Introduction

Thank you for your interest in this course of study. Since Fall 2000, we have been accepting students for this program. Possible motivations for interest in this program are:

  1. The BS engineering program is very regimented, making it impossible to switch into engineering after the Junior year without losing a year.
  2. Suddenly realized an interest in engineering during your senior year.
  3. Interested in graduate school, but would like to try something a little different.

Over the past several years, we have had students enter into similar bridging programs from Chemistry and Pharmacy majors and become quite successful. We are now systematizing and streamlining this program to enable bridge students to complete their MS Chem Eng. in roughly 6 months more than a student entering with a BS in Chemical Engineering.

Financial assistance:

Financial support is allocated by individual faculty based on identifying a match between student research interests and research funding. The sooner you begin to settle on research interests, the better the likelihood of receiving financial assistance in a timely manner. Typical stipends are around $16,000 for MS students in 2010, after qualifications for full admission have been completed. Students should normally expect to support themselves during the preliminary phase of the bridge program (i.e. while they are taking undergraduate courses). This comprises only two courses during the Spring and Summer for students on the accelerated program. Read about the MSU bridge courses on their web site ( http://www.chems.msu.edu/academics/cont.ed/ ). The accelerated program requires that you anticipate your interest in the Bridge program and 9 months prior to the semester of matriculation. The UA-only program may be more amenable if you need to refresh or supplement your Math and Chemistry background. If you have further questions, contact jelliott@uakron.edu for more information on this opportunity. Financial considerations should also factor in the observation that starting salaries for engineers may be higher than for other majors. MS ChE graduates started at roughly $70,000 during the Spring of 2010.

MS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Akron

Accelerated Bridge Program

Admission Requirements: BS Chemistry, Math, Physics, or Biology and

Calculus, Differential Equations, and Classical Physics

MidMay-MidAugust

ChE 804, 805 MSU distance learning bridge courses ( http://www.chems.msu.edu/academics/cont.ed )

Fall

 

Spring

 

ChE 610 Classical Thermodynamics

ChE 605 Reaction Engineering

ChE 541 Process Design

ChE 535 Process Analysis and Control

3

3

3

3

ChE 600 Transport Phenomena

Chemical Engineering Elective

Thesis Research

3

3

 

Course Credits

12

Course Credits

6

Fall

 

Spring

 

ChE 631 Chemical Engineering Elective

Thesis Research

3

 

Approved Elective

Thesis Research

3

 

Course Credits

3

Course Credits

3

Total Graduate Course Credits: 24

MS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Akron

UA-Only Bridge Program

(for students desiring to avoid the MSU distance-learning courses)

Admission Requirements: BS Chemistry, Math, Physics, or Biology and

Calculus, Differential Equations, and Classical Physics ( http://www.chems.msu.edu/academics/cont.ed )

Fall

 

Spring

 

ChE 200 Material and Energy Balances

ChE 321 Transport Phenomena

3

3

ChE 225 Equilibrium Thermo

ChE 330 Reaction Engineering

3

3

Course Credits

6

Course Credits

6

Fall

 

Spring

 

ChE 610 Classical Thermodynamics

ChE 605 Reaction Engineering

ChE 541 Process Design

ChE 535 Process Analysis and Control

3

3

3

3

ChE 600 Transport Phenomena

Chemical Engineering Elective

Thesis Research

3

3

 

Course Credits

12

Course Credits

6

Fall

 

Spring

 

ChE 631 Chemical Engineering Elective

Thesis Research

3

Approved Elective

Thesis Research

3

Course Credits

3

Course Credits

3

Total Graduate Course Credits: 24

 

 

MS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Akron

Accelerated Bridge Program

FAQ's

How Should I Be Prepared?

We have had success with students from pharmacy and elementary education as well as chemistry, so there seems to be a fair degree of latitude. The main concern is that you should have good math skills and intense dedication. You will be doing double-time in your coursework as well as research on your thesis if you hope for a stipend. The hours per week are large. I personally think that your experience with physical chemistry might be a good predictor. The principles in the chemical engineering coursework are much more like P-Chem than organic, inorganic, or analytical. If you supplement those principles with good skills in computations and differential equations, you are ready.

Why Switch to Chemical Engineering? By J. Richard Elliott, Jr., Graduate Coordinator

The best I can do is give you my own perspective on this, which is why I assigned a "by-line" above. I double-majored in Math and Chemistry at a small Liberal Arts college. When it came time for career planning, I could not help but notice that BS chemical engineers earn a lot more than BS chemists or mathematicians. This is probably true for physicists too. At the PhD level it is true that the discrepancy is less, but PhD chemists are generally expected to have post-doc experience and so forth. You could easily be 30 before you are ready to settle into a career as a PhD chemist. Post-doc experience is less common for PhD chemical engineers going to industry, and my immediate plans were more directed at the MS in engineering. I could just about double my salary prospects in two years with the MS route. Then I could re-assess whether to continue grad school in engineering or chemistry, or start my career with a bit of a jump from where I would have been. This put me more in control and I liked that.

Obviously, I stuck it out with the PhD in Chemical Engineering. When you get into the heavy research, the distinctions between majors become blurred and the main concern is the area of specialization. For example, if you specialize in molecular dynamics simulation, like I did, the properties that you compute may be different, but the computational methods are still Newton's Laws. If you specialize in catalysis, you may use a different apparatus, but the questions are largely the same, and may involve substantial application of analytical chemistry. Similar statements apply for biochemical engineering, chemical vapor deposition, materials development, etc. I must admit that there is a bit more emphasis on basic science in graduate work in chemistry or physics. I think the basic sciences generally have neater toys. Chemical Engineering tends to be oriented toward equipment that might be a bit more realistic for industrial applications. But the kind of industrial career you take up after grad school might not be so different, especially 3-5 years after you start.

So switching into Chemical Engineering will cost you 2.5 years to get an MS compared to ~2 years for MS in chemistry, math, or physics. MS salaries are not so different from BS salaries if you stick with the same major and factor in the time spent getting the degree compared to earning a salary for 2 years. So why not hedge your bets by switching to the MS in Chemical Engineering?