Graduate Studies in ChE

The graduate program of the nationally ranked Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia seeks to provide cutting-edge training in chemical engineering research areas including biotechnology, catalysis, electrochemistry, energy and the environment, polymers, and separations. Students experience close interaction with faculty members, work in excellent research facilities, and participate in multidisciplinary research centers across Grounds.


Nearly 90% of the roughly 70 students in our graduate program are pursuing a Ph.D. All students accepted into our doctoral program may expect to receive financial support as long as they maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree. Learn more about earning your Ph.D. in chemical engineering at UVA: Why UVA CHE

Additional students participate in the distance learning Masters of Engineering program, Virginia Engineering Online (VEO). Our graduates go on to pursue a diverse range of successful careers in both industry and academia.

ChE faculty have won numerous awards including National Science Foundation CAREER Awards, National Young Investigator Awards, ASEE Teaching Awards and the UVA President's Prize for Research. Our faculty strive to follow the Jeffersonian principle of excellence in education coupled to strong faculty-student interaction. We maintain a high faculty/student ratio and operate an open-door policy for faculty offices whereby students are free to stop in to discuss their research, science, careers or life in general.

Why a Graduate Degree from UVA Chemical Engineering?

Excellent and caring faculty, difference-making research in critical areas and career development opportunities are just part of our story.

  • Admission process for the graduate program

    Prospective graduate students apply to the chemical engineering graduate program online through the University of Virginia. Generally, graduate students are admitted and begin their studies during the fall semester. Admission to the department is highly competitive, and applications are thoroughly and carefully reviewed to identify tenacious and curious applicants with research interests and goals that align with department research activities and who have demonstrated excellence in prior academic, research, and leadership activities.

    Online Application for U.S. Citizens and International Students

    Special instructions and information for international applicants

     
    Deadlines (for fall semester admission)
    • U.S. Citizens: January 15 (for financial aid consideration) or August 1
    • International Applicants: January 15 (for financial aid consideration) or April 1

     

    IMPORTANT! Students seeking financial assistance for fall semester admission should complete their application by January 15. Applications received after this date may be considered, but financial aid may no longer be available.

    GRE Scores: The Department of Chemical Engineering no longer receives or reviews GRE scores.

     

    The department currently has a strong focus on the doctoral program and admits very few students to the terminal master's degree program. Applicants interested in a terminal master's degree are encouraged to explore the options provided by Virginia Engineering Online (VEO).

    For department-specific graduate admissions questions, please contact: cheadmis@virginia.edu

  • Advisors and Plan of Study

    Advisors

    Newly enrolled graduate students will be advised by the graduate program coordinator. Soon after the start of the fall semester, new graduate students will select a topic for their thesis (Ph.D.) or (if applicable) M.E./M.S. project work. Each research or project topic is proposed by an individual faculty member (see current Research Topics list, available from the department office). The faculty member with whom the student will work then becomes his or her advisor.

    Plan of Study

    The recommended course load for master's degree candidates is four 3-credit graduate courses per semester. Students who wish to carry more than four courses in a semester must secure the recommendation of their advisor and the approval of the departmental faculty.

  • Research Examination and Admission to Doctoral Study

    The Research Examination is to be taken within one month after completing the first summer of research. The student is to describe, in both written and oral forms, his/her research progress to that time as well as plans for further work.

    Although the motivation, background and technical originality of the research are important components, the overall goal is to assess the student’s aptitude for research. The written document and oral presentation will be limited in length. Following the oral presentation to the faculty, questions suggested by the research will be asked. The outcomes of this exam are pass, pass with conditions or fail. In exceptional cases, the decision will be deferred until the students' M.S. thesis defense.

    Students must indicate in writing their intention to take the Research Exam when it is announced.

    Admission to Doctoral Study is a formal action of the departmental faculty that indicates acceptance into the ultimate research phase of the doctoral program. Students who wish to be admitted to doctoral study (normally after successful completion of the Research Examination) must apply in writing to the Graduate Coordinator.

