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Graduate Studies – Chemical Engineering

Learn more about the Chemical Engineering Graduate Program at Rose‑Hulman, which offers two degree path alternatives: Master of Science (MS) and a Master of Chemical Engineering (MChE).

The chemical engineering master's programs offer a unique opportunity for an individual to broaden and enhance his or her undergraduate training with concentrated study in a specialized area of chemical engineering. The program is a blend of "traditional" programs based on full-time, resident graduate activity and "industrial" programs that can be beneficial to students employed in nearby industries or to those who want to alternate periods of full-time graduate work and full-time work in industry.

The department offers two graduate path alternatives. Our Master of Science (MS) degree program is a traditional thesis-based approach whereby the student pursues both laboratory and course work culminating in the preparation and oral defense of a written thesis. Our Master of Chemical Engineering (MChE) degree is a course-based master's program which requires additional coursework or project study in lieu of a traditional thesis. 

Areas of specialization within our department include energy and sustainability, separations, biochemical engineering and biosystems, process and transport modeling, process control and optimization, petroleum engineering, thermodynamics and molecular simulations, polymers, interfacial phenomena and nanotechnology, and particulate materials.

The department also offers undergraduate students who are ahead in their courses to work towards a master's degree while still completing their bachelor's degree. Students who wish to pursue this path should talk to their advisors.

The objective of both programs, the Master of Chemical Engineering and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, is to prepare graduates for early career advancement in the field of Chemical Engineering by building upon their undergraduate training with advanced coursework and concentrated study of problems and topics relevant to the field.

Master of Chemical Engineering and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply advanced principles to solve complex chemical engineering problems.
  2. Relate course concepts to current topics of interest in chemical engineering industry or research.

Faculty and Staff Contacts 

Master of Science (MS) in Chemical Engineering requirements

     36 credit hours of course work

     12 credit hours of thesis work

Core Coursework (12 credit hours required)

     An advanced engineering thermodynamics course (CHE 513 or ME 501 or equivalent)

     An advanced course in fluid flow and/or heat transfer (CHE 502 or ME 503 or equivalent)

     Transport Phenomena II (CHE 503) or Advanced Reactor Design (CHE 504)

Minor Coursework (8 credit hours required)

     An area of concentration approved by the thesis advisory committee


     A minimum of 16 credit hours of electives approved by the advisory committee is required. Some suggested electives from the field of chemical engineering are listed below:

     CHE 441 Polymer Engineering

     CHE 450 Air Pollution Control

     CHE 461 Unit Operations in Environmental Engineering

     CHE 470 Safety, Health and Loss Prevention

     CHE 503 Transport Phenomena II

     CHE 504 Advanced Reactor Design

     CHE 512 Petrochemical Processes

     CHE 521 Advanced Chemical Engineering Computation

     CHE 525 Process Analytics

     CHE 540 Advanced Process Control

     CHE 545 Introduction to Biochemical Engineering

     CHE 546 Bioseparations

Master of Chemical Engineering (MCHE) requirements

     12 credit hours of core course work

     12 credit hours of course work in advisory committee approved concentration area

     24 credit hours of elective course work

Core Coursework: (12 credit hours required)

     Transport Phenomena

          (CHE 502 or approved equivalent)

     Advanced Reactor Design 

          (CHE 504 or approved equivalent)

     Advanced Thermodynamics

          (CHE 513 or approved equivalent)

Concentration Area: (12 credit hours required)

With the understanding that a graduate degree indicates that a student has shown the motivation and ability to pursue specialized study past the B.S. degree, the MCHE degree requires students to pursue 12 credit hours of course work in a committee-approved concentration area.

