Course Selection for First Year Graduate Students

New graduate students receive individualized advising on course selection for the first semester. For students entering with master's level coursework in chemical engineering, the advisor helps to determine which of our required courses may be met by previous work.

Our Department has a long history of successful graduate students entering our program with degrees in chemistry, physics, atmospheric science, environmental science, materials science, biological engineering, polymer chemistry, and other areas. We also, like many programs, have students entering graduate school after employment. For students coming into the department without a chemical engineering degree, or who have been away from courses for a while, refresher course work may be needed. We work with students to minimize coursework (to allow flexibility to pursue research) while making sure to cover key fundamentals.

Incoming students have formal advising appointments right before classes start in August. In addition to consulting the course list below, we highly encourage incoming students to contact Alec Scranton, Director of Graduate Studies, to discuss by email, phone, Zoom, or in person.

Course Offerings

CBE:5104/5105 Introduction to Literature Review & Technical/Proposal Writing

This is a course on research methods with a major emphasis on writing and oral presentation of technical reviews, literature reviews, and research proposals
Next scheduled offering: Spring 2023
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Fiegel
Representative syllabus

CBE:5110 Intermediate Thermodynamics

Fundamental principles of thermodynamics as applied to phase equilibrium; properties of fluids, first and second law, variable composition systems, behavior of real fluids, mathematical techniques for solution thermodynamics. 
Next scheduled offering: Spring 2024
Instructor: Dr. Charles Stanier
Representative syllabus

CBE:5115 Transport Phenomenon

This is a course on mass, momentum, and heat transfer using the classic Bird, Stewart, and Lightfoot (2nd Edition) textbook entitled "Transport Phenomenon."
Next scheduled offering: Spring 2023
Instructor: Dr. David Rethwisch
Representative syllabus

CBE:5120 Data Science in Chem & Engr Systems

Theory and application of numerical methods and data driven algorithms towards understanding chemical processes; scientific computing in Python programming language; numerical solutions to differential equations; nonlinear and constrained optimization; data preprocessing and visualization; dimensionality reduction and clustering; supervised machine learning.
Next scheduled offering: Fall 2022
Instructor: Dr. Joe Gomes

ENGR:7270 Engineering Ethics

Required during your first fall semester at the University of Iowa, this course introduces students to practical issues associated with being a responsible scientist; topics in responsible conduct of research in engineering and the sciences using case studies, presentations, and discussions with visiting speakers.
Next scheduled offering: Fall 2022
Instructor: Dr. Gregory Carmichael

Our students are required to have one course in chemical kinetics from the following list.

CBE:3205 Introduction to Biochemical Engineering

Biochemistry, cellular biology, recombinant DNA and hybridoma technologies; emphasis on engineering aspects of biotechnology, including enzyme kinetics, cell growth kinetics, transport phenomena in bioreactors, bioreactor design, bioseparations, formulation and sterilization of growth media, commercial applications of biotechnology. Uses Bioprocess Engineering: Basic Concepts, 2nd Ed. by Shuler & Kargi
Next scheduled offering: Spring 2023
Instructor: Dr. David Murhammer
Representative syllabus

CBE:5315 Polymer Chemistry

Monomer reactivity and polymerization reactions; step, radical, ionic, and specialty polymerizations.
Next scheduled offering: Fall 2022
Instructor: Dr. C. Allan Guymon
Representative syllabus

CBE:5425 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

The primary goal of the class is to strengthen student knowledge of the fundamental and applied issues in atmospheric chemistry, through a combination of lectures, problem sets, and projects. Gas-phase and aerosol-phase problems are considered on urban, regional and global scales. Topics to be covered include global circulation, global biogeochemical cycles, synoptic meteorology, vertical transport of pollutants, sampling techniques for gas phase compounds, aqueous phase reactions, deposition, gas-particle partitioning, photolysis, atmospheric residence time, aerosol size distributions, dynamics of aerosol particles, dynamics of aerosol populations, radiative transfer involving aerosols, cloud formation, and sampling techniques for aerosols. Uses Seinfeld and Pandis, 3rd ed., Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
Next scheduled offering: Spring 2024
Instructor: Dr. Charles Stanier
Representative syllabus

Additional requirements exist, such as trainings in safety, sexual harassment prevention, and other university policies, a required weekly graduate seminar series, and based on language background and placement test scores, English course requirements may apply.