    In order to be admitted to doctoral study the student must have:

    • Completed a program of advanced course work, here or elsewhere, equivalent to the departmental course requirements for the Master's Degree
    • Passed the Preliminary and Research Examinations
    • Demonstrated, to the faculty's satisfaction, a capability for independent research of the quality expected for the doctorate.
  • Doctoral Advisory Committee and Submission of Plan of Study

    A student's doctoral work is carried out under the direction of doctoral advisory committee. Within one semester of admission to doctoral study, the doctoral advisory committee must be appointed for each student by the assistant dean for graduate programs upon recommendation of the department chair and the plan of study should be prepared and promptly submitted. The committee, chaired by the research advisor, should have at least one member from outside the student's department and major curriculum study area. This committee should meet with the student as early as possible to begin assisting the student in development of research plans, in the selection of additional graduate courses, and in the timely preparation and submission of the dissertation proposal.

    A doctoral Plan of Study, listing the courses taken as part of the Ph.D. program and tailored to the interests and needs of the individual student, is developed in consultation with the student's doctoral advisory committee. The plan must satisfy all requirements of SEAS. Courses taken in pursuit of a Master's degree in this department or elsewhere may be included in the doctoral plan of study. Although there are no specific departmental course requirements for the doctoral degree, the plan of study should ensure both depth in the specific research area and breadth in chemical engineering and related sciences. After approval by the committee and department, it is forwarded to the assistant dean for graduate studies in SEAS. The plan of study should be submitted promptly after appointment of the doctoral advisory Committee.

  • Dissertation Proposal and Admission to Candidacy

    The dissertation proposal should be completed within two years of completing the research exam (doctoral qualifying exam). The proposal should indicate the purpose and objectives of the work to be undertaken, the current state of the art with bibliography, and the strategy to be followed and techniques to be employed in the research. Preliminary data, calculations, and/or theoretical developments may be included in support of the proposed work. The proposal will be presented orally and discussed publicly. The doctoral advisory committee will serve as the dissertation proposal exam committee.

    If in the judgment of the advisory committee the student's proposal is not satisfactory, the student may be required to submit a revised proposal for further discussion with the advisory committee.

    The purposes of the dissertation proposal are:

    1. To determine if the student's knowledge of the area chosen for research and the pertinent literature is adequate
    2. To determine whether the proposed work, if completed, would provide the basis for an acceptable dissertation
    3. To advise the student on general approaches and specific techniques that may be helpful in the proposed research
  • Ph.D. Job Placement following Graduation
    Employers of UVA Chemical Engineering Ph.D. Graduates Include:
    Academia Industry
    • Bucknell University
    • Florida State University
    • University of Wyoming
    • Michigan Tech
    • Penn State University
    • Purdue University
    • University of Florida
    • University of Missouri
    • University of Tennessee
    • China University of Petroleum
    • Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
    • DowDuPont
    • ExxonMobil
    • General Electric
    • General Motors
    • Intel
    • Shell
    • United Technologies
    • Syngenta
    • UOP
    • Amgen
    • Bristol-Myers Squibb
    • Centocor
    • Genentech
    • Genzyme
    • GlaxoSmithKline
    • MedImmune
    • Merck
    • Pfizer
    • MeadWestVaCo
    • Klöckner-Pentaplast
    • Argonne National Lab
    • SABIC

     

  • Resources and Links

    Aetna Student Health Insurance website

    Center for American English Language and Culture (CAELC)

    Direct Deposit - For students receiving fellowships (through SIS)

    Direct Deposit - For GRAs/GTAs (WorkDay)

    Emergency Loans - Emergency Loan is a short-term, interest-free loan available to graduate and undergraduate students for up to $500 and graduate students for up to $750 per semester. 

