The Ph.D. degree in Chemical & Biochemical Engineering is a research-oriented degree, and it is the highest degree conferred in recognition of accomplishments in scholarship and distinguished critical or creative achievement in the field of chemical & biochemical engineering. Doctoral students are expected to show superior capabilities for independent work and creative research.

The program for the Ph.D. normally consists of a minimum of 30 credits of course work (15 credits of core courses and 15 credits of electives), 5 developmental credits,  and 24 to 42 credits of research beyond the BS degree. The total number of credits required is 72.  

Find a complete list of learning goals here.

Course Requirements

Core Courses

  • 155:501 Advanced Transport Phenomena I
  • 155:502 Advanced Transport Phenomena II
  • 155:507 Analytical Methods in Chemical & Biochemical Engg.
  • 155:511 Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
  • 155:514 Kinetics, Catalysis, and Reactor Design


  • Chemical & Biochemical Engineering curriculum. Students take 6 credits of chemical engineering electives (500+ level courses offered within the CBE department), and 9 credits of technical electives (essentially any 500+ level mathematics, science or engineering course, including CBE). It is recommended that within these 9 credits of technical electives are included 3 credits of a life science elective.
  • Pharmaceutical Engineering curriculum. Students take 5 pharmaceutical engineering courses for the 15 credits of electives. Appropriate pharmaceutical engineering courses include:
    • 155:541 Pharmaceutical Materials Engineering
    • 155:544 Pharmaceutical Organic Nanotechnology – Drug Delivery
    • 155:545 Pharmaceutical Process Design I (Synthesis, Separation and Sterile Processing in the Pharmaceutical Industry)
    • 155:546 Pharmaceutical Process Design II (Pharmaceutical Unit Operations)
    • 155:547 Statistical Analysis and Design of Pharmaceutical Operations
    • 155:548 Advanced Topics in Pharmaceutical Engineering
    • 155:549 Advanced Engineering Pharmaceutical Kinetics, Thermodynamics, and Transport Processes (Pharmaceutical Development, Administration and Absorption)

Developmental Courses

  • 155:605 Teaching in the Engineering Curriculum (1 credit)
  • 155:601/602 Graduate Seminar (1 credit) taken a minimum of 4 semesters

Other courses may be substituted with permission of the Graduate Program Director.

Maintaining a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 with no more than one (1) grade less than B in the core course is required.

Petition for transfer of up to twenty-four course credits (8 courses) of graduate courses from other schools or from an undergraduate record (provided the credits were not used to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements) may be made to the Graduate Program Director after completion of twelve graduate credits at Rutgers.

Teaching Experience

Ph.D. candidates must spend two semesters as teaching fellows.

Foreign Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for the Ph.D. degree in Chemical & Biochemical Engineering.

Qualifying Examination

All graduate students in the Ph.D. program must take the qualifying examination. The qualifying examination is an examination required as part of the Graduate School 's formal procedure for advancing a student to candidacy in the Ph.D. program. Full-time doctoral students must satisfactorily complete their qualifying examination at the end of their first year in the program (petition for extension of this time may be made to the Graduate Director in instances where a student’s undergraduate preparation was not in chemical engineering). The student is examined on his/her understanding of core engineering principles and ability to formulate research plans and critiques independently.

Dissertation Proposal

The purpose of the dissertation proposal is to test the student's ability (1) to define, describe, and examine critically the Ph.D. research project; (2) to think creatively and to apply basic chemical engineering, scientific, and mathematical concepts and techniques; and (3) to communicate in a scholarly and rigorous manner the plan, progress and results of research.

The dissertation proposal is to be scheduled at about the end of the second year of the student's full-time study. The outcomes of the proposal defense are: pass, conditional pass, or fail.

Dissertation and Dissertation Committee

The final dissertation should be prepared in strict accordance with the instructions given in Style Guide for Thesis and Dissertation Preparation prepared by the Graduate School (GSNB) and found here. The doctoral candidate's dissertation shall be examined and reviewed by the dissertation committee of four members, one of whom must be a member outside the program. The candidate's research advisor shall serve as the chair of the committee.

Ph.D. Final Examination

A final public examination is held under the auspices of the committee in charge of the candidate's course of study. A candidate must defend the dissertation and otherwise satisfy the committee in attendance that he or she is qualified to receive the Ph.D. degree.