Graduate Admitted Student Information

Welcome to Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Illinois! 

Congratulations! You've been invited to join the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. We are thrilled that you are considering our program— and whether you are participating in our graduate recruitment events in person or virtually—we hope that you find what you're looking for in a doctoral program here at Illinois.

Our students are drawn to our department’s breadth of expertise, but they choose Illinois to be a part of our collaborative teams who make these initiatives a reality—together we’re tackling challenges related to health, energy, and the environment. Our department encompasses a wide range of disciplines in chemical sciences and engineering. We specialize in unlocking the potential of individual units—from molecules to students—to create societal impact on grand scales through four research areas:

  • Biomolecular and Biotechnology design biomaterials to regenerate body tissues and develop anticancer drugs using robots.
  • Energy and Sustainability transform carbon dioxide into fuel, cleanse contaminated water, and minimize the environmental impact of chemical manufacturing.
  • Soft Matter and Advanced Materials study how molecules form matter to inform new designs of solar cells, batteries, camouflage, and to enable intelligent, programmable additive manufacturing.
  • Computation and Data Science model complex chemical and biomolecular systems to investigate how enzymes convert substrates into products, how to design better and greener catalysts, and more.

We hope that this page will help showcase all that Illinois has to offer you. If you have any questions about this event, our department, or life in our community—please reach out to us at

We can’t wait to help you find your future lab and shape your future career!

Graduate Recruitment Committee
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Welcome Video

We are a vibrant, supportive community of chemical engineering scholars. Learn more from our current graduate students about what our department has to offer both in and out of the lab.

This video features graduate students Chris Torres, Energy and Sustainability; Prapti Kafle, Soft Matter and Advanced Materials; Liliana Bello Fernández, Computational Engineering; and Ryan Miller, Biomolecular Engineering.

Download Graduate Program Brochure

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We created our Diversity page to share resources and content to support, encourage, and celebrate our students who add to the diversity and strength of our community. We understand that diversity takes many forms such as gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability status, national origin, religion, and socio-economic status, among others. While we value the perspectives and contributions of our DEI students, we also recognize the unique challenges that they may face while navigating the higher education system. Our goal is to foster a sense of belonging and empowerment to help each student define and achieve success in our program and beyond. 

Visit our Diversity page

DEI Contact Sheet

Our DEI Contact Sheet is a resource where current graduate students in the department have volunteered to be a resource to answer DEI-related questions from the incoming/prospective students. We want to foster conversations between potential and current graduate students with shared identities that might not fit into the footprint of our recruitment events. Thus, we’ve attached a contact sheet so you can reach out to our graduate students for 1:1 conversations. 

Access DEI Contact Sheet

Meet Our DEI Students

Research Information and Resources

Here's an overview of some of the research facilities and services at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where our faculty and students have access to cutting-edge resources and multidisciplinary collaborators to realize their research goals. Our department is committed to ensuring that our students have access to the equipment and expertise that they need to be successful. 

Our department is nested within the School of Chemical Sciences (SCS), which provides unrivaled services and resources to support our students and faculty. This dedicated research infrastructure sets our program apart. SCS created a Center of Research and Educational Support (CORES) endowment to perpetually provide our researchers with the best equipment and support staff required to achieve the frontier research objectives of our faculty and students.

Download CORES Brochure

Characterization facilities

High-throughput Screening Facility
Microanalysis Laboratory
Mass Spectrometry Laboratory
NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) Laboratory
X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory


Cell Media Facility
Computer Applications and Network Services and Computer Electronics Electrical Services
Graphic Services
SCS Human Resources
SCS Business Office


Glass Shop
Machine Shop

The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology is a community of scholars and a physical space to foster interdisciplinary collaboration, inspire bold scientific risk-taking, and nurture new ideas and discoveries. The Beckman Institute is home to two core research facilities: the Biomedical Imaging Center and the Imaging Technology Group

The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) is where science meets society—an interdisciplinary institute dedicated to transformative research and technology in life sciences using team-based strategies to tackle grand societal challenges. IGB's Core Facilities—conveniently located in the concourse level of the building—provide a variety of services to the campus community.  

Core Facilities at the IGB

Core Facilities is your resource for biological microscopy and image analysis. The facility is meant to encourage innovation—try new techniques and approaches to achieve your research goals without a significant investment in instrumentation or time. The Core Facilities offers high-end equipment, user training, ongoing support (including experimental design and data interpretation), and 24-hour access.  The Core is a ZEISS Labs@location partner, enabling us to provide both beta instrumentation and advanced training to the campus. The Core Facilities offers a computer lab with memory and processing power for high-throughput research. The computers are equipped with Amira and Imaris software. 


