Best Doctorate in Chemical Engineering Programs

Workers with doctorates in chemical engineering can earn lucrative salaries. Learn more about the best online and on-campus programs.

portrait of Thomas Broderick
by Thomas Broderick

Published July 28, 2022

Edited by Amelia Buckley
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The engineering field offers many specializations, including chemical engineering. Chemical engineers research new manufacturing processes, test equipment, and ensure workers' safety. Some professionals with a doctorate in chemical engineering also perform original research.

Several top U.S. universities offer on-campus or online doctorate in chemical engineering programs. Most degree-seekers need 4-6 years to graduate. Tuition ranges from approximately $8,000-$55,000 as of July 2022.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

When deciding whether to attend graduate school, learners should consider that tuition makes up just one part of a program's cost of attendance. Other typical expenses include fees, textbooks, and technology. Fortunately, some online programs feature cost savings compared to in-person programs.

Although a doctorate degree can be expensive, many chemical engineering careers pay well above the average salary for all occupations in the U.S. of $58,260. Qualifying for a lucrative job may make taking on debt less of a financial burden for some individuals.

Best Accredited Doctorate in Chemical Engineering Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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Public School Programs
Accredited University Grad Tuition Program Information

Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina

In-State | $19,600

Out-of-State | $22,050

Admission Rate | 51%

CUNY City College

New York City, New York

In-State | $11,090

Out-of-State | $20,520

Admission Rate | 46%

CUNY Graduate School and University Center

New York City, New York

In-State | $9,930

Out-of-State | $23,160

Admission Rate | 43%

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

In-State | $9,684

Out-of-State | $24,116

Admission Rate | 36%

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Atlanta, Georgia

In-State | $14,064

Out-of-State | $29,140

Admission Rate | 21%

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa

In-State | $9,758

Out-of-State | $24,720

Admission Rate | 92%

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

In-State | $18,858

Out-of-State | $37,056

Admission Rate | 71%

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Raleigh, North Carolina

In-State | $9,095

Out-of-State | $26,421

Admission Rate | 45%

Ohio State University-Main Campus

Columbus, Ohio

In-State | $11,560

Out-of-State | $35,144

Admission Rate | 54%

Purdue University-Main Campus

West Lafayette, Indiana

In-State | $9,208

Out-of-State | $28,010

Admission Rate | 60%

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

New Brunswick, New Jersey

In-State | $17,736

Out-of-State | $30,144

Admission Rate | 61%

Texas A & M University-College Station

College Station, Texas

In-State | $6,677

Out-of-State | $18,700

Admission Rate | 58%

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas

In-State | $11,998

Out-of-State | $22,966

Admission Rate | 32%

Tulane University of Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

In-State | $54,918

Out-of-State | $54,918

Admission Rate | 13%

University of California-Berkeley

Berkeley, California

In-State | $11,422

Out-of-State | $26,544

Admission Rate | 16%

University of California-Davis

Davis, California

In-State | $11,422

Out-of-State | $26,544

Admission Rate | 39%

University of California-Irvine

Irvine, California

In-State | $11,442

Out-of-State | $26,544

Admission Rate | 27%

University of California-Los Angeles

Los, Angeles, California

In-State | $11,442

Out-of-State | $26,544

Admission Rate | 12%

University of California-Riverside

Riverside, California

In-State | $11,442

Out-of-State | $26,544

Admission Rate | 57%

University of California-San Diego

La Jolla, California

In-State | $11,442

Out-of-State | $26,544

Admission Rate | 31%

University of California-Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California

In-State | $11,442

Out-of-State | $26,544

Admission Rate | 30%

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut

In-State | $16,300

Out-of-State | $38,212

Admission Rate | 49%

University of Delaware

Newark, Delaware

In-State | $34,164

Out-of-State | $34,164

Admission Rate | 71%

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

In-State | $10,770

Out-of-State | $27,335

Admission Rate | 37%

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, Illinois

In-State | $14,997

Out-of-State | $28,404

Admission Rate | 59%

University of Maryland-College Park

College Park, Maryland

In-State | $13,158

Out-of-State | $29,250

Admission Rate | 44%

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

In-State | $23,890

Out-of-State | $48,204

Admission Rate | 23%

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota

In-State | $17,580

Out-of-State | $27,204

Admission Rate | 57%

University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia, Missouri

In-State | $9,264

Out-of-State | $25,363

Admission Rate | 81%

University of South Florida-Main Campus

Tampa, Florida

In-State | $8,350

Out-of-State | $19,048

Admission Rate | 48%

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

In-State | $7,211

Out-of-State | $25,455

Admission Rate | 62%

University of Virginia-Main Campus

Charlottesville, Virginia

In-State | $16,578

Out-of-State | $27,770

Admission Rate | 24%

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

Seattle, Washington

In-State | $18,198

Out-of-State | $32,439

Admission Rate | 52%

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

In-State | $10,728

Out-of-State | $24,054

Admission Rate | 54%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, Virginia

In-State | $13,701

Out-of-State | $27,614

Admission Rate | 70%
Private School Programs
Accredited University Grad Tuition Program Information

