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College of Engineering and Information Technology
UMBC Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
Graduate Students
FAQs for Graduate Students

Q. How can I apply for graduate work in your department?

A. Details are provided on our Apply page. Briefly, you need to submit an application for admission to the Graduate School along with a fee (check application for current fee), official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended and three letters of recommendation from faculty members (preferably) or other persons who can discuss your potential for graduate work in chemical engineering. You also need to submit GRE Aptitude test scores. If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., you will need to submit a TOEFL score. Official copies of these documents are required for admission. However, photocopies can be used for the initial review process. A "statement of academic goals and research interests" is included with the application, and is beneficial to the admissions committee in reaching its decision. Publications in peer reviewed journals are viewed favorably by the admission committee and submission of reprints is encouraged.

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Q. What's the difference between the two graduate programs in your department?

A. We have two very different graduate programs in our department:
-- Chemical & Biochemical Engineering (CBE)
-- Environmental Engineering & Water Resources (EE)
These two programs arose from the two original departments that merged to form our current department. Research in the CBE program is focused on biochemical and biomedical engineering while reseach in the EE program is focused on water resources. Details related to each program can be found in the graduate student handbooks.

Q. I cannot afford to pay the application fee now. Can I defer the fee until I am admitted?

A. We have a fee-free application process for students meeting certain criteria. Details are provided on our Apply page. If students do not meet these criteria, the application fee cannot be deferred or waived. It is the policy of the Graduate School that the fee be received along with all other required documents before that application is evaluated. Applications requiring a fee, but received without the fee, will be returned. All money orders and/or checks should be made payable to UMBC and should indicate your name, address and social security number.

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Q. I have a non-chemical engineering undergraduate degree. What do I need in order to work toward an advanced degree in chemical engineering?

A. It will almost certainly be necessary for you to take a number of undergraduate engineering courses in addition to the courses required for the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. Chemistry and physics majors will need approximately four additional undergraduate courses. Mathematics and biology majors will typically need more than four additional courses. However, each case is handled individually.

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Q. What is the basis for admissions decisions?

A. The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering's graduate admission committee makes a determination of an applicant's qualification for admission. This is based on the evaluation of your undergraduate (and/or graduate) record, GRE scores, personal statement and letters of recommendation. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required, but there is no set GRE requirement. Each candidate is evaluated individually by a department faculty committee that has the authority to make admission recommendations to the Graduate School. The TOEFL is required for international applicants.

Q. What is the application deadline for admission?

A. The deadline for international applicants and for those seeking financial support is January 1. The deadline for domestic students is July 1; however, the first round of acceptance notifications will be sent sometime in late March and therefore the best chance for acceptance is to apply by the January 1 deadline. While nearly all students are admitted for the fall semester, applications from exceptional candidates received by September 15 will be considered for Spring admission.

Q. I would like to do part-time work for a graduate degree. Can this be done?

A. Part-time programs are possible; however, the department does not regularly offer evening or weekend courses. Graduate courses are scheduled throughout the day. Financial aid is normally not available for part-time students.

Q. Will you consider my application before my final semester transcripts are mailed?

A. Students in their final semester of work toward a bachelor's or master's degree may be offered admission pending the filing of supplementary official transcripts showing the award of the degree.

Q. Is it necessary to submit a separate application for financial aid?

A. No. Upon acceptance to the Graduate School an application will be sent to you from the financial aid office.

Q. How much financial aid is available?

A. PhD students admitted to the department are paid a competitive stipend which is approximately the same as stipends paid in chemical engineering departments at other major research universities in this country. Financial aid is only rarely provided for MS students.

Q. What are the tuition charges and additional fees?

A. For full-time graduate students, the tuition charge per year including fees is approximately $10,000. However, many students receive tuition remission from the department and thus do not pay tuition themselves. Student fees are not covered in the tuition remission and amount to approximately $1,000 per year.

Q. What housing accommodations are available to me?

A. On-campus housing is available in the form of shared four-bedroom apartments, although most graduate students choose to live off campus.

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Biomaterials Engineering