MSE Requirements

The MSE application deadline for Fall 2022 is May 1, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
We will start reviewing applications on a rolling basis after December 15th.

 

Master of Science in Engineering (requiring an essay) Checklist:

Click here to download the 2021-2022 MSE Degree Requirements Checklist

Master of Science (MSE) Degree Program

Students have several options in pursuing a Masters’ degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering here:

  1. Essay-based MSE: A research-intensive MSE in which students take six 3-credit graduate-level courses and undertake original research. The end product of the research is in the form of an MSE Essay submitted to the university and a presentation open to the department. (See “Essay-Based Students” below for more details.) This option typically takes four semesters and the intervening summer to complete. It can be shorter for students who began working on their research project while an undergraduate at Hopkins (see “Combined BS/MSE Program and Students with BS in ChemBE from Johns Hopkins” below for more details) or for students who do their research through the INBT Co-op Program (see “INBT Industry Co-Op Program” below for more details).
  2. Course-based MSE: A coursework-only degree in which students take ten 3-credit graduate-level courses (see “All Students’ Course Requirements” below for more details). This option typically takes three semesters to complete. It can be shorter for students who began taking graduate-level courses while an undergraduate at Hopkins (see “Combined BS/MSE Program and Students with BS in ChemBE from Johns Hopkins” below for more details).
  3. Design-based MSE: Similar to the essay-based MSE track (and classified as a subset of such), except 3–4 semesters of Product Design are taken in addition to the six other graduate-level courses, and the end product is a written report and a presentation open to the department (see “Chemical Product Design Track (Design-based MSE)” below for more details). Please contact Prof. Marc Donohue ([email protected]) for more details and to enroll prior to registration in your first semester (~July 20).

Students can also pursue a Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM), administered through the Center for Leadership Education (CLE), combining courses in ChemBE with those in management. (See https://msem.engineering.jhu.edu for more details.)

 

All Students’ Course Requirements

  • Full-time registration for MSE students is 9 credits per semester.
  • In the first semester: there is a mandatory Academic Ethics module and quiz embedded in the online orientation which is part of every graduate student’s degree requirements and must be completed with a passing grade. You will see the course EN.500.603 added to your SIS enrollments; do not drop this course! Information will be sent closer to the start of the semester. See https://engineering.jhu.edu/admissions/graduate-admissions/full-time-programs/newly-admitted-students/graduate-student-orientation/ for more information.
  • Students must enroll in least one semester of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Seminar (EN.540.600 in Fall or EN.540.601 in Spring) throughout their tenure.
  • Students must complete a total of
    • 18 credits (for essay-based and design-based students), typically satisfied by six 3-credit courses,
    • 30 credits (for course-based students), typically satisfied by ten 3-credit courses, of graduate-level (i.e., 600-level and above) courses approved by the student’s research advisor and the Director of Masters’ Studies. The student and research advisor will select these courses to design a curriculum appropriate for the student’s research interests and educational goals. The courses must be taken for a letter grade (See “COVID-19 P/F Policy” below for more details). These courses cannot include seminars, independent studies, graduate research, or special studies.
  • Minimum ChemBE course requirement: At least
    • 4 of the 6 courses (for essay-based and design-based students)
    • 6 of the 10 courses (for course-based students) must be in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department (EN.540.6xx or EN.545.6xx). Three of these courses are MSE core courses (see below).
    • Exceptions to this rule are very rare and must be approved by the Director of Masters’ Studies. A course from a department other than ChemBE may be allowed to count as one of the four courses only if the course has significant ChemBE content, is 3 credits (or if the student intends to use their one allowable substitution on a set of courses that add up to 3 credits), and is consistent with the student’s research interests and educational goals as determined by the student’s research advisor and the Director of Masters’ Studies.
    • Students in the Design-based MSE track must take Product Design (EN.540.691 – EN.540.694), one per semester for 3–4 semesters. These courses do not count towards the 6 courses.

 

Core Courses

  • Students must take three core courses, one from each of the following categories:
    • Core 1 – Thermodynamics
      • 540.671 “Advanced Thermodynamics in Practice”, typically offered in the Spring semester.
      • With approval from the Director of Masters’ Studies and the instructor, this course may be substituted for the more advanced version, EN.540.630 “Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics”, typically offered in the Fall semester.
    • Core 2 – Transport
      • 540.604 “Advanced Transport Phenomena in Practice”, typically offered in the Spring semester.
      • With approval from the Director of Masters’ Studies and the instructor, this course may be substituted for the more advanced version, EN.540.652 “Advanced Transport Phenomena”, typically offered in the Fall semester.
    • Core 3 – Kinetics
      • 540.673 “Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering in Practice”, typically offered in the Fall semester.
      • With approval from the Director of Masters’ Studies and the instructor, this course may be substituted for one of the following:
        • 540.602 “Metabolic Systems Biotechnology”
        • 540.615 “Interfacial Science with Applications to Nanoscale
        • Systems” (not offered AY2021-22)
        • 540.632 “Projects in Design: Pharmacokinetics”
        • 540.638 “Advanced Topics in Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics I”
      • Substitutions for the core courses are typically granted for students with backgrounds in ChemBE.
        • Between Core 1 and Core 2, only one of these two Cores may be substituted. (Students in the Combined BS/MSE program may substitute for both Core 1 and Core 2.)
        • Students cannot take both versions of the Core 1 courses and have them both count towards their course requirements, and likewise for Core 2. Multiple courses in Core 3 can be taken for course requirements; these excess courses would fall into elective slots.

 

Preparatory Courses for Students without Degrees in ChemBE

  • Many of our students do not have backgrounds in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and it’s great that you have chosen our program to start your journey in ChemBE!
  • To help you excel in the coursework, we recommend that you take some undergraduate-level courses to better prepare yourself for the core courses. For those who are ultimately interested in a Ph.D. program, we especially recommend a solid foundation, as a strong GPA is necessary to compete in the PhD application process. These courses do not count towards your graduate-level course requirements.
    • Core 1 – Thermodynamics
      • 540.202 “Introduction to Chemical and Biological Process Analysis”, typically offered both Fall and Spring semesters, recommended to be taken in your first semester. (Then you would take EN.540.671 “Advanced Thermodynamics in Practice” in the Spring, your second semester) AND
      • 540.203 “Engineering Thermodynamics”, typically offered both Fall and Spring semesters, recommended to be taken after EN.540.202 in your second semester (concurrently with EN.540.671).
      • Students with sufficient background in Thermodynamics and/or Physical Chemistry, as well as Calculus II, can get approval from the Director of Masters’ Studies to go directly to EN.540.671.
    • Core 2 – Transport
      • 540.303 “Transport Phenomena I”, typically offered both Fall and Spring semesters, recommended to be taken in your first semester. Then you would take EN.540.604 “Advanced Transport Phenomena in Practice in the Spring,” your second semester)
      • Students with sufficient background in Transport, as well as Calculus III and Differential Equations, can get approval from the Director of Masters’ Studies to go directly to EN.540.604.
    • Core 3 – Kinetics
      • 540.301 “Kinetic Processes”, typically offered in the Spring semester, recommended to be taken in your first Spring semester. (Then you would take EN.540.673 “Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering in Practice” in the Fall, your third semester.)
      • Students with sufficient background in Thermodynamics and/or Physical Chemistry, as well as Calculus III and Differential Equations, can get approval from the Director of Masters’ Studies to go directly to EN.540.673.
    • Some students may find that they wish to supplement their mathematical background prior to taking these undergraduate courses by taking one, or more, of the following to fill in any gaps they have: AS.110.109 “Calculus II (For Physical Sciences and Engineering)”, AS.110.202 “Calculus III”, AS.110.302 “Differential Equations and Applications”, and/or EN.553.291 “Linear Algebra and Differential Equations”. Please consult with the Director of Masters’ Studies to plan your course schedule so that you are sure to finish all your degree requirements on time.

 

Technical Writing Requirement

Students must take at least one technical writing elective (at least 1 credit) offered by the CLE at JHU. Often, this is taken in addition to the six or ten graduate-level courses, but students may choose to take 3 credits of writing as one of their any-department electives (one 3-credit course or two 1.5-credit courses, typically). These courses include

    • 663.622 Presentations for Graduate Students
    • 663.640 Writing Grants and Contracts
    • 663.644 Writing Articles and Technical Papers
    • 663.645 Improving Presentation Skills for Scientists and Engineers
    • Students who were Hopkins undergraduates are exempt from this requirement if they took 661.315 Culture of the Engineering Profession. (They must still take the full number of graduate-level credits, 18 or 30.)

 

Good Academic Standing

  • Students must maintain a B average (GPA 3.0) in coursework to complete this degree.
  • No D grade in ChemBE courses can be counted toward the requirements.
  • In any given semester, an F, D, or two C grades will result in probation (C-, C, and C+ all count as C grades). Once on probation, any additional C+ grade or below will result in termination from the program. A student will remain on academic probation until the courses with the D or F have been retaken for a higher grade or, if no D or F grades were present, the student attains a B average in their coursework.

 

 

Essay-Based Students

Additional Requirements for Essay-Based and Design-Based Students

  • Students must enroll in EN.500.601 Lab Safety in their first semester.
    • Students who were Hopkins undergraduates are exempt from this requirement if they took EN.540.490 Introduction to Chemical Process Safety.
  • Students must complete Responsible Conduct of Research training. For complete information, see https://engineering.jhu.edu/research/resources-policies-forms/online-training-course-responsible-conduct-of-research/ .
  • Students must maintain full-time registration for all semesters. In semesters where students are pursuing research, they may need to register for their advisor’s research course (e.g., EN.540.801(xx)) for a number of credits equal to the difference between 9 and the number of other courses they are taking. (For example, a student taking one 3-credit course would register for 6 credits of research with their advisor to maintain 9 credits for full-time status.)
  • Students must remain in good research standing with their research advisor. Failure to do so will result in probation and transfer to the course-based MSE track.
  • Students must write an essay based on original research and literature review and present their results at an open seminar attended by faculty and students. The essay must be approved by the departmental graduate committee, which consists of at least (1) the graduate research advisor and (2) a faculty member, one of which must be a faculty member from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (primary or secondary appointment).

 

INBT Industry Co-Op Program

To broaden the practical training for Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) students in the Whiting School of Engineering, the Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT) collaborates with major industry partners to offer a credited and paid co-op opportunity to MSE students in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering programs.

ChemBE students pursuing the essay-based track have the opportunity to choose the co-op program as an alternative to conducting research in Hopkins laboratories. Students must apply through the INBT office during their first semester. (This application process is separate from and happens after being admitted to the ChemBE MSE program.)

Each student who is accepted to the program will be assigned a research advisor/mentor at the sponsoring company. The company is expected to develop a list of goals and development objectives for the student. Once the project has been determined, a few weeks prior to the start of the co-op or within the first week, students must find a faculty advisor with primary or secondary appointment in ChemBE. During the six-month co-op period, students will meet with the faculty advisor at least every six weeks for progress updates. At the end of the co-op internship, students will complete an essay and present their results at an open seminar attended by faculty and students.

For more information, please visit https://inbt.jhu.edu/masters/ or contact Camille Mathis ([email protected]).

 

Chemical Product Design Track (Design-based MSE)

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering MSE students pursuing the design-based track and students pursuing an MSEM can choose to focus on Chemical Product Design rather than on traditional engineering science.

  • Students in the design-based track work in a group of 3–4 students on a product design project for 3–4 semesters instead of doing research. (Design-based requirements are equivalent to the essay-based requirements plus semesters of Product Design.)
  • The group collectively writes a patent application and a value proposition for their product in lieu of a traditional research MSE essay. Instead of submitting the materials to the university, students instead submit them to the Product Design instructor for approval for graduation.
  • Students in the MSEM program take 3 engineering science courses and typically work on their product design project for 3–4 semesters.

 

The Chemical Product Design tracks (for both the MSE and MSEM) will train you how to develop new products based on chemicals or chemical engineering principles.

  • The first semester is devoted to exploring how to develop new product ideas and to develop a preliminary product design.
  • The second and subsequent semesters are devoted either to building and refining a working prototype of their product or to doing the proof-of-concept experiments to prove that your product design is viable.

 

The goal is to get your product to Technology Readiness Level 6 by the end of the program.

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