PhD Program

In the doctoral program, a broad knowledge of chemical engineering topics is required for success in the qualifying examination. Beyond this point, more intensive specialization is achieved in the student's field of research through coursework and thesis research.

An undergraduate degree in chemical engineering is preferred. Those with related backgrounds will also be considered, but may be required to complete prerequisite coursework in some areas.

Upon completion of the comprehensive qualifying examination, candidates must present a research proposal in order to acquaint members of the faculty with the chosen research topic.

The program leading to a doctor of philosophy degree in chemical engineering must satisfy college requirements as described in the graduate catalog and must also include:

  1. A total of 90 credit hours after the BS, including at least 30 in research.
  2. A minimum of nine credit hours of appropriate courses (approved by the advisor and the department Graduate Committee) outside the Chemical Engineering Department.
  3. A satisfactory oral seminar presentation during each year of residence at WPI.


WPI is among an exclusive group of leading research universities selected to participate in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) -- NSF's flagship interdisciplinary program for PhD scientists and engineers.

IGERT fellows at WPI will pursue a degree in a participating doctorate program, while joining an interdisciplinary cohort of WPI graduate students working on a wide range of research projects in the area of biofabrication. Learn more about IGERT at WPI.