Skip to content

pritzker school of molecular engineering ranking

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Eckhardt Research Center


The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) is the first school of engineering at the University of Chicago. It was founded as the Institute for Molecular Engineering in 2011 by the university in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory. When the program was raised to the status of a school in 2019, it became the first school dedicated to molecular engineering in the United States. It is named for a major benefactor, the Pritzker Foundation.

The scientists, engineers, and students at PME use scientific research to pursue engineering solutions. The school does not have departments. Instead, it organizes its research around interdisciplinary “themes”: immuno-engineering, quantum engineering, autonomous materials, and water and energy. PME works toward technological advancements in areas of global importance, including sustainable energy and natural resources, immunotherapy-based approaches to cancer, “unhackable” communications networks, and a clean global water supply. The school plans to expand its research areas to address more issues of global.

Pritzker School Of Molecular Engineering Ranking

The avant-garde school is the first in the United States to focus wholly on the trendy and rapidly growing field of molecular engineering.

BrainGain Magazine
One of award-winning Professor Giulia Galli’s favorite parts of her day is working with her students. Photo by Jean Lachat

In May last year, the University of Chicago added its first new school in 31 years, creating the avant-garde Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) with $100 million in new funding from the Pritzker Foundation. It became the seventh of the university’s schools, which include the highly ranked Booth School of Business and the Pritzker School of Medicine.

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is now the first school in the US dedicated to the trendy, and rapidly growing field of molecular engineering that builds on advances in basic science to design technology from the molecular level up.

Most importantly, the school integrates science and engineering to address key technological challenges starting from the molecular plane.

Award-Winning Faculty

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is already making waves.

Students have the opportunity to learn from the best in the field which includes Professor Giulia Galli, a physicist, who was honored for her innovative use of supercomputers to predict how materials behave.

There are few scientists who would describe condensed matter physics — a branch that studies the behavior of solid matter — as “simple.” But to Professor Galli, it’s less complex than the problems she works on at the University of Chicago.

“Problems like water and energy are much more complicated than what I was trained for in condensed matter physics,” she told UChicago News. “All of my work is driven by problems.”

According to Louise Lerner, the news officer for physical sciences, at the University of Chicago, it’s “complex problems” like these that the Pritzker School for Molecular Engineering — the first of its kind to focus on this emerging field — was set up to solve.

A Physicist Cracks Molecular Secrets

“It’s the kind of innovative research that Galli, a theorist who uses computational models to figure out the behavior of molecules and materials, is helping tackle through her pioneering work,” points out Lerner.

The focus of Galli’s studies is to understand and predict how to harness molecular behavior to improve technology, particularly in the areas of purifying water, speeding up computation and sensing with quantum technology, and perfecting renewable energy technology.

“Essentially, we predict how atoms arrange themselves,” explained Galli, the Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering at UChicago. “We do this by developing theoretical algorithms and powerful codes and simulations in order to understand the quantum mechanics at play in a given material.” 

For example, her group can use theory to predict which material will make a cheaper solar cell or suggest a new configuration for a quantum bit made from electron spins.

“Energy and water are incredibly important problems—even a small improvement from your science can have a huge impact,” she said. “This is really important to me.”

Galli, who also heads the Midwest Integrated Center for Computational Materials, has garnered international recognition for her work in helping shape the field. “She recently received the Feynman Theory Prize, an annual honor highlighting extraordinary work in harnessing quantum mechanics for the public interest,” notes a profile in UChicago News. It was her fourth major award in her field this year.

Undergrad and Ph.D. programs

The school offers a graduate program in molecular engineering for Ph.D. students, as well as an undergraduate major and minor in molecular engineering. The school’s curriculum provides broad exposure not only to science and engineering disciplines, but also to product design, entrepreneurship, and communication.

BrainGain Magazine
The new Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering says that through “an interdisciplinary” approach, students are encouraged to apply their scientific interests to real-world issues.

New Master of Engineering Program

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering has just launched a master of science in molecular engineering (MSME) program, designed to prepare engineers for leadership positions across industries.

The degree was created to complement the school’s undergraduate and Ph.D. programs in molecular engineering.

“In this competitive world, many industry career paths require deep knowledge that intersects both science and engineering and focuses on technological applications,” said Matthew Tirrell, dean of Pritzker Molecular Engineering.

“With a master’s degree in one of our specialized tracks — that combines the best education from several disciplines — graduates will have advanced, tailored skills in technical areas and be prepared to help solve difficult problems,” he added.

The new master’s program consists of 11 courses in two tracks: computational materials modeling, or polymer science and engineering. It is designed to be taken full time in one academic year and one quarter, but other options may be considered.

The computational materials modeling track blends molecular engineering, quantum, and classical simulation, and data science to provide integrated training for the simulation, design, and engineering of materials. Students in this track will take advanced courses in applied mathematics, thermodynamics, transport, quantum engineering, multiscale materials modeling, numerical methods, machine learning, and statistical data analysis. Graduates will be prepared to work at the forefront of multiscale materials simulation and design.

Partnership with Argonne National Laboratory

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering partners with Argonne National Laboratory to deliver opportunities for research and innovation.