Biocluster is the HPC service for the IGB, a mix of compute nodes and the distributed filesystem mentioned above to help solve essentially every Bioinformatics need.  Compute fees are based on the type of node, resources, and amount of time utilized. Twice a semester the Computer and Network Resource Group (CNRG), along with HPCBio (see below), offers classes on how to use HPC services, with a focus on Biocluster.  If you are interested, please ask CNRG for the next date or watch the weekly announcements for the schedule.

The Holonyak Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory (HMNTL) is one of the country’s largest and most sophisticated university facilities for conducting photonics, microelectronics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology research. HMNTL’s 15 class 100 and 1000 cleanrooms, 46 general purpose labs, and 2,500 square foot biosafety level-2 bionanotechnology complex contain all the tools researchers need to conduct their work.


The Materials Research Lab (MRL) fosters interdisciplinary research at the forefront of materials science by bringing together world-class faculty, staff, postdocs, students, and industry in materials science, condensed matter physics, and materials chemistry in a highly-collaborative, progressive research environment. The MRL hosts over 140 instruments valued at over $40 million. 

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is a hub of trans-disciplinary research and digital scholarship. NCSA was the home of Blue Waters—one of the fastest supercomputers in the world—that ended its role as the NFS track 1 supercomputer after 6.75 years of production. At its launch, Delta will be the most performant GPU computing resource in NSF’s portfolio, making it a prime destination for advanced scientific research. 


Discover More Resources

We have a multitude of facilities and services that will be at your disposal as a graduate student at Illinois.

Facilities and Services

Find Your Research Lab

Learn more about our faculty's research efforts to find a lab that aligns with your research interests and goals. 

Faculty Research Profiles

Institutes and Collaborations

Check out cutting-edge interdisciplinary research projects and collaborations that you could be a part of at Illinois. 

Institutes and Collaborations


Graduate Concentration in Computational Science and Engineering

The CSE Transcriptable Graduate Concentration is designed to provide graduate students at both the Masters and Ph.D. levels with a solid base in problem-solving using computation as a major tool for modeling complicated problems in science and engineering.  This concentration requires students to complete 16 graduate credit hours. Courses taken toward this concentration will count towards the student’s graduate degree if permitted by the curriculum of their major and the concentration will be listed on their transcript upon graduation. The graduate concentration is only available for students enrolled in participating graduate degree programs. 

CSE Transcriptable Graduate Concentration  Approved CSE Concentration Courses

Virtual Laboratory Tours

Join us on a tour of the labs of professors (1) David Flaherty (2) Huimin Zhao (3) Ying Diao (4) Diwakar Shukla (5) Hyunjoon Kong to learn more about their students' projects and the equipment that they use in pursuit of their research. Each lab also has a full-length tour linked below!  

Join us on a tour of the lab of David Flaherty in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The Flaherty Lab applies mechanistic and kinetic investigations of chemistry at surfaces to lead the design of more reactive and selective catalysts for atom-efficient activation and functionalization of small molecules to tackle challenges in environmental conservation and energy production. Video features graduate students Chris Torres, Zeynep Ayla, and Richa Ghosh.

Join us on a tour of the lab of Huimin Zhao. The Zhao group studies four distinct yet related areas, including foundational tool development, drug discovery and development, industrial biotechnology, and mammalian synthetic biology. Video features graduate students Michael Volk and Pu Xue Mason.

Join us on a tour of the lab of Ying Diao  in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The Diao Lab pursues the fundamental understanding and control of multi-scale molecular assembly processes to achieve sustainable manufacturing of electronic materials, energy devices, and therapeutic products. Video features graduate students Azzaya Khasbaatar and Kavin Elangovan.

Join us on a tour of the lab of Diwakar Shukla. The Shukla group uses and develops both theoretical and computational tools to understand biophysical processes for applications in plant biology and human diseases. Video features graduate students Jesse Horne, Jiming Chen, and Matthew Chan.

Join us on a tour of the lab of Hyunjoon "Joon"  Kong. The Kong Lab pursues the synthesis, characterization, and processing of nanobiomaterials for diagnosis and therapies. Video features graduate students Ryan Miller, Joanne Hwang, Connie Hong, Yu-Heng Deng, and Kai-Yu Huang.

Join us on a tour of the lab of Charles Sing. The Sing Lab uses both theoretical and computational tools to tackle fundamental problems in polymer physics and develop design principles for bio-inspired soft materials.

Student Housing Information

Choosing a graduate program is a big decision. You're choosing where to build a career and a life for yourself over the next several years. Our graduate students are grateful to put down roots in our welcoming (and affordable) community. With your stipend, you can choose to live in the midst of our vibrant downtown or in a house with a yard that is a short commute from campus. Here are some resources to help you find the right fit for you! 

