CHME Graduate Curricula

Detailed requirements of the NMSU graduate degrees in Chemical Engineering are defined in the  Graduate Catalog.


Ph D and MS Applicants:

In addition to the requirements of the NMSU Graduate School, applicants to the CHME program must also provide: (1) a statement of purpose for pursuing graduate studies in Chemical & Materials Engineering; (2) an official GRE score; and (3) three letters of recommendation from previous mentors.

Learn more about the ranking of GRE scores.

To make admission to the Ph D program in Chemical Engineering, select “Engineering” rather than “Chemical Engineering” on the online application form.

Admission to the NMSU CHME Graduate Program is competitive.  The program will only admit the strongest applicants as space in the program is available.  The number of applicants admitted each semester is dependent upon numerous factors, including the availability of funding, lab space, the current number of students in the program and their relative degree of matriculation toward degree completion, and the research staffing needs of the CHME faculty.   Apply by March 1 and November 1 to be included in the pool of candidates to be offered assistantships in the subsequent regular semester, though candidates are encouraged to apply at any time.

MECPI Applicants:

Admission to the MECPI program requires a concise narrative of their professional engineering, research background, and related experiences, include career goals and reasons for interest in the MECPI degree.  The GRE is NOT required for admission to the MECPI, and only a single letter of recommendation from the individual’s engineering supervisor or equivalent is requested.  The project proposal narrative does not need to be submitted at the time of application.

Transfer of Graduate Coursework

Coursework may be transferred from another institution into the NMSU CHME graduate program. The Transfer of Credit form must be completed.  As noted on this form, The coursework in question must be (1) taken in residence at an accredited university, (2) taken at the graduate level, (3) taught by a member of the
graduate faculty, (4) acceptable for graduate credit at offering university, (5) logically fit into the program of study being undertaken at NMSU (as verified by Dept. Head’s signature, (6) and this coursework WILL NOT be older than seven years at the time of my graduation from NMSU (for Master’s students only).

To transfer coursework from a foreign institution, the syllabus content of the course to be transferred must first be converted to English by  International Student & Scholar Services. I have found this process to be expedited if you bring both the original syllabus and your own translated version when you go to the offices at  International Student & Scholar Services.


Master of Science

The goals of the Master’s degree graduate program are three-fold:

  • increase the student’s understanding of chemical engineering fundamentals
  • deepen the student’s knowledge within a specialized area of chemical engineering
  • broaden the student’s knowledge in basic science and engineering.

These goals are achieved by a combination of required courses, elective courses, and independent  research.  The MS research must be  compiled into a thesis and defended.

The MSCHE requires completion of a total of 32 credit hours as described below.  The plan of study submitted to the Graduate School must show ONLY the 32 hours that apply to the MSCHE… no more, no less.  Required coursework and research credits are defined in the catalog here: 

Doctor of Philosophy

The goals of the Doctoral program are to develop the candidate’s:

  • expertise within a field of chemical engineering
  • breadth in advanced engineering topics
  • ability to conduct independent research
  • aptitude for identifying significant research issues.

For satisfactory completion of the Doctoral program, the candidate must demonstrate that his or her work is creative, novel and innovative.

The Doctoral candidate is not formally admitted to candidacy until after passing both of the following exams:

CHME Ph D students must publish a minimum of two (2) archival papers in any of the journals listed in the ISI – Web of Science.  These papers must be published or accepted for publication before the candidate appears for the final defense.  Students must complete the publication reporting form on the Graduate School’s website before the CHME Department Head will sign the  Doctorate of Philosophy Examination Form.

The Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering requires completion of 54 credit hours as described below. The plan of study submitted to the Graduate School must show ONLY the 54 hours that apply to the Ph D in CHME… no more, no less. Required coursework and research credits are defined in the catalog here:

Master of Engineering – Chemical Process Industry (MECPI)

All CHME courses will be delivered by Adobe Connect (or students can attend the lectures in the classroom) in the Watkins Connected Learning Classroom in CHME.  As such, students can attend class in real time through the Adobe Connect app in the Canvas learning environment from the comfort of their home, office, or anywhere they have an internet connection.  This technology offers the student the ability to seamlessly interact with the classroom.Understanding that practicing engineers have diverse continuing education needs, CHME has retooled the MECPI (Masters of Engineering in the Chemical Process Industries) to make it highly flexible to each individual’s content desire. The MECPI is a 30 credit hour coursework and engineering project-based (optional) degree with for professionals seeking to define the content of their course of study that can potentially be completed in 3 academic semesters.

