  3. At least 54 hours of graduate credit in course work and independent study, including a maximum of 9 hours of approved 6000 level courses listed in this Bulletin for graduate credit. A maximum of six hours of independent study will be allowed. The core courses, PE 7013, 7023, and 7063, must be included in the first 30 hours of graduate work.
  4. At least 12 credit hours of course work must be taken outside the discipline. 204 College of Engineering and Natural Sciences.

Students working in the areas of reservoir simulation and well test analysis are expected to acquire necessary mathematical knowledge in differential equations and numerical analysis.

Students may be required to complete prerequisite undergraduate courses without graduate credit, resulting in a program of more than 90 credit hours. No more than 12 hours of transfer credit beyond the master’s degree from an accredited institution may be counted toward the course requirements if acceptable to the advisory committee.

These requirements are not variable except under special circumstances and with permission of the students advisory committee and the Dean of the Graduate School.