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Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering

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Program Information

The Rowan Experience
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The Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering is a doctoral degree program specifically designed to prepare students for advanced and specialized careers in research and development in industry, the government, and academia. Students partner with our faculty to explore new ideas, create new knowledge, and address societal challenges by applying theory and experimentation in our state-of-the-art facilities. This program offers research opportunities in a diverse range of focus areas that include: additive manufacturing; biochemical engineering; biomaterials; catalysis; crystallization kinetics and processes; experimental design and data analysis; green engineering; lean manufacturing; membrane separations; pharmaceutical processing; polymers, polymer composites and polymer thin films; process design and optimization; process systems; reaction engineering; renewable energy; social life cycle analyses; sustainable design; tissue engineering. The program offers a highly flexible multidisciplinary structure that gives students the freedom to pursue a wide range of graduate elective courses while ensuring their proficiency in core chemical engineering principles, technical writing, advanced mathematics, and research.

Potential Industries and Occupations include Chemical Industries, Energy, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceuticals, Polymers, Cosmetics, Consumer Goods, Environmental Policy and Regulations, Pollution Prevention, Federal agencies, National Labs, Engineering Consultancy, Health and Safety, etc.

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The Rowan University Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chemical Engineering program requires the completion of coursework, teaching assistantships, research requirements, qualifying and candidacy examinations, dissertation, and dissertation defense.

For a student who possesses a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of 72 semester hours of graduate-level coursework will be required:

  • Graduate Chemical Engineering Core Courses – 12 Credits
  • Graduate Level Writing Course – 3 Credits
  • Graduate Level Mathematics Course – 3 Credits
  • Graduate Technical Electives – 12 Credits
  • Doctoral Research – 42 Credits
  • Total Required Credits – 72 Credits


For a student who possesses a master’s degree in a related field, a minimum of 42 semester hours (credits) of graduate-level coursework beyond the master’s degree will be required. 


Student Learning Goals:

Candidates will obtain a level of technical proficiency in advanced mathematics, core chemical engineering principles, and a breadth of technical subjects that prepare them to face complex challenges in real-world chemical engineering applications.


Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to apply advanced mathematical principles to solve engineering problems. The student will get direct education in this area in their required graduate level mathematics class and will have it reinforced in all chemical engineering core courses and most graduate electives.
  • Students will have an in-depth understanding of the terminology and processes that are core to the field of chemical engineering. The student will be required to take four core chemical engineering courses and pass each with a B- or higher.
  • Students will have the ability to read, understand, analyze, and critique research papers with advanced Chemical Engineering content. This topic will be developed throughout the research experiences of the student, including preparation for the proposal defense, and will culminate with an appropriate and detailed literature review in the dissertation.
  • Students will develop a level of technical writing proficiency sufficient for them to produce quality manuscripts, grant proposals, and a meaningful dissertation.
  • Students will demonstrate their ability to explain complex topics in written formats. Students will have this skill developed in their required technical writing course and reinforced throughout their education including the writing of literature reviews, experimental methods, technical reports, and, ultimately, a dissertation.
  • Students will be able to write effective external documents including manuscripts for journal submissions and grant proposals. Graduate students will be expected to produce manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals as they progress through their research, and to provide data and assistance in subsequent external funding requests.
  • Students will learn to identify and approach unsolved problems in chemical engineering, formulate a hypothesis on how to solve such a problem, design and execute experimental or analytical methodologies to test the hypothesis, analyze results, and draw meaningful conclusions.
  • Students will demonstrate their ability to conduct independent research. Students will be required to propose, execute, and defend a dissertation that addresses a novel problem with meaningful real-world implications. Their skills will be developed through group meetings, meetings with their advisors and dissertation committees, and participation in the departmental seminar program. Student progress will be assessed at the dissertation proposal and, ultimately, the dissertation defense. For more information, please visit: Dissertation Requirement for PhD in Chemical Engineering.


The following courses make up the Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering program. 

