Master of Science Program

Candidates for a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering have the opportunity to perform graduate research to gain greater depth of understanding in developing areas of Chemical Engineering.  This depth of understanding provides career opportunities in industry or it can be in preparation for a doctoral research program with potential employment in industry, national labs, or academia.

Candidates of Master of Science in Chemical Engineering are prepared for related career paths based on a solid understanding of chemical processes. The master thesis open opportunities in industries or can be a preparation for in-depth research for a doctoral program with potential for industrial deployment. 

The MS candidate in chemical engineering at Rice University must complete coursework and are required to propose, execute, summarize and defend a research project. A master of science degree will be awarded upon completion of all requirements and successful defense.

For a non-thesis program tailored for professionally-focused students looking to expand their engineering knowledge, check out our Professional Master’s Program.

Note: The ChBE department does not grant automatic admission into the PhD program after culmination of the master’s degree. Students who wish to pursue a PhD in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Rice must apply directly to the doctoral program. CHBE core courses taken as a master’s student will be taken into consideration for the PhD program requirements.

Chemical Engineering does not offer financial aid for the masters programs.

Course Requirements

ChBE degree course requirements are as follows:

Minimum 18 hours of CHBE courses which include five core courses and one CHBE elective

  • Minimum 12 Research credit hours 
  • Minimum of 24 graduate semester credit hours must be taken at Rice University
  • A grade of B- or better must be attained for all degree courses
  • In accordance with university policy, students who’s GPA falls below 2.33 will be placed on academic probation

MS students are required to take the following five core graduate chemical engineering courses:

  • Fluid Mechanics & Transport Processes (CHBE 501)
  • Kinetics, Catalysis, and Reaction Engineering (CHBE 590)
  • Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics (CHBE 602)
  • Advanced Topics Thermodynamics (CHBE 611)
  • Mathematics (CHBE 692)

The sixth course must be a chemical engineering elective. Any additional upper elective courses may be selected from Natural Science and Engineering courses.  

Thesis Requirements

Students must write and defend a thesis on original research work conducted under the guidance of a faculty in the department. Master’s students must defend the thesis no later than the 8th semester from the date of their enrollment in their degree program. Once a candidate successfully passes their oral examination in defense of the thesis they must submit the thesis to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies no later than six months from the date of the examination.

Residency Requirement

Rice's General Announcements states students enrolled in a thesis master’s degree program must meet a minimum residency enrollment of one fall or spring semester of full-time graduate study at Rice University.