What are Katie’s office hours?

If you are looking for the flowchart or other advising handouts, these are available on the Degree Requirements and Advising Documents webpages.

If you are having problems registering for courses that are not chemical engineering courses, contact the Registrar’s Office.

Also check out our FAQ’s for answers to many common questions.

Fall and Spring Semesters

During fall and spring semesters I am usually available for meetings during walk-in advising times or by appointment.

Walk-in advising is open during busy times, which are at the beginning of the semester and registration weeks.  During walk-in advising you just stop by.  You do not need an appointment.    Walk-in times, along with the Zoom links are posted on my Google calendar.

During all other times of the semester you may meet with me by requesting a meeting using your Google calendar.

Summer Semester

During summer semester priority is given to emergency issues in need of immediate attention because of limited work hours.  If you have an issue during the summer, email cmadvise@mtu.edu;  your patience is appreciated!  Regular advising hours resume two weeks before fall semester starts.

How do I make an appointment with a chemical engineering advisor?

If you need help with schedule planning, minors, co-ops, study abroad, changing majors, or degree audits then you will need to schedule a meeting with Katie Torrey using your Michigan Tech Google calendar.  Advising meetings are usually 30 minutes long and can be in-person or over Zoom.  Be sure to indicate in your meeting invite how you plan to meet (in-person or Zoom).

Appointments will not be available during busy times because there will be virtual walk-in advising hours instead.  Walk-in advising times and Zoom links are posted on Katie’s Google calendar.  No appointments are needed for walk-in hours.  Go to the Zoom link to get in line.  You are welcome to stop by Katie’s office to meet in person for these walk-in hours if you are on campus.

Please come prepared to your appointment.

Directions for using your Google calendar to find an available time and scheduling a meeting are below:

  1. Login to your Michigan Tech Google account.
  2. In the list of Google Apps, click on Calendar.
  3. Create a new event by clicking on your calendar.
  4. Enter a title for your meeting.
  5. IMPORTANT – Find an available appointment time.
    1. Click on “Edit event”.
    2. Click on the “Find a time” tab.
    3. Add a guest to your appointment.
      1. Located on the far right hand side of the page.
      2. For an appointment with Katie, enter kt@mtu.edu.
      3. The calendar for your guests will appear with busy and free (blank) times indicated.
    4. Modify event date and time to a time when you are both available.
      1. Event date and time are located at the top of the page.
      2. If you do not see any available times, try another day.
      3. Most advising appointments are a half hour long.
      4. The proposed appointment time will show up on the calendars as a box with moving dashed lines.
  6. Click Save.
  7. You will be asked if you want to send your guests an invitation.  Say “yes”.
  8. The appointment will show up on your calendar.  Check that it is at the day and time you intended.
  9. The person that you’ve invited will receive notification of a meeting request.  You will receive notification if they can or cannot attend.

How much does it cost to go to grad school in chemical engineering?

That depends on what degree you’ll be pursuing.

PhD study in chemical engineering

A PhD is often paid for by research funds obtained by your grad-school faculty advisor. In addition to a tuition award, you will also typically receive a stipend for your living expenses. If you obtain this support then it won’t cost you anything. 

When you apply to graduate school, you will automatically be considered for support, either in the form of a research assistantship, a teaching assistantship, or a fellowship.  These assistantships usually include full tuition and fees.  It’s a great deal for which good students will often qualify, and it is usually based on merit, not need. 

There are also very prestigious graduate research fellowships offered by the National Science Foundation for the best students in the country.  If you are able to obtain an NSF graduate research fellowship, you will be highly courted by all the top graduate schools.  You must apply directly to NSF for these fellowships.

MS study in chemical engineering

A masters degree can be done either in coursework mode (never supported; you are charged tuition and fees) or thesis mode (may be supported; may include a living stipend).  The coursework masters has the advantage of being straightforward to complete. You take the necessary courses to get your degree.  There is no research project.  The thesis path requires a research project in place of some of the elective courses and this must be completed before the degree is awarded.  There are sometimes funded research projects for thesis Masters students.

You can reduce the cost of a Masters degree at Michigan Tech by taking advantage of two programs that allow you to start your graduate studies while completing your undergraduate degree.

  • Accelerated BS/MS degree. This program allows you to double count up to six credits towards both your BS and MS degree.
  • Senior Rule. This program allows you to take up to six credits towards your graduate degree in the last year of your BS degree.

If you have the space in your schedule to do both then you can earn up to 12 credits towards your graduate degree while still an undergraduate. Graduate tuition is charged on a per credit basis.

For more on graduate school, visit the Department’s website on graduate studies.

I’m interested in bioengineering. What technical electives do you recommend?

We recommend an intro to cell biology course as early as possible because this will allow you to take more advanced courses later. If you received AP biology credit then this is already done.

  • BL 1200 General Bio II: Intro to Cellular Biology AND BL 1210 General Bio II Lab: Into to Cellular Biology. (spring semesters, preferred course)
  • or BL 1400 Principles of Biology AND BL 1410 Principles of Biology Lab. (fall and summer semesters)

We also recommend our bioprocessing lab because it’s a good introduction to the entire manufacturing process for making products using microorganisms.

