The field of chemical engineering explores solutions to real-world problems through areas such as bioengineering, environmental engineering, biomedical engineering, and nanotechnology. A chemical engineering PhD will enable you to be at the forefront of research that seeks to improve the quality of life on Earth. This article will cover the best PhD in Chemical Engineering programs.
With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, you will be able to apply your scientific knowledge to help create the things we use in our daily lives, from the clothing we wear and the appliances we use to the technology and energy sources we rely on. Consequently, the PhD in Chemical Engineering salary is reflective of the time and effort required to be at the top in this field. This article also shares the best chemical engineering jobs.
What Is a PhD in Chemical Engineering?
A PhD in Chemical Engineering is an advanced, research-based degree program offered by colleges and universities. It will allow you to lead a research project in a specialization of your choice, either in traditional fields of chemical engineering or in new and emerging fields.
You will be able to invent and optimize new technologies and products with this degree. The expected outcome of your research is a high-quality thesis that can be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
How to Get Into a Chemical Engineering PhD Program: Admission Requirements
The requirements to get into a chemical engineering PhD program include a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering or a related field. You can also apply to the program if you have a bachelor’s degree, but you will need to demonstrate your ability to take on the demands of this rigorous program either through work experience or graduate courses in chemical engineering or a related field.
Additional admission requirements are three letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement, proof of proficiency in English, transcripts showing a GPA of 3.0 or higher in your undergraduate or graduate degree, and GRE, GMAT, or MCAT test scores.
PhD in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements
- Bachelor’s or master’s degree
- Letters of recommendation
- Standardized test scores
- Personal statement
Chemical Engineering PhD Acceptance Rates: How Hard Is It to Get Into a PhD Program in Chemical Engineering?
It is very hard to get into a PhD program in chemical engineering. For example, MIT has recorded an acceptance rate of just 25 percent, and that includes both master’s degree and doctoral degree applicants. If you have a mind for science, have demonstrated excellence in previous science-based study programs, and have some work experience in the field, you may qualify.
How to Get Into the Best Universities
Best PhDs in Chemical Engineering: In Brief
|Arizona State University||PhD in Chemical Engineering||No|
|California Institute of Technology||PhD in Chemical Engineering||No|
|Drexel University||Doctorate in Chemical Engineering||No|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||PhD in Chemical Engineering Practise||No|
|Oregon State University||PhD in Chemical Engineering||No|
|Pennsylvania State University||Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering||No|
|Stanford University||Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering||No|
|University of California Santa Barbara||PhD in Chemical Engineering||No|
|University of Delaware||PhD in Chemical Engineering||No|
|The University of Texas at Austin||PhD in Chemical Engineering||No|
Best Universities for Chemical Engineering PhDs: Where to Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering
The best universities for chemical engineering PhDs are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of California, according to the US News & World Report.
Additional best-ranking schools for a PhD in Chemical Engineering include Oregon State University, Penn State University, Arizona State University, and the University of Texas. Let’s take a closer look at these and other top-ranked schools.
Can You Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering Online?
Yes, you can get a PhD in Chemical Engineering online, although it is not common. This is because most doctoral degrees in this field are very structured and require you to work closely with faculty, particularly during the thesis writing process.
Additionally, some elements such as conducting your research and presenting seminars require in-person attendance. Below are two schools that offer online doctoral degree programs in chemical engineering.
Best Online PhD Programs in Chemical Engineering
|Atlantic International University||Doctorate of Chemical Engineering||Open|
|Mississippi State University||Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering with a Concentration in Chemical Engineering||More than 4 years|
How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering?
It takes about five years to get a PhD in Chemical Engineering. This particular degree is divided into several segments that you must complete within certain timeframes. The main coursework usually is completed within the first years.
The main research work toward your final thesis will begin around your third year. The research usually takes the longest time to complete and, depending on the field of research you have chosen, you might complete your degree within five years.
Is a PhD in Chemical Engineering Hard?
Yes, a PhD in Chemical Engineering is hard, beginning with the admissions process. For many schools, you will be required to have some educational background in the field, particularly in science, physics, and math.
You will also need to demonstrate an ability to undertake the rigorous requirements of the program, both in coursework and in research. Some schools will require you to have work experience or have completed research work in the field in order to consider your application.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering?
It costs $19,792 per year to get a PhD in Chemical Engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Further, the data shows that public universities and for-profit private universities on average cost $12,410 and $14,289 per year respectively. The nonprofit private institutions cost $28,430 per year.
Over five years, a chemical engineering PhD can prove to be very costly without the financial support options available to students. PhD students, however, incur some of the lowest debt when it comes to degree program costs.
How to Pay for a PhD in Chemical Engineering: PhD Funding Options
The PhD funding options that students can use to pay for a PhD in Chemical Engineering include fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, traineeships, and even scholarships. The funding received often covers 100 percent of your costs including tuition, books, supplies, accommodation, and a living stipend.
Best Online Master’s Degrees
What Is the Difference Between a Chemical Engineering Master’s Degree and PhD?
The difference between a chemical engineering master’s degree and PhD is that a master’s degree will prepare you with in-depth knowledge in the chemical engineering field, enabling you to begin solving complex issues encountered in areas such as biotechnology and polymer science.
A PhD, on the other hand, will put you at the forefront of research in chemical engineering. This will not only enable you to provide solutions to challenges faced in the field but also allow you to become an academic authority contributing to the growth of the field as a whole.
Master’s vs PhD in Chemical Engineering Job Outlook
Chemical engineering is a field of study that opens up employment avenues in a variety of industries. With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, you can become a biochemist or a physicist. The job growth for these two fields is projected at five percent and eight percent respectively, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
With a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, you can be an epidemiologist or a survey researcher. According to BLS, the job growth projected for these two fields is 30 percent and four percent respectively.
