Degree Requirements

Ph.D. Admission Requirements

Admitted students usually complete the M.S. in chemical or petroleum engineering before they pursue the Ph.D. Students with a completed M.S. degree take the graduate core courses and/or corresponding qualifying examinations based on their previous course work and training, as specified by the graduate standards committee.

An M.S. student in the thesis option (Option A) may apply for a change of status to Ph.D. aspirant if the student

  1. Has achieved a grade-point average of 3.6 or higher in the graduate core,
  2. Has earned no C grades in the graduate core, and
  3. Has passed the preliminary examination of research.

These criteria are evaluated during the third semester of residence by the department’s Graduate Faculty on recommendation of the graduate standards committee. Students who do not meet these criteria must complete the M.S. degree before applying to the Ph.D. program.

In some cases, a student may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program without an M.S. degree. Such admission normally is granted only when the applicant has clearly demonstrated exceptional performance in an undergraduate program and in any graduate work. Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. degree program and who do not complete an M.S. degree in chemical and petroleum engineering generally must satisfy the same grade-point average and preliminary examination requirements for Ph.D. aspirant status as students admitted to the M.S. program, or they complete the M.S. degree before readmission to the Ph.D. program.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

One of the goals of the department is to develop quality Ph.D. researchers that are well prepared for vocational and personal success. This practice sets forth a balanced program to develop and evaluate these students in an efficient and fair manner. Equal consideration is given to the academic and research ability of the student as these are the areas required for a successful industrial or academic vocation.

An advisory committee of 5 or more members is formed for each Ph.D. aspirant: at least 3 tenure / tenure track faculty from the department and 1 member from outside the department at KU are required. The student’s research advisor normally serves as the committee chair. See the Graduate Catalog for doctoral committee composition requirements. The committee works with the aspirant to develop a plan of study and monitors the progress of the student throughout the remainder of the Ph.D. program.

A plan of study must be approved by the student’s advisor and examining committee and the departmental Graduate Studies director by the end of the first semester. Before scheduling the comprehensive examination, the aspirant must satisfy residency, basic research skills, and the responsible scholarship requirements.

The research skill requirement provides the aspirant with a research skill distinct from, but strongly supportive of, the dissertation research. Possible research skills include foreign language, computer science, mathematics, statistics, specific laboratory skills, and specific skills in the physical or biological sciences. The foreign language skill can be obtained by taking a 2-course sequence in the selected language or demonstrated by passing an examination. A separate statement attached to the Plan of Study must list the work to be completed to obtain the research skill.

Preliminary Examination of Research - B.S. to Ph.D.

The Preliminary Examination of Research is administered to students requesting admission to the Ph.D. program without earning the M.S. degree. Successful completion of the preliminary examination admits the student into the Ph.D. program with Ph.D. aspirant status. Students taking this examination must have completed the graduate core courses at KU with the required GPA. The examination determines the student’s aptitudes for: (a) Independent, original, critical thinking; (b) Planning and organizing a research program; (c) Use of previous work and background literature to demonstrate understanding of the planned research within the scope of the larger project and ability to conduct that research; (d) Application of fundamental theory (e.g., equations) to the proposed work and; (e) Effective communication of technical work. The preliminary examination consists of a written report (5 pages maximum), oral presentation (15 minutes maximum), and questions by the examining committee (25 minutes maximum). The written and oral portions are prepared by the student only, with no review or editing by the research advisor or any other person. The written report is submitted to the committee one week before the oral examination. Questions are directed toward determining the 5 aptitudes listed above. A rubric for the oral and written portions will be provided to the student beforehand.

Comprehensive Examination

The Ph.D. aspirant takes the comprehensive examination after the completion of a majority of the course work for the Ph.D. and all department, school, and general requirements prerequisite to this examination, including residency, research skills, and responsible scholarship requirements. To prepare the aspirant for the comprehensive examination, the advisory committee may require enrollment in C&PE 902 Preparation for the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination during the first year of the Ph.D. program. The examination consists of 2 parts: a written proposal for research and an oral examination based on, but not limited to, the research proposal.

