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  Nov 19, 2017
 
 
    
Graduate Record 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Chemical Engineering


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The Department of Chemical Engineering offers graduate programs leading to these degrees:
Master of Science (M.S.)
Master of Engineering (M.E.)
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
With the exception of an M.E. degree program offered using a distance-learning format, all graduate study in the Department requires full-time attendance.

Master of Science and Master of Engineering
The Master of Science degree requires an independent research effort culminating in a written thesis that must be defended before an examining committee; the Master of Engineering degree requires completion of an independent project of more limited scope than that required for the M. S. Both programs include a “core” group of five first-level graduate courses dealing with the fundamental aspects of chemical engineering. These courses comprise half (15 credits) of the minimum 30-credit requirement for the Master’s degree. The M.S. degree requires three elective graduate courses while the M.E. requires four electives plus the project course. In general, terminal M.E. students do not receive financial aid from the department.

Doctor of Philosophy
The major elements of the doctoral program are:

  1. Research Examination and Admission to Doctoral Study
  2. Selection of Doctoral Advisory Committee and submission of Plan of Study
  3. Dissertation Proposal and Admission to Candidacy
  4. Teaching assistant experience
  5. Research
  6. Dissertation and Final Defense

A student’s doctoral work is carried out under the direction of an Advisory Committee chaired by the major research advisor and appointed by the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs upon recommendation of the Department Chair. Each program of study is tailored to the student’s individual needs and objectives.

The Ph.D. qualifying procedure consists of two parts: (1) an oral and written research examination and admission to doctoral study; and (2) dissertation proposal and admission to candidacy. The research examination is used to evaluate research aptitude and has both written and oral parts. The student, in consultation with the research advisor, develops a dissertation proposal that is presented and defended publicly. A successful defense of the dissertation proposal results in admission of the student to candidacy for the doctorate. Finally, the student prepares a written dissertation based on original research and defends it in a final, oral examination.

It is expected that the Ph.D. program will be completed in five years beyond the B.S. degree or three years beyond the Master’s degree.

Master's Programs


The Department of Chemical Engineering offers graduate programs leading to Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Engineering (M.E.) degrees. Basic (“core”) course requirements (see below) are identical. The M.S. degree requires an independent research effort culminating in a written thesis while the M.E. degree requires additional course work and completion of an independent project of more limited scope than that required for the M.S.

The master’s program is ordinarily begun in the fall semester, with the required course work being taken during the fall and spring semesters. Thesis research or project work, begun during the academic year, is then carried out on a full-time basis during the following summer and academic year. Students must complete all requirements for the M.S. degree within five (5) years after admission to the graduate program and must complete all the requirements for the M.E. degree within seven (7) years after admission.

Degree requirements
A minimum of thirty (30) credits – or “semester hours” – of graduate level courses are required for a master’s degree, either M.S. or M.E., in chemical engineering. Degree candidates must complete an approved plan of studies incorporating the following:

For the M.S. degree:

  1. A minimum of 24 credits of graduate course work including the five chemical engineering core courses.
  2. A minimum of 6 credit hours of research carried out under thesis course, ChE 8998
  3. Presentation of an acceptable thesis based on research conducted under ChE 8998

For the M.E. degree:

  1. A minimum of 27 credits of graduate course work including the five chemical core engineering courses.
  2. Presentation of a written report based on independent work carried out under the project course, ChE 7995. M.E. candidates should enroll for three (3) credits of ChE 7995 which are not part of the required 27 credits of graduate courses.All candidates for master’s degrees should regularly attend the graduate seminar (ChE 7796).

Transfer credit may be approved for inclusion in the plan of studies for the master’s degree. Only graduate courses completed at another institution of recognized standing will be considered. Candidates for the M.S. degree may include a maximum of six (6) semester hours of transfer credit; candidates for the M.E. may include a maximum of twelve (12). Application for transfer credit is made on the Request Approval of Transfer Credits form located at: http://www.seas.virginia.edu/advising/allforms.php

Chemical Engineering Core Courses
The “core” courses are a group of five first-level graduate courses:

  

 
 
 
  

Persons who have completed equivalent work elsewhere before entering the program will not be required to take the corresponding course at UVa.

MS thesis and examination
After the student’s MS thesis has been approved by his/her advisor, an examining committee will be appointed. This committee consists of at least three SEAS faculty members; two faculty members must be from Chemical Engineering. The Final Examination Committee form (http://www.seas.virginia.edu/advising/allforms.php) is used to request appointment of the examining committee. Copies of the thesis should be given to the committee members at least one week before the date of examination.
After the thesis has been approved by the examining committee, the Report on Final Examination will be sent to the Dean from the department. The student is responsible for submitting the thesis electronically through LIBRA. (http://libra.virginia.edu/). PLEASE NOTE THAT CHE REQUIRES THE BIBLIOGRAPHY TO INCLUDE TITLES OF JOURNAL ARTICLES

ME project report
A final report is required for the project work undertaken (ChE 7995) to satisfy the requirements for the Master of Engineering degree. This report must be approved and graded by the student’s advisor. This approval constitutes the final examination for the ME degree. It is also the responsibility of the student to request his/her advisor submit an Engineering Analysis Assessment, Engineering Design Assessment and the student’s Engineering Plan of Study Assessment to the department and Dean’s Office.

Quality of work
Graduate students are expected to maintain high standards of quality in their graduate courses and in their thesis research or project work. Any graduate student whose grade-point average (GPA) in graduate level courses falls below B (GPA = 3.0) will be placed on probation. Such students will be subject to dismissal if the cumulative GPA is not raised to 3.0 within one semester.

