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Graduate Studies in Chemical Engineering

The University of Kentucky offers a rich graduate program in chemical engineering that allows students to immerse themselves in novel research projects across many fields. Reasons you should consider contacting us about graduate studies in chemical engineering include:

  • UK boasts a highly collaborative cross-disciplinary research atmosphere with the Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy, Arts & Sciences and Agriculture, Food and Environment—all within a 10-minute walk of each other.
  • The department also conducts research through the Center for Applied Energy Research, a nationally recognized leader in renewable energy solutions, as well as the Center of Membrane Sciences, UK Superfund Research Center, Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation, Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the Markey Cancer Center, Kentucky’s only NCI-designated Cancer Center.


The Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering offers a Ph.D. (or M.S.) in chemical engineering. In this program, the emphasis is on the Ph.D. degree. Students with strong academic credentials can apply directly for Ph.D. study upon receipt of their bachelor’s degree (B.S.). For students with a prior M.S. degree, coursework credits completed at the graduate level are usually applicable to some portion of the requirements for the Ph.D.

Learn more about our Graduate Programs and how to apply here.

Institutes and Centers

Center of Membrane Science

The Center of Membrane Sciences was established to foster multidisciplinary research on biological and synthetic membranes and their interface. The center provides scientific and technological leadership and facilities to develop basic research in a new generation of membranes and to promote partnerships fundamental to knowledge – and technology transfer.

The UK center has received international recognition as a focal point of research among biological and synthetic membrane experts. The center faculty from the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Medicine, and Human Environmental Systems comprise multidisciplinary research teams who combine to develop new areas of integrative membrane research and to respond to intriguing challenges of membrane sciences and technology.

Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER)

CAER is an energy technology research facility whose broad mission is to conduct basic and applied research designed to generate information on Kentucky energy resources; ascertain the associated environmental impacts; and produce, test and evaluate new technologies. Current activities include coal cleaning, catalysis, emissions control, separation technologies, coal combustion byproducts research, and activated carbon research. CAER’s industrial support group works with industry to solve industrial problems through the utilization of the center’s analytical services expertise and facilities. The Center for Applied Energy Research each year sponsors seminars by distinguished experts on current scientific topics of interest to the academic and research communities.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Traineeship Program

A new National Science Foundation Graduate Research Traineeship (NRT) program is available at UK, aimed at fully integrating research and professional skill development within an inclusive, multidisciplinary and supportive academy. Scholarships will be available to selected students. 

Food, energy and water systems face numerous challenges in Kentucky, across the nation and throughout the globe. New approaches are needed to ensure adequate food supplies for increasing populations, to foster the development of sustainable and carbon-neutral sources of energy and to improve the management of water resources. This program will combine graduate student training with cutting-edge research in mine land remediation, water treatment, crop production and power generation and will help address the need for innovators in food, energy and water systems.

For further information, visit the NRT website: www.nrt.uky.edu