CBE:5140 Mathematical Methods in Engineering

Linear ordinary differential equations, series solutions of differential equations, special functions, Laplace transforms, Fourier series, matrices, linear systems, eigenvalue problems, second-order partial differential equations.
Prerequisites: Matrix Algebra and Ordinary Differential Equations
Next scheduled offering: Fall 2022
Instructor: Dr. Lu

CBE:4420 Environmental Chemistry

Principles of general, physical, organic chemistry applied in water and air systems; emphasis on qualitative and quantitative understanding of chemical kinetics and equilibrium; acid-base reactions, complex formation, precipitation, dissolution, and oxidation-reduction reactions; organic nomenclature.
Next scheduled offering: Fall 2022
Instructor: Dr. Hornbuckle

​CBE:5210 Bioseparations

​Unit operations used to isolate and purify biologically-derived chemicals, including flocculation, filtration, centrifugation, extraction, adsorption, chromatography, precipitation, crystallization, electrophoresis and cell disruption for intracellular product recovery.
Next scheduled offering: Spring 2024
Instructor: Dr. Eric Nuxoll
Representative syllabus

CBE:5300 Drug Delivery Devices

Why drug delivery devices are needed and how they are regulated; review of several clinical device categories (inhalation, transdermal, implantable) and preclinical technologies on the horizon.
Instructors: Dr. Jennifer Fiegel and Dr. Eric Nuxoll
Representative syllabus

CBE:3415 Statistical & Computational Analysis of Weather & Climate

Statistical and computational (Python programming) analysis of weather and climate data, univariate and multivariate statistics, hypothesis testing, statistical forecasting, forecast verification, time-series analysis, principal component analysis, trend analysis, and cluster analysis.
Instructor: Dr. Jun Wang

CBE:5405 Green Chemical and Energy Technologies

Next Scheduled Offering: Spring 2023

CBE:5410 Electrochemical Engineering

Fundamentals of electrochemical engineering; various applications; focus on processes and systems that transform chemical energy into electrical energy (e.g., batteries, fuel cells) and vice versa (e.g., electrolyzers, oxygen generators for medical applications); electrochemical engineering in an increasingly important role in energy, chemical, environmental, and biomedical sectors.
Instructor: Dr. Syed Mubeen

​CBE:5415 Satellite Image Processing & Remote Sensing Atmosphere

Introduction to principles of atmospheric radiation and techniques for satellite image processing; hands-on experience with data calibration, image registration and enhancement, noise filtering and (supervised and unsupervised) multi-spectral classification of satellite imageries; various satellite sensors used for monitoring of different atmospheric processes and constituents.
Instructor: Dr. Jun Wang
Representative syllabus

CBE:5417 Physical Meteorology & Atmospheric Radiative Transfer

​Physical processes for weather and climate including radiative transfer, cloud and precipitation formation, and atmospheric electricity; theory of scattering by atmospheric particles (e.g., clouds, aerosols, molecules), atmospheric radiative transfer equations, and numerical techniques and tools to solve these equations.
Instructor: Dr. Jun Wang

CEE:5440 Foundations of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology

Investigation of chemical and biological processes at the food-energy-water nexus; example topic areas include biogeochemical cycling of nutrients, biomass conversion, resource recovery from wastewater, removing pollutants from drinking water sources, water reuse, engineered natural treatment systems, pollutant transformation and control, treatment of process waters.
Instructor: Dr. Greg LeFevre
Representative syllabus

CHEM:4873 Atmospheric and Environmental Chemistry

Fundamental chemical processes of importance in the atmosphere, soil, and water, with emphasis on kinetics and photochemistry of homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions, atmospheric structure and dynamics, global geochemical cycling, chemistry-climate relationships, environmental remediation strategies; experimental methods in field and laboratory studies.
Representative syllabus

CHEM:5107 Electrochemistry

Provides an introductory but thorough background in electrochemistry. Fundamentals, methods, and kinetics will be covered. Means for modeling electrochemical systems by explicit finite difference computer simulations and Laplace transforms will be introduced.
Instructor: Dr. Johna Leddy
Representative syllabus

CHEM:5108 Spectroscopy

Principles of atomic and molecular absorption and emission spectroscopy in ultraviolet, visible, and infrared regions of the spectrum, including fluorescence, phosphorescence, Raman spectroscopy; applications to analytical problems, with emphasis on modern instrumentation and methodology.
Instructor: Dr. Max Geng
Representative syllabus

CHEM:5109 Separations

Modern techniques for analytical separations will be examined in terms of basic theory, instrumentation, and practical applications.  Emphasis is placed on gas and liquid chromatography and electrophoresis.
Instructor: Dr. Betsy Stone
Representative syllabus

CHEM:5114 Chemical Systems Modeling

Basic processes and techniques; these methods applied to systems relevant to students' own research.
Instructor: Dr. Johna Leddy
Representative syllabus

CHEM:5118 Nanomaterials

Basic principles associated with nanoscience and nanotechnology; fabrication and synthesis, size dependent properties, characterization, applications of materials at nanometer length scales, recent technological breakthroughs in the field.
Instructor: Dr. Amanda Haes
Representative syllabus

CHEM:5438 Surface Chemistry & Heterogeneous Processes

Fundamental and applied aspects of surface chemical processes; theories of molecular adsorption/desorption and surface complexation; kinetics; surface analysis and instrumentation; applications of surface chemistry in heterogeneous catalysis, heterogeneous environmental/atmospheric processes, and materials chemistry. 
Instructor: Dr. Alexei Tivanski
Representative syllabus

