Prospective Students

Graduate Admission Overview

The Department of Chemical Engineering has two distinct advanced degree programs: M.S. and Ph.D.
Our Master of Science (M.S.) program is a terminal degree program and is for those who want to gain advanced level knowledge in a focused area of chemical engineering in order to pursue a career in industry or a professional degree, e.g. in medicine, law, education, or business. It is based on the completion of lecture courses focused on a theme within the discipline of chemical engineering.  No thesis is required. No research is required.  This program is open to three cohorts of applicants: [1] active Stanford undergraduates, who should apply via the internal co-terminal degree application process; see departmental student services in Keck room 189, [2] currently matriculated Stanford graduate students; see departmental students services, and [3] external applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree or will have completed one before matriculating as a graduate student.  Individuals in this third group apply online.  The deadline for M.S. applications is Tuesday, March 18, 2014. 

Our Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program is open to all applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree or will have completed one before matriculating as a graduate student at Stanford.  A degree in chemical engineering is not required; however, applicants should be familiar with key concepts and their applications, i.e. applicants may have degrees in other science and engineering disciplines, for example, bioengineering, biology, chemistry, materials science, mathematics, mechanical engineering, physics. We are looking for coursework or other experiences demonstrating use of higher-level mathematics (e.g. linear algebra, partial differential equations) and recommend completion of core chemical engineering courses (e.g. fluid mechanics, heat and mass transport phenomena, chemical reaction kinetics, thermodynamics).  Additionally, a M.S. degree is not a prerequisite for admission to our Ph.D. program or for Ph.D. degree conferral.

Admitted Ph.D. applicants will be invited to participate in our Chemical Engineering Graduate Research Symposium Matrch 6-9, 2014. This is our "visit weekend," and those seriously considering Stanford for their doctoral work should reserve this weekend for their Stanford visit.

Each department conferring graduate degrees establishes its own application deadlines. An applicant may apply to only one degree program at Stanford University, i.e. the applicant must decide which department and which degree program and may have only one active application. All components of an application to the Department of Chemical Engineering must be received by the department no later than the appropriate due date. Tuesday, January 7, 2014 is the deadline for all components of a Ph.D. application to be received by the department. Tuesday, March 18, 2014 is the deadline for all components of a M.S. application to be received by the department.

All applicants must make an official application, using the university's online forms and procedures, and following the directions from the Office of the Registrar, Graduate Admissions. Visit the Grad Admissions site to obtain further information about the graduate admissions process at Stanford university and to apply for graduate admission.

Applicants should upload any pertinent documents, such as transcripts, resumes, publications, in order to help with online completeness.  In addition, all applicants must provide two (or two sets of) original transcripts (academic records); they should be sent in their original, sealed envelopes, directly to the department.  If ETS results (scores and percentages) are not reported on the application, copies of unofficial GRE and TOEFL score reports, and any other documents, such as resumes or publications not already uploaded, should be sent to the department.

Important for Ph.D. program applicants: See Admissions Requirements, Statement of Purpose section.

Mailing or courier delivery address:
Graduate Admissions Committee
Department of Chemical Engineering
Stanford University
Stauffer III, Room 113
381 North South Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-5025
Tel: 650.723.4906

Note: Most of the university is in the 94305 zip code; use of the extended zip code, 94305-5025, will ensure accurate and a more expeditous delivery.

Our admissions committee carefully considers all completed applications to Chemical Engineering's Ph.D. program or M.S. program.  Decisions are based on the student’s academic record and experiences, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and test scores. Applicants are informed of their acceptance into a degree program during our winter quarter. While most applicants to our advanced degree programs have traditional chemical engineering backgrounds, we do accept applications from students in other related fields: chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, biology, and so forth. If your bachelor's degree is in another field, do you have sufficient background knowledge in the key engineering concepts required of an undergraduate majoring in chemical engineering and thus would thrive in an advanced degree chemical engineering program? Those with non-traditional backgrounds should expect, if admitted, to spend some additional time acquiring the background necessary to complete a graduate degree in chemical engineering.  For reference, the requirements for a Stanford B.S. in chemical engineering can be found in the Handbook for Undergraduate Engineering Programs at

A departmental committee, comprising chemical engineering faculty members, makes all decisions regarding admission to our advanced degree programs. Decisions by are based on thorough evaluations of all aspects of completed applications, i.e. applications are evaluated in their entirety and within the context of the program pool. Hence, final decisions are not made on a rolling basis, but when the pool is complete, on the deadline date.

Individual chemical engineering faculty members do not admit applicants directly to their research groups. Applicants are requested not to send individual faculty members or staff informal documents and appeals for informal evaluations and/or admission to a research group. We are unable to provide informal recommendations / evaluations on the basis of partial information, e.g. a CV or test scores or a transcript. Inquiries and materials sent to individual professors will be redirected to administrative staff. We encourage potential applicants to consider discussing their issues with faculty recommenders who know them well and could give better, individualized academic advice.

Financial aid for graduate students exists, both in the form of student jobs, assistantships, and loans and in the form of fellowship awards, from either external sources, such as governmental agencies, industry, or private foundations, or from internal university, school, and departmental resources. Offers of admission to the Ph.D program in chemical engineering made with an offer of financial support are valid until April 15th the same year. For further details about offers of admission with financial support, see the "Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars" at and search for the "April 15 Resolution". Normally, an offer of financial aid accompanies an offer of admission to our Ph.D. program.  Offers of admission to our M.S. program are made without financial aid; they are valid until the end of August of the same year.  Those considering pursuing their Master’s degree are encouraged to visit Stanford Financial Aid to obtain more information about financing graduate study.

Students with questions about our graduate programs in chemical engineering or the graduate admissions process in general are asked to first explore all the online resourses, such as this departmental website and the university's central Graduate Admissions site <>.

Also go to and in the upper right search box, type (a) "explore degrees" to go to the Stanford Bulletin with university student affairs policy and departmental degree requirements and (b) "explore courses" for lists of all courses offered in 2013-2014, their descriptions and instructors.

Those with further questions may email our Student Services Manager, Jeanne Cosby, Please use “Admissions” in the subject line, e.g.  ADMISSIONS – [your full name] & [key word(s)].

If you think that one of our graduate programs is a good fit with your educational background and future academic and career goals, we in the Department of Chemical Engineering very much look forward to receiving your application. Applicants with completed applications should expect to hear from us by early February for the Ph.D program, and early April for the M.S. program. If you do not receive an email from from our student services office by these decision dates, you may email with this particular inquiry. (Subject: Ph.D. decision? M.S. decision?) as we are unable to provide any applicant information over the phone.

We wish you all the best as you make your decisions about your educational future.