M.Eng. Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The M.Eng. curriculum is rooted in chemical engineering electives and a project component, which makes it a highly flexible degree program. Choose which courses are most relevant to your career goals and focus.

Core requirements and components

There are no specific courses required, but there are certain types of credit hours that need to be fulfilled in order to earn your M.Eng. in chemical engineering. The M.Eng. program is typically completed in two semesters. 

The requirements below assume that you have an undergraduate degree or significant experience in chemical engineering. If you’re interested in the M.Eng. in chemical engineering, but don’t necessarily have the background to meet admissions requirements, you may be able to take summer courses to get up to speed.

Specific requirements are:

  • EngrD2190 Mass & Energy Balances (Fall)
  • ChemE3130 Thermodynamics (Fall)
  • ChemE3230 Fluid Mechanics (Spring)
  • ChemE3240 Heat and Mass Transfer (Fall)
  • ChemE3900 Reaction Kinetics & Reactor Design (Spring)

Fluid Mechanics and Heat & Mass courses may be waived by completing similar courses during your undergrad. 

ChemE5201 Principles of Chemical Engineering is offered for non-cheme students over the summer by distance learning. If you take this course, you may be eligible for additional course exemptions based on your performance. You are encouraged to communicate directly with the Program Directors to determine how specific requirements apply to your individual situation.

M.Eng. in chemical engineering degree requirements:

  • A total of 30 credits or more is required
  • At least 12 credits must be CHEME electives
  • Other electives (non-CHEME if desired) can account for 9 credits
  • A business practice elective (3 credits)
  • An Environmental and Societal Impact elective (3 credits)
  • An M.Eng. project of at least 3 credits

Note: Up to 2 credits may be taken with the S/U grade option, and a GPA of at least 2.5 is required to be in good standing in the M.Eng. program. All courses of study require approval by the program director.

In addition to these requirements, you also have the option of taking hands-on experiential courses during winter and spring breaks as they become available. For example, the Shell EPOCH (Engineering, Process, Operations, Competence-based, Hand-on) field experience program. 

Semester outline for M.Eng. core components

Fall (15 credits)Spring (15 credits)
CHEME elective (3)CHEME elective (3)
CHEME elective (3)CHEME elective (3)
Business practice elective (3)Environmental and societal impact elective (3)
Elective (3)Elective (3)
Elective (3)M.Eng. project (3)

Graduate-level chemical engineering elective

Use electives to shape your course of study in the M.Eng. program. Many students choose to focus on a specialization in one of four areas, and they use electives to gain insights into those particular sectors. Specializations, however, are not required, so you may choose any CHEME elective to satisfy the minimum 12-credit requirement. Sample courses are listed at the bottom of this page.

Business practice and environmental societal impact electives

In their careers, M.Eng. graduates will benefit from knowledge of business practices and environmental and societal impact. All M.Eng. students must complete at least 3 credits (by taking one course worth 3 credits or a combination of courses for a total of 3 credits) in each of these areas. 

This requirement may be waived if you can demonstrate relevant academic or industrial experience in one or both of these areas. Sample courses in the business practice and environmental and societal impact categories are listed at the bottom of this page.

Note: Students pursuing the Medical and Industrial Biotechnology specialization are not required to complete these elective requirements.

M.Eng. project requirement

A key component of the M.Eng. program is complete of a project that exemplifies knowledge acquired throughout the program. The M.Eng. project is conducted under the mentorship of a faculty member. You will earn between 3 and 6 credits for your project work—its pace, start time, final report format, and appropriate credit hours will be decided in consultation with your project mentor. Projects, depending on the subject matter, can be completed individually or as a group.

In order to replicate real-world scenarios and implications, M.Eng. projects will incorporate a financial analysis and feasibility study component. This requirement—based in project management principles—promotes teamwork, leadership, effective communication skills, and design aspects of industrially relevant processes and products.

If you choose to focus on a specialization, you may be able to fulfill your project requirement in a few different ways. Consult with your specialization coordinator to determine your options.

