Chemical Engineering (Ph.D.)

Chemical Engineering (Ph.D.)
chemical engineering lab

Why pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at UNH?

Our chemical engineering Ph.D. will give you intensive research experience alongside a solid foundation in the fundamental principles of chemical engineering, preparing you forhighly selective careers in academia, research and related fields. You’ll learn to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering to identify, formulate and solve chemical engineering problems.

Program highlights

We offer challenging courses and hands-on learning alongside award-winning faculty in our state-of-the-art laboratories. Our research areas include biochemical engineering, biomaterials, biomedical engineering, biophysics, chemical and biosensors, electrocatalysis, electrochemical engineering, fluid dynamics, microfluidics, modeling and simulation, and synthetic biology. Our department also has clean and renewable energy research activities in different labsand has for years offered courses in areas such as energy and environment, fossil fuels, electrochemical methods, nuclear engineering,and air pollution control. The Center for Clean and Renewable Energy Research was established in 2007 with the purpose of improving organizational cohesion and enhancing public recognition of the role of chemical engineering in this important area.

Potential career areas

  • Academia
  • Biochemical engineering
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Energy engineering
  • Industrial chemicals
  • Petroleum and petrochemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals and medicine
  • Plastics and textiles
  • Pollution abatement
  • Research

of Chemical Engineering & Bioengineering
Phone: (603) 862-1917
Office: Chemical Engineering, Kingsbury Hall Rm W311, Durham, NH 03824

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  • Brunno_Rocha_profile
    Brunno Rocha is a current doctorate student in chemical engineering who also completed his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Federal University of Paraiba in Brazil. His hometown is Joao Pessoa, Brazil. 1. Why did you choose UNH for your…
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  • Marissa Morales
    Research and development of biopharmaceuticals
    Marissa Morales graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in chemical and bioengineering before enrolling at UNH as a Ph.D. student in chemical engineering in the fall of 2016. The Middletown, New Jersey native plans to pursue a career in research and development of biopharmaceuticals. She collaborated with researchers from the University of New England titled "
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Curriculum & Requirements

Our chemical engineering Ph.D. will give you intensive research experience alongside a solid foundation in the fundamental principles of chemical engineering, preparing you forhighly selective careers in academia, research and related fields. You’ll learn to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering to identify, formulate and solve chemical engineering problems.

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program normally have a master's degree in chemical engineering. Exceptional students with a baccalaureate degree in chemical engineering are eligible for admission to the program. To be admitted, students must present evidence that they have a strong foundation in chemical engineering. Applicants must submit current scores (within five years) from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination. International students are required to submit TOEFL test scores. IELTS scores are accepted on a case-­by­-case basis, and students must have a minimum score of 6.5.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

PhD students will complete the following core chemical engineering courses:

CHBE 900Seminar 10 or 1
CHBE 923Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics3
CHBE 932Advanced Chemical Engineering Kinetics3
CHBE 940Advanced Transport Phenomena3

Students should register for CHBE 900 for 1 credit each in their first two semesters and 0 credits each additional semester until their degree is granted.

Those students admitted with a master's degree in chemical engineering are required to take an additional 3 elective courses at the 800­- or 900­- level to complete the course work requirements. Those students admitted with a baccalaureate degree in chemical engineering are required to complete an additional 5 elective courses at the 800­- or 900­- level to complete the course work requirements. Courses taken within the UNH School of Law, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, and the Paul College of Business and Economics can apply with approval. Electives must be assessed with a letter grade and cannot be pass/fail. Students take electives after consulting with their advisers.  The courses the students have taken to fulfill their B.S. degree requirement cannot be counted toward their PhD. degree requirement. 

Students in the PhD program are expected to complete at least two core courses excluding CHBE 900 within the first year of graduate study. Students with a GPA of 3.0 or better in the two core courses are eligible to take the qualifying exam.  The qualifying exam will have a written and an oral component and will be administered by the graduate committee. The graduate coordinator / committee will conduct an annual review of each student's progress in the program. All course work, including electives, should be completed by the end of the second year of study and must be completed before the student can be advanced to candidacy.

To advance to candidacy, the student must prepare a research proposal, and defend the proposal in an oral examination before a doctoral guidance committee. After successful completion of the oral qualifying examination, the student is advanced to candidacy and upon recommendation of the graduate coordinator, a doctoral dissertation committee is appointed by the dean of the graduate school. The doctoral dissertation committee supervises and approves the dissertation and administers the final dissertation defense.

There is no language requirement.

Upon completion of the doctoral degree, the student will be able to:

  • Use appropriate chemical engineering techniques, tools and methods to solve broadly defined engineering problems.
  • Critically analyze the literature and determine the state-of-the-art in a given research topic.
  • Write and defend an original research proposal.
  • Use computational and/or experimental skills to solve an original research problem in the field of chemical engineering and critically evaluate the results. 
  • Demonstrate independence in conducting research and take ownership for its direction.
  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills through publications and presentations to a variety of audiences. 

Apply now


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Feb. 15 (for funding); April 1 (recommended US; final international); July 1 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 1, Nov. 1 for international students
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: VT

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission, or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Test Scores: GRE Required

GRE required. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918.

For general information about test scores, including waiver requests and current COVID related impacts, please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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