Chemical Engineering MS

Major: Chemical Engineering
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 45.0
Co-op Option: Available for full-time, on-campus, master's-level students
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 14.0701
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 17-2041

About the Program

The graduate program in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department integrates current chemical engineering science with the growing fields of engineering applications and processes, emphasizing engineering design and scientific analysis. The department intends to develop broadly educated individuals who are knowledgeable in modern theories, cognizant of the behavior of engineering systems, and aware of current mathematical and engineering tools that are useful for the solution of problems in complex processes and systems, especially those in the fields of chemical, environmental, biochemical, and materials process engineering. Areas of particular strength include polymer science and engineering, energy and the environment, multiscale modeling and process systems engineering, and biological engineering.

Programs are arranged to meet the needs and interests of individual students. The plan of study is initially formulated in consultation with the departmental graduate advisor and subsequently guided by the thesis advisor.

A graduate co-op is available for the Master of Science program. For more information, visit the Drexel Engineering graduate co-op and Steinbright Career Development Center's website.

Graduates have pursued a variety of careers ranging from faculty positions in academia to research and development in industry in the U.S. and overseas.

Additional Information

For more information about this program, visit the MS in Chemical Engineering and Drexel University's Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering webpages.

Admission Requirements

Students should fulfill Drexel University's general requirements for admission to graduate studies. The subjects normally included in an undergraduate program in chemical engineering provide a satisfactory background. Decisions regarding prerequisite qualifications for students who may be deficient in some areas are made after consultation with the departmental graduate advisor.

The core courses are designed for students with undergraduate training in chemical engineering; however, students with a background in biological sciences and engineering can also enroll in the core courses after completing the necessary basic engineering courses and disciplinary chemical engineering courses. Programs for such students are determined on an individual basis after consultation with the departmental graduate advisor.

Graduate study in Chemical Engineering is offered on a regular full-time basis and on a part-time basis. Details not covered in the following information may be obtained by contacting the departmental graduate advisor. The General (Aptitude) Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for applicants pursuing full-time study.

Financial Assistance

Financial aid in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowship grants is available to qualified full-time PhD students. Awards are made annually on a competitive basis.

Additional Information

For more information on how to apply, visit Drexel's Admissions page for Chemical Engineering.

Degree Requirements

In general, each program leading to the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering must meet the following requirements: total, 45.0 credits; core chemical engineering, 15.0 credits; technical electives, at least 15.0 credits; free electives, at most 6.0 credits; thesis or additional technical electives, 9.0 credits. Core courses in the chemical engineering master's program are listed below. A master's thesis is optional.

Thesis option: The thesis may be based on either a theoretical or an experimental investigation or both of limited scope but involving a significant degree of originality. The nature of the research may involve multidisciplinary areas such as biological engineering, materials processing and engineering, energy and the environment, and other topics. The scope and content of the thesis is guided by the thesis advisor. All students pursuing a master's with thesis must complete 9.0 credits of thesis research (CHE 898). At the discretion of the research advisor, up to 12.0 credits of independent study (CHE I799) can be used to fulfill the free and technical elective requirements.

Coursework-only (non-thesis) option: Students not pursuing master's with thesis must complete 24.0 credits of technical electives, 6.0 credits of free electives, and 15.0 credits of core chemical engineering. Students may take up to 21.0 credits of independent study (CHE I799) to fulfill the free and technical elective requirements although independent study is not required for a non-thesis master's. Non-thesis students may also take additional concentration electives beyond the required 15.0 credit series. Non-thesis students may not register for thesis research.

Concentration: All master's students must complete a 15.0 credit series of technical electives. Technical electives may be chosen from course offerings in chemical engineering, mathematics, science, and other engineering disciplines, and are subject to approval by the departmental graduate advisor. Free (non-concentration) electives need only be graduate level.