Argonne is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, where talented scientists and engineers work together to solve the biggest questions facing humanity, from how to obtain affordable clean energy to protecting our environment. It was born out of the University of Chicago’s work on the Manhattan Project in the 1940s dealing with nuclear reactors.

In 1994, the lab’s nuclear mission ended, and today it maintains a broad portfolio in basic science research, energy storage and renewable energy, environmental sustainability, supercomputing, and national security.

Argonne is known for its leading researchers and advanced facilities like the Advanced Photon Source, the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, the Materials Engineering Research Facility, and the Center for Nanoscale Materials.

PhD Program

Our program brings together students from a wide range of disciplines to address problems of global significance.

We welcome students who specialize in materials science, physics, chemical and biological engineering, and more. Our innovative approach to science and engineering drives solution-focused collaboration. At the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME), we teach the fundamental principles you’ll need to succeed in boundary-crossing research, design, and entrepreneurship

National Average$30,000$82,869 /year$151,000$40 /hourMolecular Engineer Salary Comparison by LocationNationwideUnited States$82,869Kano, NG$82,869 

molecular engineer salary

As of Oct 27, 2021, the average annual pay for a Molecular Engineer in the United States is $82,869 a year.

Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $39.84 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,594/week or $6,906/month.

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $151,000 and as low as $30,000, the majority of Molecular Engineer salaries currently range between $55,000 (25th percentile) to $101,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $130,000 annually across the United States. The average pay range for a Molecular Engineer varies greatly (by as much as $46,000), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience.

Based on recent job posting activity on ZipRecruiter, the Molecular Engineer job market in both Kano, NG, and throughout the entire state is not very active as few companies are currently hiring. A Molecular Engineer in your area makes on average $82,869 per year or the same as the national average annual salary of $82,869. ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Molecular Engineer salaries.

To estimate the most accurate annual salary range for Molecular Engineer jobs, ZipRecruiter continuously scans its database of millions of active jobs published locally throughout America.

Find your next high-paying job as a Molecular Engineer on ZipRecruiter today.

What are Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Molecular Engineer Jobs

We’ve identified 10 cities where the typical salary for a Molecular Engineer job is above the national average. Topping the list is San Mateo, CA, with Berkeley, CA, and Daly City CA close behind in the second and third positions. Daly City, CA beats the national average by $13,998 (16.9%), and San Mateo, CA furthers that trend with another $17,790 (21.5%) above the $82,869 average.

Significantly, San Mateo, CA has a very active Molecular Engineer job market as there are several companies currently hiring for this type of role.

With these 10 cities having average salaries higher than the national average, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Molecular Engineer appears to be exceedingly fruitful.

University of Chicago Launches School of Molecular Engineering - WSJ

Finally, another factor to consider is the average salary for these top ten cities varies very little at 9% between San Mateo, CA and San Francisco, CA, reinforcing the limited potential for much wage advancement. The possibility of a lower cost of living may be the best factor to use when considering location and salary for a Molecular Engineer role.

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
San Mateo, CA$100,659$8,388$1,936$48.39
Berkeley, CA$97,140$8,095$1,868$46.70
Daly City, CA$96,868$8,072$1,863$46.57
Richmond, CA$94,553$7,879$1,818$45.46
Irvine, CA$93,978$7,832$1,807$45.18
Odessa, TX$92,513$7,709$1,779$44.48
Stamford, CT$92,070$7,673$1,771$44.26
Orange, CA$91,810$7,651$1,766$44.14
Bellevue, WA$91,810$7,651$1,766$44.14
San Francisco, CA$91,630$7,636$1,762$44.05

What are Top 5 Best Paying Related Molecular Engineer Jobs in the U.S.

We found at least five jobs related to the Molecular Engineer job category that pay more per year than a typical Molecular Engineer salary. Top examples of these roles include Molecular Medicine, Global Disease Biology, and VP Molecular Biology.

Importantly, all of these jobs are paid between $16,686 (20.1%) and $28,908 (34.9%) more than the average Molecular Engineer salary of $82,869. If you’re qualified, getting hired for one of these related Molecular Engineer jobs may help you make more money than that of the average Molecular Engineer position.

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Molecular Medicine$111,777$9,315$2,150$53.74
Global Disease Biology$110,373$9,198$2,123$53.06
VP Molecular Biology$108,735$9,061$2,091$52.28
Molecular Geneticist$100,967$8,414$1,942$48.54
Director Molecular Diagnostics$99,555$8,296$1,915$47.86


Brown '22 Recognized with Pritzker Engineering Early Distinction Award

April 28, 2020

Tyler Brown ’22 has been selected as a Pritzker Engineering Early Distinction Award winner by the University of Chicago.

Recommended by Dr. Bob Troy, Grades 9 – 12 Science Department chair, Brown was identified as having exceptional intellectual promise in the sciences and a passion for innovation.

“Beyond being an outstanding science student, Tyler understands science as both a pursuit and as a means of applying knowledge; he sees no gap between science and engineering,” said Troy.

“When I read the Pritzker Award description and about the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, it seemed they might have been shaped with Tyler in mind.”

