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EXPLORE NORTHEASTERN
PhD Chemical Engineering

PhD in Chemical Engineering

Overview

The graduate program in chemical engineering offers students the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research that tackles pressing challenges facing our society and our planet in areas such as biomedicine, energy, security and sustainability. Meanwhile, students pursuing graduate-level coursework develop an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles of chemical engineering and gain expertise in modern topics in the field through select elective courses. The overarching goal of this rich research and educational experience is to mentor and to equip our students to become future leaders in engineering and science, while simultaneously promoting scholarly achievement for both the faculty and students.

Innovative Curriculum

Doctoral Candidates are able to select thesis topics from a diverse range of faculty research interests, spanning two strategic research foci in Advanced Materials and Biological Engineering. With a premier location in downtown Boston, research in the department leverages the wealth of collaborations with neighboring universities, hospitals, medical centers and industry. New or prospective graduate students can learn about ongoing research topics from individual faculty members, faculty web sites and graduate student seminars. Graduate student seminars, where our students present the results of their research, are held on a regular basis and provide an interactive forum for learning and exchanging ideas.

The PhD programs’ student learning outcomes are:

  • The ability to use basic engineering concepts flexibly in a variety of contexts.
  • Ability to formulate a research plan.
  • Ability to communicate orally a research plan.
  • Ability to conduct independent research.

Experiential Learning

Northeastern combines rigorous academics with experiential learning and research to prepare students for real world engineering challenges, include professional experience with the co-op and an internship. The Cooperative Education Program, also known as a “co-op,” is one of the largest and most innovative in the world, and Northeastern is one of only a few that offers a Co-op Program for Graduate Students. Through this program students gain industry experience in a wide variety of organizations, from large companies to entrepreneurial start-ups, while helping to finance their education. Students can also participate in the university’s Experiential PhD program.

phd student works in Mugar lab squirting chemicals into test tube

Program Contacts


Richard West
Associate Professor & Associate Chair of Graduate Studies,  Chemical Engineering

development of detailed microkinetic models for complex reacting systems; automating the discovery and calculation of reaction pathways; heterogeneous catalysis

Academic Advising

For support with academic questions, contact the student services representative assigned to this program.

Admissions & Aid

Ready to take the next step? Review degree requirements to see courses needed to complete this degree. Then, explore ways to fund your education. Finally, review admissions information to see our deadlines and gather the materials you need to Apply.

Recent News

ChE PhD Student, Zach Rogers, joins Northeastern’s NSF I-Corps Program

Zach Rogers, a Chemical Engineering PhD student in Prof. Sidi Bencherif’s Lab, was selected to join Northeastern University’s NSF I-Corps Program with his proposal, “Hypoxia-inducing cryogels as a fast and inexpensive technology for hypoxic cell culture conditions”.

David Medina, a doctoral student at Northeastern, is using bacteria to produce nanoparticles that are particularly effective at killing whatever type of cell was used to create them, including strains of bacteria that are resistant to traditional antibiotics. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Treating Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

ChE Professor Thomas Webster and his colleagues are using bacteria to develop nanoparticles that will combat antibiotic-resistant infections.

ChE PhD students Bahram Saleh & Caterina Bartomeu Garcia are Finalists for Graduate Student Competition in Microbiointerface Research

Chemical Engineering PhD students Bahram Saleh and Caterina Bartomeu Garcia, from Professor Thomas Webster’s nanomedicine lab, have been called finalists for the upcoming AIChE 2019 annual meeting podium graduate student award competition in  Microbiointerface Research.  The students will be judged for the quality of the presentations and research on microbial interaction with biomedical interfaces.

AAAS Student E-Poster Honorable Mention

ChE PhD Student Ada Vernet Crua recently won an Honorable Mention in the Medicine and Public Health category during the 2019 AAAS Student E-Poster Competition. Her poster will be published in the next issue of Science journal.