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Oklahoma State University

MS Degree Program

An M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State University signifies that the recipient has demonstrated advanced knowledge of fundamental chemical engineering topics. In addition, an M.S. graduate has exhibited the ability to successfully and independently integrate this knowledge to solve complex quantitative problems in a logical manner.

Objectives

Specific educational objectives have been established for the M.S. program, and they can be met through a combination of course work, independent study and other mechanisms (e.g., seminar). These objectives are shown below, along with the criteria used to assess success in achieving them.

Educational Objectives Outcome Assessments

1. Build upon and expand the student’s undergraduate education by emphasizing depth in thermodynamics, transport phenomena, kinetics, and mathematical modeling

Complete the “core” courses in the M.S. curriculum

2. Expand personal knowledge of the broad range of applications of chemical engineering

Complete three credits of Chemical Engineering Seminar (CHE 6010)

3. Develop the skills required to work independently to solve unique problems in chemical engineering

Complete an M.S. thesis research project

4. Attain additional knowledge (breadth and/or depth) in topics related to chemical engineering

Complete at least two M.S. elective courses related to the student’s career objectives

5. Develop effective written and oral communications skills

Write, and defend orally, an M.S. thesis

The emphasis in course work during the M.S. degree is on depth of understanding of subject matter and on preparing students for careers in the areas of their interest. Depth is obtained through broad-based “core” courses addressing knowledge expected of all chemical engineers, while other courses are targeted toward the student’s research and specific career interests. The core areas include fundamentals and applications of mathematical modeling, thermodynamics, kinetics and transport phenomena. The courses are structured to expand and add depth to the students’ undergraduate knowledge.

Additional “elective” courses must be selected, with the advice and consent of the student’s research advisor, from graduate-approved courses in any department. The choice of courses is based solely on improving skills related to the student’s educational objectives. Each Fall and Spring Semester, all students will participate in a seminar class to give them an overview of – and appreciation for – the wide range of applicability of chemical engineering knowledge. Students also complete “research” courses as part of the M.S. thesis research project.

Minimum Performance Requirements

Satisfactory academic performance is required of all students in the M.S. program. Minimum acceptable performance is evaluated as follows.

If a student receives a grade of “C” or "UR" in any CHE course the student’s performance will be reviewed before the beginning of the next semester or summer term by the committee, or the CHE faculty if the committee is not constituted.  A decision regarding the student’s retention or dismissal from the program will be made by the school head based on a) overall classroom performance, b) progress to date on the research topic,and c) the faculty’s assessment of the student’s prospect for successful future progress in the graduate program.  Results of this review may include, but are not limited to:

a. Continuation in the program,
b. Required enrollment in remedial course work,
c. Required defense of research progress to date and/or an effective outline of future research plans, or
d. Dismissal from the graduate program

In all cases, any CHE course with a grade of “C” must be repeated at the next offering of the course.  A grade of “C” in a second course will again result in a review of the student’s progress. In all but the rarest cases, a second “C” in a CHE course (or a “D” or “F” in any course) will result in dismissal from the graduate program.  Further, at the completion of 25 or more credit hours in the M.S. or Ph.D. program, the student must have a cumulative grade point average (exclusive of CHE 5000, 5990 and 6000) of no less than 3.00/4.00.

In all cases where satisfactory performance is in question, the faculty has the prerogative to alter the degree program of the student.  For an M.S. student, the student may be reassigned to a “Creative Component” option (see Section D.4).  For such a reassignment the student will not be eligible to pursue the Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering at OSU.

Course Work

A minimum of thirty (30) semester credits is required by the University for Graduation; this requirement is met by the CHE M.S. curriculum, which is summarized as follows:

Items Course Description Credits
Core courses

CHE 5123 - Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering

CHE 5213 - Selected Diffusional Unit Operations

CHE 5743 - Chemical Engineering Process Modeling

CHE 5843 - Principles of Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

12
Seminar CHE 6010 - Chemical Engineering Seminar 3
Elective Graduate-approved elective (CHE or other) courses, selected by the student, with approval of the student's advisor. Suggested Elective Courses 6
Thesis CHE 5000- M.S. Thesis 6
Others CHE 5990- Special Problems 3
  TOTAL 30

Thesis and Oral Examination

Each M.S. candidate must prepare a written thesis and defend it before an examining committee of at least three faculty members (minimum two from the department). The written document must satisfy the requirements of the Graduate College for format and structure. The thesis defense consists of a twenty-minute (maximum) oral presentation by the student, followed by questions from the committee. Questioning continues for as long as the committee chairman deems appropriate. The student is then dismissed, and the committee deliberates in private. When a decision is reached the committee informs the student of their decision. The committee will normally reach one of the following conclusions:

  • The candidate has completed the CHE M.S. thesis requirement,
  • The candidate must revise the thesis to the satisfaction of the Examining Committee, with possible reexamination, or
  • The candidate has failed the examination and is dismissed from the M.S. program or converted to the creative component option.

Minimum Enrollment

                            (MS Milestone Checklist)

First Semester

  • Ten (10) credit hours must be taken
  • Courses must include all required CHE core courses offered that semester
  • Remedial English (ENGL 0003) may be taken in place of one of the above courses, if necessary (but may not be used to satisfy any graduation requirement)
  • One (1) hour of CHE 6010 must be included

Second Semester

  • Ten (10) credit hours must be taken
  • Courses must include all required CHE core courses offered that semester
  • One (1) hour of CHE 6010 must be included

Subsequent Semesters

  • At least three (3) hours of CHE 5000 and one (1) hour of CHE 6010 must be taken. This applies to all semesters, including the last semester (or part of a semester) in which the student is enrolled. (In summer sessions, at least two hours of CHE 5000 must be taken; CHE 6010 is not required).
  • Minimum enrollment is six hours in the fall and spring semesters, and three hours in the summer. The specific courses will be determined by the student with approval of the advisor.

Exceptions to these minimum enrollment requirements can be made to permit a student to carry fewer than 10 hours in the first two semesters if, upon initial enrollment in the program, the student agrees not to request financial support at any future time while in the M.S. program.

Creative Component Option (Non-Thesis)

The M.S. degree may also be earned by the Creative Component option.  A minimum of thirty-two (32) semester credits is required by the University for Graduation; this requirement is met by the CHE M.S. curriculum, which is summarized as follows:

Items Course Description Credits
Core courses

CHE 5123 - Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering

CHE 5213 - Selected Diffusional Unit Operations

CHE 5743 - Chemical Engineering Process Modeling

CHE 5843 - Principles of Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

12
Seminar CHE 6010 - Chemical Engineering Seminar 3
Elective Graduate-approved elective (CHE or other) courses, selected by the student, with approval of the student's advisor. Suggested Elective Courses 15
Others CHE 5990- Special Problems 2
  TOTAL 32

The elective courses must approved by the student’s advisor (must include Stagewise - CHE 5633 and Process Simulation – CHE 5373).  The CHE 5990 course is used for research, and a report (a “mini-thesis”) must be submitted and defended, prepared in the style of an M.S. thesis, but not submitted for Graduate College approval. The creative component option is used only in unusual cases, and only at the suggestion of the student’s research advisor.