Doctoral Program


Possessors of the doctorate are understood to have mastered in depth a segment of human knowledge and to have contributed significantly to that body of knowledge. The doctoral program includes advanced course work but emphasizes the conduct of original research.
In assessing prospective candidates for the doctorate, the faculty will consider the student’s overall academic record, prior performance in research, and the evaluations of appropriate references. Formal requirements for admission to doctoral candidacy include, in addition to advanced course work, satisfactory performance on the Research Examination, and the preparation of an acceptable dissertation proposal. In all of these, the student will be expected to demonstrate familiarity with the fundamental concepts and techniques of chemical engineering and, above all, to be able to apply these concepts and techniques to original and ill-defined situations.
The major elements of the doctoral program, described in detail below, are:

  1. Research Examination and Admission to Doctoral Study
  2. Selection of Doctoral Advisory Committee and submission of Plan of Study
  3. Dissertation Proposal and Admission to Candidacy
  4. Teaching assistant experience
  5. Research
  6. Dissertation and final examination

Residency requirements for the degree are set by SEAS.

  1. RESEARCH EXAMINATION AND ADMISSION TO DOCTORAL STUDY
    All Ph.D. students must pass a Ph.D. research examination in their second year. After passing the Ph.D. research examination, the student may elect to complete an M.S. degree, but is not required to do so (unless specifically deemed necessary by the faculty or research advisor.) The Research Examination is to be taken within one month after completing the first summer of research. The student is to describe, in both written and oral forms, his/her research progress to that time as well as plans for further work. Although the motivation, background and technical originality of the research are important components, the overall goal is to assess the student’s aptitude for research. The written document and oral presentation will be limited in length. Following the oral presentation to the faculty, questions suggested by the research will be asked. The outcomes of this exam are pass, pass with conditions, or fail. Students failing the exam taken in September will have an opportunity to retake the exam at the end of the fall semester.
    Students must indicate in writing their intention to take the Research Exam when it is announced.
    Admission to Doctoral Study is a formal action of the departmental faculty. It indicates acceptance of the student into the ultimate research phase of the doctoral program.
    In order to be admitted to doctoral study the student must have:
    1. completed a program of advanced course work, here or elsewhere, equivalent to the departmental course requirements for the Master’s degree
    2. passed the Research Examination
    3. demonstrated, to the faculty’s satisfaction, a capability for independent research of the quality expected for the doctorate
  2. Selection of DOCTORAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE and submission of PLAN OF STUDY
    A student’s doctoral work is carried out under the direction of Doctoral Advisory Committee. Within one semester of Admission to Doctoral Study, the Doctoral Advisory Committee (http://www.seas.virginia.edu/advising/Form%20Doctoral%20Advisory%20committee.pdf) should be appointed for each student by the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs upon recommendation of the department chair and the Plan of Study (available in the department) should be prepared and promptly submitted. The committee, chaired by a ChE faculty member other than the research advisor, should have three Chemical Engineering faculty and at least one UVA faculty member from outside the student’s department and major curriculum study area. This Committee should meet with the student as early as possible to begin assisting the student in development of research plans, in the selection of additional graduate courses, and in the timely preparation and submission of the dissertation proposal.
    A doctoral Plan of Study (available in the department) listing the courses taken as part of the Ph.D. program and tailored to the interests and needs of the individual student, is developed in consultation with the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee. The plan must satisfy all requirements of SEAS. Courses taken in pursuit of a Master’s degree in this Department or elsewhere may be included in the doctoral Plan of Study.
    Although there are no specific departmental course requirements for the doctoral degree, the Plan of Study should ensure both depth in the specific research area and breadth in chemical engineering and related sciences.
  3. DISSERTATION PROPOSAL AND ADMISSION TO CANDIDACY
    Doctoral students are required to prepare a written Dissertation Proposal. The proposal should indicate the purpose and objectives of the work to be undertaken, the current state of the art with bibliography, and the strategy to be followed and techniques to be employed in the research. Preliminary data, calculations, and/or theoretical developments may be included in support of the proposed work. The proposal will be presented orally and discussed publicly. The Doctoral Advisory Committee will serve as the Dissertation Proposal Exam Committee.
    The purposes of the dissertation proposal are:
    1. to determine if the student’s knowledge of the area chosen for research and the pertinent literature is adequate
    2. to determine whether the proposed work, if completed, would provide the basis for an acceptable dissertation
    3. to advise the student on general approaches and specific techniques that may be helpful in the proposed research.
      If, in the judgment of the advisory committee, the student’s proposal is not satisfactory, the student may be required to submit a revised proposal for further discussion with the Advisory Committee.
      The dissertation proposal should be completed as early as possible and preferably within one year of admission to the doctoral program, but must be completed not later than one year before completion of the PhD work. Upon successful defense of the Dissertation Proposal, the student will be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate.
  4. TEACHING EXPERIENCE
    To contribute to the educational and professional development, each doctoral student must serve as a graduate teaching assistant for a minimum of one semester.
  5. RESEARCH
    Research begins as soon as the student has chosen a research advisor. Research remains a primary focus of the student throughout enrollment in the graduate program and should be completed in four and a half years for students entering with a B.S. degree or in three years for students who enter with a Master’s degree in chemical engineering.
  6. DISSERTATION AND FINAL EXAMINATION
    Finally, the candidate must present and publicly defend a dissertation based on his/her independent original research to a committee that includes the Doctoral Advisory Committee and one additional member for a total of 5 faculty members. Dissertations should be submitted to committee members two weeks prior to the defense date. PLEASE NOTE THAT CHE REQUIRES THE BIBLIOGRAPHY TO INCLUDE TITLES OF JOURNAL ARTICLES.

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