Major in Petroleum Chemistry (BSc)

The Petroleum Chemistry program offers a highly specialized, career-oriented major to students interested in pursuing opportunities in the petroleum and petrochemical industries. Currently, oil accounts for 98.9% of Nigerian exports, 95% of foreign exchange earnings, 70% of government revenue, and 40% of gross domestic product. The structure provides an intense chemistry-focused program for the petroleum and related fields.

When majoring in Petroleum Chemistry, students will choose one of these options/concentrations:
(a)   Petroleum Chemistry
(b)   Petroleum Engineering
(b)   Chemical Engineering
The Petroleum Chemistry major will prepare students to assume newly developed careers created by Nigeria's restructuring of the downstream petrochemical sector focusing on the innovation of new petrochemicals and their processing, refining and distribution of petroleum products, and in-depth laboratory analysis of various petroleum-related specimens.
The Petroleum Engineering concentration will prepare students with in-depth understanding of the upstream sector dealing with oil and gas reservoir facilities and operations for exploration, transport and processing of crude petroleum and production of petroleum and petroleum-related products.
The Chemical Engineering concentration will prepare students with in-depth understanding of the design, construction, and operation of petroleum and petrochemical based plants and the associated chemical reactions/unit processes for the design of useful petroleum products.
Students will have a choice of career paths both in the oil industry and those related to petrochemicals and associated manufacturing. The petroleum industry needs petroleum chemists and engineers for:

  • oil refining
  • oil exploration
  • oil production
  • cracking
  • petrochemical processing
  • manufacturing petroleum products such as plastics, rubbers, solvents, fuels, and other polymers


To talk to a faculty adviser, please contact Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob, Interim Associate Dean of School of Arts & Sciences at Rm 212 A&S Building or

The Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Chemistry requires a minimum of 74 credit hours in courses for major and related science subjects. The coursework outlined below is required of all Petroleum Chemistry majors/concentrations:
Three (3) Calculus courses (9 credits):
MAT210: Calculus I (3)* (formerly MAT121)
MAT 211: Calculus II (3)(formerly MAT210)
MAT 310: Calculus III (3)(formerly MAT211)

* Students without a background in pre-calculus should complete MAT 110 , University Algebra, and/or MAT 112, Pre-calculus,(formerly MAT 120) before enrolling in MAT 210 (formerly MAT 121).
Five (5) core Chemistry courses (20 credits):
CHE 120: General Chemistry I (4)**
CHE 121: General Chemistry II (4)
CHE 210: Organic Chemistry I (4)
CHE 220: Physical Chemistry (4)
CHE 310: Petroleum Science (4)
**Students who do not have a strong background in chemistry in secondary school are encouraged to complete CHE 101, Introduction to Chemistry, before enrolling in CHE 120.
Three (3) courses (12 credits) in related sciences:
PHY 205: University Physics I (4)
PHY 206: University Physics II (4)
GEO 101: Introduction to Geology (4)
One (1) course (3) credits in economics:
ECO 201: Introduction to Mircoeconomics
(Additionally, ECO 202: Introduction to Macroeconomics is strongly recommended)
Petroleum Chemistry Major
In addition to the courses listed above, the Petroleum Chemistry majors must complete the courses outlined below:
CHE 211: Organic Chemistry II (4)
CHE 320: Petrochemicals and Polymers (4)
CHE 330: Analytical Chemistry (4)
CHE 331: Instrumental Analysis (3)
CHE 340: Inorganic Chemistry (4)
CHE 421: Electrochemistry and Corrosion (3)
CHE 430: Petroleum Product Analysis & Evaluation (3)
CHE 493: Internship in Petroleum/ Petrochemicals Industry (3)
Additionally, students must complete one of the following:
CHE 490: Research Project (4)
CHE 499: Thesis Project (4, 4: two semester course)***
***Students must have at least a B average (3.0/4.0) to register for CHE 499.

Engineering Concentrations:
Engineering concentrations require the following common courses (16  credit hours):
CHG 210: Statics& Strength of Materials (3)
CHG 311: Fluid Mechanics (3)
CHG 330: Engineering Thermodynamics (3)
MAT 410: Differential Equations (4) (formerly MAT 310)
CHG 493: Internship in Petroleum/
Chemical Engineering Industry (3)
Chemical Engineering concentration students are also required to complete the courses below:
CHG 201: Chemical Engineering Fundamentals (4)
CHG 320: Process Control & Simulation (3)
CHG 350: Plant Design & Economics (3)
CHG 420: Kinetics& Reactor Design (3)
CHG 430: Unit Operations (3)
CHG 480: Team Design Project(3)
CHG 490: Senior Research Project (3-4)
Petroleum Engineering concentration students are also required to complete the courses below:
CHG 320: Process Control & Simulation (3)
PET 201: Reservoir Engineering (4)
PET 410: Drilling Engineering (3)
PET 430: Oil& Gas Production Engineering (3)
PET 450: Petroleum Project Management & Economics (3)
PET 480: Petroleum Team Design Project (3)
PET 490: Petroleum Research Project (3-4)

Advised Electives
Students are encouraged to consult with their advisor when selecting elective courses that will augment their program of study and in their preparation for careers. In Petroleum Chemistry, students are advised to consider the following elective courses:

CHE 300: Petroleum Law (3)
CHE321: Chemical Kinetics & Thermodynamics (3)
CHE 341: Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis (3)
CHE 350: Biochemistry (3)
CHE 351: Hydrocarbon Chemistry (3)
CHE 390: Special Topics in Petroleum Chemistry (3-4)
CHE 410: Oil Spill Control (3)
CHE 411: Global Market/International Standards (3)
CHE 420: Advanced Physical Chemistry (3)
CHE 440: Advanced Organic Chemistry (3)
CHE 450: Computational Chemistry (4)
CHG 340: Introduction to Material Science (3)
CHG 390: Special Topics in Chemical Engineering (3-4)
CHG 410: Transport Phenomena (3)
CHG 431: Separation Processes (3)
GEO 301: Elements of Petroleum Geology (3)
PET 390: Special Topics in Petroleum Engineering (3-4)


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