The program information below is valid for the spring 2019 term (May 1, 2019 - August 31, 2019).

The Graduate Studies Academic Calendar is updated 3 times per year, at the start of each academic term (January 1, May 1, September 1). Graduate Studies Academic Calendars from previous terms can be found in the archives.

Graduate research fields

  • Biochemical and Biomedical Engineering
  • Green Reaction Engineering
  • Interfacial Phenomena, Colloids and Porous Media
  • Nanotechnology
  • Polymer Science and Engineering
  • Process Systems Engineering
  • Separation Processes
  • Admit term(s) 
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Spring
  • Delivery mode 
    • On-campus
  • Length of program 
    • The minimum period of registration for the PhD degree is four terms. Degree requirements must be satisfied within four calendar years following the date of admission into the PhD program, unless extensions are approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, Engineering. Requests for extension must be supported by a written departmental recommendation along with a realistic timetable for the completion of the degree and evidence of adequate progress in research. Extensions are not granted automatically and will be refused in the case of inadequate progress. University of Waterloo regulations stipulate that approval of an extension past three extended terms is at the discretion of the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies.
    • A minimum of two terms of full-time residence is expected from students who wish to proceed on a part-time basis. Full-time residency means that a student is present on campus for at least three days a week, or a sufficient period of time per week to satisfy the supervisor. The most appropriate time for this residence period will be established in consultation with the supervisor(s) and the Associate Chair Graduate Studies.
    • Part-time students should be advised that the Faculty of Engineering expects at least 20 hours per week to be devoted to advanced study and research.
  • Program type 
    • Doctoral
    • Research
  • Registration option(s) 
    • Full-time
    • Part-time
  • Study option(s) 
  • Minimum requirements 
    • At the time of admission, each student must have an approved PhD supervisor who has agreed in writing to supervise their academic program or co-supervisors, at least one of whom is an approved PhD supervisor. The Faculty of Engineering maintains a list of individually approved research supervisors, known as Approved Doctoral Dissertation Supervisors (ADDS). Additions to and deletions from this list are made by the Engineering Graduate Studies Sub-Committee upon the recommendation of the Chemical Engineering Department’s Associate Chair for Graduate Studies.
    • Applicants must demonstrate excellence of background preparation and academic achievement in prior degrees and, usually, possess a relevant, thesis-based Master's degree. In the Faculty of Engineering, a minimum 80% standing in an applicant's appropriate Master's program is the usual requirement. A Master's degree obtained without a full research thesis is normally an inadequate qualification for admission to the PhD program.
    • Within the three required references for admission to Graduate Studies, the opinions on academic preparation and research ability must refer to the applicant’s demonstrated ability to formulate research problems and execute the research required to solve problems, as indicated by a Master’s of Applied Science (MASc) research thesis or published scientific/technical paper. The references should also refer to the applicant having adequate English language skills to pursue a doctoral program, with all of its requirements, at the University of Waterloo.
    • The Engineering Graduate Studies Sub-Committee requires objective evidence of English language skills. Technical publications that have been written principally by an applicant and published in refereed English language journals, a thesis written in English, or a personal interview with the Chemical Engineering Department’s Associate Chair for Graduate Studies are also considered as evidence.
    • Transfer to the PhD program without completion of the MASc program: A student enrolled in a MASc program at the University of Waterloo may apply for transfer to the PhD program without completing a Master's degree. Transfer from a MASc program to a PhD program will normally be initiated at the Department level.
    • The supervisor shall prepare for the Chemical Engineering Department’s Graduate Review Committee a memorandum that summarizes the applicant’s qualifications for transfer. At least one additional written recommendation from another Chemical Engineering Department faculty member will facilitate a decision on the transfer request.
    • Admission to the PhD program from a BASc program: In exceptional cases, applicants who have spent at least three years pursuing an appropriate Honours Bachelor's degree may be considered for admission to a PhD program, upon request from the Chemical Engineering Department.
  • Application materials 
    • Résumé
    • Supplementary information form
    • Transcript(s)
  • References 
    • Number of references:  3
    • Type of references: 

      at least 2 academic

  • English language proficiency (ELP) (if applicable)