Co-op: Students have the option to pursue a co-op as part of their master's program. In conjunction with the Steinbright Career Development Center, students will be provided an overview of professionalism, resume writing, and the job search process. Co-op will be for a six-month position running in the summer/fall terms. Students will not earn academic credit for the co-op but will earn 9.0 non-academic co-op units per term.

Full-time students usually take the core courses in the first year. Other courses may be substituted for the core courses if equivalent courses are available and if the substitution is approved by the graduate advisor. Full-time students normally require a minimum of one calendar year to complete their study and research.

Program Requirements

Required Core
CHE 502Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering3.0
CHE 513Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics I3.0
CHE 525Transport Phenomena I3.0
CHE 543Kinetics & Catalysis I3.0
CHE 554Process Systems Engineering3.0
Technical Electives *15.0
Thesis or No-Thesis Option9.0
For Thesis Option:
Master's Thesis
For No-Thesis Option:
Technical Electives
Free Electives6.0
Total Credits45.0

Choose from:

  • Any graduate course in the College of Engineering >=500 level
  • Any graduate course in STEM disciplines >=500 level
  • Graduate courses in these disciplines, subject to advisor approval:  AE, BIO, BMES, CAE, CHE (including CHE I799) CHEM, CIVE, CMGT, CS, DSCI, ECE, ECEC, ECET, ECEE, ECES, EET, EGMT, ENSS, ENTP, ENVP, ENVS, FDSC, GEO, MATE, MEM, PRMT, PROJ, REAL, SYSE, PENG, MATH, PHYS, SE 


Abrams Laboratory (Abrams)


Computational resources:

Alvarez Research Group (Alvarez)

  • Rheo Filament- VADER1000 - Filament Extensional Rheometer with forced convection oven
  • TA DHR3 – Controlled Stress Rheometer with Electronic Heated Platesx
  • TA ARES G2 – Controlled Strain Rheometer with Forced Convection Oven
  • Controlled Film Coater
  • Gel Spinning Apparatus for continuous filament and fiber formation
  • Microtensiometer for measurement of dynamic transport of surfactant to fluid-fluid interfaces, including dilatational rheology of equilibrated surfaces.
  • Supercritical Microtensiometer for measurement of surfactant transport to fluid-fluid interfaces at elevated pressures
  • Nikon TE microscope with 3MP camera and various objectives.
  • Fluigent - 4 port continuous pressure fluid pump    

Nanomaterials for Energy Applications and Technology Laboratory (Baxter)

  • Amplified Ti:Sapphire laser with time-resolved teraherterz spectroscopy and femtosecond UV/vis/NIR transient absorption spectroscopy (Bossone 106)
  • Solar simulator with monochromator and photovoltaic/photoelectrochemical test station
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Layer-by-layer deposition robot
  • Dip coater
  • Spin coater
  • Electrodeposition station
  • Continuous flow microreactors

Biofuels Laboratory (Cairncross)

  • Bubble column biodiesel reactors
  • Recirculating heated oil baths
  • Quartz crystal microbalance / heat conduction calorimeter (Masscal G1)
  • Maxtek quartz crystal microbalance with phase lock oscillator
  • Parr reactor

Nanocrystal Solar Laboratory (Fafarman)

  • Two chamber fabrication glove box with separate air-purification for wet-chemical synthesis and dry-process fabrication steps, featuring HEPA filtered laminar flow air handling for class-1 cleanroom conditions in an inert atmosphere. In the wet-chemical fabrication chamber there are a spincoater, centrifuge, hot-plates and solid and liquid reagents. On the dry chamber side, there is an integrated thermal evaporator for depositing metal, and a UV-ozone cleaner.
  • Custom built Schlenk vacuum/gas manifold, all necessary glassware, J-Kem precision temperature controllers and heating mantles
  • Perkin Elmer Lambda 35 UV-vis spectrometer
  • ThermoFisher Nicolet iS50R Fourier-transform vis-NIR-MIR absorption spectrometer covering spectral ranges 13000 – 600 and 25000 – 8000 1/cm
  • Keithley dual-channel precision source-meter
  • Crystalaser Q-switch laser, 300 mW at 532 nm
  • Home-built 4-point probe station for thin film electrical conductivity
  • 80 MHz digital oscilloscope
  • Stanford Research Systems lock-in amplifier

