Doctor of Philosophy Program

The Ph.D. program is designed to prepare each student to take an active part in the development and growth of the field of chemical engineering at all levels in academia, industry, and various research organizations. All admitted graduate students must demonstrate competence in graduate course work and demonstrate the capability to do independent research. Each student selects a major professor and an advisory committee to assist him/her in planning a program of course work and thesis research. The student takes thirty credits of graduate course work (usually 10 three-credit classes), and the student writes a thesis. The thesis research should be original work that contributes significantly to new knowledge.

In the beginning of the second year of the program, all students go through the Ph.D. Qualifying Procedure.  They must pass the Qualifying Procedure (Qual) in order to proceed directly to the Ph.D. program.

Beginning with the third semester, each student, as part of the degree requirement, occasionally assists in the instructional activities of the department as a Teaching Fellow (TF). The current periodicity is one semester every other year. Students usually teach in their third and sixth semesters. Advanced students may have the opportunity to participate directly in the planning and presentation of undergraduate courses that are related to their thesis work.

By the eighth week of the sixth semester, students must take their Preliminary Examination (Prelim). During the Prelim, the student presents a plan for his/her research, and the student demonstrates proficiency in the theory and experimental methods needed for completion of the research. Once a student passes the Prelim, he/she is admitted into candidacy. After the student completes the research and writes the thesis, he/she will take the Final Examination, which is a defense of the written thesis.

Master of Science Program

The School of Chemical Engineering offers a Professional Master’s Program. Please click the link in the side bar to learn more about this program. Note, Chemical Engineering does not admit students directly to an MS thesis program. A non-thesis MS degree in Chemical Engineering can be attained while pursuing the PhD degree.