Graduate Programs

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) at Iowa State offers three graduate degrees: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Science (MS), and the non-thesis degree Master of Engineering (MEngr). Click an image below to explore the degree program you desire.

 PhD backdrop 2014

MS backdrop 2014

MEngr backdrop 2014

Research Areas

Iowa State conducts research in six general areas of chemical and biological engineering. If you’re not sure which area is best for you, learn what research our faculty are doing.

Facilities

Sweeney Hall is the home of  the Iowa State chemical and biological engineering department.
Sweeney Hall is the home of the Iowa State chemical and biological engineering department.

The department offers outstanding facilities and resources that help students succeed in their academic and research endeavors. These include excellent laboratories, advanced computing environments and modern classrooms.

The department is housed in Sweeney Hall, which contains 44,000-plus square feet of modern laboratory and office space, including a series of advanced teaching laboratories. The state-of-the-art research facilities include laboratories for:

  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Biochemical and protein separations
  • Catalyst characterization
  • Cell and tissue culture
  • Chemical vapor deposition and reactive sputtering
  • Gene delivery
  • Particle imaging velocimetry
  • Particle size analysis and light scattering
  • Polymer characterization
  • Spectroscopic techniques
The Biorenewables Research Laboratory opened in 2010.
The Biorenewables Research Laboratory opened in 2010.

In the upgraded computing facilities for undergraduates, students use PCs on which they carry out simulations and write research and laboratory reports.

Space in the Biorenewables Research Laboratory also houses chemical engineering research. 

Iowa State University Community is Highly Acclaimed

Ames, Iowa, is the home of Iowa State University. We are proud to have reached many “top” lists for desirable qualities. Such lists include:

Ames Community Rankings

Graduate Program Alumni are Hugely Successful

Agarwal2  Schroeder, Will and Paskatch, TJ Iowa State Fair 2009  Jessica Tobelmann, General Mills

Alumni from Iowa State chemical engineering graduate programs have gone on to work for globally recognized companies and organizations, such as Cargill, Dow Chemical Company, 3M, Dow Corning Corp., Emerson Process Management, General Mills, Archer Daniels Midland Company, LyondellBasell and more. Alumni have even carried an entrepreneurial spirit with them after completing their Iowa State degrees:

  • Ankit Agarwal, 2007 PhD alumnus, started Imbed Biosciences, a Wisconsin-based company that develops advanced materials for wound healing
  • William Schroeder and Thomas Paskach, 2001 and 2002 PhD alumni respectively, co-founded Nitro Ice Cream (now franchised under Blue Sky Creamery) with their invention using liquid nitrogen to flash freeze ice cream
  • John Kaiser, 1987 MS alumnus, became global R&D director of cocoa/chocolate for Mars Company

The global academic community also has welcomed our graduates and their research advances. While dozens of graduate alumni now research and teach, here we name a few:

  • Deniz Uner, 1994 PhD alumna, is the professor and chair of chemical engineering at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey
  • Ganesh Sriram, 2004 PhD alumnus, is a member of University of Maryland’s Clark School Academy of Distinguished Professors (Keystone)
  • James Halligan (BSChE’62, MSChE’65, PhDChE’67) is an Oklahoma senator and a former administrator at Texas Tech University (professor and chair), University of Missouri-Rolla (dean of engineering), University of Arkansas (engineering dean and interim chancellor), New Mexico State University (president), and Oklahoma State University (president)
  • George Burnet (BSChE’48, MSChE’49, PhDChE’51), is an Anson Marston Distinguished professor emeritus, former Iowa State department head, and former national president of the American Society of Engineering Education

Iowa State Chemical Engineering Recruits from All Over

Iowa State chemical engineering graduate programs have attracted students from more than 100 universities throughout the United States and around the world. Many have recognized the leading chemical engineering research and land-grant philosophy Iowa State breeds. These ideals encourage practical approaches to chemical engineering problems and the sharing of knowledge among other U.S. states and countries around the world. In fact, Iowa State University was one of the first institutions founded on these ideals.

 

Grad Student Map

Sample of universities
ChE graduate students
move from
 
States and countries ChE
graduate students just move
to after Iowa State (Students have not yet originated from these locations)
 
States and countries
ChE graduate students move from
and move to after Iowa State

From U.S. States and Territories
Carnegie-Mellon University
Colorado School of Mines
Georgia Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan Technological University
Northwestern University
Pennsylvania State University
Purdue University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rutgers University
University of California, Davis
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
University of Pennsylvania
University of Wisconsin, Madison

International (Countries)
Australia
Canada
China
Colombia
Germany
India
Japan
Mexico
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Switzerland
Taiwan
Turkey
Ukraine
Zimbabwe

 

U.S. States and Territories
Arkansas
Connecticut
Idaho
Florida
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
New Hampshire
Ohio
Oregon
Puerto Rico

International
Jamaica
Portugal
Singapore
United Kingdom

 

U.S. States and Territories
Arizona
California
Colorado
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Pennsylvania
South Dakota
Texas
Virginia
Washington

International
China
India
Switzerland
Taiwan