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Petroleum And Natural Gas Engineering

Our Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering (PNGE) degree program is a rigorous engineering program enhanced by a foundation of environmental stewardship. As Catholic Franciscans, protecting the health and safety of all species is one of our core values.  We built this curriculum to the highest industry standards while still preparing our students to protect the public's health and meet energy needs in an ethical  way.

  • Is Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering for you?

    PNGE site tour image

    Our goal with this program is to create the next generation of qualified engineers who can combine analytical skills with a Franciscan approach in order to find safer and better ways to supply our planet's energy needs.

    This 4-year degree program prepares our students to be engaged, conscientious leaders in the energy industry through:

    • a Franciscan approach to engineering with a strong stewardship component
    • an integrated curriculum that taps into the expertise of our entire  School of Sciences  
    • tailored classroom and lab spaces in our new 70,000 foot  Science Center
    • a "classrooms without walls" philosophy with extensive hands-on experience and service-learning work
    • individualized instruction from passionate faculty dedicated to both teaching and research
    • a grounded liberal arts education that helps students develop critical skills in areas such as ethics and communications

  • About the Program

    Virtually every component of our modern society requires energy and we depend on a complex array of energy sources including renewable (wind, solar) and non-renewable sources (coal, oil, shale gas) to fuel that worldwide demand. At Saint Francis University we are committed to researching the most balanced and responsible ways to approach resource extraction and energy production.  

    Over the years, we have built a strong educational curriculum that excels in preparing our students for careers that enable them to protect the public's health, heal the sick, and repair our damaged environment. 

    Our goal with this program is to create the next generation of qualified engineers who can combine analytical skills with a Franciscan approach in order to find safer and better ways to supply our planet's energy needs.

    Real World Experience

    Real world experience is the hallmark of a Saint Francis University education. Our students put their education into action by doing design projects for class, paid internships, summer research and engineering service projects both here in Pennsylvania and abroad. Unlike most existing programs in petroleum engineering which must typically use hypothetical design projects, the P&NG program at SFU will incorporate real world design projects with real clients as much as is feasible. Our smaller class sizes enhance our ability to provide these real experiences at multiple points in the curriculum.


    Like other science majors at Saint Francis, the petroleum and natural gas engineering program will emphasize both theoretical and hands-on learning, project design and execution, communication skills, and service learning. The result will be a major with a holistic program that will create graduate engineers who bring a balanced, Franciscan approach to the field of energy extraction.


    The course curriculum will focus on:

    • the engineering of resource extraction combined with course work from our environmental engineering program's renewable energy concentration
    • knowledge and awareness of P&NG's importance not only as energy commodities, but their impact on a broader ecological landscape
    • topics such as: land-use and environmental impacts, sociological and local economic impacts at the community level, and role in energy policies from local to national scale. 
    • basic coursework in geology along with significant computation skills including a mix of software packages and computer programming


    Career Opportunities

    Graduates of petroleum and natural gas engineering programs work as petroleum engineers, mining and geological engineers, environmental engineers, and geoscientists with median annual salaries ranging from $78,470 to $114, 080,  according to  the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS projects healthy growth rates in all four occupation through 2020 both in Pennsylvania and nationally, according to the newly released 2010 to 2020 occupational projections. The development of the Marcellus Shale (natural gas producing) region is having a positive impact on the job opportunities for professional engineers and related professions with the BLS projecting a 75 percent increase in demand for petroleum engineers in Pennsylvania alone.


    As a new program, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering degree program is not currently accredited, but will begin the application process as soon as the first class graduates.