    Graduate Record  - 2021-2022 year requirements and descriptions (previous years archived)

    Graduate Student Forms

    Graduate Writing Lab

    Honor Loan - The Honor Loan fund was established to help University of Virginia students meet their short-term financial needs

    Lou's List

    Offboarding ITS checklist 

    Payroll Pay periods - Find out when you should get your check

    Student Information System (SIS) FAQs

    UVA Engineering information for Graduate Students

    UVA Collab

    National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD)

     
    Mental Health Resources

  • Important Dates Fall 2022

    Fall classes begin on Tuesday, August 23, 2022. Enroll as soon as possible if you haven’t done so already!

    In order to be considered enrolled at the University for the Fall 2022 term, students must be enrolled in at least one class/research credit(s) and not have any Negative Service Indicators (holds) by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 26th.

     

    Fall Course Enrollment Dates and Deadlines:

    Friday, July 1st – Enrollment opens for new students

    Tuesday, July 19th -  Fall tuition bills emailed to students.

    Friday July 30th – Fall term Returning to the University form closes in SIS

    Wednesday, August 17th – Tuition due date. Student Financial Services will assign finance holds on students’ accounts who have not paid their fall tuition by that date. You will need to contact SFS directly to remove finance holds to enable you to register. (434) 982-6000; Email: sfs@virginia.edu.  

    Tuesday, August 23  –  Fall classes begin. Please enroll as soon as possible.

    Friday, August 26th  5:00 p.m. Deadline to enroll and resolve holds. In order to be considered enrolled at the University for the Fall 2022 term, students must be enrolled in at least one class/research credit(s) and not have any Negative Service Indicators/holds. (This is a preliminary date – I will provide additional information about the fall semester as it is available to me).

    Tuesday, September 6th –

    ADD deadline for all UVA Engineering courses (full-time students must be in 12 credits by this date).

                    Deadline to change grading option from graded to non-graded credits.

    Tuesday, October 11 – DROP without W Deadline for all UVA Engineering courses.

    IMPORTANT NOTES:  UVA Engineering students must adhere to other schools’ deadlines! Drop deadlines for other schools at UVA are much earlier.

    Arts & Sciences deadline is September 7th. Other schools drop deadlines: https://registrar.virginia.edu/enrollment-information/fall-2022-enrollment-instructions

    See UREG’s Academic Calendar for updates and other information https://registrar.virginia.edu/

    Tuesday, October 18th – DROP with final grade of W for all UVA Engineering courses.

    Students in the VEO program will have different registration dates and deadlines.  Check the VEO website, http://www.engineering.virginia.edu/online , for dates and deadlines.  Also, due to the nature of this program, you do not have to be registered for classes at UVA every semester.  If you have problems or receive confusing emails, please contact the VEO administrator, director, or advisor.

    Tuesday, December 6th – classes end

    Thursday December 8 – Sunday, December 18 – Final exams (reading days, December 11, 14)

    Friday, December 16th – Fall degree conferral date (as it appears on transcript; transcripts with conferral date available after December 22nd).

    Monday, December 19th – Spring 2023 returning to the University form closes in SIS

     

    Who should enroll in fall?

    All on-grounds, degree seeking students are required to be enrolled full or part-time according to their approved academic load.

    Students graduating in December. All December degree candidates must be enrolled in coursework/research (or affiliated status for students who qualify). If you are interested in affiliated status enrollment, please contact me for further details before August 1st. The deadline to apply in SIS for December 2022 graduation is October 1st.

    NOTE: Students in the VEO program do not have to be registered for classes at UVA every semesterhttps://engineering.virginia.edu/online/current-students/contacts.

     

    Registration Tips:

    Full-time fall enrollment = 12-15 credits

    GTA/GRAs receiving any form of financial aid (fellowship, GRA or GTA) from the School of Engineering this fall, must be enrolled in 12 credit hours/full-time (this can be all research hours in your research advisor’s section). You must be enrolled to receive financial aid.

