Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

MS in Chemical Engineering

Close up of hands using a mortar and pestle in a laboratory.

MS in Chemical Engineering Curriculum

The Master of Science with a major in chemical engineering builds on standard BS chemical engineering education to provide deeper knowledge of fundamental chemical engineering concepts and additional focus on theoretical understanding. The program is appropriate for students interested in careers in process engineering industries and related fields. In addition, students enrolled in the PhD program may earn a concurrent MS degree while enrolled.

The following required core courses must be completed by all graduate students:

  • CBE 506 Advanced Engineering Mathematics, Fall
  • CBE 579 Advanced Biomolecular Engineering, Fall
  • CBE 531 Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, Fall
  • CBE 547 Advanced Transport Phenomena, Spring
  • CBE 551 Advanced Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Kinetics and Reactor Design, Spring

The remainder of the required course work credits may be fulfilled with technical elective courses. Any approved courses listed in the graduate catalog under any engineering or certain science programs may be counted as a technical elective with advisor approval. Approved elective sciences include math; physics; chemistry; biochemistry, cellular, and molecular biology; microbiology; and plant sciences. Other courses with substantial technical content may be counted with approval by the advisor and the Director of Graduate Admissions and Studies Gila Stein.

CBE offers both thesis and non-thesis options for the Master of Science with a major in chemical engineering.

Non-Thesis Option

The standard master’s program is the non-thesis option. The requirements for completion of the MS degree, non-thesis option, are:

  • Completion of a total of 30 hours of graduate course work. At least 18 of those hours must be in the department and must include the five core courses.
  • Active participation in graduate seminars in the department. Resident students must register for CBE 501 every semester it is offered.
  • Satisfactory completion of a culminating experience CBE 580 as this course shall include a comprehensive exam administered by the faculty committee.

Non-Thesis Comprehensive Exam

The student should choose a topic and a committee no later than the semester prior to registering for CBE 580. The committee will consist of the major professor as chairman and at least two additional members holding the rank of assistant professor or above.

A meeting should be held promptly with the committee for the purpose of approving the student’s topic and outline of the proposed work and work schedule. The outline must be approved by the committee before the student registers for CBE 580.

The resulting review paper is expected to be equivalent in quality to one of the following documents and could be submitted for consideration for publication with the student and major professor as co-authors:

  • A paper to any technical journal approved by the candidate’s committee.
  • A paper suitable for presentation at any technical meeting approved by the committee.
  • A research proposal to an appropriate Directorate of the National Science Foundation.
  • An internal publication by the candidate’s employer, approved by the committee. This provision allows proprietary research to be used to satisfy the requirements of CBE 580.

Thesis Option

MS students may choose a thesis-option Master of Science degree. Minimum departmental requirements for the degree are as follows:

  • A total of at least 21 semester hours in graduate-level courses (excluding CBE 500, CBE 501, CBE 503, CBE 511) in chemical and biomolecular engineering and related areas beyond the baccalaureate. These courses must include the five core courses.
  • Research and a thesis to give at least 9 hours of credit in CBE 500.
  • Active participation in graduate seminars in the department. Resident students must register for CBE 501 or a departmentally approved substitute every semester it is offered.
  • A final oral examination covering the thesis and related fields and graduate course work.

View the Graduate Catalog