Getting Your Master’s Degree in Chemical EngineeringChemical engineering is a branch of engineering that applies the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to solve different problems that involve the use of fuel, drugs, food, and other products. Chemical engineering started with the fermentation and evaporation processes that were operated by early civilizations. Modern chemical engineering emerged with the development of large-scale, chemical manufacturing operations in the 2nd half of the 19th century.
Those with a master’s degree in chemical engineering are employed in many different industries, not just chemical manufacturing. Some are employed in biotechnology, business services, health care, food manufacturing, electronics, and energy manufacturing.
Chemical engineers conduct tests and research, troubleshoot problems, and work in the production of energy, food, clothing, paper, life sciences, biotechnology, business, and more.
According to BLS, employment of chemical engineers is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. According to the New York Fed, on a “Labor Market Outcomes of College Graduates by Major” chart, the chemical engineering major has an unemployment rate of 3.8%. They also have the early-career median wage listed as $68,000, and a mid-career wage as $110,000. 48.4% of those with that major have a graduate degree.
Online vs In-personMany schools have both online and in-person options to get your master’s degree. Some people want to go to an in-person classroom, while others prefer the flexibility of online school. There are also hybrid programs that might be a good option.
A Master’s of Chemical Engineering ProgramA master’s in chemical engineering should take between 1-2 years, depending on the program. It could take longer if a student goes part-time vs full-time.
ConcentrationsWhen you are pursuing a master’s degree in chemical engineering you will need to have a concentration. Here are a few examples:
- Climate- where students would learn the fundamentals and technological challenges associated with the climate.
- Biotech- where students study technology based on biology, involving the use of living systems, and organizations to develop or make products.
- Chemical and Life Science- where students would learn about the principles of mass and energy balances, stem cells, cellular engineering, and more.
- Biomolecular- where students study biochemical and biology for those who want to go into consumer products, food processing, and pharmaceuticals.
- Energy- where students would learn about chemical thermodynamics, full cell technology, fire modeling, and more.
Common ClassesWhile many of your classes would depend on your concentration, here are a few of the more common classes you might need to take for your program:
- Chemical engineering
- Analysis of chemical engineering and thermodynamics
- Materials engineering
- Control Management
Admission RequirementsAdmission requirements differ based on the school and program, however, most will require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, to complete an application essay, and submit letters of recommendation.
Some schools might also require professional experience, but even if the school doesn’t, it can help to have that work experience to put on the application. Schools usually also want students to have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Students usually do not have to have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, but would be helpful to have one. Other majors such as chemistry, physics, and microbiology would also be a good fit.
How to Choose a ProgramThere are many different factors when choosing a chemical engineering master’s program. Students should look at the length of each one, the course format, available concentrations, and final project requirements. Students should also consider the curriculum and the cost.
Accreditation status for each program can also make a difference and can affect future career opportunities. Departments often receive programmatic accreditation from field-specific accrediting bodies. Accreditation will indicate that the program meets set standards of quality for the electrical engineering profession.
Students should look for a program with accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Degrees from an ABET-accredited program are required for licensure examinations.
Top Master’s in Chemical Engineering ProgramsHere are 10 of the top masters in chemical engineering programs:
- Princeton University
- Columbia University in the City of New York
- Stanford University
- The University of Pennsylvania
- The California Institute of Technology
- Johns Hopkins University
- Northwestern University
- Washington University in St. Louis
- Cornell University
- Rice University
Top Online Master’s in Chemical Engineering Programs
Search and select multiple degree level.
Search and select multiple area of focus.
University of Colorado BoulderBoulder, COPartner School
University of Colorado Boulder University of Colorado Boulder is a 4-year, University of Colorado Boulder university located in Boulder, CO. Students at University of Colorado Boulder can enroll in bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degree programs.
Arkansas State University-Main CampusState University, ARPartner School
Focusing on its mission to educate leaders, enhance intellectual growth and enrich lives, A-State meets the challenges of continuing as a destination university for more than 13,000 students through the combination of world-class research...
University of DaytonDayton, OHPartner School
University of Dayton University of Dayton is a 4-year, private university located in Dayton, OH. Students at University of Dayton can enroll in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. University of Dayton Military &...
East Tennessee State UniversityJohnson City, TNPartner School
East Tennessee University was ranked one of 2018’s best colleges and universities for military and veterans. They pride themselves on creating productive citizens who serve their communities. It’s easy to become part of this...
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburg, VAPartner School
The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.
University of Alabama-TuscaloosaTuscaloosa, AL
University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa is a 4 Year, Public university located at 739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL. Students at University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa can enroll in bachelor’s, master’s, certificate, doctoral degree programs. University of...
