What is the difference between the Professional Master's Program and a traditional M.S. Program?
The programs differ in two primary ways. First, a traditional chemical engineering M.S. program prepares students to perform research and complete a thesis-based M.S. degree. The Davidson School of Chemical Engineering does not have a thesis-based M.S. program. Instead, applicants are admitted directly to the Ph.D. program. The Ph.D. admission process is highly competitive and evaluates an applicant’s potential to do thesis research and complete a Ph.D degree.
The Professional Master’s Program (PMP) is a terminal M.S. program and confers a non-thesis M.S. degree. The PMP admission process evaluates an applicant on their ability to complete the rigorous M.S. curriculum, not their potential to do thesis research. This program targets recent STEM graduates and professionals who want to further their education in a specialized field and advance their careers in industry and government. All applicants who apply for the M.S. program will only be considered for admission to the PMP. If you wish to complete thesis research, you should apply directly to the Ph.D. program.
Second, the Professional M.S. Program requires students enrolled in the program to complete three (3) management-based courses in order to prepare them to be future leaders in the chemical process industry. This balance of advanced technical and management training better prepares graduates of the program such that they can rise up the managerial ranks faster in industrial settings.
What kind of degree do PMP graduates receive?
The School confers only one M.S. degree, the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSCHE) degree. All PMP graduates receive this degree.
I do not have a degree in Chemical Engineering. Can I still apply for this program?
Yes. We consider applicants with a B.S. (or equivalent) from areas such as chemistry, materials science, biomedical engineering, or related disciplines. Additionally, students who have M.S. degrees in related (e.g., chemistry) fields, but NOT in chemical engineering, are encouraged to apply. A special plan of study will be tailored for these students to help them grasp core chemical engineering concepts. This extends the duration of the PMP to be 16 months rather than 12 months for students who enter with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering.
May I apply for financial aid?
Direct financial support from the ChE Professional Master's Program is not available. However, students can contact the Division of Financial Aid (DFA) to discuss federal loan programs and other lending opportunities. Students interested in financial assistance should call the DFA at (765) 494-5050, or submit a question online through the DFA’s contact form
Am I eligible for a graduate assistantship?
Students enrolled in the Professional Master's Program in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering are not allowed to accept research assistantships, teaching assistantships, project assistantships, or other University appointments that grant waivers of tuition and/or academic fees anywhere on campus. Accepting an assistantship or tuition waiver while enrolled in the program may lead to removal of the student from the program. Corporate tuition support is not included in these categories, nor are external funding sources.
Will I have to complete a thesis?
No. This is a non-thesis program, but you will be required to complete either an academic or industrial research project during the summer semester.
How does the summer research project work?
Each student will be matched with an academic or industrial sponsor (based on the preference of the student) to work on a six credit hour research project relevant to their concentration. The results will be presented in the form of a 20-page manuscript and an oral presentation to a panel of faculty and project managers at the end of the summer.
How long does it take to complete the PMP?
A student with a previous degree in chemical engineering who is enrolled in the program full-time can finish the PMP within 12 months (three semesters, including the summer).
A student without a previous degree in chemical engineering who is enrolled in the program full-time can finish the PMP within 16 months (4 semesters, including the summer).
All PMP students must complete the PMP degree within two calendar years of their start date.
Can I perform an internship during the PMP?
Yes. Students in the PMP are able to complete an internship, but they must first seek approval from the Director of the Professional M.S. Program to do so. Please note that completing an internship will delay your time to graduation.
Are international students eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after graduation?
Yes. OPT is a benefit available to F-1 students to gain practical experience working off-campus in a job directly related to their major field of study. Graduates of the PMP are eligible for the standard 12-month OPT benefit, but they are also eligible for the 24-month STEM OPT extension. This results in a total eligibility of 36-months of OPT, pending the graduate meets the requirements for the benefit, as determined by International Students and Scholars. More information about OPT can be found on the ISS webpage.
How much does the program cost?
The costs for the program follows the standard tuition for Purdue Engineering Graduate Students and are published on the Tuition and Fees page of the Office of the Bursar. For Academic Year 2021-2022, residents pay approximately $13,895 for 12-months of study and approximately $19,435 for 16-months of study, while non-residents (including international students) pay approximately $37,398 for 12-months of study and approximately $52,357 for 16-months of study.