    Part-time Enrollment = 6 credits or less. NOTE: Part-time students’ tuition is based on what you register for and you should not register for more than 6 credits or receive any financial aid from SEAS.

    Do not Wait to Enroll! Waiting until the last minute to register creates many difficulties for the system and for you.

    • GTA/GRAs receiving financial aid will not receive it until after they enroll.
    • If you receive any federal financial aid (loans), your aid calculation may be incorrect, and you may have to repay a large sum of money.
    • On approximately July 19th the fall tuition bills will be emailed to students, and if you haven't registered before the bills are produced, then the maximum tuition will be billed (whether or not that is the correct charge for the course load for which you intend to register), and the departments will not be able to enter correct tuition information for you to have this paid.

    If you register for a multi-section research or independent study course, choose your instructor carefully. The instructor of the section for which you register is the only one who can give you a grade at the end of the semester. If he/she doesn’t know you, the grade will not likely be a satisfactory one.

     

    Having Trouble Registering?

    SIS Holds Preventing Enrollment. Click on “details” to find out who placed the HOLD and who to contact to get it lifted. The Engineering Graduate Office can only lift an “Engineering Hold.” We can’t lift Financial holds, Student Health holds, ISO, Dean of Students holds, etc.

    You don’t see the 1228 – 2022 Fall term in SIS. You are not term activated for fall, meaning that SIS is not expecting you to be a student in the fall semester. This often happens if you are expected to receive your MS this semester but plan to continue in a PhD program. Check with your Graduate Director to see if your expectations match your department’s expectations. If so, your Graduate Administrator can contact to request term activation for Fall so that you can register

    Review your SIS account at the beginning of each semester for enrollment accuracy.  Please communicate with your academic advisor or departmental Graduate Coordinator regarding course enrollment, and check your Academic Requirements report in SIS to be sure your courses satisfy your degree requirements. 

     

    If you have any problems or questions, contact  Jayne Weber via email:  jef2f@virginia.edu.

     

    Additional Resources:

    For questions about your tuition/fees: Student Financial Services (SFS) https://sfs.virginia.edu/

    sfs@virginia.edu. 434-982-6000

    Health Insurance/Subsidy: https://www.studenthealth.virginia.edu/insurance

    International Studies Office (ISO): https://iso.virginia.edu/

    issp@virginia.edu 434-982-3010

     

    Graduate Engineering Department Directors and Student Coordinators: https://engineering.virginia.edu/current-students/graduate-students/contact-us/program-directors

  • information for new graduate students

    Welcome to the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Virginia. In this section, you will find information to help with your transition to graduate school and to Charlottesville. 

    Orientation

    When students arrive they will attend an informative orientation led by the department that will help them become familiar with all of the resources we have to offer here in the Department of Chemical Enginering. This is also a time for new students to meet other students as well as faculty. Typically this orientation is held within a week prior to the first day of the fall semester. The 2022 schedule will be available soon!

    Mandatory International Student ISO Orientation

    All new international students holding all non-immigrant statuses are required to bring their legal documents and proof of the orientation quiz completion to the ISO upon your arrival in Charlottesville.This is required so that the ISO can determine your legal status and make copies for our records as required by U.S. law. You can find all of the information on this on the INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS & SCHOLARS WEBSITE.

     

    Housing

     

    ID Numbers

    Each student will receive (3) different ID's at the University. The first is your Computer ID which will also be your email address (followed by @virginia.edu). The second ID will be your University ID. This ID number will appear on your ID card and be the one you will use the most on grounds. The third ID number is your SIS ID which the administration will use for your class registration, grading, transcript, and other official functions. You can find all three IDs in your Student Center in SIS. You can obtain your University ID Card after you register at the ID Card Office, Observatory Hill Dining Hall, during normal business hours.

