• Home
  • Academics
  • Degrees
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
  • Ph.D. Chemical & Petroleum
  • Curriculum

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

  • Chemical Engineering Bachelor of Science
  • Master of Science in Chemical or Petroleum Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering Bachelor of Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

PhD Program Curriculum

The PhD program requires the completion of 45 credit hours beyond a Master's degree. Required are 15 hours of course work and 30 hours of research work including: 3 graduate level elective courses within our department, two graduate level 'outside electives' (courses related to the doctoral research project which are taken in other departments at KU), and 30 research hours (which includes: 1 hour of C&PE 800 graduate seminar for each enrolled semester, all research hours taken with the student's faculty/research advisor, and courses taken in preparation for the comprehensive examination.

Students who have not previously earned a MS or ME degree but demonstrated outstanding academic preparation during their undergraduate careers can be considered for the Direct PhD program which requires a minimum of 60 total credit hours (Chart Below) and will required them to pass a preliminary exam of research before becoming a PhD aspirant. To maintain Good Academic Standing, all graduate students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better at all times and make progress in their personal research once a research advisor is assigned.

Courses- 30 credit hours for Direct PhD students as follows:

  • C&PE Core Courses (5 courses/15 hrs for Chem E focus or 4 courses/12 hrs for Petro E focus)
    Chem E core courses include C&PE 701, 721, 731, 722, 732
    Pet E core courses include C&PE 701, 731, 771, 795
  • C&PE Inside Electives (3 courses/9 hrs for ChemE focus or 4 courses/12 hrs for Petro E focus)
  • Outside Electives (700+ level/ 2 courses = 6 hrs)

Note: Students who have already earned a MS or ME will have these course requirements reduced to 15 credit hours, however, which specific courses are waived will be decided on a case-by-case basis and will depend on academic achievements and courses taken during the related Master's degree program.

Research: 30+ total cumulative credit hours fulfilled by a combination of the following:

  • C&PE 800 Graduate Seminar (and/or C&PE 802 CEBC Colloquium)
  • C&PE 902 Preparation for the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination (optional)
  • C&PE 904 Research (MS research C&PE 803 hours will count toward Ph.D. research hours)

       *Note: there are additional courses which may count toward the total number of research hours
       **Note: If a student joins our PhD program already having earned a Master's degree, some of these courses may be waived, but no outside credits will transfer 

Useful Links

High school seniors can apply to the SELF Program, a four-year enrichment and leadership experience
Engineering students build concrete canoes, Formula race cars, unmanned planes, and rockets for competitions nationwide
More first and second place awards in student AIAA aircraft design contests than any other school in the world
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today
Upcoming Events and Deadlines

Upcoming Events

April 6th​: Cory Berkland Inaugural Lecture Event | 5:30 | Jayhawk Room, Kansas Union (RSVP LINK)

April 11th: Graduate Seminar with Damon Talbott from KU office of Graduate Studies (FLYER)

April 18th: Graduate Seminar with George Hirasaki from Rice University

April 25th: Graduate Seminar with Rick Stroman from the US Naval Research Lab (FLYER)

April 28th: Open tour of the Shiflett Lab | 2-4PM | 2444 LEEP2 (LINK)


May 2nd​: Graduate Seminar with Michael J. Aziz from Harvard University (FLYER)

May 13th: School of Engineering Recognition Ceremony 8AM in Allen Fieldhouse and

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony | 7:30PM | Lied Center

{Looking for Graduate Workshops? Check out THIS link!}