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—in particular, selecting among a thesis optionproject option, or coursework-only option.

To provide additional flexibility, UIC chemical engineering offers its MS in a traditional two-year format and a fast-track one-year format. In the two-year format, students may choose among thesis, project, or coursework-only. In the fast-track one-year format, students may choose either project or coursework-only.

MS students 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.

Get acquainted with our master’s program in our MS degree overview booklet (PDF).

Find out more about specific program requirements below.

Thesis Option

In the thesis option, students complete a suite of coursework in preparation for a master’s-level research project, which they execute with the support of a faculty advisor. The thesis option is strongly recommended for students who may consider going on for a PhD after finishing the MS program.

Required semester hours: 36

Required courses: 5 courses (20 semester hours)

  • CHE 501 Advanced Thermodynamics or CHE 502 Fluid Phase Equilibria
  • CHE 510 Separation Processes or CHE 511 Advanced Mass Transfer or CHE 512 Microhydrodynamics, Diffusion, and Membrane Transport
  • CHE 520 Transport Phenomena
  • CHE 527 Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • CHE 531 Numerical Methods in Chemical Engineering or CHE 545 Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering

Electives: 1 course (4 semester hours)

Research: 3 courses of CHE 598 MS Thesis Research (12 semester hours)

Project Option

The project option allows students to demonstrate their learning in the form of a substantive capstone project that is advised by a faculty member and evaluated by the advisor and one other faculty member. The project work and a required summary report must demonstrate a high level of professional skill, but students do not need to formally present or defend their projects.

Required semester hours: 36

Required courses: 5 courses (20 semester hours)

  • CHE 501 Advanced Thermodynamics or CHE 502 Fluid Phase Equilibria
  • CHE 510 Separation Processes or CHE 511 Advanced Mass Transfer or CHE 512 Microhydrodynamics, Diffusion, and Membrane Transport
  • CHE 520 Transport Phenomena
  • CHE 527 Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • CHE 531 Numerical Methods in Chemical Engineering or CHE 545 Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering

Electives: 3 courses (12 semester hours)

Research: 1 course of CHE 597 MS Project Research (4 semester hours)

Coursework-Only Option

In the coursework-only option, students complete all the requirements for the degree through coursework. There is no thesis or project.

Required semester hours: 36

Required courses: 5 courses (20 semester hours)

  • CHE 501 Advanced Thermodynamics or CHE 502 Fluid Phase Equilibria
  • CHE 510 Separation Processes or CHE 511 Advanced Mass Transfer or CHE 512 Microhydrodynamics, Diffusion, and Membrane Transport
  • CHE 520 Transport Phenomena
  • CHE 527 Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • CHE 531 Numerical Methods in Chemical Engineering or CHE 545 Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering

Electives: 4 courses (16 semester hours)

One-Year Fast-Track Format

Students who choose the one-year fast-track format have the option to pursue the project option or to complete the degree entirely with coursework.

One-year fast-track students 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.

Note: For students applying to the fast-track one-year format for fall 2020, the GRE is waived.

Expand the sections below to see the curriculum plan for each option in the one-year program.

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