For the research proposal, the student is assigned a topic of current interest to the chemical and/or petroleum engineering profession. This assignment is made by an examining committee of at least 5 persons, at least 3 must be tenure / tenure track faculty from within the department including the advisor and at least 1 person from outside the department at KU. The aspirant identifies a research problem in the assigned topic area and prepares a written proposal for research on this problem. Normally, the written proposal must be prepared over a specified time period of 30 consecutive days. Except in unusual circumstances, the problem must be distinctly different from the dissertation problem.

The examining committee evaluates the research proposal upon completion. If the committee judges it satisfactory, the oral examination part of the comprehensive examination is held. The oral examination is based on the research proposal but may also cover areas peripheral to the proposal.

A student must pass both parts of the examination. Failure of either part constitutes an unsatisfactory grade on the entire examination. An aspirant who receives a grade of unsatisfactory may repeat the examination upon the recommendation of the examining committee, but the exam may not be taken more than two times. The examination may not be repeated until at least 90 days have elapsed since the unsuccessful attempt.On receipt of a grade of Honors or Satisfactory on the comprehensive examination, the aspirant is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Ph.D. Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

The doctoral dissertation, based on independent research conducted by the candidate, constitutes the final phase of the doctoral work and must be completed within the prescribed time constraints. Upon acceptance of the dissertation by the advisory committee, the candidate defends the dissertation in a final oral examination. The examining committee consists of at least five persons, including the advisory committee members and at least one person from outside the department.

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Undergraduate Courses

  • C&PE 111 Introduction to the Chemical Engineering Profession
  • C&PE 117 Energy in the Modern World
  • C&PE 121 Introduction to Computers in Engineering
  • C&PE 127 Introduction to Petroleum Engineering Profession
  • C&PE 211 Material and Energy Balances
  • C&PE 221 Basic Engineering Thermodynamics
  • C&PE 511 Momentum Transfer
  • C&PE 512 Process Engineering Thermodynamics
  • C&PE 517 Reservoir Engineering I
  • C&PE 521 Heat Transfer
  • C&PE 522 Economic Appraisal of Chemical and Petroleum Projects
  • C&PE 523 Mass Transfer
  • C&PE 524 Chemical Engineering Kinetics and Reactor Design
  • C&PE 527 Reservoir Engineering II
  • C&PE 528 Well Logging
  • C&PE 601 Undergraduate Topics in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
  • C&PE 613 Chemical Engineering Design I
  • C&PE 615 Introduction to Process Dynamics and Control
  • C&PE 616 Chemical Engineering Laboratory I
  • C&PE 617 Drilling and Well Completion
  • C&PE 618 Secondary Recovery
  • C&PE 619 Petroleum Engineering Laboratory I
  • C&PE 623 Chemical Engineering Design II
  • C&PE 624 Plant and Environmental Safety
  • C&PE 626 Chemical Engineering Laboratory II
  • C&PE 627 Petroleum Production
  • C&PE 628 Petroleum Engineering Design
  • C&PE 629 Petroleum Engineering Laboratory II
  • C&PE 651 Undergraduate Problems
  • C&PE 654 Biocatalysis
  • C&PE 655 Introduction to Semiconductor Processing
  • C&PE 656 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
  • C&PE 657 Polymer Science and Technology
  • C&PE 678 Applied Optimization Methods

Ph.D. Admission Requirements

Admitted students usually complete the M.S. in chemical or petroleum engineering before they pursue the Ph.D. Students with a completed M.S. degree take the graduate core courses and/or corresponding qualifying examinations based on their previous course work and training, as specified by the graduate standards committee.

