The Graduate Committee of the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering has instituted an accelerated transition program for prospective graduate students who are non-Chemical or Biomedical Engineering Majors. These students should follow the summer preparatory curriculum shown below in order to formally enter the FAMU-FSU Chemical and Biomedical Engineering graduate program. More details are available online at the departmental web site.
Target Applicants and Eligibility
- Applicants with non-ChE or non-BME BS degrees in engineering.
- Applicants with Physics BS degrees.
- Applicants with Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Biology BS degrees having strong math skills (through Ordinary Differential Equations).
Transition Program Requirements
The transition program requires that students take one online course and one accelerated transition course during the preparatory summer prior to taking the graduate core courses offered in the Fall semester, as follows:
- ACS online course or equivalent - Beakers to Barrels: Chemical Engineering for Chemists Online Short Course. This course will be replaced in subsequent years by a departmental online course;
- Graduate preparatory course - combined summer course of Mass and Energy Balances, Transport I and II, and Thermodynamics for accelerated preparation of entering students. Two three credit hour six-week courses (Summer terms B and C) will be taken during the Summer before core ECH/BME coursework; and
- Required completion of the graduate section of ECH 4504 Kinetics And Reactor Design (3) .
Requirements 1 and 2 must be completed successfully prior to matriculation in the Fall Semester core graduate courses. Students who do not successfully complete all three requirements before their third semester in the graduate program will not be allowed to continue.
- Students needing to take any mathematics course(s) through differential equations would need to complete these prior to entrance. Students needing a course in ordinary differential equations should take ECH 3301 : Process Analysis.
- Other graduate electives or thesis hours can be taken during the first two years if prerequisites are met.
- Courses prior to the first Fall semester will be at the student’s expense or supported by the department based on available funds.
- The PhD Qualifying Examination (see below) follows the first Spring semester.
Academic Regulations and Procedures for Graduate Students
Selection of Course Plan
Selection of courses for the first semester should be done in consultation with the departmental Graduate Coordinator. All students must also register for the departmental seminar ECH/BME 5935r, Chemical/Biomedical Engineering Seminar, every semester. After the first semester in the graduate program, the supervising major professor will develop a course plan for MS-thesis and PhD candidates. For course-based MS students, the departmental Graduate Coordinator will assist in developing the course plan, acting as the de facto supervisor.
Selection of Major Professor
All full-time graduate students following the MS thesis or PhD options are required to select a research topic and major professor by the end of the first term in which they enter the Department. A form for this purpose is available online at the departmental web site. The completed form should be submitted to the departmental Graduate Coordinator.
The major professor is responsible for directing the student’s research and progress toward a degree. Once a major professor has been approved, a supervisory committee should be established and a program of study prepared in consultation with the major professor before the end of the second semester of enrollment in the graduate program.
The supervisory committee for a master’s degree candidate must consist of a minimum of three faculty members with graduate faculty status. The major professor is the chair of the supervisory committee and must be a faculty member from the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. At least one other member of the committee must be from the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering; the third member of the committee should be from outside the department. Additional members may be appointed to the committee if deemed desirable by the major professor.
The supervisory committee for a doctoral candidate must have at least four members (including major professor) with graduate faculty status. The major professor is the chair of the supervisory committee and must be a faculty member from the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. Two of the remaining members of the committee must be from the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, and the fourth member must be from outside the Department. Additional members may be appointed if deemed desirable. Members of the supervisory committee must be approved by the Department Chair.
Program of Study
A program of study should be prepared by the student in conjunction with the major professor and submitted to the supervisory and graduate committees. For graduate students working toward a thesis-based MS or PhD, the program of study should be defined based on the student’s background and research objectives, in consultation with the major professor and supervisory committee. For graduate students working toward a course-based MS, the program of study should be defined in consultation with the Graduate Committee. The program of study is a complete plan of courses to be taken and research objectives to be achieved. On approval of the program of study, this form will also be placed in the student’s permanent file. If changes to the initially approved program of study become necessary, a new program of study form must be submitted for approval.
