Michael A. Matthews, Interim Chair of the Department
Joseph H. Gibbons, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1961
Michael D. Amiridis, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1991
Perla B. Balbuena, Ph.D., University of Texas, 1996
Thomas A. Davis, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1967
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Milton W. Davis Jr., Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1951
The Department of Chemical Engineering offers research-oriented graduate study programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, as well as a program for professional development culminating in the Master of Engineering degree. Advanced course work in chemical engineering has three objectives: to give students a solid foundation in core concepts at the graduate level, to prepare students for independent research in a field of specialization, and to expose students to a broad range of knowledge in chemical engineering and allied disciplines. The M.S. and Ph.D. programs emphasize independent research leading to the submission of a thesis or dissertation and publication of results in peer-reviewed technical journals. Students in the M.E. program may, at their option, propose a program of independent study, supervised by a faculty member, that may replace up to six hours of lecture courses.
In all cases, students should prepare and receive approval of a formal program of study that lists the specific courses to be used for their degree. In addition, proposals for independent study as a part of the M.E. degree program must be reviewed and approved by the faculty of the department before the work is initiated. Programs of study and plans for independent study and research should be developed in collaboration with the graduate director or the students research advisor.
Graduates from the Department of Chemical Engineering readily find entry-level employment in engineering research, development, management, marketing, sales, production, and design. Recent graduates have assumed positions in industry, government service, and academe.
Fields of Specialization
The research interests of the faculty span all of the traditional core areas of chemical engineering and extend into many frontiers. Ongoing research may be found in fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, separations, kinetics and reactor design, process control, and process design. Building upon this traditional core, the department has developed more specialized research strengths in electrochemical and corrosion engineering, advanced materials, environmentally conscious manufacturing, and molecular simulations. A complete description of the current research interests of the faculty may be found in the departments brochure or on its Web page, located at www.che.sc.edu.
Requirements for admission to graduate degree programs in chemical engineering (M.E., M.S., Ph.D.) conform to the general regulations of The Graduate School. In general, the admissions process is highly competitive. Admissions decisions are based on the quality of the applicants previous college work (as reflected by grade point average), letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and other evidence of past accomplishments.
Applicants normally hold the B.S. degree in chemical engineering from an accredited engineering program. Admission to the Ph.D. degree program does not require a masters degree; most Ph.D. students are admitted directly from undergraduate programs. Scores on the GRE must be submitted by all applicants seeking financial aid, as well as all applicants from undergraduate programs not accredited by ABET. International applicants must also submit TOEFL scores.
In addition to the requirements of The Graduate School, all applicants should submit a statement of purpose (or similar document) that describes the applicants background, research interests, and whether or not financial aid is required. Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program usually receive financial aid. However, the department does not normally provide financial aid to students in the M.E. or M.S. degree programs.
Applicants with degrees (B.S. or higher) in other engineering disciplines or chemistry may be admitted with additional remedial course requirements in chemical engineering at the undergraduate level. In general, the following USC chemical engineering undergraduate courses, or their equivalents from other ABET-accredited chemical engineering departments, are required: ENGR 290, 360; ECHE 300, 311, 321, 322, 430, 440, 465, 466, and 550 (for graduate credit).
Additional courses in mathematics and chemistry may also be required. The detailed specification of course requirements and substitutions of courses from other universities will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Four specific courses are required for all graduate degrees: ECHE 700, 710, 720, and 722. No foreign language is required for any graduate degree in chemical engineering. Additional requirements follow.
Accelerated B.S./M.E. Education Plan
The Accelerated B.S./M.E. Plan in Chemical Engineering allows students to complete both the B.S. degree and a Master of Engineering degree in chemical engineering in as few as five years. The use of dual creditcourses that can be used toward both degreesenables acceleration of the program, reducing the total enrollment of the student by one semester.
