PhD In Chemical Engineering

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

BEng in Chemical Engineering – Malawi University of Science and Technology

When people envision what a chemical engineer may look like, they may first think of individuals in laboratories wearing big goggles and large white coats.

While many chemical engineers do work in a lab wearing typical safety gear, the field of chemical engineering is much more than that. Chemical engineering involves processing raw materials into different products that are in demand or necessary to live. For example, everyday things like electricity you use to watch television or food you bought at the grocery store probably involved some basic fundamentals of chemical engineering.

Chemical engineers work in academia, but also directly in the field in offices or laboratories. They design equipment and different processes in manufacturing plants. Because of the complex nature of the job, these engineers must be adept at mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Due to the high skill level required, these jobs are in high demand and are expected to increase over the years.

Chemical Engineering is an interdisciplinary subject that deals with transforming raw materials into useful products. People who work in Chemical Engineering focus on developing and optimising the processes used to create and refine products. Chemical engineers also strive to create better materials, which have improved properties, are more durable and last longer.

What kind of PhD in chemical engineering should you get?

The two most common degrees for this field you may come across will be the doctor of philosophy or the doctor of science. What are the differences? While in other countries one may be slightly higher than the other, in the United States both degrees are virtually identical and at the top of the field. Although some schools may offer both degrees with some minor differences in requirements, they basically differ only in name.

Other than chemical engineering, similar degrees may be biomedical engineering, chemical physics, or a basic engineering PhD with specializations. For degrees with specializations, students will take specific electives to earn that emphasis. Classes may overlap among all the degrees, but differences may be present in the curriculum so it is important to be sure that the coursework and research goals match your future career goals.

How much do people with a PhD in chemical engineering make?

Advanced chemical engineers can easily make at least six figures – in fact, chemical engineers make some of the highest salaries out of all engineering fields. According to PayScale, those who hold a PhD in chemical engineering can make about $105,000 on average. They note that men makeup about 85% of the industry and make significantly more than women. Years of experience also increases one’s salary over time.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chemical engineers regardless of degree or position make a median salary of $104,910 or about $50.44 per hour. Although those who hold an advanced degree in the field make more on average in general, those with just an entry-level Bachelor’s level who have years of experience also have high earning potential. It is estimated that job availability for chemical engineers will increase by eight percent from 2016 to 2026.

What can you do with a PhD in chemical engineering?

A PhD in chemical engineering prepares one for academia as well as for direct industry jobs. Many choose to become scholars and produce academic research for scholarly articles. Others, although technically in research, may not produce writing but will still contribute to top-level projects. Due to the fact that this degree combines hard research and laboratory skills, there is no single career path for graduates.

Below are some common job titles for chemical engineering PhD holders:

  • Pharmaceutical engineer
  • Professor
  • Project scientist
  • Reaction engineer
  • Product review engineer

What are the requirements for a PhD in chemical engineering?

Applicants with either a bachelor’s of science or a master’s of science in a related degree can be admitted into the program. Generally, many students will apply to the chemical engineering PhD program right after they finish their undergraduate degree due to the amount of time the program takes. In general, students can expect to take four or five years to gain their PhD. Students should submit their transcript, letters of recommendation, personal essays, and Graduate Record Examination test scores in their application.

Throughout the program, a variety of coursework will be required along with research which will compose a bulk of the curriculum. Although internships and practicums are generally not required, many students will work alongside faculty and other leading industry professionals to get experience. Students will be required to assist in teaching throughout at least the beginning of the PhD program – this allows them to receive funding from the school which often covers basic needs and tuition. Lastly, a PhD candidate will need to submit a doctoral thesis that is approved by the faculty.

Masters in Chemical Engineering in USA: Top Universities

The USA is known as the house for most of the top-notch universities considered in the world. With more than 10 universities globally ranking for the program, the USA offers world-class higher education. Mentioned below are the top universities providing Masters in Chemical Engineering.

Name Of the UniversityQS World Ranking 2020 (Chemical Engineering)CoursesTotal Program Tuition Fee (in USD)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology#1MSc. in Chemical Engineering63,336
Stanford University#2MSc, in Chemical Engineering114,442
University of California- Los Angeles#16MSc. in Chemical Engineering63,898
University of Wisconsin-Madison#21MSc. in Chemical Engineering53,702
University of Minnesota- Twin Cities#26MSc. in Chemical Engineering52,824
Cornell University#30MSc. in Chemical Engineering58,808
University of Michigan- Ann Arbor#35MSc. in Chemical Engineering65,886
University of Pennsylvania#40MSc. in Chemical Engineering56,786
Pennsylvania State University#48MSc. in Chemical Engineering38,466
University of Delaware#48MSc. in Chemical Engineering66,680
Carnegie Mellon University#48MSc. in Chemical Engineering97000
University Of California- San Diego#51-100MSc. in Chemical Engineering22,884
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign#51-100MSc. in Chemical Engineering54,648
Michigan State University#101-150MSc. in Chemical Engineering56,560
Chemical Engineering Specialization
University of California- Berkeley#4MSc. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering60,218
Northwestern University#28MSc. in Chemical and Biological Engineering54,559

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