Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Graduate Degrees: Ph.D., M.S.

Apply for Admission: December 12, 2016 (Ph.D), January 6, 2017 (M.S.)

Required Tests: GRE (general test)


At Berkeley, graduate work in chemical and biomolecular engineering emphasizes the excitement of original research in frontier areas of applied science. Graduate students may pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering, or they may apply to either the Product Development or Bioprocess Engineering concentration to obtain an MS in Chemical Engineering. While formal courses are necessary to provide scientific fundamentals and intellectual breadth, the primary characteristic of Berkeley's graduate experience is to participate in the quest for new knowledge. Graduate students and faculty collaborate as partners in scholarship, in learning, and in intellectual discovery.

Master's Concentrations

Product Development Program (MS)

The PDP is a graduate-level degree program whose central aim is to fill the unmet need at national and international levels for graduates of chemical engineering and related disciplines who have knowledge and field experience in the complex process of transforming technical innovations into commercially successful products. In the space of one calendar year, PDP graduates will gain exposure to real-world product development practices in a range of chemical process-intensive industries including biotechnology, microelectronics, nanoscience, and consumer products (concentrations within the program). The PDP does not require a research thesis, but students will find completing the extensive coursework and field study assignment challenging. By combining elements of advanced technical knowledge with focused business-related training, the PDP aims to fill a specific niche in the “choice space” of graduate education options for engineering graduates.

The academic content of the program is the result of a careful design process using as input the results of extensive interviews with industry, faculty and students. Each component of the program has been thoroughly vetted with several representatives from each one of these stakeholder groups. As currently structured, the program will offer a one calendar year course of study that will result in the award of a Master’s of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in product development.

Bioprocess Engineering (MS)

The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Bioprocess Engineering (MSCEBE) will provide you upon completion of a 9-month program with an understanding and ability to apply Bioprocess Engineering to a number of key technological needs spanning multiple industries. These include ways to produce biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and other high-value biologics; how to design and/or operate appropriate unit operations (e.g., fermentation systems), mammalian-cell culture systems, and instrumentation to monitor and control biotechnological processes; and how to apply and test bioproduct separation technologies. Unlike other programs, the new program at UC Berkeley will have access to state-of-the-art bioprocessing equipment at the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU), which is part of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Access to the ABPDU will afford you with an integrated didactic experience. As a result, you will be able to immediately apply hands-on knowledge and become specialized in knowing how to relate engineering concepts to biological system sand organisms.

PhD Program

The PhD program is designed to enlarge the body of knowledge of the student and, more importantly, to discover and develop talent for original, productive, and creative work in chemical and biomolecular engineering. Breadth of knowledge and professional training are achieved through advanced course work. To develop the creative talents of the student, a paramount emphasis in the PhD program is placed on intensive research, a project on which students work closely with one or more members of the faculty.

PhD students may choose to add a designated emphasis (DE) to their program. A designated emphasis is a specialization, such as a new method of inquiry or an important field of application, which is relevant to two or more existing doctoral degree programs. Designated emphases open to students in this PhD program include: Nanoscale Science and Engineering (NSE); Energy Sciences and Technology (DEEST); Communication, Computation and Statistic; Computational and Genomic Biology; and New Media.

Source: Berkeley Academic Guide

Programs List