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Chemical Engineer PhD Program Information

Students in Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chemical Engineering programs learn the advanced study of chemical compounds and processes while learning how to conduct research, teach, and present their findings.

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Essential Information

The base of a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chemical Engineering program is performing research in a given area of emphasis. Students can expect to learn a wide range of research skills and advanced chemical analysis techniques, such as gas chromatography. Program specializations include bioengineering, renewable energy, and plastics.

In addition to conducting extensive research and defending a dissertation, most programs require students to complete a teaching assistantship and take advanced math courses, such as calculus and differential equations. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field.


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  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
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  • Civil Engineering
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  • Drafting and Design Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
  • Engineering - Architectural
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Engineering Physics
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Forest Engineering
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  • Materials Engineering
  • Math
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Mining Engineering
  • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
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  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Plastics Engineering
  • Surveying
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  • Textile Technologies

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering

Students entering a Ph.D. program with only a bachelor's degree must complete requirements to earn a Master of Science before continuing their doctoral studies.

Most programs include coursework in advanced mathematics, chemistry, statistics and engineering. Common course titles include:

  • Macromolecules
  • Research and engineering mathematics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Chemical process engineering
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Gas chromatography

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Most chemical engineering positions require a bachelor's degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that chemical engineers earned a median annual salary of $97,360 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS expected that demand in this field will increase at the relatively slow rate of 2% between 2014 and 2024.

According to the BLS, postsecondary chemistry teachers earned a median annual salary of $75,060 in 2015. Employment for postsecondary chemistry teachers is expected to increase 15% between the years of 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).

A Ph.D. in chemical engineering provides students with the advanced mathematical and scientific research training they need for careers in academia or industry. An area of concentration is typically chosen in addition to completing their general education doctoral assignments.

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