Chemical Engineering


Degrees Offered


Clemson University offers both the PhD and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering. The graduate program is ranked 39th out of 172 national public universities, and Clemson University as a whole is ranked 20th (US News and World Report, 2014).

Students may specialize in research areas including advanced materials, energy, biotechnology, or chemical processing. The department offers strong research programs in biotechnology, polymer processing, rheology, fiber and film formation, supercritical fluids, separation processes, and kinetics and catalysis. The research activities of these groups encompass most of the traditional branches of chemical engineering as well as several of the newer areas such as advanced materials, biosensors, bioresource conversion, molecular modeling and simulation, nanotechnology, protein engineering, and renewable energy systems.

Students may be accepted with backgrounds in chemistry, physics, or branches of engineering other than chemical engineering. Special programs are available for nonchemical engineering graduates.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.


Program of Study

Clemson’s graduate programs in Chemical Engineering prepare students to apply science and engineering principles to complex problems associated with the chemical, biomolecular, and associated industries. Students develop a rigorous fundamental science base coupled with insights into engineering applications. Graduates can become involved in the research, development, manufacture and use of chemicals, polymers, pharmaceuticals, electronic com­ponents, consumer products and petroleum products to name a few. The Department at Clemson has strong research programs in advanced materials, biotechnology, energy, and chemical and biochemical processing.

Although most graduate students in the Department have a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, students with backgrounds in chemistry, physics, or other branches of engineering are encouraged to apply and will be considered fully for admission. To facilitate a transition from BS degrees other than Chemical Engineering, special programs are available.

Students can enter the PhD program in Chemical Engineering directly after completion of a BS degree.

MS Program

The MS degree program consists of 24 credit hours of graduate-level work and completion of 6 credit hours of graduate-level research and a research thesis. Coursework includes three required core courses (9 credit hours): Advanced Transport Phenomena, Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics and Chemical Engineering Kinetics. In addition, 15 credit hours of approved technical electives, and 6 credit hours of research are required. The normal time required to earn an MS degree in Chemical Engineering is four semesters and a summer.

PhD Program

The PhD program consists of 30 credit hours of approved graduate courses beyond the BS degree, including 6 credit hours of approved graduate courses at Clemson. Admission to candidacy for the PhD degree requires completion of a written qualifying exam and an oral comprehensive examination. Doctoral students must satisfy the MS course requirements through courses taken at Clemson University or elsewhere. In addition, each student is required to complete 30 credit hours of graduate research, including 24 doctoral dissertation research credit hours taken at Clemson University. The PhD program concludes with the completion and defense of a doctoral dissertation.

Minors for doctoral students may be taken in chem­istry, physics, mathematics, life sciences, or other branches of engineering.


The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is housed in Earle Hall on Clemson University’s main campus. Research laboratories and office space are maintained in Earle Hall and the Clemson Engineering Technologies Laboratory in Clemson’s Research Park.

In addition to extensive Departmental research facilities and equipment, including the Center for Advanced Engineering Fibers and Films ( and the Center for Bioelectronics, Biosensors, and Biochips (, faculty and students have access to Clemson’s world-class core research facilities, including optical and electron microscopy, chemical and analytical testing, state-of-the-art computational resources, and machining and technical services.


The Department offers strong research programs in advanced materials, biotechnology, energy and reaction engineering. The research activities of these groups encompass the traditional branches of chemical engineering as well as several of the newer areas in chemical and biomolecular engineering.

Advanced Materials: Advanced materials is a very active area of research in the chemical and biomolecular engineering department at Clemson University. Major areas of research within advanced materials are Biomaterials, Chemical Sensors, Composites, Conducting Polymers, Directed Assembly, Interfacial Engineering, Membranes, Molecular Modeling and Simulation, Nanomaterials, Nanoscale Design of Catalysts, Polymer Fibers and Films, and Self Assembly. Professors Bruce, Getman, Guiseppi-Elie, Hirt, Husson, Kitchens, Ogale, Roberts, Sarupria and Thies all study advanced materials.

Biotechnology: Within biotechnology, a variety of more specific areas can be studied including Bioelectronics, Biosensors and Biochips, Biocatalysis, Biological Self-assembly, Biopolymers, Biorefining, Bioseparations, Protein & Metabolic Engineering, and Renewable Resources. Professors Blenner, Guiseppi-Elie, Hirt, Husson and Sarupria all study biotechnology.

Energy: As energy becomes a global issue, a number of ChBE faculty are focusing their research on improving current energy sources while also looking to alternative energy sources. Major areas of research include Biofuels Synthesis, Biorefining, Carbon Capture, Energy Storage, Gas Hydrates, Heterogeneous Catalysis, Hydrogen Production and Storage, Quantum and Molecular Modeling, Nanotechnology Reaction Engineering, Renewable Energy Systems, Sustainable Engineering, and Water Purification. Professors Blenner, Bruce, Getman, Husson, Kitchens, Ogale, Roberts, Sarupria, Scott and Thies all study energy issues.

Process Control & Process and Reaction Engineering: Research areas include Process Systems Engineering, Dynamic Simulation and Optimization, Global Optimization, Fault Detection and Fault-Tolerant Control, Separations, Kinetics and Catalysis. Professors Bruce, Husson, Scott and Thies study these areas. 

Our Students

The graduate student body in the department consists of approximately 40 PhD students and 0-5 MS students. In addition to US citizens, there are students from Asia, Africa, and South America, which helps to create an excellent, diverse learning environment.

Our graduate students have been successful at obtaining national fellowships, with students holding the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship, among others.


Application Information

You may apply on the web at

To apply for Clemson’s graduate programs in chemical and biomolecular engineering, you must submit an application, at least two letters of recommendation from faculty members and unofficial transcripts of all college work - official transcripts are required after acceptance. You must also have satisfactory GRE scores, and if you are not an American citizen, satisfactory TOEFL scores. International students who have completed a BS or MS degree in the US are not required to submit TOEFL scores.

Applicants are accepted at any time, but to be considered for all financial aid possibilities, you should apply by early January for the fall semester or early September for the spring semester.

Required Documents


Students accepted into the PhD program will receive financial support. In addition to earning a competitive stipend as a graduate assistant, there are opportunities at the University level for supplemental fellowships. If you have a graduate research assistantship, you will work on funded research projects related to your thesis work. Assistantships offered to new students are set at competitive rates each year and are paid on a 12-month basis. Receipt of a graduate assistantships qualifies you for tuition waiver. Offers of financial aid for each academic year start by the end of January and continue as long as funds are available. You should apply by early January to ensure full consideration in the awards process.

Presently, students who are admitted in the MS program do not receive financial aid.


Program Contact(s)

Program Coordinator(s)