Following the discovery of abundant natural gas in the Gulf of Thailand in the eighties, there was a strong demand for qualified manpower to work in the fast growing petrochemical and related industries. Chulalongkorn University, seeing this need, timely established The Petroleum and Petrochemical College in 1988 to produce graduates of high international standards in the fields of petroleum and petrochemical technology and polymer science. Collaborations with internationally recognized universities were envisaged as the most fitting way to establish a graduate program that would be comparable to that offered in world-leading institutions.
in 1991 Associate Professor Kamchad Mongkolkul, Director of the College at the time, visited some 12 U.S. universities to seek possible collaborations. The visit eventually led to collaboration with three leading U.S. universities to conduct International Graduate Programs at the Petroleum and Petrochemical College.
The College entered into academic partnership in 1992, with three distinguished US universities – Case Western Reserve University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oklahoma to develop and offer graduate programs at College, that are equipvalent to those offered in leading U.S. universities. In conjunction with its U.S. partners, the College currently offers International Master and Doctor of Philosophy Degree Programs in two majors Petrochemical Technology and Polymer Science.
With the success of the first two programs, the College started, in 2002 a new International Master Degree Program in Petroleum Technology, in conjunction with the Institut Français du Pétrole in France, the University of Michigan and the University of Oklahoma.