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University of Pittsburgh    
  Mar 21, 2018
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

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Contact Information

Joseph J. McCarthy, W.K. Whiteford Professor and Vice Chair for Education
940 Benedum Engineering Hall
Fax: 412-624-9639

Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering awards Master of Science degrees in chemical and petroleum engineering and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in chemical engineering; offers several dual degree programs; and participates in joint degree programs with the Katz Graduate School of Business and the School of Medicine. The general objective of all programs is to develop the ability of the chemical or petroleum engineer to carry out original research at advanced levels. The aim of the doctoral program is to develop individuals for careers in academic and industrial research. The program is flexible. Its primary emphasis is on innovative and distinctive research on the cutting edge of engineering science. Students wishing to pursue the PhD should have an outstanding academic background and a desire and ability to carry out original research. PhD students here are given independence and responsibility. They are not only encouraged but are expected to develop research ideas, which they propose and defend. They work closely with their faculty research advisors and often participate in a research group attacking relevant engineering problems. To supplement their research, students take advanced courses in areas related to their research work. Candidates for the PhD achieve a high level of proficiency through this advanced course work and individual study in their research area and related areas.

The graduate program offers MS and PhD students the opportunity to pursue independent research in five research focus areas in which the department has developed national and international reputations: biotechnology, catalysis, multi-scale modeling, materials, and environment and energy. Additional research areas exist in programs that have exploited opportunities at the interface between disciplines. The department’s recognized research activities impact the following boundaries between established disciplines: biotechnology/environment; biology/engineering; energy/environment; polymer chemistry/physics; catalysis/chemistry/materials; catalysis/energy; and catalysis/environment.


Chemical Engineering: For admission to full graduate status, students should have an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering with high academic standing in an ABETaccredited curriculum.

Petroleum Engineering: For admission to full graduate status, students should have an undergraduate degree in engineering or geology, and high academic standing.

Students from chemistry or from another engineering discipline who desire to pursue a graduate degree in chemical engineering must have a high grade point average and prepare for graduate course work by taking selected undergraduate courses in chemical engineering. See MS and PhD Requirements for Students with Non-Chemical Engineering BS Degree. Each case for admission will be evaluated individually, and applications are encouraged.

Interested students may apply online (preferred method) or, if necessary, interested students may request a complete application package in one of the three following ways:

  1. Send e-mail to Be sure to include your name and complete mailing address.
  2. Send surface mail to:

University of Pittsburgh
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
Graduate Coordinator
1249 Benedum Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Financial Assistance

While admission to the graduate program does not imply the granting of financial aid, most fulltime graduate students are supported. All students who qualify for financial assistance are awarded departmental fellowships. In addition, a select few top students receive supplementary dean’s fellowships. An applicant interested in obtaining financial aid should request information directly from the department. Applications for admission and financial aid should be submitted by January 15 for the following fall term.


    Master’sDoctoralJoint Degree


      Chemical & Petroleum EngineeringChemical Engineering

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