MS in Chemical Engineering

MS in Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering lab

The graduate program in chemical engineering from Drexel Engineering prepares professionals for applying deepened skillsets and knowledge that will further their career.

What is a Master’s in Chemical Engineering?

A chemical engineering master’s degree prepares professionals to take on the advanced needs and requirements of industry that address many of civilization’s biggest challenges. Chemical engineering science is combined with emerging fields in chemical engineering applications and processes, with an emphasis on engineering design and scientific analysis.

As a student you will strive to solve complex issues encountered in manufacturing, biotechnology, energy and the environment, polymer science and many other fields.

A chemical engineering graduate program should provide an understanding of the forces governing industry, a global viewpoint, and the entrepreneurial, teambuilding and managerial abilities needed to advance careers in the field and in research or as preparation for entry into a PhD program in chemical engineering or a related field.


  • On-campus
  • Full-time or part-time
  • The 45-credit program will take approximately two years to complete on a full-time basis or can be completed on a part time basis in 3-4 years.

Apply Now

Schedule a Visit

Talk to an Advisor

Request More Information


Curriculum and Requirements

Core courses 15 credits
Free Elective courses 6 credits
Technical Elective courses 24 credits
  • The master’s degree requires a total of 45 credits; 15 credits of core chemical engineering; 24 credits of technical electives; and 6 free electives.
  • Coursework only, non-thesis option: You may complete the degree by using 24 credits of technical electives to develop a specialized plan of study that concentrates the graduate elective coursework on topics that are relevant to your career development.
  • Research option: Pursue graduate research through independent study credits that accounts for up to 6 credits of free electives and up to 15 credits of the technical electives.
  • Thesis option: Some Master's in Chemical Engineering students complete a full MS thesis. The maximum amount of research credits (combination of thesis and independent study) that can be counted towards the degree is 21 credits. This option applies 9 credits of thesis research towards the technical electives, up to 6 credits of independent study research from free electives and up to 6 credits from technical electives.
  • Graduate advisors and faculty are available to guide your course selection and scheduling of core and elective courses.

The Master's in Chemical Engineering program offers specialized plans of study for students whose undergraduate degree is not in chemical engineering. For example, students from related backgrounds can complete a set of core undergraduate chemical engineering courses in preparation for graduate-level courses and with the ability to finish the MS in Chemical Engineering within two years.

Management Certificate Study Track - Earn the MS in Chemical Engineering and a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Management without adding any additional credits to the plan of study. This track is a hybrid program incorporating in-person instruction for the chemical engineering courses and online instruction for management courses. For those pursuing an accelerated one-year plan of study, the summer quarter will consist of all engineering management courses, offered entirely online.
Learn More ->

Visit the Drexel Catalog for more information and sample study plans for areas of specialization or learn more about our admissions requirements.

Areas of Specialization

The MS in Chemical Engineering allows for a flexible plan of study to tailor study to your career. You may seek a broad range of technical knowledge, or any combination of technical electives to target an area of interest. The following are coursework topical areas offered for technical electives:

Dual graduate degrees are possible. Popular programs to combine with the MS in Materials Science and Engineering or MS in Engineering Management.

Why choose Drexel for your MS in Chemical Engineering?

The master’s degree program in chemical engineering deepens your knowledge of the fundamentals in chemical engineering through rigorous analysis and exploration. Students emerge prepared to lead in industry or to continue study in a PhD program.

Student working in lab

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) offers an interdisciplinary perspective in order to develop a well-rounded engineer. Drexel students are encouraged to be innovative and imaginative in identifying a problem and analyzing potential approaches in the quest for a solution. The focus of the Drexel chemical engineering graduate program is to equip you with the tools for finding sustainable and achievable outcomes to address society’s biggest challenges, while making them relevant to your career goals.

The CBE Department is a collaborative and supportive community with opportunities for informal connections outside of the classroom. The CBE graduate student association regularly hosts social events and other activities and faculty enthusiastically involve any interested students in research.


The city of Philadelphia is our campus – a diverse urban environment with a variety of social, cultural and learning opportunities that will enrich your educational experience. Philadelphia is also a draw for talented instructors and researchers, meaning you will engage with some of the best minds in engineering and other disciplines. Learn more.

Graduate Co-op

Graduate co-op is an optional three or six-month work experience woven into academic studies for full-time master’s students. Drexel University co-op provides the opportunity to apply theory learned in class to a work experience before graduating. The insights help to direct the vision you have for your career and provide context for the remainder of your learning. You will take advantage of resources from the Steinbright Career Development Center, including programming that enhances your professionalism and resume writing and provides resources for your job search.

For more information, visit the Steinbright Career Development Center.


All students in the master’s in chemical engineering program are welcome to engage in research as part of their degree or as extra-curricular participation. Full-time master’s degree candidates are encouraged to base their master’s thesis on an aspect of faculty research.

The CBE department research competencies support research themes of energy, sustainability and health and medicine and subjects directly linked to solving present-day societal challenges.  

Current research in chemical engineering covers areas such as:

  • Biological engineering including complex fluids, biosensors and more.
  • Energy and the environment research ranges from solar cells to nanowires, biodegradable polymers, renewable fuels and fuel cells, electrocatalysts to supercapacitors, among others.
  • Multiscale modeling covers drug delivery, process control and modeling, transport phenomena and fluid mechanics of multi-phase systems and others.
  • Polymer science and engineering research is wide ranging on topics such as materials from renewable sources, nanomaterials, polymer composites, interfacial phenomena, polymer thermodynamics and many more.

Research is sponsored by grants from many organizations ranging from the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Health (NIH), American Chemical Society (ACS), Pfizer, Inc., to a host of other institutions.

Visit research areas for more about other research activity at the College of Engineering.

Career Opportunities in Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering graduate programs prepare you for a career that could include continuing your education in a PhD program or pursuing advanced technical, research or management positions in industries such as chemical, pharmaceutical or materials.  

The outlook for chemical engineering jobs is good, with demand for employment expected to grow over 6% through 2028, better than the pace with the overall employment projections for all occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some studies report that chemical and materials scientists with master’s degrees have median salaries that are up to 18 percent higher than those with only a bachelor’s degree. The National Association of Colleges and Employers further shares that chemical engineers are projected to be among the top starting salaries of engineering disciplines.


Drexel places a high value on industry connections and experience at every level. Teaching faculty in this program are experts with industry experience or are at the forefront of research and teaching. 

Apply Now Graduate Admissions Department Page