About the Program
Graduate students in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin conduct groundbreaking research that impacts society, working closely with professors, researchers, and mentors to develop innovative solutions that can be put into practice immediately. And they go on to succeed in a wide variety of career paths including academia, consulting, government, nonprofits, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and startups. The average starting salary after graduation is $100,000. A third of our faculty have founded or co-founded startups in the last decade with technologies such as glucose monitoring, step-and-flash imprint lithography, antibodies therapies for cancer, nanocrystal-based solar cells and reduced fouling membranes for water treatment. In addition to the strong entrepreneurial culture of the city of Austin, the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering has industry connections all over the world. We prepare our students for successful careers through these strong connections and our focused professional development training.
Our elite faculty and outstanding facilities (see About the Department) attract top caliber students. We have a strong mentoring environment and provide a broad education that is driven by our remarkable faculty, who hold coveted teaching awards, recognition by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and membership to the National Academies.
Download the Graduate Program Brochure
During their time in the program, all students complete a minimum of 18 hours of coursework (typically equivalent to 6 courses), serve two semesters as TAs in the department, and present their work as part of a seminar series during their 3rd year. They must write a preliminary research proposal and pass an oral exam before advancing to candidacy. Finally, all students submit dissertations and pass final oral examinations to complete the program. All of these requirements are designed to prepare students for careers in academia or industry, while allowing ample flexibility and time to focus on research. Although our students earn a coursework-equivalent of a master’s degree on the way to their doctorate, our program is a PhD-only program; we do not admit students to pursue a terminal master’s degree.
We fund our students through a combination of Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs), Teaching Assistantships (TAs) and fellowships. All of our students are 100% fully funded, which includes a competitive stipend, tuition, and health insurance. More on funding here.
See what some of our students have to say about the program in the Meet The Students section.
Cockrell School of Engineering
The innovative research at the Cockrell School of Engineering spans a wide variety of disciplines, with advancements that aim to improve lives throughout the world. Our work is collaborative and cutting-edge, and our graduate students are at the forefront of it. Chemical engineering is one of seven departments within the Cockrell School, which houses many cross-disciplinary research projects, programs, and centers, offering a graduate experience that is robust and enriching.
In the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, the $20.5 million in annual research funding supports programs in six broad research areas.
Learn more about the Research Areas in the department
- Advanced Materials, Polymers & Nanotechnology
- Environmental Engineering
- Modeling & Simulation
- Process Engineering