You Don't Need a B.S. in Chemical Engineering to Succeed in the Professional M.S. Program

Chemists and other STEM majors can succeed in the Chemical Engineering Professional M.S. Program (PMP), too. The PMP adds skills at the interface between a student's STEM background and chemical engineering, creating hybrid graduates highly valued by industry because they can effectively interact with scientists that make new materials and chemical engineers that scale-up the underlying chemistry.

Program Requirements

Students do need a strong foundation in the following courses in order to be successful in the PMP curriculum.

The following courses would be helpful, but are not required.

Program Curriculum

Students will take three (3) pre-requisite courses in addition to the standard PMP courses to prepare them for the graduate-level core PMP chemical engineering courses. These courses begin when the student starts the program and are taken concurrently with the other PMP concentration and business curriculum.

Program Schedule

The program takes only 16-months to complete with the pre-requisite courses, starting in August and finishing in December of the following year. A sample plan of study is below.

Fall, Semester 1

  • Chemical Engineering Calculations
  • Engineering Math
  • Industrial Marketing Management or Concentration Area Courses
  • Total Credits: 10

Spring, Semester 2

  • Separations Processes
  • Reaction Engineering
  • Transport Phenomena
  • Financial Analysis & Management of Projects
  • Operations Management or Strategic Management or Concentration Area Courses
  • Total Credits: 13-16

Summer, Semester 3

  • Chemical Engineering Capstone Project
  • Total Credits: 6

Fall, Semester 4

  • Industrial Marketing Management or Concentration Area Courses
  • Operations Management or Strategic Management or Concentration Area Courses
  • Concentration Area Courses
  • Total Credits: 9

Program Cost & Return on Investment

The 16-month timeline of the PMP costs approximately $19,453-52,356, depending on resident status. Current data of chemists graduating from our MS program indicate about a $30,000/year boost in their starting salary, thus the cost of the MS degree can be recouped in less than two years, with the enhanced compensation then remaining throughout the rest of their career.

As well as the measurable difference in starting salaries between the two degrees, beginning salaries for chemical engineers have increased steadily, while salaries for chemistry grads have been flat for the last 10 years.

Graph of Starting Salaries for BS Chemists compared to BS Chemical Engineers
For graduates who want a career in industry instead of academia, chemical engineering provides a better career choice. The American Chemical Society’s 2016 Salary Report shows that 93% of B.S. chemical engineers are employed in industry vs. only 73% of B.S. chemists.
A reported 83% of the August 2019 graduating cohort of the PMP found employment within 6 months of graduation and received an average starting salary of $82,000. 
Historically, 94% of our graduates attain employment within 6 months of graduation and receive an average starting salary of $72,000.*
While a chemistry degree can provide a practical career pathway, a chemical engineering degree offers a career with significantly better industry prospects and salary potential. The Professional Master's Program provides students from non-chemical engineering backgrounds the opportunity for increased career pathways, prospects, and earning potential and Purdue Chemical Engineering graduates are highly sought after by the chemical industry.

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*Employment and salary data is based upon self-reported data from recent graduates.