Possible options:

  1. Concentration area course work could be concentrated in a particular sub-discipline of Chemical Engineering (e.g. control theory) with relevant graduate courses from outside the department (e.g. EE) also qualifying for the program in relevant instances.
  2. Concentration area course work could be performed in an engineering department different from the student’s undergraduate degree to gain competency in a related engineering discipline (e.g. ABBE).
  3. Concentration area course work could be performed in a non-technical business-related discipline such as economics, business, or finance.
  4. Concentration area course work could include up to 8 hours of advisor-supervised project research resulting in a non-research Master’s project report with the aim of reviewing and commenting upon a current topic area (advisory committee-approved) of relevance to the chemical engineering profession.  Such a report would include literature, or literature and laboratory research, and would be written more in the style of a review article or project report rather than a scientific research document.


     A minimum of 24 credit hours of electives approved by the advisory committee is required. Some suggested electives from the field of chemical engineering are listed below. 

     CHE 441 Polymer Engineering

     CHE 461 Unit Operations in Environmental Engineering

     CHE 465 Energy & the Environment

     CHE 470 Safety, Health and Loss Prevention

     CHE 512 Petrochemical Processes

     CHE 525 Process Analytics

     CHE 540 Advanced Process Control

     CHE 545 Introduction to Biochemical Engineering

     CHE 546 Bioseparations
Dr. Kimberly Henthorn

Dr. Kimberly Henthorn

A member of the Rose-Hulman faculty since 2010, Dr. Kim Henthorn specializes in particle technology and two-phase microfluidic systems. As head of Chemical Engineering, Dr. Henthorn is currently conducting research with students on the science and engineering of chocolate production and has worked with fellow faculty members to introduce new experiments into the chemical engineering laboratory. The Rose-Hulman alumna has gained industry experience by working for Dow Chemical, Reilly Industries, and Pfizer, and serving as a consultant for Mo-Sci Corporation, Brewer Science, and DuPont.

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Contact Us

Department of Chemical Engineering
Olin Hall
5500 Wabash Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47803

Admissions, Programs of Study, and Courses

Our graduate program offers a variety of courses and programs taught by passionate and experienced professors to help you achieve your academic and professional goals. Learn more about our admissions process, and the programs and courses we are proud to offer.


There are a variety of options for both traditional and non-traditional students at Rose-Hulman. Learn more about how to apply for graduate school.


Rose-Hulman offers graduate studies in eight different programs. Some programs offer evening classes off campus to make it possible for professionals to continue to work fulltime while earning their graduate degree.


A number of courses have been approved by the Graduate Studies Committee for credit toward graduate degrees. 

Research Facilities

There are seven research facilities on our campus all operating with the dual mission of providing education, as well as performing research and development. Projects at the facilities reflect faculty and student interests, as well as industry needs. As part of the graduate program at Rose-Hulman, you will likely participate in thesis research in one of our facilities.

Exterior view of Myers Hall

John T. Myers Center for Technological Research with Industry

This 40,000-square-foot facility is devoted to student and faculty project work. The center provides space and specialized instrumentation for students and faculty to engage in engineering design projects for external clients. There is ample laboratory space for project-based education.

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Rose-Hulman Ventures

Rose-Hulman Ventures is a program that brings together students and technology-based companies. For students, the program provides the best engineering professional practice experience possible. In turn, this provides businesses with prototypes, refinements to the design of existing products and expansion in current engineering capabilities. The facility is on the south campus of Rose-Hulman.

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JRSI Laboratory

In this lab, you will have the opportunity to work side by side with surgeons, faculty and engineers to design, execute and present scientific investigations in an effort to develop engineering solutions to clinical problems. Mechanical testing in the lab is conducted utilizing a state-of-the-art biaxial materials testing machine.

Dr. Craig Downing

Dr. Craig Downing

Dr. Craig Downing is the Director of Graduate Studies, Interim Dean of Lifelong Learning, and Head of the Department of Engineering Management. He holds degrees in mechanical engineering, mathematics and statistics, manufacturing systems and workforce education and development.
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Contact Us

Graduate Studies
5500 Wabash Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47803
Phone: 812-877-8403
Fax: 812-877-8061
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