About the Program

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 program ranked No. 7 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). And all of our chemical engineering Ph.D. students are guaranteed full funding.

So, what are you waiting for? See yourself at UT and apply today.


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Through a sustained effort to strengthen diversity, provide equitable opportunities, and develop an inclusive environment within the Texas ChE community, we have developed specific actions, communications, policies, and processes that we strive toward. Click here to learn more about our DEI commitments and goals.


Graduate Program Snapshot

  • 100% of our graduate students receive full funding, including tuition, health insurance, and a competitive stipend ($30,909/year for AY 21-22)
  • 1 in 2 receive additional fellowships to offset living expenses, on top guaranteed full funding
  • 26 National Science Foundation fellowship students
  • 190 current enrolled graduate students
  • 25-35 new Ph.D. students enroll annually
  • 50% of our incoming class are women
  • Our students come from 25+ different countries

We Are Community-Focused, Family-Friendly

  • Academic milestone extensions for family needs
  • Access to lactation rooms on-site and the UT Child Development Center
  • 80+ engineering student organizations including groups with a focus on diversity, representation and equity, support of students with diverse backgrounds, 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

Interdisciplinary Programs

  • About 20% of our graduate students have more than one faculty adviser. This collaborative and flexible approach lets 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

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.

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.

  • #1 Best Place to Live in the US – U.S. News & World Report
  • #1 Best Place in the U.S. to Start a Business –Inc
  • #3 Best Performing Economy – Business Insider

Download the Graduate Program Brochure

Image of the front cover of the graduate recruitment brochure for the chemical engineering program at UT Austin

Click this button to download a PDF of the graduate program brochure

Program Requirements

Group of graduate students in a research labDuring 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 can earn 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.

Screen shot from Facebook of program coordinator, faculty advisor, and two graduate students seated at a table, discussing the graduate studies program.

Ask Me Anything with Current Graduate Students

See what some of our students have to say about the program in the Meet The Students section. Or follow us on social media to keep up-to-date with the department and get to know our community. In the fall of 2019, we held a Facebook Live AMA with graduate students Sean and Kimi and prior graduate recruiting advisor, Dr. Lydia Contreras. Check it out on Facebook here. Or download it or view it in browser here. Learn more about upcoming Recruitment Events like this one.

Cockrell School of Engineering


Two researchers in lab coats and googles examine the flourescent powdery contents of a vialThe 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.


Research Areas

In the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, the $20.5 million in annual research funding supports programs in six broad research areas.

Learn about some highlights of research being done by faculty and graduate students in our department

Read more about the Research Areas in the department

Download our Faculty Research Matrix

learn the interdisciplinary areas in which our faculty conduct research

Image of Faculty 1 pager

Click here to download our faculty images and research area matrix

Interested to Learn More?

Click on the links below to learn about


Recruitment Events

Graduate Funding Opportunities


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