An M.S. student in the thesis option (Option A) may apply for a change of status to Ph.D. aspirant if the student

  1. Has achieved a grade-point average of 3.6 or higher in the graduate core,
  2. Has earned no C grades in the graduate core, and
  3. Has passed the preliminary examination of research.

These criteria are evaluated during the third semester of residence by the department’s Graduate Faculty on recommendation of the graduate standards committee. Students who do not meet these criteria must complete the M.S. degree before applying to the Ph.D. program.

In some cases, a student may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program without an M.S. degree. Such admission normally is granted only when the applicant has clearly demonstrated exceptional performance in an undergraduate program and in any graduate work. Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. degree program and who do not complete an M.S. degree in chemical and petroleum engineering generally must satisfy the same grade-point average and preliminary examination requirements for Ph.D. aspirant status as students admitted to the M.S. program, or they complete the M.S. degree before readmission to the Ph.D. program.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

One of the goals of the department is to develop quality Ph.D. researchers that are well prepared for vocational and personal success. This practice sets forth a balanced program to develop and evaluate these students in an efficient and fair manner. Equal consideration is given to the academic and research ability of the student as these are the areas required for a successful industrial or academic vocation.

An advisory committee of 5 or more members is formed for each Ph.D. aspirant: at least 3 tenure / tenure track faculty from the department and 1 member from outside the department at KU are required. The student’s research advisor normally serves as the committee chair. See the Graduate Catalog for doctoral committee composition requirements. The committee works with the aspirant to develop a plan of study and monitors the progress of the student throughout the remainder of the Ph.D. program.

A plan of study must be approved by the student’s advisor and examining committee and the departmental Graduate Studies director by the end of the first semester. Before scheduling the comprehensive examination, the aspirant must satisfy residency, basic research skills, and the responsible scholarship requirements.

The research skill requirement provides the aspirant with a research skill distinct from, but strongly supportive of, the dissertation research. Possible research skills include foreign language, computer science, mathematics, statistics, specific laboratory skills, and specific skills in the physical or biological sciences. The foreign language skill can be obtained by taking a 2-course sequence in the selected language or demonstrated by passing an examination. A separate statement attached to the Plan of Study must list the work to be completed to obtain the research skill.

Preliminary Examination of Research - B.S. to Ph.D.

The Preliminary Examination of Research is administered to students requesting admission to the Ph.D. program without earning the M.S. degree. Successful completion of the preliminary examination admits the student into the Ph.D. program with Ph.D. aspirant status. Students taking this examination must have completed the graduate core courses at KU with the required GPA. The examination determines the student’s aptitudes for: (a) Independent, original, critical thinking; (b) Planning and organizing a research program; (c) Use of previous work and background literature to demonstrate understanding of the planned research within the scope of the larger project and ability to conduct that research; (d) Application of fundamental theory (e.g., equations) to the proposed work and; (e) Effective communication of technical work. The preliminary examination consists of a written report (5 pages maximum), oral presentation (15 minutes maximum), and questions by the examining committee (25 minutes maximum). The written and oral portions are prepared by the student only, with no review or editing by the research advisor or any other person. The written report is submitted to the committee one week before the oral examination. Questions are directed toward determining the 5 aptitudes listed above. A rubric for the oral and written portions will be provided to the student beforehand.

Comprehensive Examination

The Ph.D. aspirant takes the comprehensive examination after the completion of a majority of the course work for the Ph.D. and all department, school, and general requirements prerequisite to this examination, including residency, research skills, and responsible scholarship requirements. To prepare the aspirant for the comprehensive examination, the advisory committee may require enrollment in C&PE 902 Preparation for the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination during the first year of the Ph.D. program. The examination consists of 2 parts: a written proposal for research and an oral examination based on, but not limited to, the research proposal.

