Skip to Navigation
Columbia Campus    
  Dec 14, 2017
2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Chemical Engineering, Ph.D.

Return to Programs A-Z Return to: Programs A-Z

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will acquire and demonstrate expertise in selected core subject areas of chemical engineering: chemical process analysis, thermodynamics, fluid flow analysis, mass transfer and reactor design by earning a grade of B or better. 
  • Students will acquire a working knowledge of various areas of chemical science and technology and in allied fields, including other engineering disciplines, the sciences, and mathematics. They will successfully complete three elecive courses; these courses will be approved by their advisors and the Graduate Director.
  • Students will gain exposure to advances at the frontiers of knowledge in chemical science and technology. All PhD students are required to attend periodic departmental seminars by registering for a one-credit seminar class each semester.       
  • Students will acquire the ability to identify pertinent research problems, to formulate and execute a research plan, to generate and analyze original research results, and to communicate those results through oral presentations and written publications submitted to refereed archival journals.
  • Students will acquire the basic skills needed for life-long learning and professional development. The ability to perform research and apply it to practical use is demonstrated by successful completion of a doctoral research project and related dissertation. Writing an article suitable for publication in peer-reviewed journals is a necesary skill, which students demonstrate by having three such articles accepted for publication prior to the granting of the PhD. A Graduate Symposium is held each year by the Department at which students present their research results to the Department Industrial Advisory Board.

Degree Requirements (60 Post Baccalaureate Hours)

For Doctor of Philosophy students, a minimum of 60 credit hours is required beyond the B.S. degree. No more than two courses below the 700 level may be used on the program of study.

For students entering the Ph.D. degree program with a Master of Science degree in chemical engineering equivalent to that awarded at USC, the Program of Study must show a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the MS degree, including 30 credit hours of dissertation preparation (ECHE 899 ), or additional lecture courses in place of ECHE 899 . Any additional lecture courses may be from chemistry, engineering, mathematics, statistics, physics, biology, medicine, etc. upon approval of the student’s Dissertation Committee and the Graduate Director. No more than two courses below the 700 level may appear on the Program of Study, including courses taken in the prior master’s degree program.

The overall Program of Study, including courses taken in the prior M.S. degree program, must include the five required courses for the PhD degree. Courses taken during the prior M.S. degree program may be used to fulfill these requirements. Students must submit petitions to the Graduate Director, supported by appropriate documentation, to seek approval for substitution of prior course work for any of the five required core courses.

Each Ph.D. student must select a research advisor during the first semester after admission to the doctoral program. After a Ph.D. student passes the admission to candidacy examination, an advisory committee of no less than four members will be selected. The committee must include the department chair and one outside member. Doctoral students must pass the comprehensive examination before the start of the student’s fifth semester in the program (not including summer terms). Students should consult the graduate director for information on the format and subjects of the admission to candidacy and comprehensive examinations. Prior to graduation, each Ph.D. student must submit at least three papers for publication in peer-reviewed technical journals. Other requirements pertaining to the comprehensive examination, dissertation examination, and final submission of the dissertation conform to the general regulations of The Graduate School.

Under extenuating circumstances, students may seek relief from departmental degree regulations by written petition to the graduate director.

Course Work (24 Hours)

Remaining Three Courses (9 Hours)

  • The remaining three courses may be from many disciplines including chemistry, engineering, mathematics, statistics. physics, biology, medicine, etc. upon approval of the PhD Committee and Graduate Director.

Research (At Most 6 Hours)

Dissertation Preparation (12 Hours)


No foreign language is required for any graduate degree in chemical engineering. Additional requirements follow.

Return to Programs A-Z Return to: Programs A-Z