Chemical Engineering Master’s Degree Program

The M.S. Program is intended to extend and broaden an undergraduate education with fundamental knowledge in different fields. The degree may be terminal, or obtained on the way to the Ph.D. The degree is offered under both the Thesis Plan I and the Comprehensive Examination Plan II.

M.S. Time Limit Policy: Full-time M.S. students are permitted seven quarters in which to complete all requirements. While there is no written time limit for part-time students, the department has the right to intervene and set individual deadlines if it becomes necessary.

Course requirements: All M.S. students must complete a total of thirty-six units, which include a core of five courses (twenty units): CENG 210A, CENG 221A, CENG 221B, CENG 251, and CENG 252. To maintain a certain balance in the core, no more than two mathematics courses should be chosen among the choices of applied mathematics (MAE 294AB or Math 210AB) and numerical mathematics (MAE 290AB or Math 270AB).

No more than three courses (twelve units) of upper-division courses may be applied toward the total course work requirement. No more than a total of eight units of CENG 296 may be applied toward the course work requirement. Units in seminars (CENG 259) may not be applied toward the degree requirement.

Thesis Plan I: Completion of the thesis research (CENG 299) fulfills twelve units toward the total graduation requirement. The balance is made up of the five core courses, twenty (20) units, and one additional one elective course, four (4) units, subject to the restrictions described above. The nanotechnology concentration signifies that four elective courses are chosen from the approved courses in this area.

Students must notify Graduate Advising (, by week 2 of the quarter, if they plan to advance to MS candidacy, or at least 4 weeks prior to the Thesis defense date, if they have advanced to MS candidacy, and will be defending their thesis, by entering their information into the MS Thesis Plan Form

The MS Thesis Committee must be constituted and approved by GEPA before a student can defend their thesis.  The thesis committee should have 3 members.  The thesis faculty advisor should be the committee chair, and 2 members must be from Nano/Ceng (committee chair and another member).

Comprehensive Examination Plan II: This plan involves course work only and culminates in an oral comprehensive examination based on topics selected from the core courses. In addition to the five core courses (twenty units), one must choose an additional four electives (sixteen units) subject to the restrictions of CENG 259 and 296 described above. Sample electives are listed in the table below. A student should consult his or her academic advisor to choose an appropriate course schedule, including alternatives in bioengineering, electrical and computer engineering, materials science, basic sciences, and mathematics. The nanotechnology concentration signifies that four elective courses are chosen from the approved courses in this area.

The CENG comprehensive examination this year will take place on Friday 4/21/23.

Continuing MS Comp Exam students who need to advance prior to requesting the MS degree, should notify Graduate Advising by week 2 of the advancement quarter, or who have advanced and are requesting the MS degree, should notify Graduate Advising 4-5 weeks before the end of the completion quarter, by entering their information into the MS Comprehensive Exam Plan Form.  

Class schedule for the year 2022-2023 is as follows:
(Subject to change, see Schedule of Classes for the most current course offerings.)

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 9.50.08 AM.png

Change of Degree: Upon completion of the requirements for the M.S. degree, students admitted as M.S. only or M.S. candidates are not automatically eligible for admission to the Ph.D. Program.

M.S. only and M.S. candidates who subsequently wish to pursue a doctorate must submit an application for a change in status to their examining committee. The application, if approved by the committee, must be signed by a faculty member who expects to serve as the student’s Ph.D. advisor, and provide financial support. The student must also submit a general petition for graduate students to effect the change of status. If the student elects the comprehensive examination plan for the M.S. degree, the examining committee may recommend that the comprehensive examination may replace the preliminary qualifying examination expected of Ph.D. students.