Difference in Salary for Chemical Engineering Master’s vs PhD
When it comes to the differences in salaries based on degrees, you can earn a much higher salary with a PhD than with a Master’s in Chemical Engineering. According to PayScale, if you have a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, you can earn an average of $86,000 per year.
With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, you can earn an annual salary of $108,000 on average. These figures are reflective of the average salaries within different roles in chemical engineering such as research scientist and process engineer.
Related Chemical Engineering Degrees
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Why You Should Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering
You should get a PhD in Chemical Engineering because of the opportunities it affords you to conduct research in a field that is of interest to you. A PhD program is a platform to share your insight on an industry-wide or global scale. You may make discoveries that change the way we perceive or experience life. A chemical engineering PhD also opens unique employment avenues that aren’t usually available to other degree holders.
Reasons for Getting a PhD in Chemical Engineering
- Research. You will get to feed your curiosity by conducting research in an area that is of interest to you, including via choice of elective courses.
- Discovery. Part of your graduate educational experience could lead you to discover previously unexplored aspects of chemical engineering.
- Impact. Your research work could have an impact on the way we live our lives.
- Job outlook. You will have greater prospects when it comes to your future career goals with unique work opportunities and higher salaries.
Getting a PhD in Chemical Engineering: Chemical Engineering PhD Coursework
Getting a PhD in Chemical Engineering requires you to complete core chemical engineering PhD coursework in areas such as research methods, catalysis, thermodynamics, and chemical engineering. Different institutions may have different course names for these, but essentially, the content covered would be similar.
Chemical Engineering Mathematical Methods
This course will deal with the mathematics behind the principles of chemistry. You will be formulating mathematical equations in order to calculate solutions to different biochemical and chemical engineering processes.
Kinetics and Catalysis
This course covers the kinetics of chemical reactions. You will address gas and liquid phase reaction rate theories, reaction mechanisms, and heterogeneous kinetics and catalysis.
This course will teach the different methods of scientific inquiry used when conducting engineering-based research. You will learn how to conduct good research and how to communicate your findings orally and in written form.
Chemical Engineering and Thermodynamics
This course examines the various principles that govern thermodynamics, beginning with the properties of materials. You will then develop this knowledge as you learn about equations of states of mixtures, as well as the chemical equilibrium and phase equilibrium of complex mixtures.
This course emphasizes approximate and analytical solution methods in relation to the continuity of the conserved qualities of momentum, mass, and energy.
Best Master’s Degrees
How to Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering: Doctoral Program Requirements
Doctoral program requirements tend to span a wide range of elements including coursework, research work, seminars, examinations, and the presentation and defense of a final thesis or project. Below is a further explanation of these key areas to consider before applying to PhD in Chemical Engineering programs.
Potential Careers With a Chemical Engineering Degree
PhD in Chemical Engineering Salary and Job Outlook
A chemical engineering PhD offers not just an opportunity to discover and innovate beyond the degree setting and structure. With a PhD in this field, you can also look forward to higher salaries averaging over $100,000 and career growth in the field of your choice.
What Can You Do With a PhD in Chemical Engineering?
With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, you can do work in research, product development, and engineering related to this field. Job titles such as chemical engineer, senior research scientist, research and development scientist, and senior chemical engineer are usually filled by chemical engineers with a doctoral degree.
Best Jobs with a PhD in Chemical Engineering
- Materials Scientist
- Chemical Engineer
What Is the Average Salary for a PhD in Chemical Engineering?
The average salary for a PhD in Chemical Engineering is $108,000, according to PayScale. This salary figure may be lower in some roles and much higher in others, depending on whether you hold a senior position or not.
Highest-Paying Chemical Engineering Jobs for PhD Grads
|Chemical Engineering PhD Jobs||Average Salary|
Best Chemical Engineering Jobs with a Doctorate
The best chemical engineering jobs with a doctorate are in specialized roles such as chemical engineer, biochemist, petroleum engineer, materials scientist, and materials engineer. To work in any one of these roles, you will need to apply one or more aspects of chemical engineering to be effective in your job.
Is a PhD in Chemical Engineering Worth It?
Yes, a PhD in Chemical Engineering is worth it. From the time you enroll in the program, you will be where all the latest research is happening. You will have support from the faculty as you pursue your degree, as well as financial funding options to help you manage the cost. Your studies will cover topics of interest, and you could have an option to specialize in a particular field of study.
Further, you will be able to discover and innovate beyond the classroom. Once you are done with your studies, you will also have many career options to choose from. Your income with a doctorate is likely to increase by a large margin. The time and effort it takes to pursue this degree is worth it in the long run.
Additional Reading About Chemical Engineering
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PhD in Chemical Engineering FAQ
At a chemical engineering job interview, you will be asked general questions that will help the interviewer learn more about your skills and work ethic. There will be technical questions to assess your understanding of the fundamentals of chemical engineering. You will also be asked behavioral questions to assess your response or reaction in different case scenarios.
Yes, there are other doctorates related to chemical engineering. Although chemical engineering degree programs cover a broad learning experience it is not restricted to one branch of engineering. Some common degrees are a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, or Chemical and Biochemical Engineering.
You need between 30 and 160 credits to graduate, depending on the level of degree you’re pursuing and the university you attend. Graduate coursework can take as few as 30 credits or require more than 100 credits. There may also be differences in the mandatory courses and the minor courses that a PhD student will be required to take.
As a chemical engineering graduate with a doctoral degree, you will be able to apply chemical engineering principles to other engineering science careers in the medical field such as metabolic engineering. You could also become a biomedical engineer, or you can become an advanced chemical engineer, or focus on tissue engineering.
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