Nanofibers for Energy Storage and Conversion Laboratory (Kalra)

  • Four Electrospinning Stations (with core-shell spinning capability)
  • Mbraun Dual User Glove Box
  • Carver Heat Press
  • Four Gamry Potentiostats (Ref 3000 and Interface 1000)
  • 32-channel Maccor Battery Cycler, three 8-channel NEWARE Battery Cyclers
  • Rotating Disc Electrode Test Station (Pine Instruments)
  • Tube Furnaces/Convection Ovens/Vacuum Ovens/Ultrasonicator/Hot Plates/Precision Balances
  • Environmental Chamber (Tenney) with high temperature/humidity control ranging from 25-200C and 5-95%RH and integrated with vapor permeation and EIS
  • Thermo Fisher Nicolet IS50 FTIR Spectrometer equipped with in-operando battery/supercapacitor cells

Thin Films and Devices Laboratory (Lau)

  • Chemical Vapor Deposition Thin Film Reactor System I
  • Chemical Vapor Deposition Thin Film Reactor System II
  • Chemical Vapor Deposition Rotating Bed Reactor System
  • Denton Desktop High Vacuum Sputtering System
  • Harrick RF Plasma Reactor
  • Gamry Reference 600 Electrochemical Testing Station
  • Gamry Interface 1000 Electrochemical Impedance Spectrometer
  • Agilent Electrochemical Impedance Analyzer 4294A
  • Solar Illuminator
  • Nicolet 6700 FTIR Spectrometer
  • Shimadzu UV-1800 UV-VIS Spectrophotometer
  • Laurell Technologies Spin Coater
  • Ramé-Hart 290 Goniometer
  • Meiji MT5310L Microscope
  • Vacuum Ovens/Hot Plates

Polymers and Composites Laboratory (Palmese)

  • TA Instruments TGA Q50 Thermogravimetric Analyzer
  • KSV Instruments CAM 200 Contact Angle and Surface Tension Meter
  • TA Instruments DSC Q2000 Differential Scanning Calorimeter
  • Instron 8872
  • Thermo Nicolet Nexus 870 FTIR
  • TA Instruments DMA Dynamic Mechanical Analysis
  • Perkin Elmer DSC7 Differential Scanning Calorimeter
  • Waters GPC/HPLC (RI, UV Detectors)
  • Electrospinning station
  • TA Instruments AR Rheometer
  • Thinky planetary centrifugal mixer ARE-250
  • Melt Press
  • Portable Near Infrared Spectrometer
  • Brookfield digital viscometer
  • Glove Box
  • Supercritical Dryer (2x)
  • Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) plasma reactor

Process Systems Engineering Laboratory (Soroush)

  • Shimadzu GPC
  • Mini-Reactors
  • Agilent GC/MS
  • Fluidized Sand Bath
  • IKA-RCT Stirred Hotplate Reactors
  • Olympus Microscope
  • Shimadzu UV-Vis Spectrophotometer (UV-1700)

Electrochemical Interfaces and Catalysis Laboratory (Snyder)

  • Millipore DI water system
  • 302N Autolab Potentiostats (x2)
  • Mettler Toledo Micro-Balance
  • Ultracentrifuge
  • 4 port Schlenk line
  • 4 kW Ambrell Radio Frequency Induction Furnace

Tang Laboratory (Tang)

  • Six-channel Bio-Logic SP-300 potentiostat with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • LC Technology dual-user glovebox with argon atmosphere. Includes oxygen and water analyzers, electronic feedthroughs, and integrated vacuum oven
  • Coin cell crimper /decrimper for battery fabrication (TOB Battery)
  • Automatic electrode film coater (TOB Battery)
  • Tube furnace
  • Vacuum oven
  • Karl-Fischer titration apparatus (Mettler Toledo)
  • Two rotating disk electrode test station (Pine Instruments) with rotating ring-disk accessories
  • 32-channel battery cycler (Arbin)

