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A minimum of 30 credit hours of course work in technical areas relating directly to chemical engineering is required for the M.S. degree. Shortly after admission, the candidate, with the assistance of the Graduate Director, shall prepare a written plan of study which is consistent with the following additional requirements:


Getting Started

Before graduate courses in Chemical Engineering are attempted, the candidate must fulfill certain minimal course prerequisites either by previous experience or by taking selected undergraduate courses. These minimal prerequisites are descibed in the GPA and prerequisite policy page. Some of these prerequisites may be fulfilled by concurrent registration if necessary. No courses numbered below 400 may count towards the minimal 30 credits required for the degree. A maximum of 6 credits of 400 level courses may count towards the degree subject to prior approval by the Graduate Director. Graduate courses with an EMPM designation cannot be used to satisfy the minimum 30 hours without prior permission of the Graduate Director.

All graduate students (full and part-time, on and off campus) are expected to attend all research seminars, i.e., those not specifically directed to 1st year students. Students that fail to regularly attend research seminars will receive a notice from the director of graduate studies; extreme cases can be considered insufficient progress towards degree. Exceptions to this requirement will be made on a case-by-case basis by the graduate program committee; such exceptions include off-campus students that demonstrate regular participation in an on-campus seminar series that takes place at a more convenient time, or an off-campus technical seminar series. Students granted this exception should turn in a list of seminars attended to the director of graduate students before the end of each spring and fall semester.

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Enginering's overall expectations for all students enrolled in its graduate program are that they will:

  • make significant scholarly contributions to the field of chemical and biomolecular engineering, which is primarily measured by publications in peer-reviewed journals; and
  • demonstrate an ability to communicate research findings to an audience of their peers in the field of chemical and biomolecular engineering, which is primarily measured by presentations at conferences.

These publications and presentations must be documented on the final page(s) of each student's written thesis. For details, see "M.S. Thesis, tab" below.

A maximum of 6 semester hours of graduate course work taken at other regionally accredited institutions prior to matriculation in the Graduate School, or afterward, may be applied toward the Master's degree. The course must have been taken within the time limits for completing the Master's degree; the Graduate Director must agree that the specific courses are appropriate to and acceptable in Chemical Engineering, and the student is responsible for providing an official transcript of this work to the Graduate School.

Due to academic and procedural differences between U.S. regionally accredited and foreign institutions, credit from foreign universities is not normally acceptable for transfer.

The grades on transfer work do not affect the grade point average of the work taken at the University of Maryland. A grade of A from another institution cannot balance a C in a course here.

Transfer work cannot be used to satisfy the requirements for upper level courses in a student's program. The required credits of 600 level or above must be part of the work taken at the University of Maryland.

No credit transfer will be allowed for any courses which have been used in fulfillment of the requirements of any other degree. No credit will be granted for correspondence courses.

The request for transfer credit shall be submitted to the Graduate School for approval at the earliest possible time. The candidate is subject to final examination by this institution in all work offered for the M.S. degree.

Each graduate student, during the first semester, must interview at least five faculty members to discuss potential research projects. This form must signed by each faculty member interviewed. This form should then be completed listing the student's first choice with up to three alternative choices. This should be submitted to the Graduate Secretary. A departmental committee will select from these choices and the Department Chair will promptly notify the student of their action.

Please see the research advisor selection form.


The Graduate School requires students to maintain a 3.0 GPA in all courses for credit since enrollment. The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering further requires that students attain at least a 3.0 GPA in the four required graduate core courses–ENCH 610, 620, 630 and 640–where this GPA is computed using the letter+/- system. This GPA is computed by the following numerical equivalents:

3 2/3
3 1/3
2 2/3
2 1/3

Therefore, receiving the grades of B, B, B-, and B- in the four core courses would not be sufficient to receive a graduate degree from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Master of Science Requirements

For the M.S. Thesis, 6 of the required credit hours are devoted to Research (ENCH 799). While the student may elect to take more than 6 credits of ENCH 799, only 6 credits may be used to fulfill the credit hour requirements. Upon completion of the research, the student prepares a dissertation on his/her research and must pass a final oral examination.

The proposal committee must include at least three (3) members of the regular faculty in ChBE. These faculty members are listed under the “Regular Faculty” tab of the faculty directory on this web site.

An exemption from the above requirement can be granted under special cases. To request an exemption, the student’s advisor must petition the Graduate Director detailing specific reasons for the request and listing the modified committee. The Graduate Director will make a decision on the request after consulting with the Graduate Studies Committee.

The following must be documented on the final page(s) of each student's written thesis:

  1. A list of publications on which the student is either the first author or a co-author. Provide the full citation (title, all authors, DOI, etc.). Subdivide into:
    1. Publications that have appeared in print: specify full citation
    2. Publications that have been submitted and are under review: specify dates
    3. Publications that will be submitted after the defense: specify tentative titles, and dates
  2. A list of conference presentations on which the student is either the first author or a co-author. Provide full details (title, authors, etc.). Specify speaker. Subdivide into:
    1. Presentations that have been delivered
    2. Presentations that have been scheduled (abstract accepted): specify dates
    3. Presentations for which abstracts will be submitted: specify tentative titles, and dates

After successful completion of the defense, a copy of the above page(s) will be made and placed in each student's folder. The Graduate Director will not sign off on the student's defense form if the above requirments are not met.

In principle, a candidate fulfilling all of the General Course requirements can complete the requirements for the Master of Science degree in one year. However, it is unusual for students to complete their program in less than 3 semesters. For candidates having a previous degree in a non-Chemical Engineering technical area, a 2 to 2.5 year program is usually necessary. An example plan of study is given in the M.S. Course Requirement Advising Form (.docx). Individual plans of study will be developed upon request by the Departmental Graduate Director.

All requirements for the M.S. degree must be completed within a five year period. This time limit applies to any transfer work from other institutions to be included in a student's program. Students who fail to complete all requirements for the degree following the granting of a time extension by the department may seek an additional extension by petitioning the department. If the department supports the request, the Administrator of Graduate Admissions and Records may grant up to a one year additional extension.