Jun 17, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemical Engineering Major, PhD

Provides in-depth education in chemical engineering fundamentals and develops the ability to conceive, conduct, direct, and communicate original research related to a specialized subdiscipline of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Appropriate for individuals seeking a career in basic or applied industrial or academic research or related areas.

Concentrations (Optional)

Energy Science and Engineering Concentration

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Students may apply directly to the PhD program either with or without having completed a master’s degree. Students proceeding directly to the PhD program from a baccalaureate degree should submit evidence of outstanding performance in a rigorous undergraduate program and the ability to perform independent research at the doctoral level.
  • Graduate Record Examination scores and at least three letters of reference are required for admission.

Credit Hours Required

72 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree

Required Courses

  • CBE 600  (minimum of 24 credit hours)
    • Registration must be continuous from the time research begins. (See the Continuous Registration requirement in the Graduate School section of this catalog.)
  • A minimum of 36 credit hours in graduate-level courses (excluding CBE 600 ) in chemical and biomolecular engineering and related fields beyond the baccalaureate. Must include
    • The five core courses (15 credit hours): CBE 506 , CBE 531 , CBE 547 CBE 551 , and CBE 579  
    • CBE 601  (1 credit hour)
    • At least 6 credit hours of courses at the 600-level from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
    • Technical elective courses (14 credit hours). Examples include courses from CBE, ME, BME, MSE, BSE, NE, CS, ENVR, CHEM, MATH, PHYS, BCMB, MICR, ESE). Courses are selected in consultation with the student’s advisor and/or committee. The required 14 credit hours include the 6 credit hours of 600-level courses and up to 6 credit hours of CBE 501 .
  • Active participation in graduate seminars conducted by the department. Resident students must register for CBE 501  every semester offered.

Energy Science and Engineering Concentration

Required Courses (in addition to those above)

  • Core Curriculum
    • Energy Science and Engineering ESE 511  and ESE 512  (6 credit hours)
  • Knowledge Breadth Curriculum (3 graduate credit hours): select one course from the following three areas
    • Political, social, legal, ethical, and security issues related to energy (e.g., POLS, PHYS, ESE)
    • Entrepreneurship, leadership, and management (e.g., IE, ME, MGT, ESE)
    • Additional courses may be selected in consultation with the Bredesen Center’s Director
  • Knowledge Specialization Curriculum (6 graduate credit hours): choose two courses from participating departments as defined in the Bredesen Center Graduate Student Handbook.
    • Bioenergy and biofuels (e.g., EEB, MICR, BCMB, CBE, LFSC, PLSC)
    • Cross-cutting energy sciences (e.g., MICR, ECE, CHEM, PHYS, MATH, STAT)
    • Distributed energy and grid management (e.g., ECE)
    • Energy conversion and storage (e.g., CBE, CHEM, ME, MSE, PHYS)
    • Energy materials (e.g., MSE, PHYS)
    • Environmental and climate sciences related to energy (e.g., GEOL, MICR, BCMB, EEB, ESS, FORS, GEOL, LFSC, MICR, PLSC, ENVE, FWF)
    • Nuclear energy (e.g., NE, CHEM, ME, PHYS)
    • Renewable energy (MATH, CBE, ENVE, ME, STAT)
    • Transportation sciences (e.g., CBE, CE, ECE,  ME)
    • Additional courses may be selected in consultation with the major professor or research advisor

Non-Course Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of two semesters of service as a teaching assistant in departmental courses.
  • A qualifying exam that assesses the student’s competence in the core areas of chemical and biomolecular engineering, ability to think analytically and creatively, and potential to perform original research. This requirement includes successful completion of the associated course CBE 601 .
  • A written and oral comprehensive examination. This exam consists of a written dissertation research proposal and the oral defense of that proposal.
  • Successful oral defense of the dissertation before the student’s dissertation committee.