MS Program

ChE MS booklet cover

The MS in Chemical Engineering at UIC is designed to provide all students with advanced knowledge of chemical engineering while allowing them to make certain choices that customize the program for their specific needs.

There are three formats: a two-year program, a one-year fast-track program, and a 4+1 program that allows current chemical engineering undergraduates to apply to finish both their BS and MS in five years total.

No matter which format you choose, you will learn about core subjects in chemical engineering such as continuum and molecular fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, macroscopic and microscopic thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and process analysis. The knowledge and skills acquired in our MS program can be applied to energy production and utilization, material properties under extreme conditions, biologically based processes, and the environment, among other fields.

Find out more about specific requirements below, and download our MS degree overview booklet (PDF) to get acquainted with our program.

Three ways to earn your MS in Chemical Engineering

UIC offers three pathways to the master of science degree. These summaries, and the program detail sections that follow, will help you to determine which is the right format for you.
  • Two-Year Format

    The two-year format offers several advantages, including more time at UIC to complete your degree and the chance to pursue an original thesis, if you would like to. This format has a project option and a coursework-only option as well.

  • One-Year Format

    The one-year “fast track” format does not offer a thesis option, but it does allow you to finish your master’s degree on an accelerated timetable. Students spend either three semesters (fall, spring, and summer) or two semesters (fall and spring) at UIC.

  • 4+1 Format

    The 4+1 format is a special option available only to current undergraduate chemical engineering majors at UIC. Students take two graduate-level classes in their undergraduate senior year so that they can finish the MS in their fifth year.

Two-Year Format

Students who choose to complete the MS in Chemical Engineering in two years—the most traditional format—can select from three options: thesis, project, or coursework-only. Expand the sections below to learn about the curriculum for each option.

One-Year Format

Students in the one-year format who pursue the project option spend a fall, spring, and summer semester at UIC, meaning that they begin classes in August and graduate the following August. One-year students who choose the coursework-only option complete their degrees in one fall and one spring semester, starting classes in August and graduating in May. Expand the sections below to learn about the curriculum for each option.

4+1 Format

UIC chemical engineering undergraduates may apply to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just five years. In the 4+1 format, participants earn a bachelor’s degree in their first four years and then complete the master’s degree in chemical engineering in the fifth year.

In this format, students receive approval from their academic advisor to take their first two graduate courses in their senior year, and these courses also meet their undergraduate requirements for technical electives or electives outside the major. The 4+1 format is ideal for undergraduates who have excelled academically and who want to pursue graduate-level study in chemical engineering or enter the industry at a higher level.

Undergraduates may apply to this program at any time, but no later than the end of the second week of their senior fall semester. A GPA of 2.5 or higher in the prior semester is required. For more information or to begin an application, fill out the 4+1 program expression of interest form.

Note: The UIC graduate catalog page for the 4+1 program is still in progress. This PDF provides the catalog information in the interim.

Program Requirements

All MS students must meet all Graduate College minimum requirements in addition to the requirements of their specific program.

Our MS programs require a grade point average of at least 3.0 (with A = 4.0). Credit toward a graduate degree is not given for any course in which a grade of less than C has been obtained. No graduation credit is given for credit/no credit courses. All courses must be approved first by the student’s advisor and then by the director of graduate studies.

There is no comprehensive examination in our MS program.

The UIC Graduate College requires that a student complete our MS programs within five years of the date of initial registration.

Learn about MS program admissions