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Graduate Degrees

The Department of Chemical Engineering provides graduate programs at the Master's and Doctoral levels. A general description of these programs follows. For a more detail on the graduate program and degree requirements, please see our latest handbook located below.

GS Handbook_2013-2014 [.pdf]

GS Handbook 2012-2013 [.pdf]

NOTE: All students applying to the graduate program in Chemical Engineering at McGill University must have secured a research supervisor before they can be admitted!

Doctorate (PhD)

Those with a Master's degree in chemical engineering from a recognized institution are admitted to the PhD program. This requires the completion of several graduate courses and a research thesis. Those holding a Master's degree with minimal course requirements or in a field other than chemical engineering may be required to take additional courses. The residence requirement is 3 years, with most students completing the PhD in 4-5 years. Successful candidates are awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.

Applicants with a Bachelor's degree who wish to pursue a PhD without completing a Master’s degree should apply for admission to the MEng (thesis option) program, indicating that their ultimate goal is a PhD. The candidate has two options to study at the PhD level:

  • After one year at the Masters level, students performing at an outstanding level in research and course work may petition to fast-track to the PhD program without the submission of a Master's thesis.
  • At their request, applicants with exceptionally high academic standing and outstanding research potential will be considered for direct admission to the PhD program (certain conditions apply).

Master's (MEng) degrees

All Master's programs within the Department of Chemical Engineering comprise coursework and research. Opportunities exist for graduate students who want to focus on independent research, and gain experience in applying the scientific method. Students who want a traditional classroom-based education can follow a program focused on coursework. The programs have evolved to accommodate students with diverse scientific backgrounds and career goals. However, the sole requirement that remains constant is academic excellence. Note that applicants who already hold a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering cannot enter our Master's program.

MEng with research focus

The "Thesis Option" Master's degree emphasizes independent research. In general, this program requires the completion of an intensive research project performed under the direction of an academic staff member. The research is summarized in a formal thesis submitted at the end of the program. Also required are a research proposal, presentation of a seminar, and twelve (12) credits of graduate-level courses. Most students complete the MEng thesis option requirements in 20 months, earning a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree.

MEng with coursework focus

The "Project Option" Master's degree is designed for students who want to focus on coursework. A total of forty-five (45) course credits must be completed. Students are free to choose the courses, but approximately 20% of the courses chosen must form a coherent "area of concentration" that enables the student to specialize in a desired area. Exposure to independent research is achieved through a research project. While this work must be carried out under the supervision of an academic staff member, no formal thesis is required.  Similarly to the MEng thesis option, students usually complete the degree requirements in 20 months, earning a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree. There is no distinction between the MEng degrees granted under the thesis and project options.

There is also a specialized version of the project option available in environmental engineering.