  • 72 Semester Hours
    • Required Courses: 18 Semester Hours
    • Graduate Elective Courses: 12 Semester Hours
    • Research Courses: 42 Semester Hours
  • Foundation Courses: No
  • Graduation / Exit / Thesis Requirements: Yes
    • Complete a minimum of 72 credits of graduate-level work beyond a bachelor's degree OR a minimum of 42 credits of graduate-level work beyond a master's degree
    • Completion of all the University's standard Ethical & Responsible Conduct of Research training (including human/animal subject training when applicable)
    • Regular attendance and participation in (0-credit) graduate seminars
    • Successful completion of a Ph.D. Qualifier examination^
    • Successful completion of a Ph.D. Candidacy (proposal) examination^
    • Successful completion of the Career Preparation & Readiness Experience that consists of teaching, grant writing, publishing publishing, and service^
    • Successful completion of a Ph.D. dissertation defense^
    • Successful completion of a Ph.D. dissertation^

^ The specific details, nature, and scope of these examinations (e.g., format of the exam) and requirements (e.g. number of journal publications, conference publications, patents, number of teaching assignments) will be determined by the student's Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering committee and/or department policies for student's home department as aligned with the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering policies.


Course Number Title S.H. (Credits)
Required Courses: 18 S.H.
CHE 06586 Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics 3
CHE 06514 Transport Phenomena for Engineers 3
CHE 06515 Advanced Reactor Design 3
CHE 06530 Experimental Methods in Chemical Engineering 3
  Strategic Technical Writing 3
MATH 01515 Engineering Applications of Analysis 3
Elective Courses: 12 S.H.
CHE 06587 Process Optimization 3
CHE 06588 Advanced Process Control Automation and Design 3
CHE 06502 Special Topics in Chemical Engineering 3
CHE 06512 Safety in the Process Industries 3
CHE 06510 Biochemical Engineering 3
CHE 06506 Process Heat Transfer 3
CHE 06516 Advanced Separation Process Technology 3
CHE 06518 Polymer Engineering 3
CHE 06575 Biopharmaceutical and Industrial Fluid Mixing 3
CHE 06571 Biomedical Control Systems 3
CHE 06572 Biomedical Process Engineering 3
CHE 06574 Advances in Particle Technology 3
CHE 06576 Bioseparation Processes 3
CHE 06577 Advanced Engineering Process Analysis & Experimental Design 3
CHE 06528 Fluid Flow Applications in Processing and Manufacturing 3
Required Thesis Courses: 42 S.H.
ENGR 01799 Doctoral Research and Dissertation*  3/6/9

*Students must register for this course multiple times at 3 S.H., 6 S.H., or 9 S.H. until the total 42 S.H. are completed. After that, the 1-credit ENGR-01798 Doctoral Dissertation Continuation course should be taken, until the thesis defense is successfully completed. Total number of Doctoral Research and Dissertation semester hours may vary.

**All 30 credits of coursework must be completed with grades of B- or higher with a minimum GPA of 3.0 at all times. A graduate course may be retaken once, but a second retake must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee and the Chemical Engineering Graduate Coordinator.

Transfer Credit Evaluation Policy

These are subject to evaluation and approval by the Graduate Program Coordinator and Department Head.

Admission Requirements
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The following is a list of items required to begin the application process for the program. There may be additional action or materials required for admission to the program. Upon receipt of the materials below, a representative from the Rowan Global Admissions Processing Office will contact you with confirmation or will indicate any missing items.

  • Completed Rowan Global Application Form
  • $65 (U.S.) non-refundable application fee
  • Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering or related field from an accredited institution of higher learning. 
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended (regardless of number of credits earned)
  • Current professional resume. Applicants should include a statement on the professional resume that verifies evidence of applied skills including research proficiency.
  • Typewritten statement of professional objectives and research interest
  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). 
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • While the official Recommendation Form is required, an actual letter from the recommender is additionally preferred.
    • Applicants with Master’s degrees completed within the past 5 years should include as one of their recommenders an instructor from their Master’s program.
  • Interview (Applicants will be contacted directly by the Faculty Admission Committee regarding this interview. The interview can be in person or via telephone/)
  • TOEFL Language test (International)
  • WES evaluation (International)
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