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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Programs of Study


Master of Science

Candidates for the Master of Science must complete 24 semester hours of graduate level courses (12 hours in chemical engineering core courses, 6 hours in a minor field complementary to the research, and 6 hours in chemical engineering and related areas). The candidate's course selection is approved by the thesis advisor.

An M.S. program for non-chemical engineering undergraduates also exists at Vanderbilt. Graduates holding a B.S. in Science, Mathematics, and other engineering disciplines must demonstrate sufficient skill and knowledge in problem solving for placement into the core Chemical Engineering courses. In most cases, undergraduate courses in Chemical Engineering are required. Persons interested in this program should contact the Director of Graduate Studies in Chemical Engineering for more detailed information.

In addition to course work, each degree candidate conducts research under the supervision of a faculty advisor, prepares a written thesis, and presents it orally to the faculty.

Doctor of Philosophy

Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy complete a minimum of 72 semester hours of work beyond the Bachelor's degree. At least 24 of these hours are course work including 12 hours in required chemical and biomolecular engineering courses. Of the remaining 12 hours at least 3 hours must be taken outside of the department (and cannot be a co-listed course). These courses should complement the student's research interests. The  remaining hours are Ph.D. dissertation research. The course load is designed to allow students to spend the majority of their studies on original research. Up to 24 hours of graduate course work with an equivalent A or B grade may be transferred to Vanderbilt and applied to the Ph.D.

Following a year of core course work, students complete a written and oral departmental examination on the fundamentals that are presented in the chemical engineering core courses. Admission to candidacy in the Ph.D. program is based upon this examination, as well as the Ph.D. qualifying examination, which consists of written and oral presentation of a proposal for doctoral research.

Following the examinations and at least 24 semester hours of dissertation research, the student prepares and publicly defends a dissertation which presents results of original research in chemical engineering.