Engineering, Chemical Engineering Concentration, PhD

School of Engineering

Program Description:

Chemical engineers are at the forefront of biotechnology and biomedicine, semiconductor manufacturing and data storage devices, and advanced materials. Chemical engineering is also widely applied to environmental protection and remediation, process development and safety, and hazardous waste management. 

The Chemical Engineering undergraduate program at the University of New Mexico offers broad training in the fundamentals of mathematics, physics, chemistry and the engineering sciences. These are integrated with the chemical engineering “core” which includes thermodynamics, heat, momentum and mass transport, chemical reaction engineering, design, and process control. More than half of our undergraduate students participate in the cutting-edge research projects of our faculty, sometimes leading to opportunities to travel and present at conferences. 

Among the exciting research areas, UNM chemical engineers apply principles of biology to address drug delivery for cancer treatment and understand the mechanisms of degenerative diseases, and develop new materials for tissue repair, medical diagnosis, and next-generation energy technology.

This research is conducted in well-funded programs through the Center for Biomedical Engineering, Center for Emerging Energy Technology, and the Center for Microengineered Materials.

The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

  • A minimum of 48 hrs of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree (excluding dissertation hrs)
    • At least 24 hours of coursework applied to the degree must be completed at UNM
    • At least 18 hours must be completed after formal admission to the doctoral program (or approval of Change of Degree Form for students continuing from the MS).
    • 24 hours maximum credit applied to a master’s degree, which may include up to 6 hours of thesis credit
  • 18 hours dissertation
  • Significant milestones:
    • Qualifying Exam: The qualifying exam in chemical engineering consists of a written and oral exam and is required for all students to proceed in the doctoral program. The Exam should be taken at the first opportunity after completing the required core courses.
    • Comprehensive Exam
    • Dissertation defense
    • Submission of completed dissertation

More Information


Admission Requirements:

  • Domestic and International applications should apply to the University online (

  • The online application process will guide you through which materials are required by the University to finalize your application.

  • The department also requires GRE General Test scores, a Letter of Intent, and three letters of recommendation.

  • The Letter of Intent should briefly describe your experience and objectives in undertaking graduate study in Chemical Engineering and can be submitted through the online system.

  • GRE scores and TOEFL scores (for international applicants) are required and should be submitted to the University directly by ETS (Institution code = 4845; do department code is needed). During the online process, please report your scores unofficially for review.

  • Recommendation letters should be submitted directly by your recommenders through the online system. Specific directions are included within the application system.


SemesterPriority DeadlineFinal Deadline
FallJanuary 15July 15 (Domestic)
March 1 (International)

SpringJuly 15November 10 (Domestic)
August 1 (International)

SummerApril 29 (Domestic)
January 1 (International)
April 29 (Domestic)
January 1 (International)

Apply by the priority deadline for best consideration for reserach assistantships or other departmental financial aid.


Career Opportunities:

 Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.  A bachelor's degree is the minimum formal education required. However, many employers also require graduate school and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree). 

Contact Information:

Jocelyn White: Program Advisement Coordinator
(505) 277-5606

Sang Han: Professor and Graduate Advisor
(505) 277-3118