Wrenn Laboratory (Wrenn)

  • PTI, Inc. C-71 Time-Resolved Fluorescence Spectrometer (pulsed nitrogen and dye lasers)
  • PTI, Inc. A-710 Steady State Fluorescence Spectrometer
  • Brookhaven 90Plus Dynamic Light Scattering Apparatus
  • Brookhaven Goniometer-based, Static Light Scattering Apparatus
  • Perkin-Elmer BUV40XW0 UV-Visible Absorbance Spectrometer
  • Zeiss Axioskop2 Fluorescence microscope
  • Zeiss Ultraviolet Digital Image Analysis System (contains Orca Camera, Sony 17” monitor, and Axiovision II software)
  • Beckman Coulter Allegra64 Centrifuge
  • Misonix, Inc. XL2020 Sonicator

Chemical Engineering Faculty

Cameron F. Abrams, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Professor. Molecular simulations in biophysics and materials; receptors for insulin and growth factors; and HIV-1 envelope structure and function.
Nicolas Alvarez, PhD (Carnegie Mellon University). Assistant Professor. Phototonic crystal defect chromatography; extensional rheology of polymer/polymer composites; surfactant/polymer transport to fluid and solid interfaces; aqueous lubrication; interfacial instabilities.
Jason Baxter, PhD (University of California, Santa Barbara). Professor. Solar cells, semiconductor nanomaterials, ultrafast spectroscopy.
Richard A. Cairncross, PhD (University of Minnesota). Associate Professor. Effects of microstructure on transport and properties of polymers; moisture transport and degradation on biodegradation on biodegradable polymers; production of biofuel.
Aaron Fafarman, PhD (Stanford University). Associate Professor. Photovoltaic energy conversion; solution-based synthesis of semiconductor thin films; colloidal nanocrystals; electromodulation and photomodulation spectroscopy.
Vibha Kalra, PhD (Cornell University). Associate Professor. Electrodes for energy storage and conversion; supercapacitors; Li-S batteries; fuel cells; flow batteries; electrospinning for nanofibers; molecular dynamics simulations; Nanotechnology, polymer nanocomposites.
Kenneth K.S. Lau, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Associate Department Head. Professor. Surface science; nanotechnology; polymer thin films and coatings; chemical vapor deposition.
Raj Mutharasan, PhD (Drexel University) Frank A, Fletcher Professor. Biochemical engineering; cellular metabolism in bioreactors; biosensors.
Giuseppe R. Palmese, PhD (University of Delaware). George B Francis Professor. Reacting polymer systems; nanostructured polymers; radiation processing of materials; composites and interfaces.
Joshua Snyder, PhD (Johns Hopkins University). Assistant Professor. Electrocatalysis (energy conversion/storage); hetergeneous catalysis corrosion (dealloying nanoporous metals); interfacial electrochemical phenomena in nanostructured materials; colloidal synthesis.
Masoud Soroush, PhD (University of Michigan). Professor. Process systems engineering; polymer engineering.
John H. Speidel, BSHE, MCHE (University of Delaware; Illinois Institute of Technology). Teaching Professor. Chemical process safety; process design engineering.
Maureen Tang, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Assistant Professor. Batteries and fuel cells; nonaqueous electrochemistry; charge transport at interfaces.
Michael Walters, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Undergraduate laboratory.
Stephen P. Wrenn, PhD (University of Delaware). Professor. Biomedical engineering; biological colloids; membrane phase behavior and cholesterol transport.

Emeritus Faculty

Charles B. Weinberger, PhD (University of Michigan). Professor Emeritus. Suspension rheology; fluid mechanics of multi-phase systems.
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