The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at The University of Iowa offers graduate courses leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The department follows the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.

Prospective graduate students must apply for admission to the Graduate College.  To apply, please visit Graduate Admissions. The priority deadline for fall admission is January 15th.

Questions can be directed to

Applying to Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Iowa

Applicants must provide the following when applying:

  • Completed application form. There is a $60 application fee for domestic students and a $100 application fee for international students.  Please see the Application Fee Waiver section for fee waiver opportunities.
  • Unofficial transcript(s).  If admitted, official transcripts will be required before enrollment.  For international records, all records should bear the original stamp or seal of the institution and the signature of a school official.  Documents not in English must be accompanied by a complete, literal, English translation, certified by the issuing institution.  
  • Official GRE scores from Educational Testing Services (the University's institutional code is 6681). There is no rigid GRE minimum requirement though most of our students have a combined GRE score above 310 with an analytical writing score of at least 3.0. UPDATE: GRE requirement has been removed for the 2022 application cycle. 
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Students whose native language is not English will be required to submit TOEFL scores. The minimum requirement for the TOEFL iBT is a total score of 81. 

The department grants admission for graduate study to applicants who have a B.S. degree in chemical engineering, with satisfactory grades, from a recognized U.S. college or university. Graduates from foreign universities also may be accepted, depending on evaluation of their records. Admission to the graduate program requires a grade-point average of at least 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale. Applicants who do not meet these requirements may be granted conditional admission by the graduate admissions committee.

If you would like to know more about our graduate program in chemical and biochemical engineering at The University of Iowa, please contact Syed Mubeen, Director of Graduate Admissions.

Application fee waivers are available for students that meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Must be applying for PhD program
  • Must have started the application process

If you are eligible for an application fee waiver, please contact to receive a fee waiver token.

A select number of application fee waivers may be available for international applicants who graduated from a recognized U.S. college or university.  Please contact for more information.

The University of Iowa Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering frequently accepts students from degree programs other than Chemical Engineering, such as Chemistry, Biological Engineering, Environmental Science, and several other disciplines. The small size of the department allows us to work with these students to address any background knowledge required in chemical engineering to succeed in graduate-level coursework and research. In some cases, background undergraduate courses are required, which typically do not carry credit toward a graduate degree.

The University of Iowa Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering provides for thesis and non-thesis Master of Science programs, as well as a 5-year BS/MS program.

Master of Science with Thesis. For students in the M.S. thesis track, the students are awarded graduate research or teaching assistantships and work with a research advisor and committee toward completion of the thesis. M.S. thesis students complete a minimum of 24 semester hours of approved core and elective courses in advanced chemical and biochemical engineering and related subjects, and a minimum of 6 semester hours of thesis research.

Master of Science, Non-Thesis. Students on the non-thesis M.S. track complete a coursework masters based on successful completion of 30 semester hours of approved coursework. Non-thesis M.S. students are not typically awarded assistantships.

Both the thesis and non-thesis M.S. programs typically require 2 years of study. Contact the Department for applicability of courses taken in the University of Iowa Saturday and Evening Class Program, and from institutions other than the University of Iowa.

Five year BS/MS Program. The University of Iowa instituted in 2007 a 5 year BS/MS “fast track” program allowing University of Iowa Chemical and Biochemical Engineering students to receive both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from the University of Iowa through one additional year of study, rather than the two years typically required by a full time stand-alone Master of Science program. This may be attractive to students who are interested in product research, development, and design. For more information on our BS/MS program, please contact David Murhammer, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The Doctor of Philosophy is granted primarily on the basis of achievement rather than on the accumulation of semester hours. However, candidates usually must complete three academic years in residence, or two years if they already hold a recognized master's degree. This generally is interpreted as a minimum of 72 semester hours of graduate credit in residence.

There is no foreign language requirement for either the M.S. or the Ph.D. degree.

The requirements for all M.S. degrees include a final examination, which may be oral or written or both. The Ph.D. comprehensive exam is a defense of a research proposal, requiring both a written proposal and oral defense. These exams may be repeated. All Ph.D. candidates are also required to take a final oral examination, the thesis defense. The rules for the dissertation are mandated by the Graduate College.

The Graduate Admissions Office notifies applicants of action taken on their applications. Correspondence regarding admissions should be addressed to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

A number of fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships are available to Ph.D. and Masters with Thesis students. Applicants who would like to receive a graduate stipend should first apply for admission and then request an Application for Graduate Awards form from the Office of Graduate Admissions. The completed form and a letter summarizing the applicant's special qualification for an appointment should be sent to:

Director of Admissions
Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
103 S. Capitol Street
The University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA 52242-1219

Regular appointments are made before April of each year, but applications are accepted throughout the year. The period of eligibility for assistantships normally is two years for M.S. with Thesis.  All appointees must adhere to University of Iowa personnel guidelines and must have approval from their faculty advisor and/or their department chair for all absences.

The application fee is $60 for domestic students and $100 for international students. The fee is payable by Discover, MasterCard, or Visa.  A number of application fee waivers are available.  Please contact for more information about application fee waivers.

Information about fees and housing costs is available from the Office of Graduate Admissions.

All PhD students receive full financial support in the form of research and teaching assistantship stipends, in addition to a full-tuition scholarship (worth approximately $10,000/year) and benefits, including health and dental care. This offer is renewable for the duration of your studies, assuming satisfactory progress toward your doctoral degree.