  • CM 3025 Bioprocessing Lab (spring semesters, can be taken anytime after University Chemistry I)

After that, you have lots of choices, depending on your interests. Dr. Ong has put together a list of possible courses. This information was accurate as of the 2023-24 academic year, so be sure to look in the current catalog of classes and schedule of classes for the most up-to-date information.

Course Title Credits Type of Course Prerequisites Semester
CM 4710 Biochemical Processes 3 lecture CH 2410 fall of odd years
CM 4780 Biomanufacturing and Biosafety 3 lecture CH 4710 or CM 4710 or (CM 3110 (C) and Intro to Bio) or undergrad research in bio or bioengineering fall of even years
BE 4200 Cellular & Molecular Bio II 3 lecture BE 2400 spring and summer
BE 2200 Genetics 3 lecture Intro to Bio spring
BL 2210 Genetics Lab 1 lab BL 2200 (C) concurrently spring
BL 2700 Principles of Computational Biology 3 lecture Intro to Bio fall
BL 3020 Biochemistry I 3 lecture Intro to Bio and CH 2410 fall and summer
BL 3210 General Microbiology 4 lecture and lab Intro to Bio fall and summer
BL 3300 Intro to Genomics 3 lecture BL 2200 or FW3320 fall
BL 3310 Environmental Microbiology 3 lecture and lab Intro to Bio spring
BL 3820 Biochemical Lab Techniques I 2 lab BL 3020 (C) or CH 4710 (C) or BL 3025 (C) concurrently spring
BL 4020 Biochemistry II 3 lecture BL 3020 spring and summer
BL 4030 Molecular Biology 3 lecture BL 3020 or CH 4710 or BL 3025 fall and summer
BL 4153 Applied Genome Editing 3 lecture and lab BL 2200 or FW 3230 fall of odd years
BL 4200 Microbial Physiology 3 lecture BL 3210 or BL 3310 fall of even years
BL 4300 Applied Bacterial Genomics 3 lecture BL 2200 fall of odd years
BL 4310 Applied Eukaryotic Genomics 3 lecture BL 2200 and BL 2210 fall of even years
BL 4805 Molecular Diagnostics 5 lecture and lab BL 2200 and BL 3025 spring
BL 4840 Molecular Biology Techniques 3 lecture and lab BL 2200 and BL 4030 (C) concurrently fall
CH 3200 Chemistry and Biology of Brewing 2 lecture and lab CH 1150 and CH 1151 spring
CH 3540 Biophysical Chemistry 3 lecture Intro to bio and CH 1160 and CH 1161 and MA 2160 spring
CH 3541 Biophysical Chemistry Lab 2 lab CH 3540 (C) concurrently spring
CH 4110 Medicinal Chemistry: Mechanism of Drug Action 3 lecture CH 2410 spring
CH 4120 Medicinal Chemistry: Drug Design 3 lecture CH 2420 fall
CH 4140 Intro to Pharmaceutical Analysis 3 lecture and lab CH 2410 spring
CH 4710 Biomolecular Chemistry I 3 lecture CH 2420 fall
CH 4720 Biomolecular Chemistry II 3 lecture BL 3020 or CH 4710 spring

What opportunities are there to do undergrad research off campus?

There are two large programs that sponsor undergraduate research:

  • Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Science and Technology (NIST)

NSF through the REU program sponsors summer research programs at many universities.  These are competitive programs and an excellent way to check out if you are interested in graduate school.  You may obtain more information about the REU program from the NSF website.  Undergraduate students sponsored with NSF funds must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its possessions.

NIST sponsors an undergraduate research program (SURF) that brings students to their Gaithersburg, MD location (near Washington D.C.) or Boulder, Colorado location to do research with government scientists.  For more information see the NIST SURF website.

How do I sign up to take the FE exam?

The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam is maintained by the NCEES, National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Go to the NCEES webpage to register for the exam. Once you have paid the fee you will be able to choose your testing site. The Michigan Tech testing center will be one option. If none of the Michigan Tech testing center dates work for you then contact the testing center directly and ask if other dates can be made available.

The Chemical Engineering department will help you pay for a portion of the test if you request the reimbursement prior to graduating. Drop off or email your receipt to the department office to request reimbursement.

How does doing Enterprise for senior design work?

If you are involved in Enterprise, you may use an Enterprise project as your capstone design project, pending departmental approval. You need to be taking an Enterprise project work course (ENT 2950, 2960, 3950, 3960, or 3980) during the Spring semester before your senior classes to qualify for this.

Students choosing this option will take the following design classes senior year.

Fall Semester

CM 4855 Process Analysis and Design I. 3 credits. All ChE students take this course.

ENT 4950 Enterprise Project Work V Capstone. 2 credits. You will need departmental permission to enroll in this class. This class can count towards your technical or free electives.

Spring Semester

CM 4860 Process Analysis and Design II. 2 credits. All ChE students take this course.

ENT 4960 Enterprise Project Work VI Capstone. 2 credits. This course will substitute for CM 4861 Capstone Design Project (1 credit) on your online degree audit. The additional credit can count towards your technical or free electives.

