Lehigh’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering offers a vibrant education and research environment with opportunities to specialize in research spanning areas of energy and the environment, biomolecular sciences, functional materials and nanotechnology, colloidal and interfacial science, molecular modeling and simulations, and data science, systems, and controls. All flavors of research are possible, including experiments, modeling, simulation, and theory, and combinations thereof.


History & Impact

A 115+ Year History of Excellence and Impact in Research...
  • Numerous prestigious national faculty CAREER awards, National Academy and Institute awards
  • Frequent regional, national, and international student research and travel awards
  • Department ranked 22nd overall in the most recent (2010) decennial National Research Council’s report on graduate programs (Source: phds.org)
  • Sustained impact since ranking 5th nationally in “High-Impact Chemical Engineering Department Ranking, 1996-2000” based on publication/citation measures (Source: Thomson ISI)
Offering a Vibrant, Faculty-Student Culture at a Scale Amenable to Personalized Mentorship...
  • 15 Tenured Faculty (10 Full Professors, 4 Associate Professors, and 1 Assistant Professor)
  • 2 jointly appointed faculty (Environmental Engineering, Material Science)
  • 1 Professor of Practice.

Research Areas

  • Energy and the Environment: Studying fundamental phenomena guiding energy conversion between conventional and renewable energy forms within the bounds of the First Law of Thermodynamics
    • Faculty: Baltrusaitis, Caram, Gilchrist, McIntosh, Rangarajan, Reichmanis, Snyder, Wachs
  • Biomolecular Sciences: Solving grand societal challenges in health, energy, and sustainability
    • Faculty: Brown, Hsu, Jagota, Kothare, Schultz
  • Materials and Interfaces: Rational engineering of existing materials and design of new materials to meet Grand Challenges in energy, the environment, water, food, and health (e.g., biomimetic surfaces, functional porous powders/thin films, nanocrystals, catalysts, ceramics, hydrogels, polymers)
    • Faculty: Chaudhury, Gilchrist, Jagota, McHugh, McIntosh, Rangarajan, Reichmanis, Schultz, Snyder, Wachs
  • Computations, Systems, and Machine Learning: Developing and applying advanced computing methods to understand, design, and control emerging technologies for energy, health, and the environment
    • Faculty: Baltrusaitis, Jagota, Kothare, Luyben, Rangarajan

Student Opportunities

  • 1st-year Ph.D. Seminar Series: Establishing tools for research success and professional development
  • Annual Graduate Research Symposium: Research showcase by senior Ph.D. students (talks) and all students (posters)
  • Chemical Engineering Graduate Association (ChEGA): Academic and social organization
  • Wenzel Award: Recognition of excellence in the Ph.D. Qualifying exam with discretionary research/travel money
  • Chevron Scholars Award: Recognition of research and classroom accomplishments with financial support for conference travel
  • John Chen Fellowship: Recognition of research productivity, publication history, performance in coursework, potential for future professional success with AIChE Professional Membership and financial support for conference travel
  • Teaching and Academia Preparation: Rossin Doctoral Fellows Program, LU Teacher Development Series

Where Do Our Graduates Go?


GE DuPont Bemis Honeywell UOP
Wanhua Chem Grp Air Products* Bayer Saint-Gobain
Corning Novavak ExxonMobil Intel
Rive AkzoNobel LG Haisys Dow Chemical
Xerox Air Liquide* Advanced Cooling Cummins
Saudi ARAMCO Praxair BASF P&G*
Technologies AMCS Benjamin Moore Linde
Arkema Blue Origin Regeneron Evon
*Indicates PhD internships in addition to full-time employment


  • Domestic Faculty Positions: Cornell, Akron, Clarkson, UMass-Lowell, UT-Dallas, U. Rhode Island
  • International Faculty Positions: Canada, Kuwait, Taiwan, Netherlands, Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia, Korea
  • Research Scientists: Princeton
  • Post-docs: MIT, Princeton, Harvard, Cambridge, Cornell, UT-Austin, Rice
  • National Laboratories: NIST, DOE

Application Guidelines

Guidelines and Benchmarks for Competitive Ph.D. Applicants

I. Prior Degrees: Applicants must have earned a Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) or a Master of Science (M.S.) in Chemical Engineering or a related engineering discipline by the time of their matriculation. Applicants with degrees in related science fields (e.g., chemistry, physics), while less common, will also be considered.

II. GRE Benchmarks: As of Fall 2020, Lehigh CHBE program no longer requires submission of GRE scores as part of the graduate application process.

III. GPA Benchmark: GPA (US equivalent) higher than 3.3 on a 4.0 scale is preferred. GPA standards for international institutions will be followed accordingly. Consideration will be given to a trend showing a strengthening of the core GPA during the final semesters of study.

IV. TOEFL or IELTS (international students only): Individual “skill section score” recommendations for Lehigh University and the Internet based TOEFL are: Writing (20), Speaking (20), Reading (20), Listening (15), Composite score (79). Individual “skill section score” recommendations for Lehigh University and the IELTS are: Writing (6.0), Speaking (6.5), Reading (6.5), Listening (6.0), Overall (6.0)

Ph.D. Application and Material Checklist

In order to complete the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering Graduate Program Application, please visit RCEAS Graduate Admissions: http://www.lehigh.edu/engineering/academics/graduate/admissions/, and the Graduate Application portal: https://www.applyweb.com/lehighg/index.ftl.

Complete applications will require the following:

  • At least three (3) letters of recommendation (submitted online by recommenders) from qualified individuals who are able to evaluate the applicant’s academic achievements and potential for graduate studies and research. Preference is given to letters from research advisors and professors (should account for at least 2 of the letters), but relevant letters from technical/industrial employers who are able to speak to a candidate’s potential for graduate study and research will also be accepted.
  • Candidate’s resume summarizing background relevant to graduate study, including (but not limited to) education/degrees, class rank, relevant coursework, projects, research, technical publications, relevant work experience, career goals, extracurricular activities, etc. The resume should be current, documenting experiences and positions held up to and at the time of application.
  • Candidate’s Personal Statement, detailing motivation or graduate study, relevant background and research experience, specific research interests, specific faculty of interest, etc.
  • Complete transcripts from each college and university attended. Unofficial copies may be uploaded by the candidate, but official transcripts from the prior institution’s Registrar office must be submitted by candidates who accept offers of admission.  Transcripts should be sent directly to the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department.
  • As of Fall 2020, Lehigh CHBE program no longer requires submission of GRE scores as part of the graduate application process.
  • International students: Official TOEFL or IELTS scores sent to Lehigh University by ETS (Educational Testing Service). If applicant received a degree in the United States within the past two years, these test scores can be waived. Both assessments are available for only two years from the date the test was taken.
  • Application fee of $75 (non-refundable), payable to “Lehigh University”

Ph.D. Admission Deadline

For prospective Ph.D. students seeking fall admission, full applications (including test scores and letters of recommendation) should be submitted by no later than Jan. 15.

Early applications are encouraged.


Please contact Graduate Admissions (inchegs@lehigh.edu) in Lehigh’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with any questions.

Chemical Engineering


Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Lehigh University
111 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015-4791

Email: inchegs@lehigh.edu
Phone: (610) 758-4261
Apply Now: Graduate Admissions