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Chemical Engineering

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Graduate Study in Chemical Engineering

Clarkson's graduate program in chemical engineering has been growing steadily since the first doctoral degree was granted in 1965. Typically 50 to 75% of our graduate students are in the doctoral program. Clarkson also maintains a healthy research-based Master of Science program and a project-based Master of Engineering program.

The Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department is housed in the Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP) on the west side of the Raquette River on Clarkson's beautiful hill campus. The CAMP complex consists of research laboratories, faculty and department offices, classrooms, special test laboratories, and the Multidisciplinary Engineering Laboratory. The first floor of the CAMP complex also contains the Multidisciplinary Engineering Computer and Design Laboratory. The complex is by far the largest structure on the hill campus.

The Chemical Engineering faculty offices, research laboratories, and administrative offices are all located in CAMP. Research interests in the department are varied. However, there is a common thread linking many of these interests to materials processing. Supported by the Federal government and industry, these cover a broad range which includes aerosols, crystal growth, surface reactions, nucleation and phase transitions, semi-conductor processing, polymer fabrication and properties, and the characterization of fine particles as well as new materials. The faculty obtain in excess of $1.2 million annually in external research support, and the graduate students and faculty members publish vigorously in respected journals, and present numerous talks at national and international meetings. Faculty members also serve on national committees and provide consulting services to government and industry.

Laboratory Research Facilities

  • Chemical-Mechanical Planarization Laboratory
  • Corrosion and Electrochemical Engineering Laboratory
  • Dynamic Light Scattering Laboratory
  • Electrochemistry and Interfacial Transport Laboratory
  • Fluid Mechanics Laboratory
  • Gravity Materials Science Laboratory
  • Heat and Mass Transfer Laboratory
  • Laser and Plasma Thin Film Processing Laboratory
  • Membrane Separation Laboratory
  • Nucleation Laboratory
  • Particle Characterization Laboratory
  • Polymer Fabrication and Properties Laboratory
  • Rheology Laboratory
  • Separation Process Design Laboratory
  • Transport and Interfacial Phenomena Laboratory
  • X-Ray Crystallography Laboratory

Center for Advanced Materials Processing
Impressed with the caliber of materials processing research at Clarkson, the New York State Science and Technology Foundation designated CAMP as a Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) in June 1987. CATs are Foundation-sponsored centers of world-class technological excellence within New York State's top research institutions. They serve as focal points for the formation of partnerships among universities, private industry, and government. The foundation, whose major goal is to foster interaction between the academic and industrial communities of New York State, provides approximately $1 million per year for CAMP/CAT operating funds.

Advanced materials researchers work with solids such as metals, glasses, plastics, and ceramics. They utilize chemical processes to create new materials, and physical processes to shape, mix, and fasten materials together. Materials processing plays an essential role in modern manufacturing, where it influences, for example, the fabrication of integrated circuit chips, the combining of carbon fibers and plastics for aircraft construction, and the production of fine particles for ceramics. CAMP's presence at Clarkson provides Clarkson graduate students with a unique opportunity for involvement in faculty research projects in advanced materials processing.

Career & Professional Development
The staff of the Career Development Center conducts workshops on resume preparation and letter writing, and arranges individual appointments where the student is assisted in critiquing the resume and letter. Following this process, workshops are offered on interviewing techniques, utilization of the career library, job search techniques, job trips, and decision making. Students may schedule videotaped practice interviews with one of the Center's staff members. Throughout the year, students are encouraged to meet with these staff members to discuss career concerns.

Most graduate students live in off-campus apartments. Clarkson owns several homes close to the campus which are available to graduate students. The Residence Life Office also maintains a list of off-campus apartments. You are encouraged to make arrangements for housing prior to July of the year you plan to enter the program. Housing information may be obtained by calling the Residence Life Office at 315-268-6642.

Thirty credits are required for the M.S. degree, and an additional 60 credits for the Ph.D. degree. Although it is possible to complete the M.S. requirements in one calendar year, students typically take 16 to 20 months to finish. Similarly, although it is possible to complete requirements for the Ph.D. degree in three calendar years after the B.S. degree, students usually take four to five years after completing the B.S. Graduate study in chemical engineering at Clarkson includes both thesis research and coursework. The courses place emphasis on basic subject matter such as engineering, mathematics, fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics, reactor analysis, optimization theory, systems analysis, surface phenomena, and other engineering aspects of chemistry. A complete list of course offerings may be found at

Each graduate student is required to do thesis research, experimental and/or theoretical, in close collaboration with a faculty member. Because of the wide range of faculty interests within the department, a broad variety of research projects is offered to new students each year. A written thesis must be completed and defended orally in front of a faculty committee for both the M.S. and the Ph.D. degrees. This reflects our strong feeling that a research experience, combined with solid coursework in fundamentals, constitutes the best and most useful program possible.

