How can I prepare academically for graduate school in chemical engineering?

The first year of graduate school in chemical engineering typically involves taking advanced courses in transport, thermodynamics, kinetics, and mathematics (partial differential equations).  It may also involve specialty courses specific to your area of chosen specialization. Anything that makes those required courses easier is a good idea.  I feel that at Michigan Tech we do not go far enough in transport, so I recommend that you take the graduate transport class (CM5300 Advanced Transport Phenomena I, 3 credits, Spring, prereq=CM5100) or Polymer Rheology (CM4650, 3 credits), either of which will introduce you to the use of tensors in mathematical analysis.  After that I recommend taking our graduate math class (CM5100 Applied Mathematics for Chemical Engineers I, 3 credits, Fall) or any advanced mathematics course that interests you (some examples might be MA 4515 – Introduction to Partial Differential Equations or MA 4525 – Applied Vector and Tensor Mathematics Introduction, either of which counts towards the minor in mathematics).  You will also benefit from taking the other Michigan Tech graduate classes, CM5200 Advanced Thermodynamics (3 credits, Fall) or CM5400 Advanced Chemical Engineering Kinetics I (3 credits, Spring).

Another possible class to take would be CM 5500 Theory and Methods of Research (2cr, Fall).  This course is required of CM graduate students and teaches advanced technical communications as well as covering the ins and outs of graduate research and graduate school.  Typically two major presentations are required in which you research and explain an advanced experimental technique used in chemical engineering research.

Summary of highly recommended courses for those interested in graduate school:

CM4650 – Polymer Rheology

MA 4515 – Introduction to Partial Differential Equations

MA 4525 – Applied Vector and Tensor Mathematics Introduction

CM5100 – Applied Mathematics for Chemical Engineers

CM5200 – Advanced Thermodynamics

CM5300 – Advanced Transport Phenomena

CM5400 – Advanced Chemical Engineering Kinetics

CM 5500 – Theory and Methods of Research


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