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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept non-ChE UG degrees?

Yes, we encourage prospective students with a wide range of UG degrees to apply to our program. The admissions committee prefers that applicants have some engineering background. Our core courses are fluids, reaction engineering, heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics and math for chemical engineers.

Is there funding for Master’s degree students?

Unfortunately, we have no funding for Master’s degree students. The University offers two competitive fellowships: Dow Sustainability and Rackham International. Occasionally, Master’s degree students are offered graduate student instructor or grader positions in the ChE Department.

Does my application need to be complete by the application deadline?

We will accept the test scores, letters of recommendation or official transcripts after the application deadline. However, please note that the admissions committee reviews the applications on an ongoing basis. The sooner that your application is complete, the better your chance of being offered admission (pending qualifying academic credentials).

What are my chances for admission if my GPA is low?

The Admissions Committee looks at the complete application including academic performance, research experience, letters of recommendation, and submitted statements. Applications are reviewed holistically and all materials are taken into consideration.

Can the English/TOEFL test score requirement be waived?

Only if you meet the Rackham Graduate School’s exemption criteria described at The most common exemption is having a degree from a U.S. institution.

Will you accept letters of recommendation from my employer or research supervisor?

We will accept one recommendation letter from a non-faculty member, although we prefer that all letters come from faculty.

How important are GRE scores and should I retake them?

GRE scores are no longer required.

If I have a test score that will expire during the application process, will you still accept it?

We will accept scores if they will expire during the application process.

Is my application complete?

To view the status of your application materials:

  • Create a Friend Account (wait for the confirmation email from the Rackham Graduate School to create your Wolverine Access Friend Account)
  • Log into Wolverine Access
  • Select New & Prospective Student Business

Allow 10 days after submission.

Recommendations can be tracked through the online application system, ApplyWeb Account activity page, or in your Friend Account.

What are my chances for admission?

We receive more than 400 applications, many from highly qualified applicants. We are able to offer admission to only the very top applicants as funding is limited. Our target number is 30 for the PhD program and 15 for our Master’s degree program.

Are application fee waivers available?

The Rackham Graduate School administers fee waivers. To qualify you must meet the requirements for a specific fee waiver listed here.

The ChE Department administers fee waivers for qualifying U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or undocumented students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status who experience financial hardship.

How do I join a research lab as a doctoral student?

Our graduate student matching process involves the following steps:

  1. Each faculty member gives a research presentation to the ChE595 course from September through the first week in October.
  2. ChE 595 students will have 1 – 2 weeks after the faculty presentations to arrange and meet with faculty members of interest.  We require each student to meet with five faculty members.  This year, the student-faculty meeting could be online or in-person, depending on mutual agreement between the two of you.
  3. After the one-on-one meeting period, students will submit a google form, the ranked list of their faculty-lab choice. Students are placed in labs by the third week of October, typically.  Some labs/faculty will expect students to begin research immediately.