Paper Science and Engineering

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 27.9 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 15, 2024
38 place StudyQA ranking:822 Duration: You need IELTS certificate

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The Institute of Paper Science and Technology supports the PhD degree programs offered by the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Paper Science and Engineering (PSE) program provides students with a multidisciplinary graduate education in the science and engineering involved in the production of paper, tissue, and other products from natural fiber and related industries. The processing and consolidation of natural fiber into a paper web involve complex chemical and mechanical processes. The advantages of a multidisciplinary approach in research and education supporting this field have long been recognized. The Georgia Tech PSE program integrates the former Institute of Paper Science and Technology multidisciplinary graduate program with the science and engineering programs available at Georgia Tech.

The PhD degree in PSE is a unique multidisciplinary degree covering basic engineering and science disciplines involved in the production and consolidation of wood fiber products. Students are enrolled in the participating Georgia Tech school (referred to as the "home school") and, upon completion of degree requirements, the home school recommends the award of its PhD degree with an emphasis in paper science and engineering. Degrees are being offered by the Schools of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mechanical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering.

The paper industry continues to evolve through considerable consolidation and reorganization, and the need for innovation in the science and engineering of pulp and paper technology from plant biology to chemical treatment and processes involved in paper production is greater than ever. The PSE program provides research results and equips students with a unique set of skills to lead in this effort.

Core Courses

  • CHBE 6003 – Chemical Process Safety
  • CHBE 6100 – Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
  • CHBE 6200 – Transport Phenomena
  • CHBE 6260 – Mass Transport
  • CHBE 6300 – Kinetics and Reactor Design
  • CHBE 6741 – Pulp and Paper Manufacture I
  • CHBE 6742 – Pulp and Paper Manufacture II
  • CHBE 6252 – Chemical Engineering Processes in Pulp and Paper

Elective Courses

  • CHBE 6XXX – Pulp and Paper Elective

3.0 GPA required for the above core and elective courses.


  • 3 courses from outside ChBE
  • 1 can be at 4000-level; the other 2 must be graduate level
  • Course of study requires approval before starting
  • Must earn a B or better in each class

Other Courses

  • CHBE 8001–2 – Graduate Seminars (must attend at least 60% every semester in residence)
  • CHBE 8801 – Introduction to Research

Qualifying Exam

Oral Exam

  • Review and critique an assigned technical paper
  • 15 minute oral presentation to 2 or more faculty members
  • Up to 45 minute question and answer session covering the paper and other fundamental aspects of chemical engineering

Core Courses

  • Must complete core courses listed above with a GPA of at least 3.2

Research Evaluation

  • The research advisor will submit an evaluation of the student’s research progress and potential.

Thesis Proposal and Oral Defense

  • 10 to 20 pages in length
  • 20 minute defense before Thesis Advisory Committee
  • Must be completed no later than the end of the sixth semester at Georgia Tech

Thesis Research

  • Must be a significant contribution to the field of chemical & biomolecular engineering
  • Must be publishable in a peer-reviewed research journal in the field

Pre-Doctoral Review

  • Includes a presentation of an outline for the completed PhD dissertation
  • Done at least 6 months before the Thesis Defense

Fall Graduate Colloquium

  • Must present seminar to ChBE faculty and students during the fall semester of your fourth year

PhD Dissertation

  • Must meet Division of Graduate Studies guidelines

Thesis Defense

  • Given before Doctoral Examination Committee, which contains at least 5 facutly members, 3 of whom must be from ChBE and 1 of whom must be from another academic unit at Georgia Tech.


  • B.S. degree in chemical engineering, bioengineering, paper science & engineering, or a closely related discipline
  • Minimum GPA of 3.3/4.0
  • GRE test scores and, for international students, TOEFL scores (minimum 85)

Applications for graduate admissions must be submitted through the Georgia Tech Graduate Studies & Admissions Office.


We provide financial support for all of our PhD students. Every School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering PhD student making satisfactory progress towards his or her degree receives a competitive stipend and a tuition waiver that drops the cost of tuition to $25 per semester. In return for the stipend, PhD students are expected to serve as teaching assistants for three or four semesters during their time at Georgia Tech, depending upon the needs of the School.

Outstanding students can apply to receive additional funding through the following external sources:

  • The National GEM Consortium
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship
  • Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship
  • NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Project (must be a member of an underrepresented group)
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research
  • American Association of University Women (must be a woman)
  • Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs (for US citizens or nationals committed to teaching and research at the university level)
  • The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
  • ASEE SMART Scholarship for Service
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