University Housing 

University Housing offers a variety of housing options designed to meet the unique needs of graduate students and students with families. Choose from two graduate upper-division halls (Daniels Hall and Sherman Hall) or three apartment communities: Orchard Downs, Goodwin-Green and Ashton Woods. All offer welcoming, diverse communities with great amenities and convenient locations.

Housing Options Brochure  Apartments Brochure  FY22 Ratecard

Virtual Housing Tours

Our current graduate students have graciously opened up and welcomed us into their homes to give you an idea of what options are available to you in Urbana-Champaign. Join us on a series of housing tours to see four options available to you in Urbana and Champaign. The full-length housing tour videos are available below! 

Join us on a tour of Rachel's home in Urbana's Historic District, located just a short walk from campus. Video features graduate student Rachel Gaines and Rachel's roommate's cat, Fanny.

  • Rent $500/mo for 2 bd/1 ba (with roommate)
  • Historic neighborhood
  • Short walk to campus
  • Basement for extra storage

Join us on a tour of Victoria's home in Midtown, an open-concept loft with easy access to Downtown Champaign and Campustown. Video features  Victoria Kriuchkovskaia, Victoria's dog Izzy and cat Luna, and a visit from fellow graduate student Haley Vapnik.

  • Rent $700/mo for 1 bd/1 ba 
  • Open concept loft living
  • Free parking
  • Access to washer/dryer

Join us on a tour of Matthew's home that's located on campus (just a 5-minute walk to the lab!) above a selection of restaurants and cafés. Video features Matthew Chan. 

  •  Rent $1,000/mo for 1 bd/1 ba + all utilities
  • On-campus (no commute)
  • Courtyard space for social gatherings
  • Parking space available

Join us on a tour of Haley's home in Downtown Champaign, located above a popular bar in the middle of all the action.  Video features Haley Vapnik and Victoria Kriuchkovskaia

  •  Rent $1,300/mo for 2 bd/1 ba 
  • Easy access to the downtown scene
  • Two parking spaces 
  • In-unit washer/dryer

Explore the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Get to know the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and what this campus has to offer through these virtual tours and guides. 

Ever wonder what it’s like being a first-generation college student, a woman in computer science, a Big Ten football player, a student entrepreneur, or a performing musician? Join our host Alex and 11 star students at UIUC as they talk about extracurricular activities, majors, studying abroad, life after college, and advice for current and prospective students! Do you want to know what life is like at the University of Illinois? What our students are passionate about? What they do, and why? Stay tuned.

Looking to see campus? You're in the right place. Each student will greet you in a place important to them on a tour of journeys at the University of Illinois. The college tour isn't a traditional campus tour, but you'll see what kind of places on campus matter to each person we talk to.

If you’re hesitant to attend college or wondering how to enrich your college experience to launch your career, these students will inspire you to courageously pursue your goals and passions. Dream big, Illini!

The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Quad, main quad, or main quadrangle, is at the heart of campus. It is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spaces on any college campus! Located in the center of campus, the Quad is surrounded by historic buildings on every side, including the student-friendly Illini Union to the north and the regal Foellinger Auditorium to the south. It's beautiful, inclusive, and a welcoming space for all Illini to share. 

This timelapse/hyperlapse video was shot by members of Champaign Photography. Check out scenes from across our gorgeous campus. 

See what campus looks like right this moment with this live stream of the Alma Mater at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign! Alma Mater is a beloved statue created by alumnus and sculptor Lorado Taft. 

This full-color, 52-page magazine offers University content and general campus information, including a campus map.

Download University Guide

Explore Our Community

Champaign-Urbana (CU) has so much to offer! Discover all the hidden gems within and just beyond our community, lovingly called the Silicon Prairie. We're excited to welcome you into our community where you will no doubt find many opportunities to get involved and thrive outside of the lab. 

From the MRI, to the web browser to LED technology, the Champaign-Urbana community has a rich legacy of innovation that is virtually unmatched. Today, CU remains a hotbed of technology and innovation, full of opportunity. And, you're welcome to join us and experience our incredible micro-urban community with the best of both worlds: active city living paired with easygoing affordability.

(This video is kind of pithy—enjoy!)

Enjoy the diverse flavors in the greater Champaign County area's culinary scene.

Get an inside look at the places and events that make our arts & culture scene.

Check out this jam-packed experience guide for the greater Champaign-Urbana area.

Champaign County Visitor's Guide

Past GSAC president Victoria Kriuchkovskaia (Harley Lab) made a mini-guide with a list of local restaurants, fun things to do, places to shop, and much more to do in Champaign-Urbana. She has included many pictures that she has taken during her tenure here. 

