The PhD candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering must:
- satisfactorily complete 24 semester hours of advanced course
work including both general and specialized topics (subject
departmental approval, the number of courses required can be
reduced for students already having an MS degree in chemical
- pass an oral examination demonstrating a general understanding
of reaction engineering, thermodynamics, transport phenomena,
- prepare and present a thesis proposal;
- complete a publishable thesis presenting research that is an
original and significant contribution to the field of chemical
- pass a public oral examination in defense of the thesis;
- fulfill a residency requirement;
- complete a teaching assignment (discussed below).
There are no foreign language requirements for an advanced degree
in chemical and biomolecular engineering. About 4-5 years of study
are normally necessary to complete the PhD degree requirements.
The MS degree is only offered on a limited basis. Prospective students for the MS Degree will need to contact the faculty advisor for the lab they are interested in joining. If the faculty advisor is interested in accepting the candidate the advisor will submit a special admission request and an online application will then be made available to the candidate.
is a graduate degree requirement at Rice University. All thesis graduate
students spend the equivalent of about five hours
on a teaching assignment during four semesters in residence.
The teaching assignment usually involves supervising work in the
undergraduate laboratory, tutoring, or grading papers. Teaching
experience not only aids in fortifying previously learned material
but plays a vital role in solidifying concepts and clarifying ideas
in the graduate student's own mind. It aids in the ability to communicate
ideas and philosophies so important in the career of a PhD chemical engineer. Students planning to pursue an academic
career may request more involved teaching assignments.
Graduate Program Coursework
first year of the thesis degree program is flexible and allows
the entering student time to develop a sound basis in advanced
areas of chemical engineering and to investigate fully the research
interests of the faculty.
A large portion of the formal course work leading
to the PhD degree is completed during the first year. The department requires PhD students to fulfill their course requirements by taking particular core graduate courses as listed:
- Thermodynamics (CHBE 611)
- Mathematics (CHBE 692)
- Transport (CHBE 501, 602)
- Kinetics (CHBE 590)
These courses are excellent preparation for both research
and the oral qualifying examinations. Course selections are based on
the student's individual preferences and his or her previous educational
Selection of Thesis Advisors
are admitted to our graduate program and not to the research groups
of individual faculty. During their first semester at
graduate students attend a seminar series in which members
faculty discuss their research programs. After attending these seminars, the students discuss possible research projects
with individual faculty members and submit their top three choices
to the graduate committee. The final decision on research topic
assignments is made during
a departmental faculty meeting. Entering students
normally affiliate with a research group before the beginning
of the second semester, at which time work on the research project
About four to five years of study are normally necessary to complete
the PhD degree requirements at Rice University. Graduate students are expected
to assume maximum responsibility for their own progress and to
develop habits of inquiry that will ensure continuing intellectual
development throughout their careers.