As an award winner, should Brown enroll in the University of Chicago he will be awarded a merit scholarship of $25,000 per year for four years, for a total of $100,000, and be guaranteed funding for two summer internships or research. 

“I think highly of the University of Chicago and the new Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, which is dedicated to this emerging scientific field,” said Brown.

“This unique program focuses on developing holistic solutions to societal problems across the world in areas such as quantum engineering, biotechnology, immunoengineering, and many more. The scholarship offers many opportunities not only in monetary value but in grant research funding. Right now, it aligns with my academic interests, and I am very excited about the opportunity.”

Looking towards his next two years in the Upper School, Brown is excited to explore specific research areas such as biotechnology, chemical engineering, and aerodynamics through the Independent Study and Capstone programs. He believes that as he furthers his studies of the physical sciences in the classroom, he will be able to better specify these areas of focus for research.

“I often find myself wondering why and how things happen, which I suppose is the question behind the fundamentals of engineering,” he noted.

“Another aspect of engineering and experimental science I appreciate is problem-solving. As an applied science, engineering allows me to creatively develop solutions and pursue challenges using skills across the physical sciences, mathematics, and so many other areas. What is exciting about the new Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is that the program looks at engineering at a whole different scale: to design technology from the molecular level up.”

molecular engineering schools

  1. Best Colleges
  2. United States
  3. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Best Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering colleges in the U.S. for 2021

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge

Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers 1 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree program. It’s a large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2019, 23 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering students graduated with students earning 23 Bachelor’s degrees.

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MIImage by @deb_fancylife

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers 2 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree programs. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a midsize city.

We found these Sponsored Engineering Schools with Online Programs:


Offering master’s degrees to teacher-certification pathways, we offer flexible online education programs to help you pursue a career in teaching or early childhood development and child care, enhance your current skills, or advance in your education career.   

Enrollment: Nationwide, except IA, IL, and WI

  • MS in Engineering Technology

Purdue University GlobalRequest Info

ECPI University has emerged as a leading career university, defined by its commitment to a student-centered environment including interactive learning, accelerated degrees, superior student services, online delivery, and relationships with strategic partners. Most notably, it maintains very important ties with some of the nation’s leading employers. They not only hire our graduates but also sit on our Academic Advisory Boards.

Enrollment: Nationwide

  • Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Mechatronics
  • Systems Engineering Master’s – Mechatronics

ECPI University

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Our programs are held to the highest standards with this accreditation, so you can rest assured you are pursuing a recognized, quality education. Our focus is to equip you with the most up-to-date training and tools you need to succeed in your career. Furthermore, our information systems bachelor’s degrees are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Enrollment: Nationwide

  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Liberty University

George Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering has more than 25 years of experience in Big Data and cybersecurity. Its faculty meet regularly with an advisory committee of industry experts to ensure they’re offering a career-based program.

Enrollment: Nationwide

  • Data Analytics Engineering (MS)

George Mason University

Enrollment: Nationwide

  • Construction Technology
  • Engineering Technology
  • Certificate – Drafting with AutoCAD

Penn Foster

The University of Pennsylvania offers 3 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree programs. It’s a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 62 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering students graduated with students earning 29 Bachelor’s degrees, 25 Master’s degrees, and 8 Doctoral degrees.

Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA

Lehigh University offers 2 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree programs. It’s a medium-sized, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a small city. In 2019, 1 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering student graduated with students earning 1 Master’s degree.

University of California-Davis Davis, CA

The University of California-Davis offers 1 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree program. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a small suburb. In 2019, 24 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering students graduated with students earning 24 Bachelor’s degrees.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA

The University of Washington-Seattle Campus offers 1 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree program. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 9 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering students graduated with students earning 9 Bachelor’s degrees.

Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA

The Tulane University of Louisiana offers 2 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree programs. It’s a large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 11 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering students graduated with students earning 9 Doctoral degrees, and 2 Master’s degrees.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers 1 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree program. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 2 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering students graduated with students earning 2 Doctoral degrees.

Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY

Stony Brook University offers 3 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree programs. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 45 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering students graduated with students earning 37 Bachelor’s degrees, and 8 Master’s degrees.

University of Chicago Chicago.

The University of Chicago offers 3 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree programs. It’s a large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 36 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering students graduated with students earning 28 Bachelor’s degrees, 5 Doctoral degrees, and 3 Master’s degrees.

List of all Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering colleges in the U.S.

SchoolAverage TuitionStudent Teacher RatioEnrolled Students
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA    8 : 111,520
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI    12 : 148,090
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA    18 : 126,675
Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA    13 : 16,953
University of California-Davis Davis, CA    22 : 138,634
University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA    23 : 147,576
Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA    16 : 112,923
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE    19 : 125,390
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY    28 : 126,814
University of Chicago Chicago, IL    12 : 117,452
Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, WI    17 : 12,746
Tuskegee University Tuskegee, AL    12 : 12,876
Campbell University Buies Creek, NC    26 : 16,185
Weill Cornell Medical College New York, NY  1,327
Holmes Community College Goodman, MS    41 : 15,529

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *