Chemical Engineering, MSCHE

The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering is normally pursued by students with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering or closely allied fields. Students wishing to pursue the master’s degree but with undergraduate educational backgrounds other than chemical engineering may be required to complete supplementary undergraduate course work. These courses are in addition to the minimum course requirements. Students enrolled in the program are encouraged to seek guidance from their instructors and advisor regarding additional course work that may supplement the graduate curriculum.

Students originally admitted to the master’s degree program who wish to switch to the PhD program must petition the associate chair for graduate studies and follow the procedure detailed under the administrative procedure section for the College of Engineering. If admission is granted, then the student must satisfy all the requirements of the doctoral degree program, including the requirements for doctoral candidacy. 

Course Requirements

A minimum of 32 semester hours of academic work is required to qualify for the Master of Science degree in chemical engineering.

If pursuing a thesis option, at least 8 semester hours of thesis credit must be included as part of these 32 semester hours of credits. In addition, each student pursuing a thesis option must enroll in the department’s seminar course for each semester they are matriculating toward their degree. Students enrolled in the department’s seminar course are encouraged to participate in the seminar by providing a research presentation regarding their research project under the guidance of their advisor. The faculty advisor and the student establish the sequence of courses that students take to pursue the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering.

If pursuing a nonthesis option, students must complete a minimum of 32 semester hours of course work and no enrollment in the seminar course is required. See required core courses and example elective courses for all graduate students.

Degree Requirements Thesis Option Nonthesis Option
Required core courses 16 SH 16 SH
Master of Science thesis 8 SH N/A
Seminar 0 SH N/A
Elective courses 1 8 SH 16 SH
Minimum semester hours required 2 32 SH 32 SH

 Students may complete a maximum of 8 semester hours (thesis option) or 12 semester hours (nonthesis options) of course work for credit outside the Department of Chemical Engineering under the guidance of their advisor and approval of the chemical engineering graduate program director. 


 Exclusive of any preparatory undergraduate courses.

Thesis Requirements

Students pursuing a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering with thesis must submit to the Graduate School of Engineering a written thesis that is approved by the thesis committee and department chair. See the graduate school requirements and electronic submittal instructions. MS with thesis students must also complete an oral master’s thesis defense in order to successfully complete the program. The student will be expected to form a master’s thesis committee, composed of a minimum of three members—one who is the advisor, one other faculty member from the chemical engineering department, and one member from outside the department. The oral presentation will be open to the public, including students, faculty, and the candidate’s committee.

Part-time Students

Part-time students may progress according to their plans and time constraints but within the seven-year time limit. A minimum of 32 semester hours of academic course work is required for part-time students. The thesis and seminar course are not required for part-time students pursuing a master’s degree.

Master of Science students wishing to change their status from part-time to full-time must notify the chemical engineering department and make a formal petition to the Graduate School of Engineering. Refer to the regulations of the Graduate School of Engineering for further information on academic administrative policies.

Departure Prior to Thesis Completion

Occasionally, students have to leave the chemical engineering department prior to completion of all degree requirements. In such instances, longtime intervals have often elapsed before thesis or manuscript submission. Accordingly, the department has adopted the guideline that a student cannot submit a thesis for credit beyond three years after the student stops actively pursuing the research. Exceptions may be granted upon petition to the departmental graduate committee. Petitions must demonstrate extenuating circumstances and prove that the research is still of value to the profession.

Graduate Certificate Options

Students enrolled in a graduate degree program in the College of Engineering have the opportunity to pursue an engineering graduate certificate in addition to or in combination with the MS degree. For more information, please refer to Graduate Certificate Programs.

Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership

Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering with Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership

Students may complete a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering in addition to earning a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership. Students must apply and be admitted to the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program in order to pursue this option. The program requires fulfillment of the 16-semester-hour curriculum required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership, which includes an industry-based challenge project with multiple mentors. The integrated 32-semester-hour degree and certificate will require 16 hours of advisor-approved chemical engineering technical courses.

Engineering Leadership

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

General Requirements

CHME 7320Chemical Engineering Mathematics4
CHME 7330Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics4
CHME 7340Chemical Engineering Kinetics4
CHME 7350Transport Phenomena4


Complete one of the following options:

Course Work Option

Complete 16 semester hours from the course list below.16

Thesis Option 

Complete 8 semester hours from the following (CHME 7990 is repeatable):8
Complete 8 semester hours from the course list below.8

Course List  

Heterogeneous Catalysis
Fundamentals in Process Safety Engineering
Process Safety Engineering—Chemical Reactivity, Reliefs, and Hazards Analysis
Biochemical Engineering
Computational Programs in Process Safety for Relief and Scenario Modeling
Fluid Mechanics
Chemical Process Heat Transfer
Numerical Techniques in Chemical Engineering
Advanced Chemical Engineering Calculations
Electronic Materials, Thin Films, and Nanostructures
Thin Film Technology
Principals of Membrane Processes
Chemical Process Dynamics and Control
Polymer Science
Special Topics in Chemical Engineering
Special Topics in Chemical Engineering
Special Topics in Process Safety
Independent Study
Sustainable Energy: Materials, Conversion, Storage, and Usage
Nanotechnology in Engineering

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

32 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required