Discussion Central

Expand all | Collapse all

Specialised Program

  • 1.  Specialised Program

    Posted 09-11-2018 08:29
    I am planning for masters as I have completed my bachelors in Chemical Engineering. Can anyone suggest which specialised program or course I should select for masters which is connected to chemical Engineering?
    Thanks in advance.

    Ejaz Sunasara


  • 2.  RE: Specialised Program

    Posted 09-12-2018 10:05
    There are many good programs throughout the world, and many diverse criteria that you should consider.  Here is a sampling:  1) What is the location and local culture?  You will spend two, or so, years there, you need to live in a place that you enjoy.  Relations between students and faculty, among students, and between students and the local community are all important.  Investigate the aspects that are important to you.    2) How will you be funded?  I strongly discourage people from getting student loans, which have an onerous burden in the future.  Many programs can provide funding related to research or teaching assistant positions.  Some students are fortunate enough to have personal funding or access to scholarships or fellowships.  Some students go with the intent to find a part time job, but this is subject to local regulations and the vagaries of employment availability.  Be sure that you have a funding plan.  3) Know why you want the MS degree.  Some people seem to be postponing work, others hope it will open opportunities for employment, others simply seek more learning, and some what to use the degree as entry to another country.  Since the MS gets deeper into the fundamental ChE sciences, and necessarily the enabling mathematics, it is harder.  But, on the other hand, without the broad education objectives of the undergraduate degree, the focus on ChE theory may be more enjoyable.  Be prepared for much greater complexity and depth in ChE topics, and about 60 hours per week of work.  To be able to invest the effort required for academic success, know why the degree is personally important to you.  It is too big a step to try it to see if you can do it.  Be sure you are motivated.  4) Some programs focus on education and general preparation, but most programs are dependent on research to meet their criteria for success.  In an education-oriented program you will take about 25 credits in courses, and 5 on a professional application project.  In a research-oriented program students take about 15 credits of coursework and the other 15 is related to research with a publishable paper as an outcome.  The research path provides less breadth of classroom experience, but greater depth in the topics of a particular project.  For many employers the general education is more important to a lifelong career.  To other employers, the specialization is attractive to the immediate opening.  In any case, after about 5 years, your career will likely have taken a different turn, as the company needs shift and they must allocate engineering attention to different projects.  Which (general or specialization, classroom or research) is more kin to your ambitions?  5) The initial salary of a person with an MS degree is higher than one with a BS, but the MS student delays starting career income by 2 years to get the MS.  Which is best?  After about 10 years, I believe that your initial degree or academic pedigree is irrelevant, and salary and position are wholly dependent on your personal ability and contributions to the employer.  Look at your life today.  I think that you'll agree that your ability has little to do with your elementary school or it's teachers.  I've analyzed AIChE salary data, published in CEP every other year, and continually find that the career earnings of those with MS degrees are the same as those with BS.  6) While the MS student is in school, the BS is gaining also invaluable industrial experience, and getting raises and preparation for promotions.  School does not have a monopoly on learning.  In fact, it has a science and theory emphasis, which becomes a distortion that misdirects entry-level graduates in the first several years of employment.  So, the question is,  "Does more school, or does starting a career provide you better education?"  7) Research programs provide some general education, but will also provide you access to a ChE specialization (surface kinetics, process control, electrochemical, biomedical, etc.).  If you want such a specialization, know what it is, and search for programs in which the faculty are publishing in that area.  My guide would be to apply to schools which have several active faculty, not just one.  Several faculty access provides greater breadth of learning research flexibility, and security.  You mention a specialization, but do not indicate what appeals to you.

    R Russell Rhinehart
    Stillwater OK

  • 3.  RE: Specialised Program

    Posted 09-20-2018 08:13
    Hi,  I just started a PH.D. in a real exciting field which is the Operationnal risk management that is a growing field.  I have a lot of fun and really find this area perfect for someone who really wants to make a difference and wants purpose in his life.  I know my director is looking for talents right now for Master, etc.  Send me a quick mail and I will reply with his contact information.

    This is located in Sherbrooke University, in Canada.  There are programs for people coming from others country and funding.  The University is french but I know that all courses are given in both languages during the PH.D. So I would say it could be similar for Master but you would need to valiadate that information.  Anyhow, I know that many of my colleagues take this as an opportunity to learn french and are given french courses. You can always write you thesis in english if you want.  that is always a choice that is given to you. There are internationaly recognized teachers here and they are really inovative! This is a great environment.

    Have fun!

    Danielle Binet, ing.,M.Sc.A.,MBA
    PH.D. Student.