Typical M.S. Degree Program
Students entering with a B.S. degree take six three-credit courses that include Advanced Fluid Mechanics, Advanced Heat and Mass Transfer, Chemical Engineering Analysis, Advanced Thermodynamics, Chemical Reactor Analysis II, and one graduate elective. These courses are taken during the first two semesters along with two credits of thesis. Research work is continued beyond this period until the thesis is completed. The remaining 10 credits, composed of eight thesis credits and two seminar credits, are taken during the summer or the following year to complete the 30-credit requirement for the M.S. degree.

Typical Ph.D. Program
The student who finishes the M.S. degree requirements is expected to spend the ensuing 12 months preparing and defending a written Ph.D. research proposal. Students are encouraged to interact with their Ph.D. proposal committee and also take coursework during this time. Upon passing the Ph.D. qualifying examination, the student pursues a program that includes suitable coursework, seminar, and thesis research until all the requirements have been met.

Entry Into Ph.D. Program
B.S. Students

First-year graduate students whose past academic and first semester records at Clarkson indicate outstanding research potential are invited to enter directly into the Ph.D. program and the thesis required in the regular M.S. program is bypassed. The department decides which students will be approached at the beginning of the second semester of the students' residence on campus. In this case the qualifying examination is taken within 12 months of direct entry. The M.S. degree is awarded to the student upon completion of 60 credits and passing of the Ph.D. qualifying examination.

M.S. Students
New students with an M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering must pass the qualifying examination within 12 months of entry into the graduate program. Master of Engineering Program This is a special non-thesis program offering advanced training in Chemical Engineering. The program can be considered a professional extension of the traditional four-year undergraduate engineering program. Typically, the M.Eng. requirements may be completed in one calendar year. Many M.Eng. students receive merit-based financial assistance in the form of tuition credits.

Application for Admission
All applicants for the M.S. and Ph.D. degree are considered for financial assistance. The most common forms are described below.

Teaching Assistantships (TA) provide a stipend plus full tuition. Duties involve an average of 12 hours of work per week and may include assisting in the laboratory or recitation sections and grading reports or homework.

Research Assistantships (RA) provide a stipend plus full tuition. Fellowships require no teaching duties, and provide a stipend ranging from $18,000-20,000 plus full tuition. Students who receive full one-year TA or RA appointments are also entitled to two weeks vacation and University-observed holidays.

M.E., M.S., and Ph.D. Partial Tuition Assistantships
Because of the limited number of TAs and RAs available, partial tuition assistantships are often granted on a merit basis. These assistantships offer a 40% tuition waiver equivalent to a 12-credit-hour waiver for every 30 graduate hours taken. Duties involve an average of six hours per week to be determined by the department. There is no stipend associated with this form of assistantship. M.E. students are eligible only for this form of assistantship.

Financial Assistance & Application Procedure
Applicants must have received a bachelor's degree and have achieved an academic record distinctly above average. We require that applicants whose native language is not English take the TOEFL examination and have a score of at least 550 on the paper-based exam or 213 on the computer- based exam. We also require that students take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). All accepted foreign students for whom English is a second language are required to take an English placement exam to determine whether they should complete remedial requirements. For inquiries or to schedule a visit to campus, contact:

Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
PO Box 5705
Potsdam, NY 13699-5705
Phone: 315-268-6650
Fax: 315-268-6654
Web site

Applications and admission information may be obtained by providing your name, address, area of interest, degree sought, and date of intended entry to the School of Engineering at the following address:

School of Engineering
Graduate Studies Office
Clarkson University
PO Box 5635
Potsdam, NY 13699-5625
Phone: 315-268-7929
Fax: 315-268-7994

All other information including test scores, letters of reference, and application fee should be submitted with your application to the above address. It is recommended that applications be submitted by May 15 for the fall semester and October 15 for the spring. Applicants requesting financial aid should submit their complete applications by January 31 for the fall semester and October 15 for the spring semester.

Equal Opportunity Policy
Clarkson University does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status in provision of educational opportunity or employment opportunities and benefits. Clarkson University does not discriminate on the basis of sex or disability in its educational programs and activities, pursuant to the requirements of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the American Disabilities Act of 1990, respectively.