Jul 18, 2024  
2020-2021 SDSM&T Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 SDSM&T Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemical and Biological Engineering, PhD

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs Listing

Contact Information

Dr. Todd Menkhaus, Program Coordinator
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
(605) 394-2422 Dept: (605) 394-2421
E-mail: Todd.Menkhaus@sdsmt.edu

PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering

The curriculum is designed to provide the CBE PhD graduate with the depth and breadth of engineering knowledge to become a leader in their chosen focus area. To facilitate this, each student is asked to complete a program of study plan that will provide the framework for the student’s coursework and research. This should be filed with the Program Coordinator before the midterm of the second semester in residence. The CBE PhD Advisory Council must approve all programs of study.

Degree requirements

Distribution of credits

Core requirements: 28 credits
Research requirements: 32 credits
Elective requirements: 12 credits
Total credits: 72

Students entering with a MS degree in Chemical Engineering or a closely related discipline may apply 24 coursework credits and 6 research credits from a previous MS degree toward the PhD requirements, subject to approval of the CBE PhD Program Advisory Council.

Students pursuing a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering must take the 500 and above level courses, not the 400 level courses. At least 36 of the required 72 credits must be taken at the 600 level or above.

Core requirements

  • A minimum of 6 credits from the Chemical Engineering focus area course list.
  • A minimum of 6 credits from the Biological Engineering focus area course list.
  • An additional 12 credits from either focus area list.
  • Credits: (1-0) 1 *
  • * Four (4) credits of CBE 890, spread over four semesters, are required.  No more than 4 credits of CBE 890 may be applied to the degree.

Research requirements

The completion of a doctoral dissertation, approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee and the Dean of Graduate Education, is required for this degree.

  • Credits: 1 to 12 *
  • * A minimum of 32 credits of CBE 898 is required for this degree.  No more than 32 credits of CBE 898 may be counted toward the degree.

Elective requirements

Elective courses may be selected from the two focus area lists, from the example elective list, or from other SD Mines courses as a part of a student’s program of study, subject to approval of his/her major professor and graduate committee. Examples of elective courses include:


Detailed information on examination policy, admission to candidacy, and defense of dissertation are included in the Chemical and Biological Engineering PhD Program Handbook.

Qualifying examination

A written examination consisting of three core subject exams (transport phenomena, chemical reaction engineering, and thermodynamics) is required.  The written examinations are given in early January and late May of each year.  Incoming PhD graduate students should take the written examinations as soon as possible, but are expected to take the exams after two long sessions in residence (Fall and Spring semesters).  Additional details on the written examination may be found in the Chemical and Biological Engineering PhD Program Handbook.

Comprehensive examination and admission to candidacy

Within the first 24 months of residency within the CBE PhD program, students must write a research proposal and complete an oral presentation of that proposal in the presence of their major advisor(s) and their PhD committee.  Additional details on the written research proposal and oral presentation may be found in the Chemical and Biological Engineering PhD Program Handbook.

Successful completion of the written examination, written research proposal, and oral presentation are required for admission to candidacy within the CBE PhD program. The comprehensive examination, and subsequent admission to candidacy, must be completed at least 12 months before the dissertation is defended.  

Dissertation defense

A dissertation defense and a final oral examination are required for this degree.

Additional requirements

In addition to these degree-specific requirements, the student must also meet the requirements and policies applied to all graduate degrees  by the Council of Graduate Education.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs Listing