    Thesis option:

  • Graduate Academic Integrity Module (Graduate AIM)
  • Courses 
    • Students with a Chemical Engineering background with a MASc degree must complete 3 graduate courses (0.50 unit weight per course). Within these courses:
      • At least 2 must be core CHE courses, as listed below.
      • 3 must be 600 or 700 level graduate courses.
      • No more than 1 may be a held with course.
      • No more than 1 may be taught by supervisor(s).
      • No more than 1 may be a reading course.
    • Students with a Chemical Engineering background without a MASc degree must complete 7 graduate courses (0.50 unit weight per course). Within these courses:
      • At least 4 must be core CHE courses, as listed below.
      • 5 must be 600 or 700 level graduate courses.
      • No more than 2 may be 500 level or held with courses.
      • No more than 2 may be taught by supervisor(s).
      • No more than 1 may be a reading course.
    • Students with a Non-Chemical Engineering background with a MASc degree must complete 3 core graduate courses (0.50 unit weight per course). Within these courses:
      • At least 3 must be core CHE courses, as listed below.
      • 3 must be 600 or 700 level graduate courses.
      • No more than 1 may be taught by supervisor(s).
      • No more than 1 may be a reading course.
    • Core CHE courses:
      • CHE 610 Theory and Application of Transport Phenomena
      • CHE 612 Interfacial Phenomena
      • CHE 620 Applied Engineering Mathematics
      • CHE 622 Statistics in Engineering
      • CHE 630 Chemical Reactor Analysis
      • CHE 640 Principles of Polymer Science
      • CHE 660 Principles of Biochemical Engineering
      • NANO 701 Fundamentals of Nanotechnology (two 0.25 credit NANO 701 modules)
      • NANO 702 Nanotechnology Tools (two 0.25-credit NANO 702 modules)
    • The Chemical Engineering Department may require students to take more than 3 courses. In every case, a graduate course program is established by the supervisor(s) in consultation with the student and, if deemed necessary, with the Associate Chair Graduate Studies of the Department. Students may also be required to take additional courses as a result of a comprehensive examination.
    • Students must achieve a:
      • Minimum cumulative average of 70%.
      • Minimum grade of 65% in each individual course.
      • Minimum grade of 70% in each core course.
      • Note: Probationary students may have specific grade requirements, which will be specified in their admission letter.
    • Each student is responsible for monitoring their own academic records and must immediately notify their Graduate Coordinator of any inadequate grade or average.
    • At least 50% of the final grade in core courses will be determined by a final written exam.
  • Link(s) to courses
  • Seminar Attendance
    • Over the course of their degree program, all PhD students should attend 24 seminars from departments and research institutions where Chemical Engineering faculty members have a membership. The Chemical Engineering seminars are documented in the Events section of the Chemical Engineering Department.
    • Note: At Chemical Engineering seminars, attendance is documented. At other approved seminars, students must complete an attendance form and get it signed by the seminar organizer. Full instructions are available on the Department website.
  • PhD Comprehensive Examination
    • The PhD Comprehensive Examination (due in 4th term) consists of an oral examination conducted at the University of Waterloo with the candidate and members of the Comprehensive Examining Committee present. The examination consists of the following two parts:
      • An examination of the research proposal that the student intends to develop into a successful PhD research thesis.
      • An examination of the breadth of the candidate's knowledge of the academic field of the thesis and the adequacy of the candidate's background preparation to pursue the proposed research.
  • PhD Thesis
    • Students are expected to maintain continuous registration until the thesis is submitted to Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs. Under exceptional circumstances, students may request Departmental approval for inactive terms.
    • The role of a supervisor is to help a student establish a research problem with an appropriate scope, suggest alternative general approaches to the solution of a problem, and provide general advice on the structure and content of a thesis. The professional engineering code of ethics must be strictly observed in the supervisor-student relationship.