Frequently Asked Questions (CBE)

Question: How are the criteria for admission decisions with financial support made?
Answer: All applicants that are accepted into the department toward the M.S. with Thesis and Ph.D. programs are awarded full financial support for their graduate studies when considered for full-time status. The current full-time annual stipend is $25,700.00.

Question: What is the tuition rate for resident and nonresident students?
Answer: All current tuition and fees can be found at the Office of the Registrar website. Non-Iowa resident students who hold assistantships for one-quarter time or greater pay resident tuition instead of the normal nonresident rate. Furthermore, a large fraction of tuition is covered for students with assistantships. The department is required to pay a minimum amount of tuition, which is explained at

Question: What is the application fee?
Answer: $80 for international students and $60 for U.S. students. The application fee cannot be waived.

Question: When is the best time to apply?
Answer: While the department will consider applications at any time, first consideration is given to students who have their application folders (application material, GRE and TOEFL scores and the required letters of recommendation) completed by February 1 for fall admission. Students seeking admission to the spring semester must have their admission folder completed by October 1.

Question: What is the minimum GPA requirement?
Answer: Applicants to the graduate program are expected to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0 with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering or a related science or engineering discipline.

Question: What GRE tests are required?
Answer: Applicants are required to submit the results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Normally a combined GRE score (verbal and quantitative) of at least 1300 is required for admission. The GRE Advanced Examination (subject test) in Engineering is not required for admission to the program; however, these scores should be forwarded to the department if the Advanced Examination is taken.

Question: Who should write recommendation letters?
Answer: Applicants must arrange to have three evaluation letters forwarded to the department. These evaluation letters should be completed by persons who are well acquainted with the applicant's academic and/or industrial performance and ability to undertake graduate work in chemical engineering. An official form should accompany each letter. Forms can be found at the Office of Admissions site by clicking here.

Question: Are there any additional requirements for applicants whose native language is not English?
Answer: Applicants who do not speak English as their native language are required to submit the results of the TOEFL examination. A minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test (250 on computer-based test and 100 on the internet-based test) is ordinarily required.

Question: How many M.S. and Ph.D. students are accepted by your department every year?
Answer: Usually between 5 and 10 applicants are accepted annually.

Question: When can I expect to be notified about the decision made on my application?
Answer: When we receive your completed application, it will be circulated among the Graduate Admission Committee. They will make a decision based on the number of openings in the department. The process generally takes a couple months after the deadline for submitting applications. You will be notified by mail when we come to a decision.

Question: Can you tell me my chances of getting admitted before I submit an application?
Answer: No. We do not prescreen candidates, and only evaluate credentials with a full submitted application. Emails sent to the department with GRE scores and transcript information are not sufficient. Applications sent to the department without paying the application will not be reviewed.