Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Department of Chemical Engineering

Ph.D. Program

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Full-time PhD students receive competitive graduate fellowships or research assistantships comprising an annual stipend up to $26,000 plus full coverage of graduate tuition. Students normally enter the PhD program in the Fall semester. Consistent with the interdisciplinary emphasis of the PhD program, students are encouraged to take courses in chemical engineering and in other science and engineering graduate programs across the campus. 

The coursework is designed not only to furnish a foundation for thesis research but also to prepare students for a dynamic professional career upon graduation. As part of their educational experience, all PhD students are expected to provide undergraduate teaching assistance during the first two semesters. Doctoral students are expected to transition from the classroom to full-time research by the end of the second semester. 

Under the direction of a faculty advisor, the student is expected to conduct independent research that results in significant technical contributions to the field and forms the basis of the PhD dissertation. On average it takes five years to complete all the PhD degree requirements. 


For the doctoral degree the University requires a total of 60 and 90 credit hours for students entering with an MS and a BS degree, respectively. In practice, the bulk of these are research credits. Note that, during the first year of residence, students are typically asked to take a total of 32 credits.  (To maintain the full-time student status, a minimum of 12 credits/semester should be taken.)  In addition to research, it is required that students entering with an MS degree complete a minimum of 18 credit hours of coursework. Those students entering the PhD program without an MS degree must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework. Of the formal coursework, 3 courses must satisfy the “core” fundamentals of Chemical Engineering as defined below.

Core course requirements
Students with prior chemical engineering background:
The program for the PhD degree should include at least one course from three of the following core areas:
Advanced Transport Phenomenon
Advanced Thermodynamics
Advanced Mathematics

Students without prior chemical engineering background:
The program for the PhD degree should include at least two from the following three core areas at the undergraduate level and one of the graduate courses listed above:
Fluid Dynamics
Reactor Analysis

For more information on the PhD degree program see our PhD graduate handbook.

Graduate Programs