Skip to main content

M.Eng. in Chemical Engineering

in this section

This degree is intended to enhance the technical skills of students and assure their ability to bring value to industry. The curriculum focuses on industrial practice and design, and integrates knowledge across disciplines to prepare students for diverse work environments. Students are encouraged to design a course of study that best suits their professional interests, career goals, and their individual reasons for undertaking the M.Eng. degree. All courses of study require approval by the M.Eng. Director.

The Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree at Cornell's Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, enables new as well as practicing, engineers to earn professional degrees while building expertise in related fields. The diverse personal and academic backgrounds of our faculty and students, and Cornell's vast facilities make this an exceptional program in which to pursue the following areas of specialization:

Requirements of the M.Eng. Program

The program requires thirty credit-hours of course work, including a project that allows deeper study of a focus area of the student’s interest. At least 12 of these credits, not including credits earned for the M.Eng. project (more than three credits), must be earned in chemical engineering courses. Elective credits should include electives on Business Practices and Environmental & Societal Impact.  Up to two credits may be taken with S/U option. The College of Engineering policy allows students to enroll in up to 22 credits per semester (additional credits require special approval). 

  • Students with an undergraduate education in chemical engineering typically finish the program in two semesters
  • Students with different training (other engineers, chemists, etc.) may require extra time. Typically, students whose undergraduate degree is NOT ChemE, will complete the following undergraduate courses in addition to the courses needed to complete their M.Eng. degree (assumes student has completed calculus and differential equations; otherwise some math refresher courses may also be needed):  ENGRD 2190: MASS AND ENERGY BALANCES, CHEME 3230: FLUID MECHANICS, CHEME 3130: CHEMICAL ENGINEERING THERMODYNAMICS, CHEME 3240: HEAT AND MASS TRANSFER, and CHEME 3900: CHEMICAL KINETICS AND REACTOR DESIGN.
  • Alternatively, students with a non-ChemE background wishing to reduce time at Cornell to the standard two semesters could consider obtaining some preparatory Chemical Engineering foundations in a suitable summer program. The department offers a workshop for M.Eng. students with a non-ChemE background, right before the fall semester, or in the beginning of the fall semester. This is to provide the basic principles of Chemical Engineering and to recommend which undergraduate Chemical Engineering courses should be taken.

Reasons to Pursue the M.Eng. Degree 

  • Students who wish to gain specialized focused knowledge in areas central to chemical engineering. Specializations within the M.Eng. degree address the most demanding challenges of this century: health care and sustainable energy systems through specializations in Medical and Industrial Biotechnology and Energy Economics and Engineering. We also offer Product Design specialization, led by faculty with significant industrial experience as it applies to chemicals, devices and systems. Faculty from other backgrounds contribute expertise in areas such as new business development, project management, probability, and pricing.  This specialization is intended to prepare students who wish to pursue relevant careers in pharmaceutical, personal products, and food industries. 
  • Students who wish to deepen their knowledge of one topical area related to chemical engineering by specializing in an area of study, such as polymers, electronic materials, engineering management, food engineering, etc.
  • Practicing engineers who wish to update their knowledge of the latest developments in their field.
  • Graduates with B.S. degrees in other scientific areas who want a career in chemical engineering.
  • Prospects for higher compensation, increased supervisory control, etc.


Examples of companies where our graduates have worked after completing the program include, but are not limited to:

ARCADIS                                                       Air Products and Chemicals

Bristol-Myers Squibb**                              Codexis

Conoco Phillips                                            Corning

Deloitte*                                                        ExxonMobil

General Electric                                            General Mills

Genentech                                                     Global Foundaries**

GTE Products Corporation                          IBM**

Intel*                                                               Infinium

Kerry**                                                           Kraft Foods

Merck                                                              Motorola

NOHMs Technologies                                 PowerAdvocate

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals                       Samsung*

Saudi Aramco                                                Schlumberger*

Veolia                                                              Wood Mackenzie

*Indicates employers that have hired international Cornell Engineering MEng students

**Indicates employers that have hired international Chemical Engineering MEng students

Academic Standing

A grade-point average of at least 2.50 is required to be in good standing in the M.Eng. program. Credit toward the M.Eng. degree will not be awarded for any course in which the grade received is below C-. 


Apply to the M.Eng. program here.

Contact Information

Address: Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
358 Olin Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853-5201

It is the policy of Cornell University to support equality of education. The University is committed to the maintenance of an affirmative action program that will assure the continuity of equal opportunity. A brochure describing services for students with physical disabilities may be obtained from the Office of Equal Opportunity, Cornell University, 217 Day Hall, Ithaca, New York, 14853.