Victoria's CU Guide

Explore the Great Outdoors

There are tons of hidden treasures across the Midwest for folks who are looking to reconnect with nature. Here's an incomplete list of places and opportunities to get involved in outdoor activities locally. 

Options less than an hour away:

  • Lake of the Woods is just a 20-minute drive away and has loads of opportunities to get outdoors from trails for hiking and trail running to six-miles of pavement for biking and running. It boasts prairie, wooded, and botanical garden landscapes to enjoy. 
  • Homer Lake is located about 30 minutes from town and boasts about 10 miles of trails for hiking and trail runs. It also has an Outdoor Playscape for children. The lake itself is gorgeous for fishing or kayaking. 
  • Kickapoo State Park offers hiking, mountain bike trails, and the opportunity to explore the Kickapoo River by paddling or tubing (rentals available). It's a local favorite located about 45 minutes from C-U. 
  • Allerton Park is about 45 minutes away and is known as one of the seven wonders of Illinois. This beautiful park has tons of hiking trails and manicured gardens (with sculptures!) to explore set on the estate of Robert Allerton, which is now owned and maintained by the University of Illinois. During the winter, the park hosts a 'Holiday Glow' event for visitors to enjoy a winter walk among magical lights. 
  • Clinton Lake is also about 45-minutes away and has some of the best hiking that Central Illinois has to offer, including a beloved 11-mile loop with a bit of elevation (for the flatlands). Its large lake is great for paddling and it also has a swimming beach. 

Options a bit farther away: 

  • Turkey Run State Park is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in the area. Located just across the border in Indiana, Turkey Run has 14-miles of trails nestled among rugged terrain and rock formations. The scenic Sugar Creek flows through the heart of Turkey Run State Park and is a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and tubing (rentals available locally). It is about an hour and a half drive from Champaign-Urbana.
  • Starved Rock State Park is another great spot for hiking and enjoying the park's spectacular seasonal waterfalls. It's located about two and a half hours north of Champaign-Urbana, but you'll feel like you've left the state altogether. 
  • Shawnee National Forest has seven wilderness areas boasting natural springs, scenic canyons, spectacular views, and much more. Enjoy hiking, climbing, bouldering, camping, backpacking, and much more. All that Shawnee has to offer makes it worth the 3.5-hour drive south. Don't miss out on award-winning BBQ and the Shawnee Wine Trail while you're there.   

If you're a runner, be sure to check out the Second Wind Running Club, which hosts weekly fun runs for runners of all levels and many races throughout the year. Our community hosts the Illinois Marathon, which is a huge event and a great place for folks looking for a flat race to qualify for Boston or to set a personal record. 

If you're a runner, be sure to check out the Second Wind Running Club, which hosts weekly fun runs for runners of all levels and many races throughout the year. Our community hosts the Illinois Marathon, which is a huge event and a great place for folks looking for a flat race to qualify for Boston or to set a personal record. 

GoeHike is a blog run by a local couple that documents nearby, and often overlooked, spots for camping and hiking. Discover all the hidden gems that Illinois has to offer you. 

Check out Paddling Illinois to discover places to put in and take out all over the state. Kickapoo State Park is a common spot for river kayaking whereas Homer Lake is great for paddling across a calm lake. 

Career Services

SCS Career Services

The School of Chemical Sciences Career Services office seeks to provide guidelines, resources, and opportunities to School of Chemical Sciences job seekers to help them achieve their career aspirations relevant to their academic interests and to facilitate and support connections between employers and those job seekers. Whether you are seeking a career in industry, higher education, or seeking to gain practical experience through a summer or semester internship, or co-op, we can help.

  • Career advising
  • Academic and industrial job search coaching
  • Résumé/CV and cover letter assistance
  • Mock interview program
  • Professional development workshops

Download SCS Career Services Brochure

Grainger Engineering Career Services

Engineering Career Services (ECS) in the Grainger College of Engineering provides students and employers with career management services. Skilled at working with highly qualified students and maintaining strong ties with companies, ECS helps you explore careers and get connected with your dream companies. Whether you are beginning to research internships or are seeking a full-time job, the ECS team is your career search partner.

The Career Center at Illinois

The Career Center provides all Illinois students collaborative and innovative programs, services, and resources focused on career and professional development that educates and empowers them to become thriving professionals in the global community. The Career Center serves all students. in addition to career services staff in many colleges and departments—this network of Career Services offices actively collaborates to provide the best possible services to all University of Illinois students. The Career Center is nationally recognized for excellence in career services that empower students to connect their “Illinois experience” with their future aspirations.