Below are the main factors in determining the top ranking petroleum engineering program in the US. While there are other factors that we could have included in our ranking based on available public data, we believe that these are the most important in determining how reputable a program is.
Total Petroleum Engineering Degrees Awarded (P.E. Degrees Awarded)
This is based on the total number of petroleum engineering degrees awarded. It is a combination of bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. As the most important ranking factor, the more degrees that a school awards, the more established an institution is. That means more faculty, more resources, and more opportunities.
Graduation Rate (Grad Rate)
Graduation rate is based on the entire school’s graduation rate.
This is not representative of only petroleum engineering as that data is not available, but it serves as an indication of how good a school is in terms of ensuring that students earn their degree. This is the case with the rest of the ranking factors below.
Retention Rate (Ret. Rate)
Retention is defined as a student that enters a school and stays for at least a second year. Often times, schools not are not reputable will have low retention rates due to the fact that many students end up leaving after just a year. It is assumed that schools with higher retention rates, have higher quality programs to keep students engaged.
Percent Admitted (% Admitted)
Calculated based on the admission rates of incoming undergraduate students, it acts as a gauge for how competitive a school is. A school with a low percentage of admittance tends to be much more competitive and difficult to get into due to its prestige. Prestigious schools are typically known for their exceptional quality of education and faculty.
Student to Faculty Ratio (S:F Ratio)
Important to many students, the student faculty ratio for the whole school is calculated based on how many students there are to how many faculty. The lower the student to faculty rate means that the class sizes will be much smaller and students will be able to get more attention from their professors.
The default rate is determined as a percentage of students who defaulted on their school loans shortly after graduation. It is assumed in our ranking that the higher the default rate, the lower the quality of the institution.
If students are unable to find jobs after they graduate and end up defaulting on their loans, then this does not speak very highly of the school.
For many students, the cost of attending a university can play a big part in their decision. We have determined that the more reasonable cost a school is more favorable to students. Therefore, the net price, or cost of attending the school, has been factored into our rankings.
While there are only a few schools that currently offer distance learning (also known as online degrees) for petroleum engineering, we see this as a positive. We like the flexibility that these institution offers, and believe that many students can benefit from this. As such, schools that offer online classes are seen as favorable in our ranking.