Chemical Engineering
Application Deadlines
Fall:January 31
Winter:June 15
Spring:October 15
Contact Information: 
330 EB, Provo, UT 84602-4100
(801) 422-2586
Program Requirements: 

A PhD in chemical engineering indicates that the graduate is capable of and qualified to conduct independent and original research in the chemical industries and other related fields. Employees with PhD degrees are in high demand by industry, with starting salaries that are considerably higher than for BS or MS graduates. Also, a PhD degree is generally required to pursue an academic career. The doctoral program is designed to prepare the student for a lifetime of intellectual inquiry and research and is therefore more rigorous and demanding than the MS program. Students who are dedicated, diligent, and thoughtful and who can work independently are most suited for a PhD in chemical engineering at BYU.

Requirements for Degree.

  • Credit hours: minimum 54 semester hours, at least 36 of which must be course work beyond the baccalaureate degree, plus 18 hours of dissertation (Ch En 799R). All courses taken to satisfy degree requirements must be approved by the student's advisory committee. Candidates without a master’s degree: 36 hours. There must be at least 6 hours of the 36 in advanced mathematics, and a minimum 18 hours of dissertation (Ch En 799R). At least 3 hours of the 36 must be in 600- or 700-level lecture courses beyond the required Ch En 601 course. Candidates with a master’s degree: with committee approval, up to 20 hours of previous graduate work, may apply toward the doctorate, but at least 36 hours must be taken at BYU (including 18 dissertation hours). Courses taken in the master’s program may apply toward the required 6 hours of advanced mathematics. See Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Handook for details:
  • Required courses: Ch En 531533535601791R (every semester), 6 hours of advanced mathematics, and 17 hours of elective courses.  The advanced mathematics courses are selected from a list of approved courses published on the Chemical Engineering Department web site. Petitions for adjustments to the advanced mathematics requirement are considered. 
  • Undergraduate hours: up to 6 hours of 300- and 400-level interdisciplinary courses from an approved list may be applied toward the 36 hours of course work for interdisciplinary research areas, such as biomedical engineering and statistical mechanics. These approved courses appear in the Chemical Engineering Graduate Handbook.
  • Non-Ch En background:  students without a previous chemical engineering degree are required to complete the following undergraduate courses in addition to the above requirements:  Ch En 273, 373, 374, 376, 386; Math 302, 303; Chem 351.  In addition, students without adequate exposure to the topics in Ch En 451, 476, and 477 are required to complete 2 hours of Ch En 493R during Spring Term to address these topics.  Specific classes in this list may be waived by the department based on the student's prior coursework.  This requirement is based on two principles:  (1) Each student should have a sufficient foundational preparation in the chemical engineering discipline prior to taking the graduate core classes (Ch En 531, 533 and 535), and (2) each graduating student should be competent in a basic set of undergraduate chemical engineering skills as part of their preparation for professional practice.
  • English proficiency: international students whose English language skills are judged by the department to be inadequate for completion of the degree may be required to take one or two ESL courses as specified in the admission letter.
  • Residency requirement:  residency is required for the major part of the work toward the doctoral dissertation.  This work must be completed under the specific direction of a graduate faculty member while the student is in residence at BYU (at least two consecutive full-time semesters).  "In residence" is defined as (1) being registered for credit as a graduate student and (2) living and conducting research in the general vicinity of the university, where the student has ready access to research facilities and consultation with the faculty.  Further, all work applying toward any doctoral dissertation must be completely open for university review and publication.  Any exceptions to the above must be supported by written approval from the department and college and obtained in advance of any work being performed.
  • Prospectus:  each student must write, defend orally, and obtain approval for a prospectus on his or her proposed dissertation topic.
  • Periodic reviews:  The department evaluates each student's progress twice a year.  Continuance as a candidate requires satisfactory ratings in these reviews.
  • Examinations:  a comprehensive qualifying examination on graduate engineering skills must be taken and passed at a high level as described in the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Handbook.  The examination is offered once a year.
  • Dissertation:  a written dissertation on a significant scientific or engineering problem must be completed and defended orally to the satisfaction of the department. 
  • Cumulative GPA:  3.0 or above in all PhD degree classes.
Admission Requirements: 

Additional Requirements

  1. BS or equivalent in chemical engineering from an ABET school
  2. 3.0 GPA in upper-division chemical engineering courses
  3. 3.3 GPA in all courses
  4. Not requiring GRE for 2022-2023 admission cycle


Program Outcomes: 

Broad Understanding of Engineering Science

Demonstrate accurate and broad understanding of engineering science as evidenced through innovative, timely, and sound solutions to problems.

Productive Interaction

Interact productively with people from diverse backgrounds as both leaders/mentors and team members and with integrity and professionalism

Communication Skills

Exhibit communication skills in speaking and writing

Understanding Sub-disciplines

Understand sub-discipline at a level that meets or exceeds that of world experts and their advisors.

Conducting Research

Conduct research independent of their advisers and take personal responsibility for its direction and conclusions.

Innovating Contributions

Innovate contributions to new science/scientific methods.

Publishing Contributions

Publish contributions in respected, archival journals.

Safety Skills

Exhibit safety skills.

Program Stats

Characteristics of Students from Past Academic Year
Total Students 45
International 21
Female 9
LDS 22
Non-White 8
BYU Undergraduate 24
Three Year Average Test Scores of Admitted Student
GRE Composite Score 318.5
GRE Quantitative Score 164.0
GRE Quantitative Percentile 86.7
GRE Verbal Score 154.6
GRE Verbal Percentile 61.3
GRE Analytical Score 3.6
GRE Analytical Percentile 40.3
Five Year Average of Graduated Students
Average Years to Degree 4.7
Graduated Per Year 6.8
Five Year Average of Admitted Students
Applied Per Year 24.6
Admitted Per Year 12.2
Percent Admitted 49.59
Average GPA 3.56