Dec 02, 2023  
Undergraduate Record 2007-2008 
Undergraduate Record 2007-2008 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Chemical Engineering

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Chemical engineering applies physical, chemical, and engineering principles to the processing and utilization of such varied products as fuels, drugs, foods, plastics, metals, and basic chemicals. Given the broad applications of chemical engineering, our program has the following two objectives: (1) Graduates demonstrate technical competency, communication skills and breadth of knowledge in serving effectively in the chemical engineering profession and in becoming technical leaders in industry, government or academe. (2) Graduates engage successfully in advanced study in engineering and applied sciences and in professions such as law, business, and medicine.

Many chemical engineers serve in the traditional chemical process industries of petroleum, chemicals, paper, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Some develop new products or processes through research, while others carry out the pilot studies and design work to bring innovations from the laboratory into manufacturing operations. Many are engaged in the operation and management of process plants. Others are in marketing, developing new applications for, or solving problems arising from, the use of products. Often a chemical engineer moves from one function to another. Chemical engineers have long aided in energy and materials production from oil, gas, and coal. They are involved in the research, development, and production of energy from alternative energy resources. Similarly, their chemical expertise and broad knowledge of processes are valuable in the identification and control of environmental problems, in health care and pharmaceuticals, and in areas such as electronic materials production. A chemical engineer’s career path is varied and rewarding, allowing individual talents to grow and be fully utilized.

In preparation for these opportunities, undergraduate studies for the B.S. ChE degree are very broad in both science and engineering. The curriculum progresses from basic sciences and mathematics (with an emphasis on chemistry), through engineering sciences, to applications in chemical process analysis, and culminates in a capstone design project. Computer methods, laboratory techniques, open-ended problem solving, team approaches, and effective written and oral communication are emphasized throughout the UVa program of study. Elective courses permit minors or concentrations in diverse technical and non-technical areas; recent students have minored in all other engineering disciplines, the sciences and many different humanities and liberal arts programs, including languages. Throughout, students are expected not only to develop in technical capability, but also learn to consider the ethical, environmental, cultural, and economic impacts of technological activities.

First-Year and Second-Year Program

Chemical engineering students take two-semesters of general chemistry with the standard first-year program. Because of individual long term goals and the various options available for students in the chemical engineering program, consultation with a ChE advisor in the first semester of studies is strongly recommended. For example, the second semester chemistry course and laboratory are required for ChE majors and should be taken in the second semester.  Further, those planning on medical school  should schedule a second semester of general chemistry and laboratory as well as a full year of organic chemistry  and biology.

Concentration in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering

A concentration in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering prepares chemical engineering students for careers with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and for further graduate work in these areas. The concentration includes three required courses: CHE 246-Introduction to Biotechnology, CHE 347-Biochemical Engineering, CHE 448–Bioseparations Engineering. Additional bioscience or bioengineering elective courses may be taken from a list available in the department.

Chemical Engineering Curriculum (128 Credits)

Student will not get credit for both BIOM 204 and CHE 246 in overall program.

Second Semester Credits: 17

  • Science elective I Credits: 3
    (See footnote 1 below)
  • HSS elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 2 below)

Third Semester Credits: 17

  • ENGR elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 3 below)
  • HSS elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 2 below)

Fourth Semester Credits: 16

  • STS 2xx/3xx Elective Credits: 3

Fifth Semester Credits: 16

  • Unrestricted elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 5 below)

Sixth Semester Credits: 16

  • Technical elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 6 below)
  • HSS elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 2 below)

Seventh Semester Credits: 16

  • CHEM/SCI elective Credits: 4
    (See footnote 7 below)
  • Unrestricted elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 5 below)

Eighth Semester Credits: 15

  • CHE elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 8  below)
  • Technical elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 6 below)
  • Unrestrictive elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 5 below)


(1)    CHEM 152 (3 credits) and CHEM 152L (1 credit) are required for ChE majors and should be taken in the second semester as Science Elective I.  If another course, selected from BIOL 201, 202, ECE 200, MSE 209, or PHYS 252 is taken, then CHEM 152/152L will satisfy the CHEM/SCI elective (See note 7).

(2)    Humanities and Social Science Electives chosen from the approved list available in A122 Thornton Hall or from the SEAS website.

(3)    Chosen from engineering science courses, such as BIOM 204*, CHE 246*, CE 205; CS 230, CE 231, CE232; ECE 203, ECE 230; MAE 230, 231, 232; and MSE 209.  (CHE 246 is recommended for bio-concentration, MSE 209 is recommended for other CHE majors.)

(4)    MAE 210 will also satisfy this course requirement.

(5)    Unrestricted electives may be chosen from any graded course in the University except mathematics courses below MATH 131, and courses that substantially duplicate any others offered for the degree, including PHYS 201, 202; CS 110, 120; or any introductory programming course.  Students in doubt as to what is acceptable to satisfy a degree requirement should get the approval of their advisor and the dean’s office, located in A122 Thornton Hall.  If APMA 109 is taken as part of mathematics sequence, it counts as an unrestricted elective.

(6)    Any 200 to 599 course in:  APMA, MATH, CHEM, PHYS, BIOL, BIOM, CHE (Other than required courses), ENGR, CE, CS, ECE, MSE, MAE, SYS plus TMP 351 and EVSC 215, 280, 320, 340, 386, 428, 444, 446, 470.

(7)    CHEM/SCI elective is satisfied by CHEM 152L plus a 3-credit course chosen from:  BIOL 200-599, BIOM 301, BIOM 204*, CHE 246*, CHE 347, CHE 442, CHE 449, CHEM 152, CHEM 200-599, PHYS 200-599, EVSC 280.  Student will not get credit for both BIOM 204 and CHE 246 in overall program.

(8)    Chosen from a list of chemical engineering electives:  CHE 347, CHE 442, CHE 448, CHE 449.

*Student will not get credit for both BIOM 204 and CHE 246 in overall program.


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