PhD Program

The PhD in Chemical Engineering at UIC develops students into researchers in their own right. Doctoral students work alongside faculty mentors to conduct investigations in their labs, and they also may have the opportunity to develop classroom skills as teaching assistants. Our doctoral programs produce top-tier candidates for high-level industry jobs, postdoctoral research positions, and tenure-track faculty roles at universities around the world.

PhD coursework covers 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. Dissertation research projects are devised collaboratively between students and their faculty advisors. To get a sense of recent dissertations produced in our department, visit our dissertations page.

Program Overview

The PhD requires 108 semester hours, beginning with coursework and culminating in the research, writing, and defense of an original dissertation. We welcome applicants who are completing (or who have already completed) a master’s degree in chemical engineering or a related discipline, as well as applicants with only an undergraduate degree.

Students admitted with a prior master’s degree in their field of study receive up to 32 semester hours of credit for their prior academic work, while students who are directly admitted after their bachelor’s degree will need to complete all 108 semester hours of PhD credit during their time in our program.

PhD Degree Requirements

Preliminary Examination

PhD students must pass a preliminary examination before they begin the final phase of their doctoral study. The preliminary examination includes both a written component and an oral examination.

There is no qualifying examination.

Dissertation Process

Upon completion of all degree requirements and the dissertation, students must orally defend their work before their committee.

Learn about PhD program admissions