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Covestro Circular Economy Program Overview

Program Objectives

  • Enable students at the University of Pittsburgh to earn a PhD from a home department while gaining additional unique expertise in circular economy principles, informed by Covestro LLC's successes in this area, and ultimately create circular, sustainable products and service solutions.
  • Embed circular design principles into the graduate curriculum through innovative new courses and unique training opportunities.

Depth of Learning

  • Embark on a novel, cohort-based training program that integrates existing campus resources with new courses focusing on circular economy design.
  • Conduct convergent circular economy research that addresses pressing societal needs.
  • Experience a diverse and inclusive training environment that builds upon and extends our networks, ultimately establishing a diverse and inclusive academic environment for our program.
  • Prepare for multiple career pathways with internships that strengthen students' understanding of various career opportunities.

Circular Economy Coursework

Students will focus their elective coursework in the following 6 areas, more than 18 credits of coursework below can be taken as part of the PhD program from the student’s home department. The classes are as follows:

  • Design for Circular Economy
  • Advanced Life Cycle Assessment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Consumer Behavior 1 & 2
  • Global Supply Chain Management or Environmental Law
  • Capstone Course on Design for Circular Economy

Additionally, students are encouraged to have at least one internship that lasts approximately six months, either during the semester or during the summer. Students must also develop and receive approval for a research theme, participate in MCSI events, and provide semester updates.

Program Details

The Nuts and Bolts

Students must apply to the University's graduate program, giving them a home department and academic advisor. All home department requirements must be fulfilled.

In addition, students will be awarded a prestigious fellowship and a unique experience. They will receive funding for a maximum of three years as a Covestro Circular Economy and Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation fellow.


Götz Veser, PhD
Director of CCEP
Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
Leonard Peters Faculty Fellow


Learn more about the CCEP Research Program and CCEP Innovation.