Villanova’s College of Engineering offers a distinctive PhD program leading to a Doctorate of Philosophy.

Congruent with the University’s mission, the doctoral program emphasizes excellence, innovation and integrity in research, scholarship and education. Its purpose is to educate highly qualified engineering scholars for academia, industry and government.

Doctoral candidates wishing to concentrate their studies in Chemical Engineering or Biochemical Engineering will take courses and pursue research projects reflecting the specialties of the department’s highly distinguished and nationally recognized faculty, including:

  • Biomass Resources and Conversion
  • Catalyst Development
  • Computational Modeling
  • Biomaterials and Drug Delivery
  • Gene Therapy and Blood Substitutes
  • Pharmaceutical Processing
  • Systems Biology

Research and Facilities

The College of Engineering has an active research environment with projects sponsored by industry partners, governmental agencies and foundations.


Professional Development

The College is unique in its professional development program for doctoral students, which reflects Villanova’s commitment to high quality teaching and close attention to the student, as well as development of the whole person. Based on your area of professional interest, two tracks are available: Academic Scholars and Industry Scholars. Each offers the option to pursue a corresponding certificate.

In addition, Villanova’s Career Center recognizes and supports the unique career needs of graduate students as you pursue new academic and career goals. Tailored advising and guidance are available as well as online resources that use the latest technology to network, polish your resume, job search, prepare for an interview and more.

Dr. Jacob Elmer
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering


Kelsey O'Donnell, current student in Villanova's doctoral program in engineering.

"Villanova has enabled me to design a multidisciplinary project to help me build technical and soft skills for today's pharmaceutical industry."

Kelsey O'Donnell
Current PhD student
Concentration: Biochemical Engineering

Evan Kurt, graduate of Villanova's Master's in Biochemical Engineering program.

"As a full-time student, I enjoyed the independence I had on my research project, but also appreciated the support of Dr. Bill Kelly who provided guidance and connected me with people in industry for further discussion on the topic.”

Evan Kurt, PhD student and graduate researcher, Biomedical Engineering, Duke University


Devon Zimmerman, graduate of Villanova's doctoral program in engineering.


Title: Scientist, Drug Product Development Biologics, Janssen Research & Development

PhD Concentration: Biochemical Engineering

Research Focus: Gene and cell therapies


Tamara Lozano, graduate of Villanova's doctoral program in engineering.


Title: Inside Sales Engineer, Yokogawa

PhD Concentration: Chemical Engineering

Research Focus: Computational modeling of catalysis


Rene Garrido, graduate of Villanova's doctoral program in engineering.


Title: Associate Professor, University of Santiago, Chile

PhD Concentration: Chemical Engineering

Research Focus: Thermochemical conversion of waste lignocellulosic biomass and catalytic upgrading