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Graduate Studies

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Degree Programs

The Robert Frederick School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) offers two Masters Degrees: the Masters of Engineering and the Masters of Science, which prepare students for very distinct career tracks, as explained below. When applying to either program, you should ensure that your academic objectives align with the specific intent of the program you choose, and you should consider the intent carefully when preparing your statement of purpose. Neither program offers financial aid.

Master of Engineering Degree

The Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree enables those with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, or another technical field, to earn a professional degree while acquiring expertise in related fields of chemical engineering. The curriculum focuses on industrial practice and design, and it integrates knowledge across disciplines to prepare students for a variety of work environments. The diverse backgrounds of Cornell's faculty and students, combined with Cornell's prodigious facilities, make this program exceptional for enhancing technical skills and preparing for a career in industry. 

Graduates of an undergraduate program in chemical engineering will be required to complete 30 credits of course work, which includes an applications-oriented project of 3-6 hours of credit. The entire program can be completed over two semester of study. 

Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering may be required to take up to five courses (15 credit hours) of core chemical engineering courses in addition to the 30 credits mentioned above, depending on their academic preparation. This entire program can typically be completed in three semesters of study.

The M.Eng. is a terminal degree and does not progress towards a doctoral degree. 

Master of Science Degree

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree is a research-based degree that leads to a path in further graduate study in a Ph.D. program (at Cornell or elsewhere) or entry into a research job in a non-academic environment. 

The M.S. degree develops research expertise through involvement in original research and authoring of scientific papers. There are no specific course requirements, and fixed degree requirements are few. The research project and course work are chosen from among those available in the chemical engineering field and other fields related to your career aspirations.  

Your program is guided by a special committee, whom you and your thesis adviser select from among the 1,600 members of the Cornell faculty, to address the rigors of your particular research project. The thesis adviser chairs the special committee, and the special committee monitors and encourages progress toward a degree. This system, a notable feature of graduate education at Cornell, enables M.S. candidates to work with faculty members who best match their academic interests, irrespective of their home field.  

Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. program is designed to be a flexible research-oriented degree. CBE enables students to conduct research with any Cornell faculty member with similar research interests – this may or may not be a member of the CBE faculty. A students' special committee can also include faculty from outside CBE. In this way, as well as through courses, seminars, and other activities, one becomes immersed in a collaborative environment and a way of thinking that leads to shared discovery.

As a Ph.D. student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, one may specialize in the following areas of research: