A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0/4.0 or a graduate GPA of 3.5/4.0, a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) minimum score (verbal + quantitative) of 1200, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement of educational goals are required to be considered for admission into the Ph.D. program. For international students, a TOEFL score of at least 550 is also required. For applicants without a chemical engineering degree, the Department Graduate Coordinator will determine a plan of study that will facilitate successful completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. degree. This may include additional coursework, independent study, or other means to enhance the student's knowledge of key elements in this field.
1. Credit Hour Requirements
Ph.D. candidates must complete a minimum of 70 credit hours of coursework beyond the bachelor's degree. The Lamar University Chemical Engineering Ph.D. program requires a coherent program of (1) 15 credit hours selected from the specified core courses, (2) 21 credit hours of elective courses in chemical engineering or related fields (electives from other colleges must be approved on a case-by-case basis), (3) 4 hours of Professional Seminar (6110), (4) a research project of at least 12 hours of research courses prior to admission to candidacy, and (5) 18 hours of Ph.D. dissertation courses (6690 and 6691) after admission to candidacy.
2. Direct Action Items
Ph.D. Advisor and Advisory Committee
The Ph.D. advisor is mutually selected by the student and the faculty member. The Ph.D. advisor must be a Lamar University graduate faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering. The Ph.D. Advisory Committee will consist of a minimum of three Lamar University graduate faculty members in the Department of Chemical Engineering and one graduate faculty member from another department or one qualified expert from other institutions, organizations, or industry with the invitation of the advisor and the approval of the Department Chair, the Dean of Engineering, and the Dean of Graduate Studies. In addition, the Dean of Graduate Studies will appoint a graduate faculty member from another college as the Graduate Council Representative at both the defense of the dissertation proposal and the oral defense of the dissertation.
Written Qualifying Examination
Each student desiring the Ph.D. degree is required to pass a written qualifying examination. The purpose of the written qualifying examination is to test the student's understanding of basic scientific and engineering principles and their application to the student's research interests. Students must attempt the written qualifying examination during either their second or third long semester in the program. The written qualifying examination is administered once each long semester. The student's cumulative graduate GPA must be at least 3.0 at the time of the examination.
The written qualifying examination is an eight-hour written examination with a selection of problems from Transport Phenomena, Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Engineering Mathematics designed to test understanding of basic concepts and principles. Based on the results of the written qualifying examination, the Ph.D. qualifying examination committee will recommend the student (1) be allowed to prepare a dissertation proposal, (2) be granted a second and final attempt at one or more parts of the examination, or (3) be withdrawn from the Ph.D. program.
Students must select their Ph.D. advisor within one semester after passing the Ph.D. written qualifying examination. Students must submit their degree plans within one year of passing the Ph.D. written qualifying examination. The degree plan must be approved by the Ph.D. advisor, the Department Graduate Coordinator, the Department Chair, the Dean of Engineering, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.
The general field of dissertation research should be agreed upon by the student and the Ph.D. Advisory Committee. As soon thereafter as the research project can be outlined in reasonable detail, the student should complete the dissertation proposal. The dissertation proposal must be approved at a meeting of the student's Advisory Committee. The committee will also review the feasibility of the proposed research and the adequacy of available facilities.
The approved proposal must be signed by all members of the student's Advisory Committee (with the exception of the Graduate Council Representative), the Department Chair, and the Dean of Engineering. It must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies at least 14 weeks prior to the scheduling of the final examination.
Students performing research involving human subjects, animals, infectious biohazards or recombinant DNA must receive approval from the College of Graduate Studies prior to conducting their research.
The student is admitted to candidacy only after the defense and the approval of the dissertation proposal and the completion of a minimum of 12 graduate credit hours.
After the dissertation proposal is approved, the candidate may begin to prepare the dissertation under the guidance of the Ph.D. advisor and the Advisory Committee. The dissertation must be an original work of the candidate that demonstrates the student's ability to perform independent research. Acceptance of the dissertation is based primarily on its scholarly merit, but it must also exhibit credible literary workmanship. The format of the dissertation must be acceptable to the College of Graduate Studies .
The candidate must submit a single, unbound copy of the dissertation in final form to the College of Graduate Studies at least 10 days before the oral dissertation defense (final exam).
The candidate for the Ph.D. degree must pass a dissertation defense by deadline dates announced in the “Academic Calendar” each semester or summer term. No student may defend a dissertation without having current official cumulative and degree plan GPAs of 3.0 or better and without having been admitted to candidacy. There must be no grades of D, F, I, or U for any course listed on the degree plan. To absolve a deficient grade, a student must repeat the course and achieve a grade of C (or S) or better. Students must be registered during the semester in which the dissertation defense takes place and must have completed all course work on their degree plans with the exception of remaining dissertation courses.
The qualifying examination results and the dissertation proposal must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies at least 14 weeks prior to the date of the defense. The request for permission to hold and announce the dissertation defense must be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies a minimum of 10 working days in advance of the scheduled defense date. The dissertation defense for the Ph.D. degree must be administered on campus unless otherwise authorized by the College of Graduate Studies .
The student's Ph.D. Advisory Committee, as finally constituted, will evaluate this dissertation defense. A positive vote by members of the Ph.D. Advisory Committee (with the exception of the Graduate Council Representative) with no more than one dissension is required to pass the defense. The candidate and all visitors must excuse themselves from the proceedings before the vote.
The Advisory Committee will submit its recommendations on the appropriate form to the College of Graduate Studies regarding acceptability of the candidate for the Ph.D. degree. Defenses that are not completed and reported as satisfactory to the College of Graduate Studies within 2 working days of the scheduled defense date will be recorded as failures.
By dates announced each semester in the “Academic Calendar,” the candidate must submit to the College of Graduate Studies three official copies of the dissertation in final form on rag content paper with two extra copies of the abstract. The dissertation must include all suggestions and corrections of the members of the student's Advisory Committee and must bear the signatures of the advisor, the Department Chair, the Dean of Engineering, and the members of the student's Advisory Committee, with the exception of the Graduate Council Representative.