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) chosen among fluid dynamics (CENG 210A, MAE 210B), heat and mass transfer (CENG 221AB), chemical reaction engineering (CENG 252), and mathematics. 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 research thesis (CENG 299) fulfills twelve units toward the total graduation requirement. The balance is made up of the five core courses (twenty units) and additional one elective course (four units) subject to the restrictions described above. The nanotechnology concentration signifies that four elective courses are chosen from the approved courses in this area.

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.

Fall                                                            Winter                                                             Spring

                                                                                                                           Core selections

CENG 210A                                               CENG 221B                                                 CENG 252

CENG 221A                                               MAE 210B

MAE 290A or 294A                               MAE 290B or 294B


                                                           Suggested electives                                                            


MS 201A                                                     MS 201B                                                     MS 201C

MAE 211                                                    MAE 212                                                     MAE 213

MATH 270A                                              MATH 270B                                              MATH 270C

CHEM 211                                                 CHEM 212                                                 CHEM 213  

                                                            Nanotechnology concentration                                                            


CENG 211                                                  CENG 213                                                  CENG 215

CENG 212                                                  CENG 214                                                  

Course titles and descriptions are located in the General Catalog.

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. 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.