University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanks, AK
University of Alaska Fairbanks University of Alaska Fairbanks is a 4 Year, Public university located at 505 South Chandalar Drive, Fairbanks, AK. Students at University of Alaska Fairbanks can enroll in associate’s, bachelor’s, certificate, master’s,...
Colorado State University-Fort CollinsFort Collins, CO
Colorado State University-Fort Collins Colorado State University-Fort Collins is a 4 Year, PUBLIC university located at 2545 Research Blvd, Fort Collins, CO. Students at Colorado State University-Fort Collins can enroll in bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degree...
University of ArizonaTucson, AZ
University of Arizona University of Arizona is a 4 Year, Public university located at 1401 E. University, Tucson, AZ. Students at University of Arizona can enroll in bachelor’s, certificate, master’s, certificate, doctoral degree programs. University...
Auburn UniversityAuburn, AL
Auburn University Auburn University is a 4 Year, Public university located at Samford Hall, 182 S College St, Auburn University,, Auburn, AL. Students at Auburn University can enroll in bachelor’s, certificate, master’s, certificate, doctoral...
Georgetown UniversityWashington, DC
Georgetown University Georgetown University is a 4 Year, Private university located at 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC. Students at Georgetown University can enroll in bachelor’s, certificate, master’s, doctoral degree programs. Georgetown University Military...
George Washington UniversityWashington, DC
George Washington University George Washington University is a 4 Year, Private university located at 2121 I Street NW, Washington, DC. Students at George Washington University can enroll in associate’s, bachelor’s, certificate, master’s, certificate, doctoral degree...
Howard UniversityWashington, DC
Howard University Howard University is a 4 Year, Private university located at 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC. Students at Howard University can enroll in bachelor’s, certificate, master’s, certificate, doctoral degree programs. Howard University Military...
University of DelawareNewark, DE
University of Delaware University of Delaware is a 4 Year, Public university located at 104 Hullihen Hall, Newark, DE. Students at University of Delaware can enroll in associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degree programs. University of...
Yale UniversityNew Haven, CT
Yale University Yale University is a 4 Year, Private university located at Woodbridge Hall, New Haven, CT. Students at Yale University can enroll in bachelor’s, master’s, certificate, doctoral degree programs. Yale University Military & Veteran...
University of ConnecticutStorrs, CT
University of Connecticut University of Connecticut is a 4 Year, Public university located at 352 Mansfield Road, Storrs, CT. Students at University of Connecticut can enroll in associate’s, bachelor’s, certificate, master’s, certificate, doctoral degree programs.
University of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham, AL
University of Alabama at Birmingham University of Alabama at Birmingham is a 4 Year, Public university located at Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL. Students at University of Alabama at Birmingham can enroll in bachelor’s,...
Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff, AZ
Northern Arizona University Northern Arizona University is a 4 Year, Public university located at 1900 S. Knoles Dr Babbitt Administrative Center, Flagstaff, AZ. Students at Northern Arizona University can enroll in bachelor’s, certificate, master’s, certificate,...
Jobs With a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering
- Materials Scientists- Materials Scientists work in research and development. They also look at the composition and structure as well as the properties of various types of matter and scientific laws. Annual Median Pay is $86,453 according to Payscale.
- Environmental Scientists- Environmental Scientists work with government agencies to help with the formation of new environmental protection policies and aid in finding ways that human behavior can be changed to avoid potential environmental protection policies. Annual Median Pay is $51,947 according to Payscale
- Natural Science Managers- Natural Science Managers direct physicists, chemists, and biologists during the course of research. Annual Median Pay is $81,000 according to Payscale
- Process Engineers- Process Engineers are responsible for the equipment systems and methods used in a manufacturing facility to transform raw ingredients into their final product form. Annual Median Pay is $73,469 according to Payscale
Licensing RequirementsChemical engineers don’t have to be licensed but doing so leads to better jobs. Candidates would need at least four years of work experience, pass a state exam, and hold a degree from an accredited engineering program. Continuing education may be required to maintain and renew the license.
Scholarships for Students Getting a Master’s in Chemical EngineeringHere are a few scholarships for those getting their master’s in chemical engineering.
>> Use CollegeRecon’s Scholarship Finder in order to find scholarships for military, veterans, dependents and spouses and by degree program.
You can also find our longer list of scholarships for chemical engineering majors at College Recon. Or you can use CollegeRecon’s Scholarship Finder in order to find scholarships for military, veterans, dependents and spouses and by degree program.