PhD Qualifying Examination and Prospectus
All students admitted to the PhD program will be required to take the PhD qualifying examination after completion of the core course ECH 5052 , Research Methods in Chemical Engineering. A research topic will be assigned by the graduate qualifying examination committee. The student must write a research proposal and defend it orally in front of the graduate qualifying-examination committee by the end of the first Summer Semester, unless otherwise approved by the Graduate Committee. This examination must be passed within two consecutive attempts, or the individual will not be allowed to continue as a doctoral student. For additional details, see PhD Qualifying Examination Requirements on the departmental Web site.
Upon successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student may continue work toward the PhD degree. Within five semesters of admission to the graduate program (within the three semesters following the PhD qualifying examination), students are expected to present a prospectus detailing their program of study for PhD dissertation work. If this timeframe cannot be met, the student must petition the graduate program chair for special dispensation, stating specific reasons the delay. The PhD prospectus will consist of a written plan of research that must be orally defended in a formal presentation before the student’s major professor and supervisory committee. After the successful completion of the PhD prospectus, the student will be admitted formally to the PhD candidacy and their research program.
The doctoral committee should provide continual feedback to the PhD candidate throughout the progression of the student’s research. As such, it is important to maintain regular and at least annual meetings of the student and doctoral committee so that updates on research can be presented and feedback can be received by the student. For additional details, see Academic Regulations and Procedures for Graduate Students and the College of Engineering’s website.
Maintenance of Good Standing
In order to maintain good standing in the department, the student must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0, with no more than two grades in the “C” range. No more than one course in the “C” range will be counted toward fulfilling the degree requirements. No grades below “C” will be counted toward degree requirements. Students without an undergraduate degree in chemical or biomedical engineering should obtain a grade of “B” or better in all required undergraduate courses.
Master’s and doctoral degree students must submit a brief written annual report on research progress, goals, and completed courses during the Spring Semester for evaluation by the graduate and supervisory committees. A form for this purpose is available on the departmental web site. An assessment of the progress of the student in research and courses by the student’s supervisory committee will be placed in the student’s permanent file. Continuance of assistantships and/or tuition waivers is contingent upon satisfactory evaluations.
Time to Degree Completion
Students with undergraduate degrees in chemical or biomedical engineering normally complete the thesis-type master’s program in four to five semesters, including one Summer Semester. Although the availability of departmental support ultimately is subject to budgetary constraints, the Graduate Committee will not normally recommend continuation of assistantships and tuition waivers beyond a period of two years subsequent to the student’s admission to the master’s program. Students without an undergraduate degree in chemical or biomedical engineering will be given one additional year for completion. However, these students are normally not supported financially during their first year, when they are primarily taking preparatory undergraduate chemical/biomedical engineering courses.
Students with undergraduate degrees in chemical or biomedical engineering normally complete the doctoral program within five years of their admission to graduate school, with reduced time expected if the student enters the program with a master’s degree. Although the availability of departmental support ultimately is subject to budgetary constraints, departmental/college commitments and research grant availability, doctoral candidates will be recommended for departmental support only for a period of three years subsequent to being admitted to candidacy for the doctoral program following the successful completion of the PhD Qualifying Examination. PhD students should submit and defend a prospectus on the dissertation topic to the supervisory committee within five semesters from admission to the graduate program.
Graduate student support is generally in the form of research or teaching assistantships (RAs or TAs), although University fellowships are also available. Research assistantships derived from contracts and grants focus mainly on the performance of research leading to their degree but may be required to perform service to the department in the form of minimal teaching duties. However, research assistants who receive departmental support for tuition waivers will be required to grade, TA, or run recitation sections for lecture courses in addition to research responsibilities. Doctoral candidates will also have to satisfy the teaching requirements of the degree (TA for one laboratory course). Typical TA duties include grading homework and/or exams, conducting problem-solving recitation sections, and having office hours for answering student questions. Specific duties are assigned by the course instructor.
University Doctoral Residency Requirements
The residency requirement for the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering states that after having finished thirty (30) semester hours of graduate work or being awarded the Master’s degree, the student must be enrolled continuously on either the FSU or FAMU Tallahassee campus for a minimum of twenty-four (24) graduate semester hours credit in any period of 12 consecutive months.