PhD in Chemical Engineering

Steer the future of chemical and biomolecular engineering breakthroughs in energy, advanced materials, biological engineering and more.

Photo of student conducting research

Degree: PhD
Major: Chemical Engineering

A PhD in chemical engineering will allow you to contribute more deeply to the impact of engineering on society. You will push the frontiers of science and help develop the technologies that will solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges in energy, materials, the environment, human health and more. With the most advanced degree in chemical engineering, you will have a wide range of high-level career opportunities in which you can be the decision maker.

Full financial support packages (tuition and stipend) are available for our PhD program, which has three components: research, technical coursework and professional development. At Case Western Reserve, you’ll get the chance to conduct your research alongside field-leading faculty mentors who are making boundary-busting discoveries—from developing advanced biosensors to inventing new and more efficient ways to produce ammonia to pioneering a more effective way to scrub carbon dioxide from the air on outer space missions. Meet our faculty and explore their breakthroughs in the making. You’ll build your own research portfolio and get the chance to publish your work in peer-reviewed journals and present at national conferences, with all of this work culminating in your PhD dissertation.

Technical coursework provides the fundamentals that serve as the groundwork for research, and includes courses in chemical engineering and other fields of science and engineering. The professional development component includes professional communication, a seminar series featuring speakers from other universities and industry, and teaching experience in undergraduate courses.

You’ll thrive in our strong, collaborative environment, where research groups push outside traditional silos to interact with one another on interdisciplinary projects. Our department is also an ideal size—large enough to provide state-of-the-art resources and a wealth of opportunities, and yet small enough to cultivate close ties with your peers, fellow researchers and mentors. You’ll also have ready access to cutting-edge research centers, like the Center for Breakthrough Electrolytes for Energy Storage, our DOE Energy Frontier Research Center dedicated to developing new battery chemistries to provide storage solutions for tomorrow’s power grid, and the Great Lakes Energy Institute. And you’ll be surrounded by some of the world’s best hospitals: Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.

Explore degree requirements, courses and more in the university's general bulletin.

How to apply

To apply for your PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, please follow the directions for The School of Graduate Studies and start your application online. The deadline to apply for the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is January 1, 2021.

Special note for CWRU Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering graduate program applicants:

  1. GRE scores are not required or considered. The online application is common across all graduate programs at CWRU, some of which require the GRE. You may be prompted to upload test scores, please leave this field blank.
  2. Three letters of recommendation should be included in your application. These letters should speak to your potential to succeed in a PhD program and comment on your scholastic achievements, leadership, research potential and character.
  3. The 1-2 page personal statement should address your intent for pursuing graduate studies in Chemical Engineering, any previous research experience, research or academic interests, and/or involvement promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.
  4. A fee waiver can be granted upon request for special circumstances. Please email the Department Chair to inquire.
  5. Check out our special Gelfand Global Fellows Program, where you can leverage your technical expertise and creativity to help make the world a better place while earning your graduate degree. If interested, include a paragraph in your personal statement describing how this program might be a fit with your career goals.

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