Welcome to
the McKetta Department of
Chemical Engineering


Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Program


Awarded in Scholarships


Graduate Chemical Engineering Program


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What Starts Here Changes the World

Imagine what doors will open to you when you take on graduate studies in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Whether you aspire to join academia, work in national laboratories or industry, or launch your own startup – the possibilities start here.

As part of a undergraduate and graduate programs ranked among the top 10 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, enhance your technical and teamwork skills. Learn from an award-winning, world-class faculty community. Shape groundbreaking research that addresses challenges in energy, human health, sustainability and more. Engage in collaborative partnerships, advance world-changing ideas and join a vibrant community of inspiring, focused and innovative engineers.

Students select UT for its academic excellence, its commitment to research and teaching, and its location in the heart of a city that is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live, study, and start a career (see About the Department). 

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.

We Are Community-Focused, Family-Friendly

  • Our students come from 25+ different countries
  • Academic milestone extensions for family needs
  • Access to lactation rooms on-site and the UT Child Development Center
  • 80+ engineering student organizations including groups dedicated to minority interests, the LGBTQ community, and women engineers

World-Class Faculty

  • 31 full-time faculty
  • 100% of our faculty have been recognized with prestigious or coveted national or international awards in research, teaching, career accomplishments, or all three.
  • 85 patents issued in the past five years
  • 84% of faculty work in two or more research areas
  • 1/3 of faculty hold dual appointments in UT departments including chemistry, physics, pharmacy, mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering
  • 1/3 of faculty have founded or co-founded startups in the last decade in fields that include biotechnology, medical therapy, diagnostics and water treatment.

Interdisciplinary Programs

  • About 20% of our graduate students have more than one faculty adviser. This collaborative and flexible approach let’s students tailor their research projects to areas they are passionate about.
  • 23 cross-disciplinary centers and programs
  • 25+ specialized degree portfolios
  • Students have access to classes and resources across campus, including the Dell Medical School, McCombs School of Business, and the School of Law.

Career Paths

Our graduates succeed in a wide variety of career paths:

  • Academia
  • Government
  • Consulting
  • Industry
  • $100,000 average starting salary after graduation
  • 125 alumni currently academic faculty

Professional development support

  • Certificate in Engineering Education to prepare future faculty
  • The Austin Technology Incubator for innovation commercialization
  • Professional development workshops
  • Student travel funding

Welcome to Austin

Austin, Texas, the state’s vibrant capital city, is one of the nation’s major tech hubs with booming startups and large companies calling the city home, including Dell, Whole Foods, Google, National Instruments, Silicon Labs, Freescale Semiconductor, and others. Austin boasts SXSW, BBQ, and a sunny, temperate climate year-round.


Research Areas

  • woman at desk holding piece of film Advanced Materials, Polymers & Nanotechnology

    Design and synthesis of inorganic and polymeric materials at the molecular level to achieve desirable properties for a wide range of applications

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  • person in lab wearing gloves holding pipette Biotechnology

    Applying chemical engineering principles for the development of biochemical processes and biomedical applications

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  • man in lab wearing orange glasses holding light Energy

    The development of photovoltaics, catalysts for fuels from sunlight, and electrical energy generation and storage systems engineering for energy efficiency

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  • three people in lab coats looking at beaker Environmental Engineering

    Programs to understand the fundamental science and engineering of air and water pollution, and to develop data for informed policy decisions. Process development for CO2 capture and sequestration

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  • woman and man looking and pointing at computer screen Modeling & Simulation

    The development and application of multiscale models and high performance computational simulations spanning atomic to continuum time and length scales

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  • close up of hands holding computer chip plugged in Process Engineering

    Design, modeling, optimization, and control of petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and microelectronic processes

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Our Immune Systems Blanket the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein with Antibodies

In the journal Science, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin describe the finding, which represents good news for designing the next generation of vaccines to protect against variants of the virus or future emerging coronaviruses.

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John Goodenough Nobel prize
RT @UTAustin: “No matter where you came from, what you believe or where you go from here, you are part of this great university’s story, an…


New Way to Pull Lithium from Water Could Increase Supply, Efficiency

Anyone using a cellphone, laptop or electric vehicle depends on lithium. The element is in tremendous demand. And although the supply of lithium around the world is plentiful, getting access to it and extracting it remains a challenging and inefficient process.

An interdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists is developing a way to extract lithium from contaminated water. New research, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, could simplify the process of extracting lithium from aqueous brines, potentially create a much larger supply and reduce costs of the element for batteries to power electric vehicles, electronics and a wide range of other devices.

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solar panels

New Grant for Photovoltaics Research Center Will Support Net Zero Push

SPF2050 is led by Brian Korgel, a professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering's McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering and director of UT's Energy Institute. Formerly known as the Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics, the center changed its name to reflect its broad mission to support industry and government partners in reaching their ambitious energy sustainability net-zero energy goals.

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Corrinne and her father, Craig, now share a unique experience that few father-daughter duos can tout: they are both graduates of the Cockrell School’s McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering.

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National Academy of Engineering Elects Alumna, Dr. Rachel Segalman

Membership in the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest professional distinctions for an engineer, honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research and practice, including pioneering of new and developing fields of technology and making major advancements in engineering. In 2021, Rachel Segalman joins 106 new members and 23 foreign members elected.

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