    Activate UVA Email Account & Systems Access

    You will need to follow the procedures listed HERE to gain access to your email account and other university systems such as UVA Collab and the Student Information System (SIS).

     

    Health

    All UVA students must have health insurance and must complete the Health Insurance Hard Waiver. Students receiving funding will be provided with health insurance through the University. You will need to sign up for this once you arrive and need to sign up each year in August. If you are not receiving funding you may also sign up, but will have to pay for your premium. All students may add dental insurance that can be purchased separately. This premium is not paid by UVA. Visit the following links for more information and to sign up:

     

    MTAs, GTAs, and GRAs.

    In our department, we have three types of positions that are filled by graduate students: MTAs, GTAs, and GRAs.

    MTAs are Masters students who are paid by the hour for tasks such as grading assignments, holding office hours to help students, etc. The current MTA hourly rate is $15. MTAs are scheduled approximately 10-20 hours per week. MTA positions offer no other benefits and do not waive or reduce the tuition costs – so tuition would still need to be paid in full by the MTA student.

    GTAs are typically PhD students who are serving as Teaching Assistants, and GRAs are typically PhD students who are serving as Research Assistants. 

    In each academic year, the department expects to fulfill a significant number of MTA positions. Being an MTA can help a student reduce their overall cost of attendance. Being a MTA is a great way to learn a topic more deeply, and our current MTAs say that helping other students learn is a very fulfilling experience. While Masters students are certainly not required to be an MTA, our UVA CS community relies on this expertise, so Masters students are encouraged to apply. 

    All new PhD students are usually considered GRA's (even if your admission letter says that you are receiving a "CS Fellowship"). So, if you are an international student and expect to receive funding, then one of the first things you need to do when you arrive is to get your social security card. You must be in the country for 10 days and then go to the social security office: 1470 Pantops Mountain Pl, Charlottesville, VA 22911. 

     

    Payroll

    New students who expect to be an MTA, GTA or GRA  must obtain a Social Security Card as soon as possible. If you are a PhD student, then some time after you arrive, you will receive information on your stipend and when you should expect to receive your payments. You will also receive a notification from Workday (the HR system) about completing your I-9 form. Here is more information about the I-9 process and the required documents you will need: HTTPS://HR.VIRGINIA.EDU/COMPLIANCE/I-9-AND-E-VERIFY If you are a Masters student, then you will apply to work and this is an hourly position. Details will be given once you are hired. 

    It may be as late as Oct. 1 before you receive a paycheck so try to bring enough money to last for 6 weeks. If you have questions about your funding you can email CS-OFFICE@VIRGINIA.EDU

    EMPLOYMENT OF NON-CITIZENS

    As soon as possible, you will need to get a social security card by taking their passport to the address below. This will need to be done before you will be allowed to receiving any type of payment. All PhD students will need a social security card.

    Social Security Office
    1470 Pantops Mountain Place
    Charlottesville, VA 22911
    (800) 772-1213
    (434) 295-1144

    U.S. Bank Checking Account

    You need a checking account at a U.S. bank in order to receive your stipend payments. Once you have a bank account, then you will need to set up direct deposit through your SIS account. 

    DIRECT DEPOSIT DIRECTIONS.

     

    English Language Exams

    All International Students whose first language is not English are required to take the UVELPE test. Note that you cannot fail the UVELPE; based on the results, some students are recommended for writing or spoken English classes, designed to ensure a successful research and teaching career at the University of Virginia.

    If you are going to be a MTA or a GTA in the Fall, you MUST take the SPEAK test. (UVELPE and SPEAK are two separate tests). All of the information on these tests can be found on the CENTER FOR AMERICAN ENGLISH LANGUAGE & CULTURE WEBSITE.

     

Please Note: The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at: http://www.virginia.edu/registrar/catalog/grad.html.
 

Public Professional Licensure Disclosure 

As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).

Upon completion of the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering at the UVA School of Engineering, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state.

Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).