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Subsea Engineering

About the Subsea Engineering Online M.S. Program

The UH Cullen College of Engineering’s subsea engineering online M.S. program is not your typical online course. The flexible and innovative online program in subsea engineering includes live videos of lectures, interactive web-based discussions and opportunities for one-on-one learning experiences.


Why the University of Houston?

The University of Houston is home to the nation’s first subsea engineering graduate program and is the central player in an international effort to standardize subsea engineering education at universities around the world. UH is the leader of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute, a partnership between Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin that aims to ensure the safety of offshore energy production for years to come. UH is also the leader of the Subsea Systems Institute, a collaboration with Rice University, NASA Johnson Space Center, Texas Southern University, Houston Community College and Lone Star College to conduct research and develop technologies to improve the sustainable and safe development of energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico.


Careers in Subsea Engineering

Career opportunities for subsea engineers are fantastic, especially in the city of Houston, the energy capital of the world. Offshore oil and gas reserves are increasingly important sources of energy, as well as a significant driver of the international economy. There are billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas predicted to lie within federally controlled waters in the Gulf of Mexico alone, including off the coast of Texas. The major problem is that the reserves lie underneath 10,000 feet of water, presenting unprecedented engineering challenges. As such, nearly every energy company operating in the offshore sector employs subsea engineers, and demand for engineers with expertise in developing offshore energy resources continues to rise.

A 2015 salary survey produced by found that subsea engineers earn an average salary of $93,618.


Courses and Curriculum

The Master of Science in Subsea Engineering at the University of Houston is a non-thesis,10 course graduate curriculum program. A four-year bachelor's degree in engineering or engineering related field is required in order to apply for the Subsea Engineering program. The curriculum is comprised of three primary categories. The Subsea Engineering courses are available online and face-to-face in a classroom setting.


Degree Plan

Leveling courses:
Up to 3 courses may be required for students who are admitted conditionally into the program or who did not take these courses in their previous education:

  • MATH 3321 - Engineering Mathematics (or equivalent)
    MATH 3363 - Introduction to Partial Differential Equations (or equivalent)
  • MECE 3363 - Introduction to Fluid Dynamics (or equivalent)
  • MECE 4364 - Heat Transfer (or equivalent)
Category 1: Required Co​urses (3 courses)

Every student must take this required three-course sequence. These courses serve as the foundation of the engineering science knowledgebase needed for the remaining graduate curriculum.

Required Courses SCH
MECE 6384 Methods of Applied Mathematics*   3
MECE 6334 Convection Heat Transfer   3
SUBS 6310 Flow Assurance   3

*Alternate Math Courses:

  • SUBS 6305 Mathematics for Subsea Engineers
  • MECE 6385 Methods of Applied Mathematics II
  • CHEE 6330 Foundation of Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering
  • CHEE 6331 Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering I
  • CHEE 6332 Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering II
  • PETR 6338 Applied Mathematical Methods in Petroleum Engineering
Category 2: Restricted Electives (6 courses)

The courses listed below have been specifically developed for the Subsea Engineering Graduate Program. Every student must take at least six of the courses from this prescribed elective list. Additional Subsea Engineering courses are currently being developed and will be added to this list. Students may submit a graduate petition if deviations from this requirement makes sense for individual career paths.

Subsea Elective Courses SCH
SUBS 6305 Mathematics for Subsea Engineers   3
SUBS 6320 Riser Design   3
SUBS 6330 Pipeline Design   3
SUBS 6340 Subsea Processing and Artificial Lift   3
SUBS 6350 Subsea Controls and Systems Engineering   3
SUBS 6351 Design of Blowout Preventers   3
SUBS 6360 Materials and Corrosion   3
SUBS 6370 Computational Methods and Design Experiments   3
SUBS 6380 Subsea Systems   3
SUBS 6397 Subsea Control Theory   3
SUBS 6397 Design for Oil and Gas   3
SUBS 6397 Guide To Engineering Data Science   3
SUBS 6397 Advanced Flow Assurance   3
Category 3: Suggested Electives (1 course)

Categories 1 and 2 have prescribed 9 of the 10 mandatory courses that are required for the MS in Subsea Engineering. This leaves 1 course that can be selected by the student subject to approval by the Director, through a graduate petition form, prior to taking the course(s). Subsea Engineering is an interdisciplinary engineering field, so students are strongly encouraged to take at least one course from another department or program within the Cullen College of Engineering. However, students may take a Subsea Engineering course as their final elective. The Mechanical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering graduate courses applicable to MS in Subsea Engineering include:

MECE 6335 Heat Transfer with Phase Change   3
MECE 6341 Viscous Flow Theory   3
MECE 6353 Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics   3
MECE 6361 Mechanical Behavior of Materials   3
MECE 6397 Feedback Control Systems   3
MECE 63XX Selected Courses require approval from Program Director   3
PETR 6351 Introduction to Petroleum Engineering   3
PETR 6362 Reservoir Engineering I   3
PETR 6328 Petroleum Fluid Properties and Phase Equilibria   3
PETR 6368 Well Drilling & Completion I   3
PETR 6372 Petroleum Production Operations   3
PETR 6306 Oil Field Facilities Design and Operation   3
PETR 6336 Petroleum Energy Markets   3


Academic Requirements

For each graduate program offered, students must have an overall G.P.A. of a 3.0 or higher. Any graduate student who receives a grade of C+ or lower in four graduate courses (whether or not in repeated courses) is ineligible to receive an advanced degree at the university.

Each student assumes responsibility for being familiar with the academic program requirements as stated in the current catalogs of the college, university and this website.


Additional Information:

For degree objectives and application information:

For admission requirements, advising, and other information specific to the subsea engineering program:

Application forms and other information related to admission can be obtained by e-mailing the Graduate Admission Analyst at subsea-advisor [at] (subsea-advisor[at]me[dot]uh[dot]edu)

To receive additional information regarding this program contact the Program Advisors:

  • Subsea Advisor
    subsea-advisor [at] (subsea-advisor[at]me[dot]uh[dot]edu)

Subsea Engineering Program
Engineering Building 1, Room N207
4226 Martin Luther King Boulevard
Houston, TX 77204-4006
Phone: 713-743-4522