Brigham Young University

Provo, Utah

In-State | $7,290

Out-of-State | $7,290

Admission Rate | 67%

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

In-State | $45,037

Out-of-State | $45,037

Admission Rate | 15%

Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, Ohio

In-State | $46,524

Out-of-State | $46,524

Admission Rate | 27%

Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, New York

In-State | $47,600

Out-of-State | $47,600

Admission Rate | 5%

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

In-State | $29,500

Out-of-State | $29,500

Admission Rate | 11%

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

In-State | $55,350

Out-of-State | $55,350

Admission Rate | 11%

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

In-State | $27,000

Out-of-State | $27,000

Admission Rate | 32%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

In-State | $53,450

Out-of-State | $53,450

Admission Rate | 7%

New York University

New York, New York

In-State | $33,408

Out-of-State | $33,408

Admission Rate | 16%

Northeastern University

Boston, Massasschusetts

In-State | $24,793

Out-of-State | $24,793

Admission Rate | 18%

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

In-State | $56,067

Out-of-State | $56,067

Admission Rate | 9%

Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

In-State | $51,870

Out-of-State | $51,870

Admission Rate | 6%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, New York

In-State | $54,000

Out-of-State | $54,000

Admission Rate | 47%

Rice University

Houston, Texas

In-State | $48,791

Out-of-State | $48,791

Admission Rate | 9%

Stanford University

Stanford, California

In-State | $52,479

Out-of-State | $52,479

Admission Rate | 4%

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, New Jersey

In-State | $36,680

Out-of-State | $36,680

Admission Rate | 40%

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York

In-State | $38,880

Out-of-State | $38,880

Admission Rate | 44%

Tufts University

Medford, Massasschusetts

In-State | $52,724

Out-of-State | $52,724

Admission Rate | 15%

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana

In-State | $54,908

Out-of-State | $54,908

Admission Rate | 16%

University of Rochester

Rochester, New York

In-State | $51,705

Out-of-State | $51,705

Admission Rate | 30%

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

In-State | $46,272

Out-of-State | $46,272

Admission Rate | 11%

University of Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma

In-State | $22,896

Out-of-State | $22,896

Admission Rate | 36%

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee

In-State | $48,624

Out-of-State | $48,624

Admission Rate | 9%

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, Massasschusetts

In-State | $28,188

Out-of-State | $28,188

Admission Rate | 49%

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

In-State | $43,300

Out-of-State | $43,300

Admission Rate | 6%

Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How We Rank Schools

Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of programs to produce our annual Best Doctorate in Chemical Engineering ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 60 schools that qualify for our ranking, listed in alphabetical order. The programs in our list are based on the following criteria.

The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chemical Engineering Programs

Is a doctorate in chemical engineering worth it?

Depending on your career goals and interests, it can be. Scientists with a doctorate in chemical engineering perform research tackling the field's most significant challenges and questions. These professionals may experience more benefits, such as feeling great pride in their accomplishments and exploring new career opportunities.

Applicants to doctorate in chemical engineering programs should not overlook the advantages of earning their degree online. Fully accredited online programs have the same academic rigor as on-campus degrees. Other benefits may include a lower cost of attendance and a flexible learning style.

What can I do with a doctorate in chemical engineering?

A doctorate in chemical engineering prepares graduates for many career paths, such as postsecondary teaching. Professionals in a tenure-track position teach classes, mentor students, and serve on academic committees. Other responsibilities include performing original research and publishing the results.

Career paths outside of academia include process engineering. These professionals make industrial processes more efficient by analyzing the relationship between equipment, chemical interactions, and system performance.

Doctorate in chemical engineering degree-seekers can explore these and other job options with the help of a career advisor. Advisors may recommend completing an internship or taking career interest surveys.

How long does it take to get a doctorate in chemical engineering?

Typical full-time students graduate in less than six years. A master's degree in chemical engineering lets some learners skip introductory graduate coursework. Degree-seekers with only an engineering bachelor's may need longer to graduate.

Students in online doctorate in chemical engineering programs must take classes such as molecular thermodynamics, applied mathematics, and chemical kinetics. Students then take a qualifying examination. Those who pass move on to their dissertation.

Doctorate in chemical engineering students instruct undergraduate classes. This experience prepares them for careers in academia. Degree-seekers graduate once they successfully defend their dissertation in front of a committee.

How much money can I make with a doctorate in chemical engineering?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that postsecondary engineering teachers earned a median salary of $104,940 in May 2021. This figure exceeds what many teachers in other disciplines made. Top-paying states for professionals included California, Illinois, and Rhode Island.

The average salary for process engineers exceeded $75,000 in June 2022, according to Payscale. The highest earners make more than $105,000. In-demand skills that may increase salary potential include technical analysis, engineering design, and risk management.

Online doctorate in chemical engineering students should consider how their specialty can affect salary potential. The BLS reports that the best paying employers for chemical engineers include engineering services firms and petroleum production companies.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a doctorate in chemical engineering?

The BLS reports that the highest-paying jobs for workers with a doctorate in chemical engineering include chemical engineering. Professionals in the engineering services sector earned a median salary of $152,430 in May 2021. Those specializing in coal product manufacturing made $126,780.

Other lucrative career opportunities can be found in research science. Payscale data shows that top earners in this profession made more than $101,000 per year as of July 2022. The latest salary data suggests that employers provide regular raises to mid-career and experienced professionals.

Degree-seekers and recent graduates make themselves more competitive for lucrative jobs by earning industry certifications. The National Certification Commission in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering awards certifications to professionals with at least a bachelor's degree.

Feature Image: Hinterhaus Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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