Chemical engineering students may apply for approval of an accelerated education plan in the semester in which they will complete 90 hours of undergraduate course work. In addition, students must have a sufficient foundation in chemical engineering course work to enable them to take graduate-level courses. University and department regulations stipulate that applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.40, both overall and in chemical engineering courses. Students may apply by submitting an accelerated education plan, an application for senior privilege, and a copy of a Graduate School application to the graduate director in chemical engineering. The dean of The Graduate School has final authority for approving accelerated education plans.
Only graduate-level courses (numbered 500 and above) may be used for dual credit. No more than nine credit hours may be used as dual credit. The graduate courses used for dual credit must be taken during the students final undergraduate year. The student graduates with the B.S. degree after completing the B.S. degree requirements. At that time, the student is admitted to the graduate program with up to nine hours of graduate credit.
Master of Engineering
For the Master of Engineering degree, a set of six additional courses is required. Two of these must be chemical engineering lecture courses, and the remaining four may be from business, chemistry, engineering, or mathematics. A program of independent study (ECHE 797, three or six credit hours) may be substituted for one or two of the remaining four courses. Proposals for programs of independent study must be submitted and approved by the faculty of the department before the work is initiated.
The graduate director serves as the academic advisor for M.E. students.
Master of Science
For the Master of Science degree, a set of four additional courses and at least six hours of thesis preparation (ECHE 799) are required. Two of the additional courses must be from chemical engineering, and the other two may be from chemistry, engineering, or mathematics. The students research advisor specifies these courses after discussion with the student. Independent study (ECHE 797) cannot be used for the M.S. degree.
Each M.S. student must select a research advisor during the first semester after admission. In addition, an advisory committee of no less than three members will be selected. The committee, which must include the department chair, conducts the comprehensive examination and reviews the students thesis. Prior to graduation, each M.S. student must submit at least one paper for publication in a peer-reviewed technical journal. For the comprehensive examination, the M.S. students research results are presented orally before an audience that includes the advisory committee. Other requirements pertaining to the final submission of the thesis conform to the general regulations of The Graduate School.
Doctor of Philosophy
For Doctor of Philosophy students, a minimum of 66 credit hours is required, including 30 credit hours of course work beyond the B.S. degree, and at least 36 credit hours of dissertation preparation (ECHE 899). In addition to the four required courses listed above, ECHE 730 and three additional ECHE courses are required. The remaining two courses may be from chemistry, engineering, or mathematics. No more than two courses below the 700 level may be used for graduate credit.
For students entering the Ph.D. degree program with a masters degree in chemical engineering equivalent to that awarded at USC, a minimum of 36 credit hours, including at least six courses (18 hours) and at least 18 hours of dissertation preparation (ECHE 899), are required. The requirements for specified courses (ECHE 700, 710, 720, 722, and 730) may be satisfied by equivalent courses taken for the masters degree, subject to approval by the graduate director. Of the six courses, four must be from chemical engineering; the other two may be from chemistry, engineering, or mathematics. No more than two courses below the 700 level may be taken for graduate credit, including courses taken in the masters degree program. All courses taken for credit must be approved in writing by the students research advisor prior to course enrollment.
Each Ph.D. student must select a research advisor during the first semester after admission to the doctoral program. After a Ph.D. student passes the admission to candidacy examination, an advisory committee of no less than four members will be selected. The committee must include the department chair and one outside member. Doctoral students must pass the comprehensive examination before the start of the students fifth semester in the program (not including summer terms). Students should consult the graduate director for information on the format and subjects of the admission to candidacy and comprehensive examinations. Prior to graduation, each Ph.D. student must submit at least three papers for publication in peer-reviewed technical journals. Other requirements pertaining to the comprehensive examination, dissertation examination, and final submission of the dissertation conform to the general regulations of The Graduate School.
Under extenuating circumstances, students may seek relief from departmental degree regulations by written petition to the graduate director. After review, the departmental graduate committee forwards petitions with a recommendation to the faculty for final action.
Course Descriptions (ECHE)
This web site updated September 2001 by Thom Harman, and copyright © 2001-2002 by the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina. All Rights Reserved.