Sample courses to meet M.Eng. degree requirements

The courses below are categorized as options to meet M.Eng. degree requirements. Always consult the Cornell Courses of Study guide for course offerings per semester and consult with the M.Eng. program director about course selection. Specializations can narrow your academic focus. Learn more about specialization options here.

Suggested graduate-level CHEME electives of varying credit

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Always refer to Cornell’s Courses of Study guide, as some classes are offered alternate semesters or years. M.Eng. students are required to take a minimum of 12 CHEME elective credits. The list below is a sample of courses and is not exhaustive.

  • CHEME 4700 - Process Control Strategies
  • CHEME 4840 - Microchemical and Microfluidic Systems
  • CHEME 520x - Chemical Engineering Modules
  • CHEME 5430 - Bioprocess Engineering
  • CHEME 5440 - Advanced Principles of Biomolecular Engineering
  • CHEME 5720 -  Managing New Business Development
  • CHEME 5999 - Special Projects in Chemical Engineering
  • CHEME 6310 - Engineering Principles for Drug Delivery
  • CHEME 6400 - Polymeric Materials 
  • CHEME 6640 - Energy Economics
  • CHEME 6660 - Analysis of Sustainable Systems
  • CHEME 6661 - Bioenergy and Biofuels Module
  • CHEME 6662 - Solar Energy Module 
  • CHEME 6663 - Geothermal Energy Module 
  • CHEME 6664 - Hydrokinetic and Aerodynamic Energy Module
  • CHEME 6672 - Electric Power Systems Module
  • CHEME 7110 - Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
  • CHEME 7130 - Chemical Kinetics and Transport
  • CHEME 7310 - Advanced Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer
  • CHEME 7510 - Mathematical Methods of Chemical Engineering Analysis
  • CHEME 7530 - Analysis of Nonlinear Systems: Stability, Bifurcation, and Continuation

Suggested business practice and environmental/societal impact electives of varying credit

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Always refer to Cornell’s Courses of Study guide, as some classes are offered alternate semesters or years. M.Eng. students are required to take a total of 3 credits in business practice and a total of 3 credits in environmental/societal impact. The list below is a sample of courses and is not exhaustive. 

Note: Students pursuing the Medical and Industrial Biotechnology specialization are not required to complete these elective requirements.

Examples of business practices courses

  • AEM 4190 - Strategic Thinking
  • AEM 4380 - Entrepreneurial Strategy for Technology Ventures
  • AEM 6061 - Risk, Simulation, and Monte Carlo Methods
  • CEE 5900 - Project Management
  • CHEME 5720 - Managing New Business Development
  • MAE 4610 - Entrepreneurship for Engineers
  • NBA 5640 - Entrepreneurship and Business Ownership
  • ORIE 4150 - Economic Analysis of Engineering Systems (ORIE 3150 is a prerequisite)

Examples of environmental and societal impact courses

  • AEM 4150 - Price Analysis
  • AEM 4510 - Future Energy Systems 
  • AEM 4500 -  Resource Economics
  • AEM 6080 - Production Economics
  • AEM 6510 -  Environmental and Resource Economics
  • AEM 6580 - Economics and Psychology of Sustainable Business
  • AEM 7500 - Resource Economics
  • BEE 4750 - Environmental System Analysis
  • BEE 4870 - Sustainable Bioenergy Systems
  • BSOC 2061 - Ethics and the Environment
  • CEE 4920 - Engineers for a Sustainable World
  • CEE 6200 - Water Resources Systems Engineering
  • CHEME 6610 - Air Pollution Control 
  • CHEME 6673 - Tools for Analyzing Energy and Society 
  • CRP 5040 - Urban Economics
  • EAS 4570 - Atmospheric Air Pollution
  • NBA 6030 - Strategies for Sustainability
  • PAM 3240 - Risk Management and Policy
  • PAM 5040 - Public Finance: Economics of the Public Sector
  • PAM 3130 - Behavioral Economics and Public Policy 
  • PAM 3400 - The Economics of Consumer Policy