PhD in Chemical Engineering

PhD in Chemical Engineering

Develop Your Area of Expertise

The PhD program in chemical engineering gives you the foundation and resources to contribute to the field. Through additional coursework, specialize your knowledge and gain the competencies to tackle more challenging problems. Develop a dissertation to demonstrate your advanced technical skills and innovative solutions based on your own original research. The degree opens the door to competitive opportunities in academia or private industry. 

Why Earn a PhD in Chemical Engineering From Clarkson?

Clarkson's chemical engineering program is widely known for its rigorous curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities and focused research. Receive the intensive training needed to become an independent researcher that excels in academia, centers and laboratories and private industry.

Work closely with department faculty, who have combined expertise in all modern areas of chemical engineering. Our class sizes are small to encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary problem-solving.

Our curriculum is flexible, and through the guidance of your research advisor, you can tailor coursework to your research interests. You can complete the degree as a full-time or part-time student. 

Clarkson's graduate engineering programs are considered among the best in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report. Your diploma helps you access more competitive positions and is widely recognized by other experts in the field. 


The program consists of a minimum of 90 credit hours, with at least 24 credit hours devoted to graduate coursework. The credit hours are distributed as follows:

  • Minimum of 15 credit hours in the major field.
  • Minimum of nine credit hours in the minor field.
  • Minimum of six credit hours from a different department.

In addition to coursework, complete a written dissertation and defend it orally as part of the final examination. All work must be finished within seven years of starting the PhD program.

For those interested in an academic or industrial research career, Clarkson’s PhD programs in engineering provide an opportunity to pursue leading-edge research and a high degree of specialization.

Degree Requirements

In the Coulter School of Engineering, the minimum requirements for a PhD degree are as follows:

  • 90 credit hours minimum (beyond BS):
    • Minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate course work
      • Minimum of 15 credit hours in the major field
      • Minimum of 9 credit hours in the minor field
      • Minimum of 6 credit hours from a department other than the one in which the student is housed
    • Minimum of 9 of the course work credit hours taken in residence (may include distance learning classes taken through Clarkson)
    • Minimum of 6 credit hours of Seminar
    • Maximum of 30 credit hours transferred from a master's degree towards PhD requirements (B grade or better; forms for obtaining transfer credit are available from the department office)
    • Cumulative GPA of ≥ 3.0 in course work contributing to degree requirements
    • Minimum of three academic years of full-time graduate study or the equivalent in part-time study. Two years of study must be in residence at Clarkson University. Students in the external PhD program are exempt from this residency requirement.
    • Satisfactory completion of the PhD candidacy procedure within two years after matriculation into the PhD program for full-time students or before completing 66 credits for part-time students
    • A written dissertation must be submitted by each candidate and defended orally as part of the final examination.
    • All work must be completed within seven years after the student is identified as a PhD candidate.
    • All accepted international students, for whom English is a second language, are required to take an English-as-a-second-language placement exam (LA005) upon their arrival on campus and complete any recommended requirements.


  • Transport Phenomena (Fall)
  • Chemical Engineering Analysis (Fall)
  • Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (Spring)
  • Chemical Reactor Analysis II (Spring)

Our faculty contribute extensively to the field of chemical engineering and work closely with other experts in exciting, impactful projects. Our students benefit from their mentorship in a collaborative and encouraging environment. Learn more about their experience and areas of specialization.

Meet Our Faculty 

The major areas of emphasis in our department include:

  • Environmental remediation (e.g., plasma, electrochemical).
  • Process engineering and design (e.g., machine learning, continuum scale modeling and optimization).
  • Advanced materials processing (e.g., polymer, electrodeposition).
  • Energy and sustainability (e.g., separation technologies, battery, water splitting).

Students have access to 18 research centers and labs and cutting-edge technology like a nine-inch diameter glass-walled continuous distillation column, X-ray fluorescence system, direct-in-liquid plasma reactors, reactors with specialized catalytic metallic membranes, a chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) tool and more.

A completed application consists of the following:

  • Online Application Form.
  • Résumé.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Official transcripts.
  • GRE Test Scores: the GRE requirement will be waived for spring and fall 2024 applicants.
  • For international applicants, an English proficiency test is required.
    • Minimum test score requirements: TOEFL (80) and TOEFL Essentials (8.5), IELTS (6.5), PTE (56) or Duolingo English Test (115).
    • The English language-testing requirement is not waived based on language of instruction, nor do we accept university certificates. English testing is waived if an applicant has a degree from a country where English is the Native Language. Click here to see the list of these countries.

Prerequisites: BS or BE in Chemical Engineering. Those with degrees in other science or engineering disciplines may also be admitted but are required to make up undergraduate course deficiencies.

A limited number of one-year and partial-year tuition scholarships are available for qualified full-time students. A limited number of stipends are also available. Most scholarships and/or stipends are associated with department assistantships or completion of a master’s thesis as part of the qualified applicant’s plan of study.


To learn more about our scholarships and how to apply, contact the Coulter School of Engineering's graduate division at

Career Possibilities

Our PhD program gives you the rigorous preparation and research opportunities to become an independent scholar and equips you with skills that are attractive to employers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for chemical engineers is expected to grow faster than average during the next decade.

Whatever path you take, the PhD in Chemical Engineering can pave the way to roles in academia, product and materials development, biotechnology and industry research. Potential job titles include:

  • Pharmaceutical engineer
  • Process engineer
  • Professor or assistant professor of chemical engineering
  • Project scientist
  • Reaction engineer

Recent Employers

In recent years, our PhD in Chemical Engineering candidates have embarked on careers with many organizations, including:

  • Applied Materials & Engineering, Inc.
  • DMAX Plasma Inc
  • Headway Technologies
  • Microfabrica, Inc
  • University of Virginia

| Stem OPT Eligible

Contact Us 

Graduate Admissions
Phone: 518-631-9831

Interested in learning more about the PhD in Chemical Engineering? Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions today with your questions.

Find out more about the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department in the Coulter School of Engineering.

100% Graduate Placement Rate - Program Specific

Learn More About the Center for Advanced Materials Processing

The PhD in Chemical Engineering is housed at the Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP), a research center focused on understanding and exploiting advanced, tailor-designed materials and processes to improve products, solve manufacturing challenges, increase yield, lower cost and foster innovation.

About CAMP

Reach New Heights

Specialize your knowledge and become an independent scholar with a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson.