5 Best Online Master’s in Chemical Engineering in 2024

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Updated: April 15, 2024, Reading time: 7 minutes

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Chemical engineers will continue to play a critical role in society’s ability to develop the goods, systems, and materials that power the modern world, regardless of how far technology advances.

Chemical engineers’ technological expertise impacts various industries. This includes food, beverages, energy, electronics, medications, resource management, environmental protection, and health and safety protocols.

The Engineering job market is increasingly becoming more competitive, with most leadership and management positions open only to those with advanced degrees. If you already have your Engineering or Chemistry bachelor’s degree, you can pursue an online Master’s in Chemical Engineering and open various upper-level career opportunities.

chemical engineer checking materials
Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Overview of the Best Chemical Engineering Programs

SchoolProgramTuitionAcceptance RateStandout Program feature/s
Stanford UniversityMaster of Science in Chemical Engineering$1,456 per unit12%Designed as a research-intensive hybrid program
University of North DakotaMaster’s in Chemical Engineering Degree$869.51 per credit hour25%Offers an MEng and MS option
North Carolina State UniversityMaster of Science in Chemical Engineering$636.62 per credit hour50%Known for its inclusive and practice-based learning approach
University of Southern CaliforniaMaster of Science in Chemical Engineering$2,424 per unit rate13%Offers course-based learning with various advanced elective courses
University of HoustonMaster of Chemical Engineering$745 per credit hour19%Enhances technical skills through systems, analysis, advanced process economics, and technical management concepts

5 Best Online Master’s in Chemical Engineering

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Online/Hybrid Master of Science in Chemical Engineering

Tuition$1,456 per unit
Credit Hours45

Stanford University offers one of the most competitive and research-intensive programs in Chemical Engineering. As this program has a very low acceptance rate, you must demonstrate your interest and capability in doing original research, in addition to having high academic records, to have higher chances of consideration. 

The Stanford MSCHE program is an online/hybrid program, which means that you will need to attend on-campus classes to complete it. The on-campus courses are mainly research-based. 

As a student, you will take various advanced Chemical Engineering courses, including Biochemical Engineering, Chemical Kinetics, and Molecular Thermodynamics. You’ll also be able to customize your learning by selecting electives that closely align with your research interests. 

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND

Online Master’s in Chemical Engineering

Tuition$869.51 per credit hour
Credit Hours30-32

The University of North Dakota offers a Master’s in Chemical Engineering program with a 100% online learning format. You can pursue the Master of Engineering (MEng) or the Non-Thesis Master of Science (MS).

The Chemical Engineering master’s program at UND provides students with the skills to formulate technical hypotheses, enhance problem-solving abilities, conduct practical research, and explore various Chemical Engineering processes and materials. Some of the program’s featured courses include:

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC

Online Master of Science in Chemical Engineering

Tuition$636.62 per credit hour
Credit Hours30

The online MS in Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University is designed for professionals with diverse backgrounds. The program accepts applicants from relevant industries, such as Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics.

This non-thesis MS program is among the best to offer a practice-based approach to learning. The curriculum combines core Chemical Engineering courses and electives in polymers, environmental science, biotechnology, and electronic materials.

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Online Master of Science in Chemical Engineering

Tuition$2,424 per unit rate
Credit Hours28

The online MS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Southern California is widely known for its 28 course-based learning methods. The program’s curriculum builds on students’ previously acquired knowledge.

Among the advanced courses in the program include Chemical Engineering Kinetics and Modeling and Analysis of Chemical Engineering Systems. The program also offers various elective options, allowing students a more interdisciplinary learning experience. Some of the electives offered include:

University of Houston

Online Master of Chemical Engineering

Tuition$745 per credit hour
Credit Hours30

The University of Houston’s online Master of Chemical Engineering degree is a non-thesis program designed for working professionals in related industries who aim to enhance their technical skills and career opportunities. This includes those in plant operations, design, and management sectors. 

This program aims to enhance young engineers’ technical skills and introduce them to systems, analysis, advanced process economics, and technical management concepts. Through a comprehensive curriculum and flexible online format, students can enhance their capabilities and position themselves for success in their chosen fields within the Chemical Engineering domain.

chemical engineers examining equipment

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Master’s in Chemical Engineering?

Chemical Engineering is a diverse field that combines Chemistry with Math, Physics, and Economics to solve practical technical problems in the processing industry. It involves designing, developing, and operating processes that create high-value products from raw materials. 

Master’s in Chemical Engineering programs equip students with numerous skills and technical knowledge in IT, Chemistry, Engineering, Biochemistry, and Materials Science. In addition to this, students will also encounter economics, management, safety, and environmental topics.

The above-mentioned courses are essential for success in upper-level positions in the industry. They enhance students’ technical and soft skills and allow them to tackle complex challenges in various sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, food processing, environmental protection, etc.

What Does a Chemical Engineer Do?

Chemical engineering entails an in-depth understanding of Chemistry, enabling professionals to develop and build new, large-scale industrial processes. These engineers are also focused on increasing the effectiveness of existing processes and lessening their negative effects on the environment.

As a chemical engineer, you can pursue positions in various sectors, including: 

Research and Development

Chemical engineers in this sector collaborate with scientists and other engineers to create novel processing techniques and turn them into workable plans. As a research and development engineer, you would plan experiments on little “pilot” plants and use computer simulations to make predictions about the design of the larger plant. 


Companies are becoming increasingly conscious of their growing obligation to safeguard the environment against pollution and consider sustainability in their structural projects. Numerous chemical engineers manage wastewater treatment facilities and create brand-new recycling facilities.

Process operation

Chemical engineers are often responsible for overseeing the facilities and operations of process plants. The plant must be run as economically as feasible to maintain predetermined temperatures, pressures, and flows. Process monitoring and troubleshooting are crucial to the plant’s development and everyday operations.

Design and Construction

Chemical engineers create, build, and commission new process plants as well as alter ones that already exist. Process design engineers collaborate with software, instrument, and control engineers to determine a plant’s control strategy that will operate effectively and safely in every situation.

What’s the career and salary outlook for Master’s in Chemical Engineering Graduates?

A master’s degree in Chemical Engineering offers numerous career opportunities. 

Data from the Labor Statistics Bureau indicates that the expected employment growth for chemical engineers is 8 percent from 2022 to 2032. With a bachelor’s degree, you can already earn $106,260.

Holding a bachelor’s degree is merely an entry-level requirement in the field. This can potentially pose challenges in the highly competitive Engineering job market, particularly when competing against seasoned and highly specialized chemical engineers.

Consequently, employers often favor candidates with master’s degrees, as they demonstrate advanced skills, specialized knowledge, and a deep comprehension of intricate concepts within the discipline.

A master’s degree will jumpstart your career in managerial roles. Here are a few examples of high-paying Chemical Engineering roles you can pursue after earning a master’s degree: 

TitleJob DescriptionEstimated Total Pay
Engineering Project ManagerLeading, planning, team management, and writing important documents like closing reports.$144,796
Senior Chemical EngineerResponsible for overseeing complex projects, leading teams, and providing technical expertise and guidance in their areas of specialization$140,588
Process EngineerSpecializes in designing, implementing, and optimizing chemical and biochemical processes on an industrial scale.$108,271

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