Master of Science

Master of Science Degree

The Master of Science Degree

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree is aimed at preparing students for careers in research and development, or for further study in the field. Like the doctoral degree, the M.S. degree combines coursework and research, but with a more limited scope of the research project and thesis to reflect the shorter time-to-degree. After graduation, the majority of our master’s students find jobs in industry.

Course Requirements

Program of Study / Handbook / Recommended Electives

You will begin with the core courses for the degree and our "Preparing for Graduate Student Success" course (ECH 200), which will match you with a major professor over the course of your first fall quarter. The five core courses are listed below:

  • ECH 252: Statistical Thermodynamics
  • ECH 253A: Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • ECH 253C: Advanced Mass Transfer
  • ECH 256: Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Engineering.
  • ECH 259: Advanced Engineering Mathematics.

For electives, you can select from any available upper-division undergraduate course (courses numbered 100-199) or graduate-level course (courses numbered 200-299). Popular electives include those from physics, chemistry, computer science, management and other engineering disciplines. In consultation with your major professor, you will select courses each quarter based on your career goals and aspirations. 

Students are also expected to complete two quarters of ECH 290: "Department Seminar," which requires students to attend a majority of the weekly departmental lectures by visiting scholars in the field. This course exposes graduate students to the latest advances in chemical engineering.

Sample Schedule: Full-Time Student
Year 1: Fall   Winter   Spring  
ECH 252 4 ECH 253C 4 Elective 2XX 4
ECH 253A 4 ECH 259 4 Elective 2XX 3

ECH 256

4 Elective 1XX/2XX 3 ECH 299 Research 5
ECH 200 1        
ECH 290 1        
Year 2: Fall   Winter   Spring  
ECH 299 12 ECH 299 12 ECH 299 12
ECH 290 1 Advance to Candidacy   File Thesis  

The master's thesis should represent a student's original contribution to the knowledge in the field, and the research should be conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. Students advancing to candidacy should prepare an outline for their thesis, which should include a critical evaluation of the methods and limitations of the research project an a full description of the experimental design, protocols and data analysis. There are no limitations on the length or the number of publications required.

Read the full list of degree requirements for more information.