Broadly, our department’s research can be grouped into three areas:

Chemistry of Life

Chemistry of Energy

Chemistry of the Environment

Research interests of many, if not all, faculty overlap into more than one of these areas. You can find more information about specific faculty here; we encourage you to explore their research and publications. If you have specific questions, reach out to the faculty directly and/or to grad students in those labs!

What does your 1st year as a grad student look like? 

Well, to be honest, it looks a bit like undergrad, juggling classes and a research rotation for the first 2 quarters. Then you officially join a group in the spring (woohoo!) and continue to take classes. In the summer, full-time research and preparing for quals. 


Math (required)

Thermodynamics (required)


Research rotation


Fluids (required)

Spectroscopy (required)


Research rotation


Kinetics (required)

Biochemical Engineering (required)


Join a lab & do research!


Research & quals prep!

Qualifying exam at the end of summer

Qualifying Exams

Don’t be afraid. Qualifying exams are taken at the end of your 1st year. It’s a 20-minute research presentation followed a 20-minute Q&A with 3-4 faculty. You’re tested on your understanding of the core ChemE concepts (covered by the core courses) as they apply to your research project.

And after the 1st year, what’s expected?

A poster presentation in your 3rd year. And preparing your thesis! Including meeting with your thesis reading committee at least once, writing the darn thing, giving the oral presentation in a public portion(~1 hour), and answering questions in a private portion with your committee (~1-2 hours).