The Chemical Engineering Master of Science (MS) program is especially designed to provide excellent preparation for students who will be seeking employment in industry. This program offers the chance to study the newest and most important chemical engineering topics in depth. Students may also broaden out with classes outside of chemical engineering, creating a program that meets their needs. The Chemical Engineering Master of Science program is also excellent preparation for admission to a US chemical engineering doctoral program, especially for students who currently hold a BA or BS degree in chemistry, physics or mathematics.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to our Master of Science program, students must demonstrate B-average or better performance in a science or engineering undergraduate curriculum. Besides undergraduate GPA, the MS admissions committee also considers GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. All MS applicants are expected to have completed General Chemistry I and II, Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III (multi-variable calculus), and an Ordinary Differential Equations Course. While most applicants for the Master of Science program have an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, this is not necessarily a requirement. The field of chemical engineering is broad in scope, so we encourage applicants who hold undergraduate degrees in chemistry, polymer science, physics, materials science, or any engineering discipline to apply. While the exact program for each student is adapted to his or her previous training, students admitted without a chemical engineering undergraduate degree are normally required to participate in the Scientist to Engineer program. This special program saves the MS student both the time and expense of the undergraduate chemical engineering program. A list of application requirements, including materials you will need to submit to be considered for admission into our program, are described here.

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Scientist to Engineer

A student who is admitted to the MS program without an undergraduate degree that is equivalent to an ABET accredited chemical engineering baccalaureate degree is given Scientist to Engineer (S2E) status. These students must complete CHEN E4001, Essentials of Chemical Engineering A, and CHEN E4002, Essentials of Chemical Engineering B, in their first semester. These courses cover essentials from the undergraduate chemical engineering curriculum in an intensive, accelerated way in 6 credits. These 6 points of credit must be taken and passed in addition to the 30 points of graduate credit required for the MS itself, so that these students need a total of 36 credits to graduate. Typically this can be accomplished in 3 semesters.

After completing CHEN E4001 and CHEN E4002, students admitted with S2E status must also take CHEN E4010, Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering, as part of the core requirement, and a graduate-level chemical engineering course with substantial design content as one of their technical electives.

Beyond the Master of Science Program

Students in the Master of Science program who later decide they would like to obtain a PhD in chemical engineering at Columbia would need to formally apply to Columbia’s PhD program after completion of their first term at Columbia. Acceptance into the PhD program would not be assured. As such, students would be in competition with all other applicants to the PhD program.

Applicants holding a BS in chemical engineering who wish to pursue a PhD in chemical engineering at Columbia should apply directly to the MS leading to PhD program rather than only the Master of Science program. While it is against school policy to allow application to more than one program/department per term, applicants to the MS leading to PhD program may choose to indicate on their application that they would consider admission to the MS only. 



Learn how electives are designed to guide the individual student experience in the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering program at Columbia University.

Master of Science Program Flyer

Information on the Master of Science degree

Scientist to Engineer Flyer

Information on the Scientist to Engineer (S2E) status