The content is defined by the student, subject to the following constraints:

CHME coursework (15 cr hr)

  • minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework with CHME prefixes above the 500-level (not including CHME 595, 596, 597, or any research credits associated with the MS and Ph D), of which at least six hours must come from the core sequence of CHME 501, 506, 516, 542 (or equivalent content approved in advance by the MECPI committee).
  • 3-credit hour course in industrial safety is required. CHME 548 is recommended, though other course options with similar content can be proposed. 

Professional Communications (3 cr hr)

Students must complete a minimum of 3 credit hours in professional communications.  CHME 594 (2) and CHME 590 (1) are recommended to fulfill this requirement , but students may propose 500+ level communications courses beyond CHME to fulfill this requirement.

Open Electives (6 cr hr)

Students are expected to take a minimum of 6 credits of electives from any areas such as business, economics, fundamental sciences, environmental sciences, etc., to be consistent with their personal MECPI theme or emphasis. 

Optional Engineering Project Sequence (6 cr hr)

Students will define and execute an engineering project through their employer while taking the following 3-semester course sequence (after completion of  a minimum of 12 credit hours of CHME coursework toward the MECPI):

  • CHME 595. Chemical Process Design and Business Analysis (3 cr hr) – Develop and present a proposal to demonstrate grasp of graduate-level chemical industry process design and assessment principles, emphasizing appropriate foundational tools (literature review, patent search, heuristics application, process simulation assistance to process creation, synthesis of reactor and separator trains, second-law analysis, heat and power integration, process equipment mechanical design specifications, process design optimization, etc., as appropriate to the proposed project), with a requirement that the project include some form of economic and business assessment of the work.
  • CHME 596. Chemical Process Industries Research (1 cr hr) – Independent project development based on proposal approved in CHME 595.
  • CHME 597. Advanced Chemical Process Industry Analysis (2 cr hr) – In-depth analysis and defense of a timely commercially-relevant chemical process design, culminating in defense of the work before the MECPI committee.
  • MECPI students may replace the project with an additional 6 cr hrs of CHME coursework.

Students accepted into the MECPI program may use the online MECPI degree plan proposal form to request a tailored curriculum personalized to their individual needs based on their current or planned employment in the chemical process industries.

Deficiencies in Undergraduate Preparation

Each student admitted to the CHME grad program who has an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than chemical engineering must schedule a meeting with the their research advisor or the CHME Department Head to identify the undergraduate course deficiencies the student must take to obtain a graduate degree in chemical engineering.  

New graduate students must have completed the equivalent MATH sequence of 191, 192, 291, and 392 (Calculus I, II, III, and Differential Equations) to begin their graduate studies.

A record will be placed in the student’s file that clearly identifies each required deficiency course.  In some cases, preparatory coursework must be completed prior to admission.

Graduate Research

CHME researchers must become familiar with the expectations of CHME research.

Prior to departing, CHME researchers must obtain appropriate signatures on the  researcher exit checklist.

Graduate Seminar


All CHME graduate students must attend the graduate seminar on Friday at 1:30 PM in JH 283.
Monthly Departmental Safety Training Class is offered in the graduate seminar. 
Attendance will be taken each week and only 1 unapproved absence per semester is allowed.


All M.S. candidates are required to give at least one presentation at the graduate seminar, PhD students give at least two presentations, before completing their degrees.  A student’s research advisor will be informed of excessive absences from the seminar.  The advisor will be responsible for disciplinary action.


Graduate Assistantships are available (Teaching and Research) in CHME to eligible students.  The faculty begin reviewing applications and assigning assistantships for the fall semester on March 1 of the same year.  Assistantships are assigned on a competitive basis to those students who are deemed to have the strongest application package.

Retroactive Registration Changes

Complete these forms as found on the Graduate School website (

  • Petition for Waiver of Course Registration Change Deadline
  • Change of Schedule Form
  • Change of Grade form