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Undergraduate Program

Accelerated Path to MS

4+1 Option

The 4+1 Option provides an accelerated path to a masters-of-science degree in chemical engineering in only one additional year and with substantial cost savings. University of Rochester undergraduate students majoring in chemical engineering are eligible. MS degree requirements are described here. The 4+1 Option is designed for strong chemical engineering undergraduate students who wish to earn a higher-level degree.

The 4+1 Option incorporates the four-year BS degree in chemical engineering with a fifth year to complete the MS, enabling substantially higher earning potential. According to the 2019 AIChE Salary Survey, the mean salary of chemical engineers with a BS was ca. $119,000, whereas that of chemical engineers with an MS was ca. $145,000.

Advantages of the 4+1 Option

Significant savings regarding cost and time!

University of Rochester chemical engineering undergraduate students who move up to the chemical engineering MS program through the 4+1 Option can bring forward up to 10 free credits of graduate 400-level course credits taken as an undergraduate student. These credits cannot be used toward the BS degree, but they will count toward the MS degree; students in the 4+1 Option need to let the Undergraduate Coordinator Jen Condit know that they want to use the graduate level credits toward the MS and not the BS degree.

Students who take the 10 free 400-level credits as undergraduate students can easily complete the remaining 22 credits in the MS program (coursework option) in only two graduate semesters.

Students accepted into the 4+1 Option may receive additional tuition discounts. In the past, our 4+1 students received 50% tuition discount on average for MS courses.

Eligibility

Only University of Rochester undergraduate students majoring in chemical engineering or related fields are eligible.

Application to the 4+1 Option

All applications should be sent to the Graduate Coordinator Vicki Heberling. Students must include the following materials in their application:

  • Transcript
  • Personal Statement
  • One letter of recommendation

Students who maintain a minimum overall 3.3 GPA during their undergraduate experience do not need to submit a letter of recommendation. Students with a lower GPA are also encouraged to apply.

Application fees to the MS program are waived for 4+1 students.

Applications are due by January 15 during each year. Late 4+1 MS applications may be accepted until the end of April.

MS degree through the 4+1 Option (32 Credit Hours)

The 4+1 Option allows eligible students to start working on their MS degree during their undergraduate years and graduate with an MS in chemical engineering by year five. Students are encouraged to plan early for the 4+1 Option to balance the additional 400-level courses with their undergraduate degree requirements.

Students who apply and are accepted to the coursework-based MS degree must earn a minimum of 32 graduate credit hours. At least 18 credits should be courses within the chemical engineering department. Students who choose this option are required to pass an oral exit exam.

All students in the MS program must complete the following four core courses, comprising 16 credits:

  • CHE 400: Applied Boundary Value Problems (fall)
  • CHE 441: Advanced Transport Phenomena (fall)
  • CHE 461: Advanced Kinetics and Reactor Design (spring)
  • CHE 485: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (spring)

For more information on the specific program requirements, please see our graduate handbook. For an up-to-date list of currently offered courses and electives see our course catalog.

Taking a 400-level elective in senior fall and two 400-level core courses in senior spring has been a popular option with students, to benefit from the 10 free credits of graduate 400-level course credits offered by the 4+1 Option.