A total of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree are required for the PhD degree. These consist of course work hours and research and dissertation credit hours (CBE 600). The Ph.D. is first and foremost a research degree, and emphasis is accordingly placed on completion of a high quality research thesis. In most cases, research suitable for publication in peer-reviewed technical journals is expected.
Specifically, the departmental requirements consist of the satisfactory completion of:
- A minimum of 36 semester hours in graduate level courses (excluding CBE 600) in chemical engineering and related fields beyond the baccalaureate. These courses must include the four core courses and at least 6 hours of courses at the 600 level from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
- The Ph.D. qualifying examination, consisting of a written part and an oral part. The written part covers the core fundamentals of the program (see the qualifying exam description in section 6 below), while the oral part is a presentation based on original research.
- The comprehensive examination, consisting of a written part and an oral part. The written part is the dissertation proposal document (see section 6). The defense of the dissertation proposal constitutes the oral portion of the exam.
- A minimum of 24 credit hours of research and dissertation credit in Chemical Engineering 600. Registration must be continuous from the time research begins (see the Continuous Registration requirement in the Graduate Catalog for further details).
- Successful oral defense of the dissertation before the student’s dissertation committee.
- Active participation in graduate seminars conducted by the department. Resident students must register for CBE 501 or a departmentally approved substitute every semester offered.