All doctorate candidate graduate students are supported by fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships.All doctorate candidate graduate students are supported by fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships.

Graduate Study
PhD in Chemical Engineering

The PhD program emphasizes advanced coursework, hands-on teaching experience, and world-class research at the forefront of the broad disciplines of chemical and biological engineering. Students are trained to become leaders in research and development in industrial and university settings.

We also foster entrepreneurial research activities. PhD students work with top researchers who are organized in three areas: biotechnology, bioengineering, and complexity; materials and nanoengineering; and energy and sustainability. We encourage interdisciplinary research interactions, including through world-class research centers and training programs that have not only garnered the department a high national ranking, but have also led to attracting students from the most competitive institutions in the world.

Learn more about the department's research areas

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Training Programs

PhD students have the option of completing one of two training programs. Typically, students apply to both programs. If they are accepted by both, they must select one or the other.

The Biotechnology training program

The biotechnology training program is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental program that provides PhD students with greater research and training opportunities. It also promotes interdisciplinary education in biotechnology, interactions among faculty members and students with interests in biotechnology, and it exposes students to industrial biotechnology research.

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The chemistry of life processes training program

The chemistry of life processes training program integrates biology and chemistry through a common set of course requirements, a hands-on, team-based approach to laboratory training, a unique preceptor arrangement, and a strong communal training environment.

Learn more about the the chemistry of life processes training program

Career paths

The department prepares PhD graduates for careers in academia, industry, and government. Students interested in academia are advised on how to formulate and tackle their own research questions, and they are extensively mentored in teaching. We have significant success in placing students in top departments nationwide.

A majority of graduates pursue careers in industry or government, including the full gamut of process and product research and development, consulting, finance, and managerial tracks across different industry sectors. The department’s industrial internship program frequently leads to offers for permanent employment.