Chemical Engineering - PhD – Faculty of Engineering

Chemical Engineering – PhD

The PhD degree is a thesis-based program where students are required to complete courses in addition to writing and defending a thesis.

4 years
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (Co-op Available)



The dissertation must be an original contribution to chemical engineering and must also be defended at an oral examination.


A Supervisory committee determines when a candidate is ready to write his/her thesis and then ascertains whether the quality of presentation is satisfactory. The student is required to defend the thesis at a Final Oral Examination.


The Department arranges a series of seminars; graduate students are expected to attend and participate in these seminars. Ph.D. students must present one seminar on their research work before they graduate.

Post-degree studies

A post-degree student is one who holds a university degree and has been given permission to take a specific graduate course, but has not been admitted to a graduate program. Please apply for Post Degree studies through the on-line application system.

Admission requirements

Academic Prerequisites

Master’s Degree (MAsc, MSc, or equivalent) in a related field.

Find English language requirements here.

Anticipated Admission Range
Minimum B+ (77-79%)
Student working on machine. Hands-on experience.

How to apply

We accept applications throughout the year, but it is very advantageous to have applications in well before the deadline dates.

All applications must be received through the web-based application process. You will upload all required documents to your application.

September admission deadline:
Visa – 01 March
Domestic – 01 May

January admission deadline:
Visa – 01 July
Domestic – 23 October


Please make sure that you fill out your name correctly. If you get an admission to McMaster University, we will register you under the name that appears on your application form. Your name should be consistent with your passport, birth certificate, social insurance number etc. unless your personal situation changes.

Two confidential letters of recommendation from instructors most familiar with your academic work. Please note that McMaster University uses the Electronic Referencing System. By entering the email address of your referee through the online application, the system will automatically send an e-Reference request on your behalf. If for some reason you are unable to use the Electronic Referencing System, you can download the reference form here (PDF).

Upload your transcript(s) to the application system. If you are presented with an offer, it will be conditional that you provide us with the original copies at a later date. If the final transcript does not show that a completed degree has been conferred, an official/notarized copy of your diploma is also required.

A one page summary describing the area of Chemical Engineering that you wish to study. Many students also include a brief summary of relevant employment experience. This statement helps faculty members identify prospective graduate students for their program.

An official copy of your TOEFL score, or other evidence of competency in English. Please read the frequently asked questions to see the minimum requirements.

To finalize your application, you need to agree to our terms and conditions, and pay a non-refundable application fee ($110 CAD) by credit card or debit card. The Student Accounts & Cashiers website indicates acceptable methods of payment. If you are paying the application fee by credit or debit card, please remember to return to the online application to click “Submit” Your application will not be considered for admission until your application fee has been paid.

If you identify yourself as a PR on your application, you must upload proof of PR status to your application.

All required documents should be uploaded to your application prior to submission. If you have official documents you would like to send us, please send them to:

Graduate Assistant
Department of Chemical Engineering, JHE 374
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L7

Applications should be sent as early as possible, as acceptance is on a competitive basis. Please read the frequently asked questions to learn about the deadlines for application. Please note, applications that are not complete within an eight week period after the application form has been submitted to the Department, will be closed.

To be accepted for study, the applicant must satisfy the Graduate Admissions Committee of the Department and the University and must also be accepted for supervision by a member of the Department. In submitting an application, the applicant should carefully choose an area of research from those described on this website. Normally individual departmental members will be asked to consider an applicant for work in their laboratories on the basis of the applicant’s chosen area of study.

Completed application forms should be directed to, “The Graduate Assistant”,

Academic advisor talking to student

Frequently asked questions

We will provide financial support to any student who does not already have external support and is admitted to one of our full-time research-based graduate degree programs (M.A.Sc. and Ph.D.) and is not over-time. In our Department, full-time, on-time students receive a combination of support which many include a combination of a research stipend, a teaching assistantship, a departmental scholarship, and/or a bursary. Our Departmental policy ensures that the sum total of this support is such that after tuition fees have been paid, full-time students will receive a minimum net amount of $17,500, as long as the student remains in good standing to graduate on time. Students with scholarships from external agencies have an opportunity to earn more, and eligible students are encouraged to apply for these awards. We regularly review our support levels to ensure that students can concentrate on their studies.

No. If you are interested in particular professors, you should identify any potential supervisors of interest in your Statement of Interest that you include with your formal application (it is ok to list more than one professor). We will ensure that those professors will receive your application for review. You do not need to find a supervisor before applying. If you do not have specific supervisors in mind, you have the ability to select research areas of interest and the application will be sent to professors in those areas for review.

Please check the on-line application using your access ID number to see what documents have been received. Applications will not be reviewed until all materials are received.

Your completed application is sent for review by our admissions committee. You will be notified as soon as possible, but in peak periods, this review can take up to 6 weeks.

If an unsuccessful applicant wishes to reapply, a new application package, including supporting documentation and application fee must be submitted. Applications from one year are not held over to another year. All documentation submitted in support of your application for admission becomes the property of the University and will not be returned.

Co-op and Student Life

  • Graduate Co-op

    Master’s and PhD students may complete 4 to 12 months of co-op experience in various types of organizations, including corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, startups and research institutions.

    Explore Co-op
  • Engineering Graduate Society

    The EGS actively supports engineering graduate students through events, workshops, bursaries, and collaboration with various campus organizations, focusing on representation, community building, and academic and professional development.

    Visit the EGS site
  • Life in Hamilton

    Hamilton, also known as The Hammer or Steeltown, is a thriving city close to the U.S. border and Toronto, with easy access for students commuting from the Greater Toronto Area via the on-campus GO Bus Terminal.

    Discover Hamilton, ON

How to apply

Understand every step, from applying, to accepting your offer and joining us on campus!

Request more information

Thank you for your interest in our Graduate Studies. Please fill out the form below, and we will connect with you to answer all of your questions.

Drone shot of JHE