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Petroleum Geosystems Initiative

The Petroleum Geosystems Initiative (PGI) is a unique, interdisciplinary MS track designed to prepare students for careers in the petroleum industry. In addition to conducting cutting-edge independent research advised by faculty throughout the Department of Geosciences, PGI students complete a team- and project-based curriculum designed to prepare tomorrow’s industry leaders.


  • Work closely with multi-disciplinary team of other PGI students
  • Learn from a series of interactive, industry-focused PGI courses that supplement the Geosciences Graduate Curriculum
  • Conduct cutting-edge independent research with Penn State's world class faculty
  • Obtain practical hands-on industry training through interaction with industry mentors and participation in the Imperial Barrel Award program.


In addition to in-depth training provided by discipline-specific courses and the Geosciences Graduate Curriculum, all students participating in PGI take the following courses
Petroleum GeSystems; Multichannel Seismic Processing; 
Applied Reservoir Engineering; Petroleum Exploration (IBA Program)


Just like other Geosciences graduate students, PGI students work with faculty to pursue original research projects across a broad range of disciplines including geophysics, geochemistry, sedimentology, stratigraphy, structural geology, geodynamics, tectonics, Earth surface processes and paleobiology. Through thesis research, PGI participants develop the deep technical, critical-thinking, and communication skills required for a successful industry career. 


Student fellowships are generously provided by Chevron. This support allows PGI students to pursue high-level research and make important connections with geoscientists actively working in industry.


Students currently supported by Chevron

2018-2019 2019-2020
Arnold Eatmon Julia Carr
Zi Xiang Leong Guangchi Xing



Prospective students should apply to the Department of Geosciences Graduate Program  and indicate their interest in the Petroleum Geosystems Initiative by including a brief summary of interest in the personal statement they write for the department application. We encourage applications from students with a wide variety of backgrounds and research interests. Admitted grad applicants will be selected for PGI fellowships by the PGI faculty committee (Drs. Furlong, Hajek, and Zhu).