Ph.D. Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree (or Philosophical Doctorate) is the highest degree awarded by any university. The Ph.D. program in Chemical Engineering is comprised of 70 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree in Chemical Engineering. A student entering the Ph.D. program who already has a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering may have some of the credit hours for that degree counted towards the 70 hours. Remedial work may be specified for applicants who, in the opinion of the faculty, do not have sufficient background.

Degree Requirements

The award of a Doctor of Philosophy degree indicates that a student has attained mastery of a field and has demonstrated the capacity to perform independent scholarly research. The following degree requirements are mandatory of all doctoral candidates:

  • The Program of Study must be completed with a 3.00 GPA or better for all academic work attempted in Graduate Studies.
  • At least two years of study must be spent at the University of Louisville.
  • One year must be spent in full-time residency (a minimum of 18 hours within a 12-month period or four terms of continuous part-time enrollment).
  • The applicant for a Doctor of Philosophy degree must pass an oral and/or written qualifying examination.
  • Admission to candidacy must not be later than the end of the ninth month prior to the awarding of the degree. Students enter Doctoral Candidacy upon completion of all course work, qualifying exams, required research credit hours and other co-curricular requirements. Students who are enrolled in Doctoral Candidacy are considered full-time students. Enrollment in Doctoral Candidacy status must be continuously maintained year round (i.e. Fall, Spring, and Summer) until the degree is awarded.
  • A dissertation is required of all candidates.
  • All candidates must pass a final oral examination. This is to be a defense of the dissertation and a demonstration of the candidate's mastery of his/her field.
  • Ordinarily the equivalent of three years of full-time graduate study is a minimum. However, the candidate must complete all requirements for the degree within four calendar years after passing the qualifying examination.

For complete details on earning a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, please visit the current graduate catalog.