CBE PhD Learning Goals

Graduate Program in Chemical & Biochemical Engineering Ph.D. Degree Learning Goals and Assessment Adopted December 2016

The doctoral program in Chemical & Biochemical Engineering (CBE) trains students at the highest level to assume leadership roles in the chemical and biochemical process industries and in related fields.


Learning Goal 1 for Students:  Attain marked ability, scholarship, research and leadership skills in chemical engineering


Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:         

  • Grades in graduate courses
  • Performance on departmental qualifying examination assessing depth of knowledge and ability to apply it in a research context
  • Review by faculty of student progress with close advising and mentoring
  • Placement in positions and careers that require ability and scholarship in chemical engineering


Role of the program in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Provide financial support for first year Ph.D. students in their first year and coordinate funding/appointments in subsequent years
  • Close advising beginning with an orientation upon arrival and including tracking of milestones and professional development
  • Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of instructors in graduate courses
    • If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness
  • Periodic review of curricular offerings, degree requirements and assessment tools
  • By program faculty
  • In consultation with the office of the dean of the graduate school, the unit dean, and/or colleagues from related programs as appropriate


Learning Goal 2 for Students:  Engage in and conduct original research


Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Preparation of and defense of Ph.D. dissertation proposal
  • Assessment of quality of Ph.D. dissertation:
    • Public defense of dissertation
    • Critical reading of dissertation by committee of graduate faculty members and a committee member from outside of the CBE graduate program.
    • Submission and acceptance of peer-reviewed articles and conference papers based on student research
  • Achievement of students as evidenced by professional placements, selection for conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications, patent applications (where appropriate), and individual grant attainment


Role of the graduate program in helping students achieve Goal 2:

  • Provide formalized process for learning about research areas within chemical engineering and opportunities for research in the CBE graduate program
  • Provide comprehensive advising
  • Encourage and support student applications for fellowships, including workshop with GradFund for first year students
  • Maintain adequate funding levels through the research phase
  • Provide opportunities to present research and receive feedback, including annual graduate student symposium
  • Provide departmental research awards


Learning Goal 3 for Students: Prepare to be professionals in the chemical or biochemical process industry or in allied fields


Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:

  • Review evidence of papers presented, publications and professional networking
  • Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of graduate student instructors
  • Collection of placement data
  • Review by external advisory board
  • Alumni awards, e.g. School of Engineering Medal of Excellence and professional society awards


Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 3:

  • Require enrollment in Teaching in the Engineering Curriculum course, which encompasses both teaching and research skill development
  • Encourage industrial internships
  • Provide flexible options for students with interdisciplinary interests related to chemical engineering
  • Develop or enhance programs related to job and networking skills, including activity in professional societies and preparation for necessary certifications
  • Acquaint students with non-academic career opportunities


The leadership of the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering graduate program will regularly review the structure and content of the program and the feedback received from assessments and surveys. These reviews will be used to provide the best possible education to students in order to meet the needs for highly trained individuals in the chemical and biochemical process industries and in related fields.