Carnegie Mellon University

Masters Degree Programs in Chemical Engineering

The Masters Degree programs in Chemical Engineering take advantage of the cutting-edge research and technology at CMU through project work and graduate-level courses. The core curriculum provides students with skills and technical depth relevant for a variety of careers. Graduates of the Master's programs excel at numerical methods for solving engineering problems, computational fluid mechanics and transport, process simulation, and optimization.  

Masters Degree Options

Masters of Science (MS)

The Masters of Science (MS) in Chemical Engineering involves both course work and project work and the 144-unit degree is designed to be completed in four academic semesters. Students in the MS program complete a three semester independent project working closely with a research group in the Department.   These projects are designed to provide students with exposure to a one of the sub-disciplines of Chemical Engineering that is a strength of the department (see Research). Students are required to prepare a final report of the project work to develop written communication skills. Both degrees offer technical depth, an opportunity to develop the computational skills that CMU is known for. The MS provides depth and specialization though an independent project.

Masters of Chemical Engineering (MChE)

The Masters of Chemical Engineering (MChE) is a 96-unit course work degree that is designed to be completed in two academic semesters. The MChE allows for breadth through additional courses taken. The goal of the program is to produce skilled engineers who will have a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of chemical engineering, as well as a broader set of professional skills and exposure to other technical disciplines.

MS in Colloids, Polymers, and Surfaces (CPS)

Course work required for the MS in Colloids, Polymers, and Surfaces (CPS) is relevant to many industries, as chemical product manufacture and process development often require applications involving complex fluids that include nanoparticles, macromolecules and interfaces. Examples include industries working with nanotechnology, coatings and pigments, pharmaceuticals, surfactant-based products, cosmetics, pulp and paper, ink, food science, environmental science, agricultural products, polymers/advanced materials and biomaterials. 

The Carnegie Institute of Technology and Mellon College of Science jointly offer an interdisciplinary MS degree in the Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces. Students electing this option must complete 96 units including the following minimum coursework:

06-705 Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
or 09-611 Chemical Thermodynamics (mini)/ 09-603 Math Analysis for Chemistry (mini)

06-607 Physical Chemistry of Colloids and Surfaces
06-609 Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules
39-801CPS Lab I:  Colloids and Surfaces
39-802CPS Lab II: Polymers
06-608 Safety course, recommended

Students may elect to do an independent project (and submit a satisfactory written report) and/or other advanced technical electives with approval of CPS Program Director to complete the 96 unit minimum requirement. Students in this program are advised by Professor Annette Jacobson, Director of the CPS Program. Students in the MS CPS program must finish with an overall “B” average. No grade lower than “C” is acceptable.

Affiliated / Interdisciplinary Masters Programs

Dual Degree Program: MChE & MS in Technology Ventures

The Master of Science in Technology Ventures equips students with tools and skills to bring high tech ideas to market. Students learn to leverage cutting-edge technologies in order to make a true impact on society.

In partnership with the Integrated Innovation Institute, the dual degree is a two-year bicoastal program that allows Master of Chemical Engineering (MChE) students to also obtain a Master of Science in Technology Ventures. In addition to completing MChE requirements in Pittsburgh, students travel to Silicon Valley for an internship at an established startup and fulfill two academic semesters learning about tech transfer and entrepreneurship at our campus in Mountain View, CA.

Energy Science, Technology and Policy Program

Effective solutions to energy problems will come from engineers and technical managers who understand the interdisciplinary challenges of energy, and who are well informed on the broad issues of energy supply, demand, storage, utilization, policy, sustainability, and the environment. The Carnegie Mellon Energy Science, Technology and Policy (ESTP) program addresses this need with a professional engineering master’s degree that is based in engineering, aligned with new discoveries in science, attuned to sustainability and the environment, and informed by a broader perspective in economics and public policy. Depth in the ESTP curriculum is associated with declaring a concentration and taking specialized coursework in one of six engineering disciplines, which include Chemical Engineering. Students must apply and be admitted directly to the College of Engineering ESTP program, and applications are submitted through the program's website.

Engineering & Technology Innovation Management Master's Program and Dual Degree

Engineering and Technology Innovation Management MS (E&TIM) educates future engineering leaders by coupling technical education with frameworks to lead, foster, and manage technical innovation. A summer internship is an integral element of this interdisciplinary program. The Chemical Engineering MChE degree may be combined with the E&TIM program to form a 21-month dual degree MS program that equips students to drive value creation from technical innovation based on their understanding of technical concepts, innovation management fundamentals and real world implications.


The Department of Chemical Engineering is pleased to be part of a new four (4) academic semester program with the School of Computer Science that focuses on completion of the Masters of Chemical Engineering (MChE) degree integrated with advanced study in Computer Science (SCS).   This degree in Chemical Engineering and Integrated Study in Computer Science is a highly competitive degree for chemical engineers with significant prior background in programming and computation.  There are a limited number of positions open in this program with admission required by both the Department of Chemical Engineering and the School of Computer Science; thus application to the traditional Masters in Chemical Engineering is also recommended for all applicants.

In addition to graduate study in Chemical Engineering, students will also learn core and emerging skills in Computer Science, and the ability to implement and practice advanced computational-based methods applied to engineering.

Students in this program will complete the requirements for the MChE and a minimum of 60 units in Computer Science, including the following required Computer Science courses:

15-513, Introduction to Computer Systems
17-514, Principles of Software Construction: Objects, Design and Concurrency

The remaining SCS courses will be electives towards the integrated degree.

The degree will be conferred by the Department of Chemical Engineering and will be a Masters of Chemical Engineering and Integrated Study in Computer Science.