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Doctor of Philosophy Program

Overview and Requirements

The Ph.D. program builds upon the foundation of knowledge developed in the course of prior studies at the B.S. and M.S. levels. The Ph.D. degree consists of five (5) core courses, as well as credits for seminar, electives, research, and dissertation; a total of seventy-two hours (72) are required. Students must also pass a qualifying examination for the doctorate degree and perform novel and innovative research that leads to a written thesis. The thesis must be successfully defended in a final oral examination by the Doctoral committee that is chaired by the thesis advisor. The average time to degree is approximately five years for the Ph.D.

The Graduate Student Handbook outlines requirements, policies, and procedures for the Ph.D. program.

Curriculum & Courses

Required Courses

The following five (5) core courses are required for the Ph.D.:

These five core courses must be completed with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above in the first two years of study. In addition to the core courses, a minimum of four elective courses should be taken, with courses selected in consultation with the thesis advisor. Graduate students must also enroll in a seminar course each long semester, which is counted towards the degree plan. The degree also requires research credits (ChE 7000) and twelve (12) dissertation credits (CHE 8000), three (3) of which must be taken the semester in which the student defends.

Ph.D. students are required to have a minimum of 72 credits by the time of thesis defense. Below is the typical breakdown of credit hours towards the degree plan.

Core courses: 15 credits
Course electives: 12 credits (minimum)
Seminar courses: 8 credits
Research: 25 credits*
Dissertation: 12 credits

*Titles to be provided in degree plan for all but 6 credits.

Students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher in their graduate coursework, in addition to a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the required core courses.

Course Offerings

Specifically, the graduate courses offered by the Department of Chemical Engineering are as follows: