University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


Subsea M.S. to be Offered Online

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Toby Weber

Last year, the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering won permission to offer the nation’s first and only master’s degree in subsea engineering. This fall, nearly all the program’s courses will be offered online.

Subsea engineering focuses on the design and maintenance of the infrastructure and tools used in offshore petroleum exploration and retrieval. The program began by offering courses toward earning subsea engineering certificates in the spring semester of 2011. In the fall of 2012, the college won approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer an M.S. in the field.

According to Matt Franchek, program director and professor of mechanical engineering, the program is designed for professional, working engineers. By adding an online option, “we’re offering these professionals greater flexibility in their studies. At the same, by going online we’re allowing engineers across the country and even outside the U.S. to earn a master’s in the field.”

Students in the Houston area will be able to take online courses but will still be required to come to the university for some computer lab simulation work, Franchek noted. Those further away will be able to complete these simulations through distance learning applications.

For more information on the Subsea Engineering Program, visit



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