Graduate Ph.D. Chemical Engineering Curriculum: Progress in 20 years

Emily Ingram, Malgorzata Chwatko

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The chemical engineering field is constantly evolving to encompass new ideas such as genetic engineering and synthetic biology, green chemistry and sustainable materials, and engineering education. This evolution has been seen throughout the undergraduate curriculum with the development of new courses or certificate programs, as reported in the literature. The progress reported in the undergraduate programs has influenced us to investigate if there are any similar shifts in graduate program curricula. In this work, we studied the 2021-2022 chemical engineering Ph.D. curriculum at 100 US universities to gain insights into the courses that students take, as well as other degree requirements to obtain a terminal degree in chemical engineering. The institutions were chosen from the best chemical engineering programs, US News & World Report 2022. The data for the study was collected from the institutions' websites, as well as personal knowledge of the programs. We found that the majority of the core required courses remained the same, as reported by David Kauffman in 2002, and included transport phenomena, thermodynamics, and reaction engineering. There was, however, an increase in the diversity of elective courses which are offered by the departments. The study also investigated other program requirements, such as participation in seminars and teaching assistantship positions. We found a high percentage of schools had required teaching assistantships and seminar attendance as part of the program. Through these findings, we hope to identify future evolution in the graduate chemical engineering curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 25 2023
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2023Jun 28 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
supported by other scholarship/fellowship funding. The funding is therefore, a big driver for the

Publisher Copyright:
© American Society for Engineering Education, 2023.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)


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