Chemical Engineering (Ph.D.)

Chemical Engineering (Ph.D.)

chemical engineering lab

Why pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineeringat 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


Chemical Engineering
33 Academic Way
Kingsbury Hall, Room W301
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-3654  
Fax: (603) 862-3747

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  • 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...
    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...

Curriculum & Requirements

Ph.D. 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:

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

Students should register for CHE 900 for 2 credits 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 the 3 required core courses within the first year of graduate study. After completion of the core courses, the graduate coordinator will administer a qualifying exam on -the core subjects. The graduate coordinator also conducts 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, which is different from his/her PhD dissertation research, 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.

  • The ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering.
  • The ability to design and conduct experiments safely, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  • The ability to identify, formulate and solve chemical engineering problems.
  • The ability to design a process that meets desired specifications with consideration of environmental, safety, economic and ethical criteria.
  • An appreciation of contemporary issues relevant to chemical engineering.
  • Completed the UNH general education/Discovery program and obtained a broad education useful to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.
  • The ability to use computers effectively for engineering practice.
  • An appreciation of professional and ethical responsibility.
  • The ability to communicate effectively.
  • Skills to search for information in the library and on the internet.
  • These skills will be used in their pursuit of lifelong learning.
  • The capacity of function and work effectively alone and in a team environment.


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 after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

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

If admitted, you must 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

Some academic departments recommend that international applicants, living outside of the United States, and planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit our extended inquiry form before submitting a full application. The extended inquiry form will be reviewed by the academic faculty and a department representative will reach out if your background and qualifications are a good fit for the program. 

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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