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  Sep 23, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 General Catalog

Chemical Engineering, PhD


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Program in Chemical Engineering


Chemical engineering (ChE) encompasses the development, application, and operation of the processes in which chemical and/or physical changes of material are involved. The work of a chemical engineer is to analyze, develop, design, control, construct, and/or supervise chemical processes in research and development, pilot-scale operations, and industrial production. Emphasis is placed on the application of computer analysis to problems encountered in the above areas. Chemical engineers are employed in the manufacture of inorganic chemicals (i.e., acids, alkalis, pigments, and fertilizers), organic chemicals (i.e., petrochemicals, polymers, fuels, propellants, pharmaceuticals, and specialty chemicals), biological products (i.e., enzymes, vaccines, biochemicals, biofuels, etc.), foods, semiconductors, and paper.

Graduate-level chemical engineers with graduate degrees work in a wide range of organizations for which their technical skills are needed. These organizations may include: local, state, and federal governments; private and public corporations; and education. Chemical engineers are involved in process and plant operation, technical services groups, research and development laboratories, plant design groups, occupational and safety programs, technical sales, technical training, and technical management. Graduate education can lead to careers in the medical sciences, chemical engineering, and other engineering and scientific disciplines as well as business and law.

The thesis MS degree requires thirty semester hours for completion, the non-thesis MS degree requires thirty-three semester hours, and the PhD requires a total of fifty-seven semester hours.

Admission Requirements


  1. Fulfillment of the Department’s admission and core course requirements for the master’s degree or its substantive equivalent (see Chemical Engineering, MS );
  2. Maintenance of a high scholastic record for graduate coursework at the previous college or university attended;
  3. Demonstrated proficiency in conducting research in chemical engineering by passing the departmental PhD Qualifying Examination (see PhD Qualifying Examination requirements below and on the departmental web site for more details).

Students who meet the admission requirements are encouraged to apply directly for the PhD program. Students who maintain a 3.0 graduate GPA and demonstrate proficiency in conducting research in chemical engineering by passing the departmental PhD Qualifying Examination (see PhD Qualifying Examination requirements below and on the departmental Web site for more details) are admitted to PhD candidacy if they have satisfied departmental core course requirements for the master’s degree. Students who fulfill these requirements may elect, upon approval of the Graduate Committee and major supervisor, to proceed directly toward the PhD without first obtaining a thesis-based master’s degree.

Students with a thesis-type master’s degree in chemical engineering from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering may, with approval of the Graduate Committee and major professor, take nine additional approved semester hours beyond the master’s requirements to satisfy the thirty-three hour course requirement for the PhD. All other requirements must be fulfilled as stated below.

Students with master’s degrees from other institutions will be given a specific course plan by the departmental Graduate Committee and have the option of transferring up to six hours towards their PhD requirements.

Degree Requirements


Each semester, all graduate students are required to enroll in and attend ECH 5935 Chemical Engineering Seminar (0)  (S/U grade only). In addition, all students are required to take required safety training courses and annual refreshers. All graduate students are required to attend the Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Teaching Conference/TA Orientation (pie.fsu.edu/PIE-TA-Orientations-Conference) during the summer prior to their graduate enrollment to prepare for teaching assistant (TA) duties. This requirement is mandatory regardless of the student’s classification as a teaching assistant or research assistant. For international graduate students, the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is a test for evaluating the English speaking ability of non-native speakers of English. The SPEAK test is administered by the Center for Intensive English Studies to international students who have been appointed or will be appointed as teaching assistants in an academic department. The SPEAK exam requirement must be cleared (scores greater than 45 or 50 for graders or TAs, respectively) before students can serve as teaching assistants or progress to full PhD candidate status.

Fifty-seven semester hours and the following requirements must be completed successfully for the award of the PhD degree in Chemical Engineering:

  1. Passage of ECH 8965 Doctoral Preliminary Exam (0)  within two consecutive exam attempts (see PhD Qualifying Examination requirements  for more details). Successful completion will result in formal admission to PhD candidacy;
  2. Completion of thirty-three semester hours of advanced coursework (including twelve semester hours of core graduate coursework as indicated above);
  3. Completion of at least twenty-four semester hours of dissertation research, ECH 6980 Dissertation (24-)  (S/U grade only);
  4. Registration and attendance at all departmental seminars, ECH 5935 Chemical Engineering Seminar (0)  (S/U grade only);
  5. Selection of a research topic and major professor(s);
  6. Formation of a supervisory committee in consultation with the major professor(s);
  7. Submission and defense of a prospectus on the dissertation topic to the supervisory committee. Successful completion will result in formal admission to candidacy for the PhD degree;
  8. One semester teaching assistantship in an undergraduate laboratory;
  9. Presentation of a research topic at one local, regional, national or international professional meeting;
  10. Submission or publication of scholarly articles based on original dissertation research in peer-reviewed journals;
  11. Satisfaction of the University residency requirement; and
  12. Successful passage of ECH 8985 Dissertation Defense (0)  (P/F grade only).

No course with a grade below “C” will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements. No more than one course with a grade in the “C” range will be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

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