Chemical Engineering Master of Science Degree

The chemical engineering master’s degree prepares you to develop new, high-tech materials for use across a range of critical industries, including semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy systems, battery and alternative energies, and more.

Overview for Chemical Engineering MS

Why Study RIT’s Chemical Engineering Master’s Degree

  • Advanced Course Work with Capstone Project: Chemical engineering students receive training in latest theory, principles, and processes to design engineered systems culminating in an independent project.
  • Hands-On Experience: Students may pursue research for credit with a faculty member, graduate internships, and cooperative education through paid full-time work in industry.
  • Strong Career Paths: Students are hired at industry-leading companies, such as Bausch & Lomb, Boston Beer Company, Regeneron, DuPont, Eastman Kodak Company, Global Tungsten and Powders, Northrop Grumman, Global Foundries, The Hershey Company, and more.

Chemical engineers apply the core scientific disciplines (chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics) to transform raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms, invariably in processes that involve chemical change. In research and development, chemical engineers not only create new, more effective ways to manufacture chemicals, but also work collaboratively with chemists to pioneer the development of new high-tech materials for specialized applications. The development, commercialization, and optimization of the industrial-scale processes for manufacturing chemicals and advanced materials are feats of chemical engineering. Virtually every aspect of a modern industrial economy is critically dependent upon chemical engineering for manufacturing the vast array of bulk and specialty chemicals and high-tech materials needed to create a limitless array of value-added products.

Those with advanced knowledge in chemical engineering become leaders in industry, government, and higher education.

RIT’s Chemical Engineering Master’s Degree

In RIT’s chemical engineering MS you will take core chemical engineering courses in topics like advanced engineering mathematics, advanced thermodynamics, transport phenomena, and advanced reaction engineering. With this foundation in place, you are prepared to select focus area elective courses that provide a breadth of expertise across chemical engineering and develop your professional interests. You may personalize your chemical engineering master’s program with elective courses in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, microelectronic engineering, microsystems engineering, imaging science, materials science and engineering, and mathematics. These areas give you an opportunity to customize your course work in a range of topics, such as:

  • Battery engineering
  • Renewable energy systems
  • Nanotechnology and microsystems
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Polymer science
  • Thermodynamics
  • Applied mathematics 

Students are also interested in: Chemistry MS, Materials Science and Engineering MS



Typical Job Titles

Chemical Engineering Manager Project Manager
Process Manager Senior Chemical Engineer
Chemical Process Engineer Engineering Professor
Safety Engineer

Curriculum Update in Process for 2024-2025 for Chemical Engineering MS

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Chemical Engineering, MS degree, typical source sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Advanced Thermodynamics
The course extends the concepts of energy, entropy, phase equilibrium and multi-component mixtures from ideal to real fluids via the introduction of state functions, fluid models and generalized conditions for equilibrium of solutions and phases. Models for real-fluid behavior are implemented in the context of actual chemical processes. Additionally, real-fluid behavior is linked to molecular properties in order to introduce predictive approaches to fluid behavior. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Advanced Transport Phenomena
Fundamentals of fluid flow are examined on a differential scale. Local differential equations governing fluid flow are derived from their corresponding integral forms using classical integral theorems. The form of these equations in various coordinate systems is examined. Exact solutions of differential equations are considered under both steady state and transient conditions, as are typical approximations to those equations such as creeping, potential, lubrication, and boundary layer flows. The theoretical basis of these approximations are unified via asymptotic theory. Forces on surfaces are determined by coupling differential velocity and pressure fields with appropriate integral representations. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Advanced Reaction Engineering
The application of ideal reactor concepts and analyses is extended to the design, modeling and performance evaluation of reactors used in manufacturing processes. Catalytic reactions are discussed in terms of mechanisms and kinetics, and used to design, model and evaluate the performance of fixed bed, suspended bed and other types of catalytic reactors. Concepts of mass transport limitations and non-ideal flows are introduced to provide the framework for the analysis of deviations from ideal behavior experienced by real reactors. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Advanced Engineering Mathematics
The course begins with a pertinent review of linear and nonlinear ordinary differential equations and Laplace transforms and their applications to solving engineering problems. It then continues with an in-depth study of vector calculus, complex analysis/integration, and partial differential equations; and their applications in analyzing and solving a variety of engineering problems. Topics include: ordinary and partial differential equations, Laplace transforms, vector calculus, complex functions/analysis, complex integration. Chemical engineering applications will be discussed throughout the course. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Chemical Engineering.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Project with Paper
This course is used by students as a qualifying capstone experience to their M.S. degree. The student must demonstrate an acquired competence in a topic that is chosen in conference with a faculty advisor. The work may involve a research and/or design project with demonstration of acquired knowledge. The project scope should be designed with the intent of being completed in a single academic semester. In all instances, a final report determined by the faculty advisor/ supervisor of the work are required to satisfy the capstone experience. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Chemical Engineering.) Ind Study 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Focus Area Electives*
Total Semester Credit Hours

* Focus Area Electives: Courses that are directly relevant to providing a breadth of expertise across chemical engineering, by drawing upon graduate course work as appropriate from across the college of engineering or related fields with approval by the Graduate Program Director. It is anticipated that students interested in engaging with faculty advisors for graduate research would enroll in graduate independent studies to achieve that experience. Graduate courses from a discipline outside of KGCOE would require approval from the Department Graduate Program Director.

Admissions and Financial Aid

This program is available on-campus only.

Offered Admit Term(s) Application Deadline STEM Designated
Full‑time Fall or Spring February 15 priority deadline; rolling thereafter Yes
Part‑time Fall or Spring February 15 priority deadline; rolling thereafter No

Full-time study is 9+ semester credit hours. Part-time study is 1‑8 semester credit hours. International students requiring a visa to study at the RIT Rochester campus must study full‑time.

Application Details

To be considered for admission to the Chemical Engineering MS program, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete an online graduate application
  • Submit copies of official transcript(s) (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work, including any transfer credit earned.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or US equivalent) from an accredited university or college in chemical engineering, or a related field with successful completion of courses in engineering thermodynamics, multi-variable calculus, differential equations, fluid mechanics, and reaction engineering.
  • A recommended minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation.
  • Entrance exam requirements: GRE optional but recommended. No minimum score requirement.
  • Writing samples are optional.
  • Submit English language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic), if required. Details are below.

English Language Test Scores

International applicants whose native language is not English must submit one of the following official English language test scores. Some international applicants may be considered for an English test requirement waiver.

88 6.5 60

International students below the minimum requirement may be considered for conditional admission. Each program requires balanced sub-scores when determining an applicant’s need for additional English language courses.

How to Apply Start or Manage Your Application

Cost and Financial Aid

An RIT graduate degree is an investment with lifelong returns. Graduate tuition varies by degree, the number of credits taken per semester, and delivery method. View the general cost of attendance or estimate the cost of your graduate degree.

A combination of sources can help fund your graduate degree. Learn how to fund your degree


The faculty and students in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering are engaging in numerous areas of research, which takes place across all of our engineering disciplines and often involves other colleges at RIT, local health care institutions, and major industry partners. Explore the college's key research initiatives to learn more about our research in: