s For coronavirus updates from the University of Chicago, visit: coronavirusupdates.uchicago.edu

Experience the Master of Science in Molecular Engineering

Learn more about the student experience at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering and hear reflections from our students and faculty on the importance of the MSME degree in the field of molecular engineering today.

Apply NowRequest More Information

Launch Experience

Curriculum Overview

Students will be expected to successfully pass eleven classes to be awarded the Master of Science in Molecular Engineering degree (MSME). In addition to core requirements, students will select a specialized track in Computational Materials Modeling or Polymer Science and Engineering. Degree requirements for each track will consist of core graduate student offerings, in-depth courses along the theme of the specialization track, and elective courses in business or humanities.


The University of Chicago academic year is based on the quarter system. Quarters are shorter academic units than semesters and allow a school to offer four different sessions of classes per year. Each quarter is ten weeks long. Please visit the University’s Academic Calendar for additional information.

Applied Curriculum & Coursework-focused Approach

The overall objective of the program is to prepare students for leadership roles in a technological society. The goal for most of the students is to follow traditional engineering paths in manufacturing, technology development, and research, but many will also follow paths that branch out into diverse fields such as law, medicine, business administration, consulting, entrepreneurship, or policy. For this reason, the MS in Molecular Engineering adopts a holistic coursework-focused approach covering fundamental and applied science and engineering, and also humanities, entrepreneurship, and business.

Graduate with a MS degree

Students will complete the program in three quarters (one year). Part-time students coming from the work force or with time constraints will be given a second year to complete all requirements.


Students must complete eleven classes (1100 units).

Visit the PME course inventory webpage for a complete list of course descriptions.

Transfer Options

The MS in Molecular Engineering does not allow the transfer of credits from any other graduate program.



  • Round 1 deadline of January 17, 2020
  • Round 2 deadline of March 20, 2020
  • Round 3 deadline of June 1, 2020
  • GRE required
  • Application fee of $90
  • TOEFL scores for international applicants
  • IELTS scores for international applicants
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • 1,000-word candidate statement
    • Admissions committees are particularly interested in the candidate statement. Please be as specific as possible in discussing your academic objectives and career interests and how they fit this program. The statement should be a concise, sharply focused and well-crafted essay. There is a 1,000 word limit for the statement.
  • Resume/CV
  • Undergraduate transcripts (unofficial copies accepted at time of application)

Financial aid / scholarships / tuition costs

  • Tuition costs are based on the number of units taken in any given quarter, with each 100-unit course set at a rate of $6,500 for the 2019/2020 academic year. Candidates should estimate tuition costs accordingly. Visit the Bursar’s website for more information about graduate student fees for the upcoming academic year.
  • How do I get financial aid for the Master of Engineering?
    • No separate application is required for merit-based scholarships; you only need check the appropriate box on the MSME application to be considered for merit-based aid. However, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal student loans.
    • Prospective full-time students should submit their FAFSA during Round One or Round Two to be considered.
  • How do I secure scholarships or third-party funding for myself?
    • Learn more about graduate financial aid here.

Talk to an Admissions Counselor

Schedule an appointment to learn more about the Master of Science in Molecular Engineering.

Why UChicago?

Today’s engineers need to be equipped with the tools to take on leadership positions across industries. At the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago, we integrate science and engineering to address pressing world issues from the molecular level up, while helping define and shape an emerging, fast-growing field.

With our new master’s program, Pritzker Molecular Engineering will provide you with a streamlined and flexible degree to give you broad exposure across science and engineering disciplines, while preparing you for the immediate next step in your professional journey.

What is molecular engineering?

Molecular engineering seeks to combine, rather than divide, different engineering and science disciplines and bring them to bear in tackling complex technological problems of importance to society. The focus is on technologies rooted in molecular level, what some call nanoscale, science.

How is PME different from other engineering schools?

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering combines the deep analytical approach that has historically characterized science at the University of Chicago with a focus on developing new solutions to pressing global challenges (e.g., clean water, systems engineering of energy, global environmental stewardship and climate change, rational design of drugs, materials by design).

What’s the difference between an MS in Molecular Engineering and an M.Eng. degree?

While different schools use different verbiage to describe master’s degrees in engineering, the University of Chicago prefers the traditional Master of Science designation. That said, the MS in Molecular Engineering degree is similar to some Master of Engineering degrees in that it does not require a research or capstone project.

What types of jobs will alumni be positioned for?

Graduates of this program will be poised to take on highly skilled engineering positions. The program is also designed to provide an enhanced science and engineering background that will accelerate graduates’ ability to take on leadership roles across engineering firms, research and development, and in other industries (including healthcare, consulting, and manufacturing). Graduates of the MSME program will join the unparalleled global network of over 180,000 University of Chicago alumni.

Your Student Experience: The Master of Science in Molecular Engineering

In the Master of Science in Molecular Engineering (MSME) program at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, students will have the ability to specialize in one of two tracks: polymer science or computational materials modeling. Learn more today about your unique MSME student experience.

Who should Apply?

This one-year program is designed to enhance the career paths of traditional engineers and provide them with specialized technical training. Students do not need a BS in Engineering to apply. Those interested in pursuing high-skilled engineering positions and gaining a solid background in the types of skills that will equip graduates for managerial positions, both in engineering firms and in other industries (including healthcare, consulting, and manufacturing), will be a good fit for the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a BS in engineering or a strong quantitative background to apply to an engineering graduate program?

We do not require a BS in engineering for MSME applicants. However, while we encourage all passionate and interested students to apply, this program was largely designed for students with backgrounds in STEM fields. A strong quantitative background is recommended.

What insights can you share surrounding career outcomes?

Provided below is a list of career outcome data for PhD graduates from the Pritzker School of Engineering.

Graduation Year Career Roles
2019-20 Fellow, Insight Data Science
Yield Engineer, Intel Corporation
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Colorado, Boulder
CEO, NanoPattern Technologies
Process Engineer, Applied Materials
Data Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer
Data Engineer, Citrine Informatics
VP and Sr. Scientist, Infervision
Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago
Postdoctoral Scholar, National Heart & Lung Institute
Postdoctoral Scholar, NYU
2018-19 Data Scientist, Arrity
Life Science Associate, Huron Consulting Group
Senior Research Scientist, 3M
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, San Francisco
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Chicago
2017-18 Research Engineer, Dupont
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge
Data Scientist, Integra Credit
Equity Research Associate, Leerink Partners
Integration Engineer, Intel Hillsboro
Data Science Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California-Santa Barbara
Feature Scale Modeler, Applied Materials
Process Engineer, Lam Research Corporation


What is the average GPA needed for admission to PME?

The application process is a holistic review of the applicant. Similar to our GRE requirements, GPA scores are assessed with all elements of the application. If you feel your GPA does not reflect your skills and abilities, you are welcome to include a personal explanatory statement.

Where do I send my scores?

Scores are uploaded on the application. Please have official scores sent to school code 1832.

Am I required to submit a GRE/GMAT score?

GRE scores are required; the GMAT is not accepted.

Does this program qualify for the OPT STEM extension?

Yes, the MS in Molecular Engineering degree does qualify for the OPT STEM extension.

Is work experience required for admission to PME?

No, but it is considered a relevant part of the applicant consideration.

How recent must my GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores be?
  • GRE is valid for five (5) years.
  • TOEFL/IELTS is valid for two (2) years.
Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS, and what are the minimum scores for this test?

The MSME requires TOEFL scores to be 90 or above (or IELTS overall and sub-scores of at least 7) in order to be eligible for admission to the University of Chicago.

What are the minimum scores required to apply to the MSME?

The application process is a holistic review of the applicant. Test scores are assessed with all elements of the application. If you feel your scores do not reflect your skills and abilities, you are welcome to include a personal explanatory statement. The coursework in the program is highly quantitative and scores and transcripts should signal the student will be successful in the program.

Should transcripts be sent directly to PME from an institution, or can they come by way of the applicant?

Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded via the electronic application. All applicants who are offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts. Most institutions have the ability to send electronic official transcripts. If your institution is unable to do so, please request that they send hard copy versions to our Admissions Office.

Do I need to submit transcripts from study abroad or from institutions where I did not pursue a degree?


My transcripts are not in English: must they be translated?


Is an interview required for PME?


Can I submit more than three letters of recommendation?

We strongly encourage you to submit only three letters of recommendation.

When can I expect to receive an admission decision?

Decisions are expected to be released 6 – 8 weeks after the application deadline.

What areas of specialization/tracks are available?

There are two specialization “tracks” available for the MS in Molecular Engineering: Computational Materials Modeling and Polymer Science and Engineering.

What degree will I receive on my diploma?

You will receive a Master of Science in Molecular Engineering.

Where are classes held and how often do classes meet? Can I do the program part-time?

MS in Molecular Engineering courses are held on the main campus of the University of Chicago located in Hyde Park, approximately eight (8) miles south of downtown Chicago. Classes generally meet 2 or 3 times per week. While this program may be taken either part-time or full-time, we do not currently offer classes on the weekend or in the evening. The ability to complete the program while working full-time will be dependent on the schedule of classes offered and the flexibility of your employer.

Request More Information