What is graduate school?

After your Bachelors degree you can continue going to school to get an advanced degree. In engineering this would be a Masters or PhD.

In our program you can get a coursework Masters, thesis Masters, or PhD. The coursework Masters is just like it sounds. It’s where you take additional advanced engineering classes. You can complete a coursework Masters in a year.

The thesis Masters and PhD are both research degrees. There is a coursework component to them, but you will also work on a research project with a faculty member. A thesis Masters usually takes 1.5-2 years to complete. A PhD takes several years to complete.

If you’d like to work at a university, national lab, or in research and development for a company then you will likely need a PhD.

You can change disciplines. Your graduate degree can be in a different or more specialized discipline than your undergraduate degree.

Can I take graduate courses while still an undergrad?

Yes, but you will need special permission to enroll. You can either:

  • use the courses as technical electives. Many of our graduate courses are approved for this.
  • or, you can use the courses towards a Michigan Tech graduate degree under “Senior Rule”.

Senior Rule

You are allowed to take courses to apply to a graduate degree during your last year of undergraduate. However, once a course is approved for senior rule then it may no longer be used towards your undergraduate degree.

You will need to submit the approval to the Registrar’s Office by Wednesday of week 2 for the course semester. Read all the details on the Registrar’s Office webpage.

We allow up to 6 credits of graduate courses to be completed under senior rule.

Accelerated Master’s

This program allows you to double count up to 6 credits towards both an undergraduate and graduate degree. You need to apply before graduating to be eligible. Read all the details on the Accelerated Master’s webpage.

What can I do to prepare myself for graduate school in engineering?

There are things you can do now to prepare for graduate school.

Participate in undergraduate research

This is important. A PhD or thesis masters is a research degree, and doing research as an undergraduate can open many doors. This is true even if you eventually decide to do a coursework masters. We recommend looking for opportunities at Michigan Tech, and off-campus at another university, business, or research lab.

Take additional math classes

Graduate engineering classes are very math intensive and so additional math courses work can help prepare you. Statistics is useful in almost all areas. Dr. Morrison also has some recommendations.

Practice your writing and presenting skills

You need these skills to be successful in graduate school and your career. If you participate in undergraduate research there are opportunities to present a poster of your research during department events, campus events, and professional conferences.

Keep your books

Your books and notes will be useful for reviewing core engineering topics when you’re taking the more advanced graduate courses.

Attend research seminars and graduate defenses

These events happen on campus throughout the year and are open to the public. Look for posters and emails announcing them. Seek out presentations in areas that interest you, even if they are in other departments. Research is interdisciplinary and the things you learn and people you meet could help you in the future.

What chemical engineering electives are being offered next semester? next year?

We plan to offer the following chemical engineering electives in future semesters.

Fall 2022

  • CM 2200  Intro to Minerals and Materials (3 credit)
  • CM 3450  Computer-Aided Problem Solving (3 credits)
  • CM 3979  Alternative Energy Technology and Processes (1 credit)
  • CM 4610  Intro to Polymer Science (3 credits)
  • CM 4780  Biomanufacturing and Biosafety (3 credits) This is an alternate-year class and will not be offered next year.
  • plus the undergraduate research courses

Spring 2023

  • CM 3025  Bioprocessing Lab (1 credit)
  • CM 3830  Mineral Processing and Extraction Lab (1 credit)
  • CM 4510   Interfacial Engineering (3 credits) This is an alternate-year course and will not be offered next year.
  • CM 4620  Polymer Chemistry (3 credits)
  • CM 4740  Hydrometallurgy/Pyrometallurgy (4 credits)
  • plus the undergraduate research courses

Fall 2023

  • CM 2200  Intro to Minerals and Materials (3 credit)
  • CM 3450  Computer-Aided Problem Solving (3 credits)
  • CM 3979  Alternative Energy Technology and Processes (1 credit)
  • CM 4610  Intro to Polymer Science (3 credits)
  • CM 4710  Biochemical Processes (3 credits) This is an alternate-year class and will not be offered next year.
  • plus the undergraduate research courses

Spring 2024

  • CM 3025  Bioprocessing Lab (1 credit)
  • CM 3830  Mineral Processing and Extraction Lab (1 credit)
  • CM 4505   Particle Technology (3 credits) This is an alternate-year course and will not be offered next year.
  • CM 4620  Polymer Chemistry (3 credits)
  • CM 4740  Hydrometallurgy/Pyrometallurgy (4 credits)
  • plus the undergraduate research courses

Undergraduate Research Courses

These classes are always offered. You will need special permission to enroll in it. There is more information on how this works on our undergraduate research page.

  • CM 4000  Undergraduate Research (1-3 credits)
  • CM 4020  Undergrad Research in Mineral Proc Engineering (1-3 credits)
  • CM 4040  Undergrad Research in Bioengineering (1-3 credits)
  • CM 4060  Undergrad Research in Polymer Engineering (1-3 credits)
  • CM 4080  Undergrad Research in Biofuels Engineering (1-3 credits)