MSc in Chemical Engineering


Program Description

The graduate program in chemical engineering features a core of courses in chemical engineering, elective courses in areas of student interest, and an intense research or independent study experience with the student’s faculty advisor. Elective courses may be concentrated in a large number of special areas, including bioengineering, environmental engineering, computer science, materials science, and manufacturing engineering. New initiatives are underway in the multidisciplinary area of environmental systems that should provide a wealth of opportunities to graduate students in chemical engineering.

The Master’s of Science degree in Chemical Engineering is a flexible and individually-structured program, determined by the student and his/her advisor. The MS can be a terminal degree or an introduction to research before pursuing the Ph.D.

There are two degree plans a student can choose:

Plan 1 has a minimum requirement of 30 credit hours of graduate study, including 24 credits of coursework and 6 credits of thesis. At least 12 credits of coursework must consist of the chemical engineering graduate core. A master’s thesis must be completed and defended in an oral examination.

Plan 2 also has a minimum requirement of 30 credit hours of graduate study, including the 12 credit chemical engineering graduate core and a 3 credit MS project course. A comprehensive examination must be completed as part of the MS Project course.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must hold a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Chemical Engineering. Additional coursework may be required for students without a BS degree in Chemical Engineering or for those who lack adequate preparation.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Use the principles of science and mathematics to identify, formulate and solve advanced engineering problems.
  2. Apply both analysis and synthesis in the engineering design process, resulting in designs that meet constraints and specifications, including societal, economic, environmental, and other factors as appropriate to the design.
  3. Communicate advanced technical contents effectively with a range of audiences through various media.
  4. Establish goals, plan tasks, meet deadlines, manage risk and uncertainty, and function effectively on teams.
  5. Analyze and design units for advanced chemical engineering processes.

Program Requirements

General Requirements

Minimum GPA

  • Minimum GPA of 3.000 for all credits counted toward the completion of coursework requirements
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.800 for all credits earned

Chemical Engineering Graduate Core

All graduate students in Chemical Engineering are required to complete a set of 4 core courses:

  • CEN 651 - Molecular and Statistical Thermodynamics 3 credit(s)
  • CEN 671 - Chemical Engineering Methods I 3 credit(s)
  • CEN 786 - Kinetics 3 credit(s)

And a choice of:

  • CEN 741 - Transport Phenomena I 3 credit(s)


  • CEN 643 - Fluid Dynamics 3 credit(s)

Bridging Coursework

Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering may be required to complete a number of additional undergraduate engineering courses as corequisites for graduate coursework.

The need for such bridging coursework will be considered on a case by case basis, and applicants will be notified of any such requirements at the time of admission into the program.

Bridging courses if assigned, are usually completed in the first year of study. All assigned bridging coursework must be completed prior to graduation.

Master's of Science with Thesis (Plan 1)

Coursework Requirement (30 credits)

In addition to the 12 credit Chemical Engineering Graduate Core, all students in Plan 1 must complete:

  • 12 credits of approved electives
  • 6 credits of thesis coursework

The chemical engineering thesis course has been regularized as:

  • CEN 997 - Masters Thesis 1-6 credit(s)

Thesis Requirement

Successful completion of the MS degree with thesis requires a written MS thesis and an oral defense.


Students must submit a Request for Examination Form to the Graduate School at least three full weeks prior to the oral defense.

The thesis document must be delivered to the MS Thesis defense committee at least two weeks prior to the date of the oral defense.

Defense Committee

The MS Thesis defense committee consists of four members:

  • The thesis advisor;
  • No fewer than two tenure-track members of the BMCE faculty; and
  • The Chair of the Oral Examination Committee.

The Chair of the Oral Examination Committee must be a Syracuse University tenured or tenure-track faculty member outside the department and program.

All proposed committee members must be full-time or adjunct faculty members at Syracuse University. Outside committee members (e.g. from SUNY-ESF, Upstate Medical University, etc.) may be allowed by petition.

Additional Requirements

Defenses must comply with Graduate School policy and requirements, including proper formatting.

Master's of Science Non-Thesis (Plan 2)

Coursework Requirements (30 credits)

In addition to the 12 credit Chemical Engineering Graduate Core, all students in Plan 2 must complete:

  • at least 3 additional credits of coursework in chemical engineering (CEN)
  • 12 credits of approved electives
  • the 3 credit MS Project course

The chemical engineering MS Project course has been regularized as:

  • CEN 687 - Advanced Chemical Engineering Design 3 credit(s)

MS Project Requirement

Successful completion of the MS Project course and the accompanying Oral Comprehensive Examination.


The MS Project course, CEN 687 (Advanced Chemical Engineering Design), is only taught during the fall semester.

Oral Comprehensive Examination

The Oral Comprehensive Examination will be the culminating event of the M.S. Project course. Students will prepare and present the products/outcomes of their project to the departmental faculty and respond to questions from the faculty.

The examination committee will be composed of at least three department faculty, but all faculty is invited, and the examination will be scheduled to maximize faculty participation.

The examination committee will meet separately to determine if the student has passed the examination, and the student will be informed of the decision.

Students are required to submit an electronic copy of presentation materials to the Department prior to the presentation.

Employment Outcomes by Program

Companies: AcrylChina, Anoplate Corporation, Aramco Performance Materials, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Duke University, FLSmidth Inc, Guangzhou Micro-shot Technology Co. Ltd., Indium Corporation, LumaCyte, Quadrant Biosciences, Vici Health Sciences

Job location: 82% in the US, 18% outside of US

Job location within the US: 71% in Syracuse/Central New York, 29% Other

Job titles: Downstream Research Scientist, Lab Scientist II, Laboratory technician, Process Engineer, Research Technician Intern, Technical Support Engineer, Application Engineer

Base salary range: $45,000 – 104,999

Median base salary range: $50,000 – 64,999

Last updated Oct 2018

About the School

Our community of scholars is united in our commitment to the advancement of knowledge. The success of our College and, most importantly, our students stems from a special combination of rigorous think ... Read More

Our community of scholars is united in our commitment to the advancement of knowledge. The success of our College and, most importantly, our students stems from a special combination of rigorous thinking, deep knowledge, empathy, responsiveness, creativity, and the agility necessary to span the boundaries of disciplines, job descriptions, and cultures. Read less