For the research proposal, the student is assigned a topic of current interest to the chemical and/or petroleum engineering profession. This assignment is made by an examining committee of at least 5 persons, at least 3 must be tenure / tenure track faculty from within the department including the advisor and at least 1 person from outside the department at KU. The aspirant identifies a research problem in the assigned topic area and prepares a written proposal for research on this problem. Normally, the written proposal must be prepared over a specified time period of 30 consecutive days. Except in unusual circumstances, the problem must be distinctly different from the dissertation problem.

The examining committee evaluates the research proposal upon completion. If the committee judges it satisfactory, the oral examination part of the comprehensive examination is held. The oral examination is based on the research proposal but may also cover areas peripheral to the proposal.

A student must pass both parts of the examination. Failure of either part constitutes an unsatisfactory grade on the entire examination. An aspirant who receives a grade of unsatisfactory may repeat the examination upon the recommendation of the examining committee, but the exam may not be taken more than two times. The examination may not be repeated until at least 90 days have elapsed since the unsuccessful attempt.On receipt of a grade of Honors or Satisfactory on the comprehensive examination, the aspirant is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Ph.D. Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

The doctoral dissertation, based on independent research conducted by the candidate, constitutes the final phase of the doctoral work and must be completed within the prescribed time constraints. Upon acceptance of the dissertation by the advisory committee, the candidate defends the dissertation in a final oral examination. The examining committee consists of at least five persons, including the advisory committee members and at least one person from outside the department.

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Undergraduate Courses

  • C&PE 111 Introduction to the Chemical Engineering Profession
  • C&PE 117 Energy in the Modern World
  • C&PE 121 Introduction to Computers in Engineering
  • C&PE 127 Introduction to Petroleum Engineering Profession
  • C&PE 211 Material and Energy Balances
  • C&PE 221 Basic Engineering Thermodynamics
  • C&PE 511 Momentum Transfer
  • C&PE 512 Process Engineering Thermodynamics
  • C&PE 517 Reservoir Engineering I
  • C&PE 521 Heat Transfer
  • C&PE 522 Economic Appraisal of Chemical and Petroleum Projects
  • C&PE 523 Mass Transfer
  • C&PE 524 Chemical Engineering Kinetics and Reactor Design
  • C&PE 527 Reservoir Engineering II
  • C&PE 528 Well Logging
  • C&PE 601 Undergraduate Topics in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
  • C&PE 613 Chemical Engineering Design I
  • C&PE 615 Introduction to Process Dynamics and Control
  • C&PE 616 Chemical Engineering Laboratory I
  • C&PE 617 Drilling and Well Completion
  • C&PE 618 Secondary Recovery
  • C&PE 619 Petroleum Engineering Laboratory I
  • C&PE 623 Chemical Engineering Design II
  • C&PE 624 Plant and Environmental Safety
  • C&PE 626 Chemical Engineering Laboratory II
  • C&PE 627 Petroleum Production
  • C&PE 628 Petroleum Engineering Design
  • C&PE 629 Petroleum Engineering Laboratory II
  • C&PE 651 Undergraduate Problems
  • C&PE 654 Biocatalysis
  • C&PE 655 Introduction to Semiconductor Processing
  • C&PE 656 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
  • C&PE 657 Polymer Science and Technology
  • C&PE 678 Applied Optimization Methods

Contact Info

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Learned Hall
1530 West 15th St., Room 4132
Lawrence, KS 66045-7618
785-864-4965
http://www.engr.ku.edu/cpe/
Laurence R. Weatherley, Chair
785-864-4965

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Learned Hall
1530 West 15th St., Room 4132
Lawrence, KS 66045-7618
785-864-4965
http://www.engr.ku.edu/cpe/
Laurence R. Weatherley, Chair
785-864-4965

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Learned Hall
1530 West 15th St., Room 4132
Lawrence, KS 66045-7618
785-864-4965
http://www.engr.ku.edu/cpe/
Marylee Southard, Graduate Recruiting Director
785-864-4965
R.V. Chaudhari, Graduate Advisor
785-864-4965
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