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M.S. in Chemical Engineering

The master in chemical engineering is a two-year program that requires a research project and culminates in thesis.

Learn more about the program and requirements in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Of interest

Application Information

Successful applicants are proficient in the major undergraduate subjects of chemical engineering:

  • material and energy balances
  • heat and mass transfer
  • fluid mechanics
  • thermodynamics and
  • chemical reaction engineering.

Well-qualified applicants with different academic backgrounds may demonstrate proficiency through Core Concepts in Chemical Engineering, our online summer prep program. The program is designed for applicants with degrees in related science disciplines such as chemistry, physical chemistry, general engineering and more; or, applicants returning from industrial practice in chemical engineering to pursue advanced degrees. After completing the summer program, the Director of Graduate Education will determine if additional undergraduate courses are needed.

Admission of a qualified student also depends on a match between the student’s area of interest, research specialties of the faculty, and availability of professors.

Application Materials

  • Transcripts from an accredited Bachelor’s Degree
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Demonstration of English proficiency (for international students)
    1. A degree from an institution in a country where English is the only official language, or 
    2. TOEFL/IELTS scores at or above:
      • TOEFL Paper (PBT) – 587
      • TOEFL Internet (iBT) – 94
      • IELTS – 7.0
  • Application fee
    • Applying for admission in Spring 2024: $60 application (U.S. students) / $100 (international students).
    • Applying for admission in Fall 2024: $0 application fee. Note: The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is not charging an application fee for all applicants for Fall 2024. No waiver or code required. Other departments and programs at Iowa State University may charge an application fee.

How to Apply 

We are currently transitioning to a new application process. There are different application steps depending on when you aim to start the program before or after Fall 2024.

Applications for Spring 2024 are a two-step process.

  • First step: Pre-applications will be reviewed between September 15 and October 15.
  • Second Step: Full applications will be reviewed between October 1 and November 15. Apply online by November 15.
  • Final decisions: Admissions decisions for Spring will be made by November 15.
  • Notes
    • International applications for the spring semester that arrive at the university after October 1 may be asked to delay their admission until the next fall semester.
    • Graduate Application Information – Prior to Fall 2024 includes detailed information and FAQ about the application process.
  • Apply online through the Iowa State University Graduate College by January 15, 2024.
  • Notes
    • International applications for the fall semester that arrive at the university after April 1 may be asked to delay their admission until the spring semester.
    • Graduate Application Information – Fall 2024 and beyond includes detailed information and FAQ about the application process.


The Office of Admissions reviews your application materials for completeness before making your it available to the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. You may be asked by either office to provide additional material. Iowa State cannot process an application until it is complete, so please make sure the university has received all the materials for your application.

You can check the status of your graduate application through the Admissions MyAccount portal.

In order to better serve you, please note which office to contact with questions:

Contact Admissions about

  • online application form
  • uploading documents
  • academic records/degrees
  • English proficiency exams

phone (515) 294-5836 | email | fax (515) 294-2592

Contact the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering about

  • letters of recommendation
  • admissions/denial decisions