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EGEE 120 - Oil: International Evolution

This is a sample syllabus.

This sample syllabus is a representative example of the information and materials included in this course. Information about course assignments, materials, and dates listed here is subject to change at any time. Definitive course details and materials will be available in the official course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


EGEE 120 (GS;US or IL) Oil: International Evolution will review the commercial development and impact of the world petroleum industry from various international, historical, business, and cultural perspectives.


The course has three goals:

  1. First, it seeks to introduce students to the historical development of the oil industry and how oil has impacted every aspect of mankind since its discovery.
  2. Second, it attempts to develop critical reading and thinking skills through weekly readings and discussion of those readings.
  3. Third, it aims to help students improve their skills in analysis and communication of the socio-economic, political, technological and cultural impact of oil as a commodity through the regular writing, project work, and topical discussion assignments.

For the General Education US and International Culture (US or IL) domain, the course will help students to:

  • see nations and cultures not in isolation, but in relation to each other;
  • cultivate awareness of the diversity within international cultures;
  • convey consideration for different cultural values, traditions, beliefs, and customs;
  • increase knowledge about the range of cultural achievements and human conditions through time;
  • be more sophisticated in understanding the nature of stereotypes and biases;
  • be able to interact successfully with representatives of other nations & persons of different social groups;
  • increase the ability to locate and evaluate information, and to gain knowledge, about other peoples of the world.

For the General Education Social and Behavioral (GS) knowledge domain, the course will help students achieve the following:

  • broadly survey the existing knowledge in the discipline;
  • develop the students' understanding of the scientific methodologies of social and behavioral sciences;
  • develop an understanding of the multiple nature of causality in social settings;
  • relate to other social and behavioral sciences;
  • integrate empirical knowledge and theoretical views of the social world.

By the end of the semester, students will have a broad understanding of oil and its pervasive impact on society over the years, better writing ability, and improve critical reading and thinking skills. This general education course will provide a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding how oil affects international relations and commerce. The relationships between oil technology, social and political institutions and the unique cultures in oil-producing regions will be investigated.

Required Materials

The materials listed here represent those that may be included in this course. Students will find a definitive list in the course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.

Required Textbooks

  • The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power, by Daniel Yergin
  • The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, by Daniel Yergin

Required Software

Yellowdig Discussion Platform - cost: $12.95 for the semester




We have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. How much and how well you learn is dependent on your attitude, diligence, and willingness to ask for clarifications or help when you need them. We are here to help you succeed. Please keep up with the class schedule and take advantage of opportunities to communicate with us and with your fellow students. You can expect to spend an average of 8 – 10 hours per week on class work.

Major Assignments

Weekly Quizzes (15% of total course grade)

Midterm Exam (12.5% of total course grade)

Participation/Discussions (20% of total course grade)

Participation is an essential part of the EGEE 120 experience. “Participation” means that students must engage in the course by participating actively in a weekly participation assignment that allows you to illustrate knowledge evaluated from an individual lesson.

Homework (20% of total course grade)

Four homework assignments include an infographic assignment, two "Analyze a Quiz Question" assignments, and a personal reflection assignment.

Unessay Project (20% of total course grade)

For this project, students will be asked to consider how significant moments in the history of oil and its impact on society have shaped the global economy, political dynamics, and the lives of private citizens. The project has three parts: a proposal, the unessay, and a presentation (sharing) opportunity.  

Final Exam (12.5% of total course grade)

Course Schedule

Course Schedule
1The Rise of American Oil and the Competitive International Industry2 discussions
2Standard Oil Trust and the Oil Wars
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Quiz
3Asian Oil Development and World War I
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Homework Assignment: Analyze a Quiz Question
4Middle East Oil Development & the Rise of Automobiles & Gasoline
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Quiz
5Boom and Bust Cycles
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Homework Assignment: Analyze a Quiz Question
6Oil Strategy and World War II
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Quiz
7Mid TermMidterm exam
8WW II and Post-war Order
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Homework Assignment: Infographic
9Post-war Petroleum Order and Crises
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Quiz
10The Hydrocarbon Age
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Unessay Project proposal submission
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Quiz
12Unessay Project week
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Unessay Project submission
13Supply Disruptions, Price Shocks & Oil Market Trading
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Homework Assignment: Reflection
14Crisis in the Gulf, Mergers, New Provinces and Oil since The Prize
  • Weekly Discussion Participation 
  • Unessay Project Presentation
15Study week
  • Weekly Discussion Participation
  • Quiz
Final Exam