CHEM:5740 Engineering Principles of Drug Delivery

Fundamental concepts in drug delivery from an engineering perspective: delivery mechanisms; materials and formulations for drug delivery; drug modifications (prodrugs, PEGylation); engineering principles of controlled release and targeted delivery (nanoparticles, microparticles, polymer and lipid based systems); quantitative understanding of drug transport; significance of biodistributions and pharmacokinetic models; toxicity issues; immune responses. 
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Fiegel

OEH:6450 Aerosol Technology

Particle statistics and physics of aerosols, including inertia, diffusion, nucleation, evaporation, condensation, optics, electrical properties; relationship to fields such as agriculture, nanotechnology, environmental and occupational health, atmospheric chemistry, drug delivery.
Instructor: Dr. Tom Peters
Representative syllabus

OEH:6710 Human Toxicology and Risk Assessment

Sources, routes of absorption, effects of environmental toxicants affecting man; pathophysiology of toxicant actions, including those of air and water pollutants, metals, pesticides, solvents, food toxicants, chemicals
Instructor: Dr. Bill Field

ACB:5218 Microscopy for Biomedical Research

Basic microscopy methods for research including optics, preparation, and analysis of biomedical specimens; light, fluorescence, confocal, transmitting electron, scanning electron, atomic force microscopes, elemental analysis; immunochemistry and stereology techniques; individualized laboratory instruction
Instructor: Dr. Katherine Walters

STAT:3510 Biostatistics

Statistical concepts and methods for the biological sciences; descriptive statistics, elementary probability, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, parametric and nonparametric methods, one-way ANOVA, correlation and regression, categorical data.
Instructor: Dr. Joyee Ghosh

OEH:4540 Statistics for Experimenters

Application of statistical techniques to evaluate data derived from experimental samples designs; use of spreadsheets, statistical software; design and analysis of experiments; regression analysis; model building; practical applications.
Instructor: Dr. Patrick O'Shaughnessy

PHAR:4740 Materials in Drug and Gene Delivery

Different types of materials used in drug and gene delivery including synthetic and natural polymers (poly lactic-co-glycolic acid and chitosan respectively); different forms of delivery systems including (but not limited to) liposomes, micelles, biodegradable nanoparticles, nondegradable nanoparticles, and solid porous scaffolds; applications of these material-based delivery systems from targeted chemotherapy to bone regeneration to vaccination applications.
Instructor: Dr. Aliasger Salem

CBE:2105 Process Calculations

Fundamental principles of chemical process analysis, including material and energy balances for single-unit and multiple-unit processes, analysis of reactive and nonreactive systems, introduction to equations of state, thermodynamics of multiphase systems. Uses Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes with CD, 4th Ed. by Felder and Rousseau and Bullard.
Schedule: multiple options - see below
Online course website
Representative syllabus

  • Schedule option 1: Take as regular (in person) class, offered every fall
  • Schedule option 2: Take as an online course (enrollment and tuition to Univ. of Iowa required) -- during spring periods.
  • Schedule option 3: Take as a non-graded refresher course. No enrollment required. Will not show on transcript.

CBE:3109 Fluid Flow

Fundamentals of fluid flow, including fluid statics, fluid rheology, laminar and turbulent flow in pipes, external flow, flow through packed beds, fluidized beds, pumps and compressors, boundary layer theory, potential flow, dimensional analysis, and Navier Stokes Equations.  Uses Fluid Mechanics For Chemical Engineers, 3rd Edition by Denevers
Next scheduled offering: Spring 2023
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Fiegel

CBE:3113 Heat & Mass Transfer

Fundamentals of heat and mass transfer: heat exchanger design; conductive, convective, and radiative heat transfer; mechanisms of diffusional and convective mass transfer.
Next scheduled offering: Fall 2022
Instructor: Dr. Eric Nuxoll

CBE:3117 Separations

Solution of industrial problems, including the design of distillation, extraction, absorption, adsorption, drying, membrane processes, and mechanical separations.
Next scheduled offering: Fall 2022
Instructor: Dr. David Rethwisch

CBE:3120 Chemical Reaction Engineering

Application of chemical reaction kinetics to design of chemical reactors: batch reactors, mixed flow reactors, plug flow reactors; reversible and irreversible single reactions; parallel, series, and mixed reactions; temperature and pressure effects on reactor design; heterogeneous catalysis; transport in porous catalysts. Uses Essen Of Chemical Reaction Engineering (w/dvd) by Fogler
Next scheduled offering: Fall 2022
Representative syllabus

MATH:2560 Engineering Math IV: Ordinary Differential Equations

Ordinary differential equations and applications, with integrated use of computing, student projects; first-order equations; higher order linear equations; systems of linear equations, Laplace transforms; introduction to nonlinear equations and systems, phase plane, stability.
Schedule: all semesters
Note: online and community college versions of this course may be useful preparation or refresher material. Online options are available from many outlets with paid options that include grading and credit, and free options that just have access to course materials and video lectures.