Founded in 1958, Southwest Petroleum University (SWPU) was co-built by the central and local governments and is administered mainly by Sichuan Provincial Government. It is the second petroleum university since the establishment of P.R. China. In September 2017, SWPU was selected as one of the "double first-class" universities in China and one of the 80 universities with A+ discipline. In the same year of 2017, SWPU joined the world top 1% universities and research institutions in the ESI ranking system.

With 60 years of construction, SWPU has grown into a multi-disciplinary university focusing on engineering, with advantage in Oil and Gas discipline that ranks the top in China.

The university is composed of 19 schools, covering 8 discipline fields: Engineering, Science, Management, Economics, Literature, Law, Education and Art. It offers 75 bachelor's degree programs, 88 master’s degree programs, 34 doctor's degree programs, and holds 5post-doctorate
bases.

Currently, there are 36,942 full-time students, including 30,068 undergraduates, 5,446 master students, 883 doctoral students, 1,400 on-the-job engineering graduates and 543 International students. There are 2,556 faculty and staff members, including 2 academicians of Chinese Academy of Engineering, 276 full-time professors , 663 associate professors and 1878 full-time teachers.

SWPU boasts of 165 research centers and laboratories at various levels, including 2 State Kay Laboratory (Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation Engineering, Natural Gas Hydrate), 7 National Engineering Laboratories (Co-established), 4 Strategy Alliances for
Industrial Technology Innovation, 1 University National Science Park.

SWPU has always attached great importance to international exchange and cooperation. Various international joint projects and programs have been conducted between SWPU and educational institutions from different countries, such as America, Russia, England, Germany,
Japan, France, Canada and Korea.

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