Feb 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate 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.

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


A minimum of 36 graduate credit hours in courses (excluding CBE 600) in chemical and biomolecular engineering and related fields beyond the baccalaureate. Must include the 15 credit hours of core courses listed below, CBE 601, 6 credit hours at the 600-level from UTK, active participation in CBE 501, and 14 credit hours of technical elective courses (includes the 6 credit hours at 600-level and up to 6 credit hours of CBE 501).

Enery Science and Engineering Concentration


Required Courses (in addition to those above).

    • 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.