May 30, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemical Engineering, M.S.

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Major Code: 8033 Degree Awarded: Master of Science
Delivery Mode(s): Classroom Age Restriction: No
Admission Status: Graduate Location(s): Main Campus - Melbourne
Admission Materials: 3 letters of recommendation, résumé, objectives, GRE

The objective of the master of science program is to study the basic principles of chemical engineering in greater depth, including transport phenomena, thermodynamics and reactor design. Electives in other areas to broaden the student’s exposure are also required. The program’s emphasis is research and the writing of a thesis on a current problem. The results of the thesis must be publishable in a technical journal. Nonthesis options are also offered, which require the completion of a special project or additional elective courses in lieu of a thesis. Students are advised to see members of the faculty to determine compatibility of interests before selecting a research area. Program policies are available in the program office.

Admission Requirements

The applicant must have a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering or its equivalent. Applicants with degrees in other fields of engineering, or in science or mathematics, are ordinarily required to take preparatory undergraduate courses before starting the master of science program. These courses are established by the faculty advisor and the department head when the student obtains admission to the program.

Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation from academic references, a statement of purpose addressing reasons for graduate study in chemical engineering, a current résumé, undergraduate transcripts and recent GRE scores.

General admission requirements and the application process are presented in the Academic Overview  section.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering requires satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours, including six credit hours of thesis research for the thesis option and at least three credit hours of a faculty-supervised graduate project for the nonthesis project option, as shown below. Required courses include the zero-credit CHE 5100 Chemical Engineering Seminar  that all graduate students are required to register for and attend every semester. The elective credits may be satisfied by taking chemical engineering graduate courses or other courses approved by the graduate advisor. The thesis option requires completion and successful defense of a thesis, while the nonthesis project option requires a passing score on the final program examination based on both a written report and an oral presentation on the graduate project before the student’s faculty committee. A thesis or graduate project proposal must be approved in advance by the faculty committee. The nonthesis course option requires a passing score on an oral or written final program examination.


Prior to the completion of nine credit hours of graduate study each student establishes an appropriate program of study with the guidance of a graduate committee, subject to final approval by the department head.

Thesis Option

Nonthesis Options

In the nonthesis project option, the six credit hours of CHE 5999 Thesis  are replaced by three credit hours of CHE 5998 Graduate Project in Chemical Engineering  and three credit hours of an approved elective, which may be CHE 5998 . In the  nonthesis course option, the six credit hours of CHE 5999  are replaced by six credit hours of approved checmical engineering electives.

Areas of Specialization

The student may select electives and the thesis or graduate project topic to provide an emphasis in any of the following areas including environmental engineering; materials synthesis, processing and characterization; transport and separation processes; computer-aided modeling, processing and control; hydrogen and fuel cell technology; or petroleum engineering.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology

Hydrogen technology is the application of engineering principles to the analysis, design and development of hydrogen-based systems, components and vehicles. Hydrogen has the potential of providing a clean, renewable alternate to fossil fuels, satisfying a critical need of the United States and world energy sectors and economies. The current focus on hydrogen as an alternative fuel has brought increased attention to the fuel cell, the electrochemical device of choice for recovering and using the energy carried by the gas. This in turn has generated a renewed interest in electrochemical engineering, the branch of engineering dealing with the analysis of electrochemical phenomena and their application in devices and processes such as batteries, fuel cells, sensors, electrodeposition, corrosion and chemical synthesis and separation. This specialization provides students with a strong background in hydrogen technology including an in-depth study of the fuel cell and electrochemical engineering principles, thus preparing them to serve the challenging demands of a growing hydrogen economy.

The minimum requirements include those outlined above and nine credit hours (three courses) as outlined below:

Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum engineering is concerned with the design, development and operation of systems for locating, extracting and processing crude oil and natural gas, accounting for the associated technical, economic, envornmental and safety constraints. The field has gained increaded attention in recent years, as the U.S. strives to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil and natural gas. This specialization provides students with a strong background in all areas of petroleum engineering, emphasizing processing methods and equipment, preparing them to serve successfully the growing energy sector of the United States.

The minimum requirements include those outlined above and 9–12 credit hours as outlined below:

One or two courses from the following:

Students pursuing the course-based nonthesis option must select a minimum of two courses; other students must select at least one.

Elective Courses

With department head approval, students select a minimum of three credits of approved restricted electives.

Total Credits Required: 30

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