Jun 15, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2011-2012 
Undergraduate Record 2011-2012 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Chemical Engineering

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Chemical engineers apply physical, chemical, and engineering principles to the processing and utilization of such varied products as fuels, pharmaceuticals, 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 academia.

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 needed to bring innovations from the laboratory to 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 chemical 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. Today they are also heavily  involved in  research, development, and production of energy from alternative renewable  resources. Similarly, their chemical expertise and broad knowledge of processes are valuable in the identification and control of environmental problems, in health care, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology ,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  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 the program, students  not only  develop  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 varied individual long term goals and the many options available 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 2246-Introduction to Biotechnology, CHE 3347-Biochemical Engineering, CHE 4448–Bioseparations Engineering. Additional bioscience or bioengineering elective courses may be taken from a list available in the department.

Concentration in Microelectronics

The Microelectronics Concentration combines fundamental chemical engineering building blocks with an understanding of electrical devices and intergrated circuit fabrication to provide an education that will allow the student to pursue employment or graduate study in semiconductor manufacturing. The program consists of 10.5 credit hours of classes, which includes the following required courses:

Chemical Engineering Curriculum (128 Credits)

Second Semester Credits: 17

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

Third Semester Credits: 17

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

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 1620 (3 credits) and CHEM 1621 (1 credit) are required for ChE majors and should be taken in the second semester as Science Elective 1.  If another course, selected from BIOL 2010, 2020, ECE 2066; MSE 2090, or PHYS 2610, 2620, is taken then CHEM 1620/1621 will satisfy the CHEM/SCI elective.  See note 7.

2.  Humanities and the 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 2104*, CHE 2246*, CE 2100, 2300, 2310; CS 2300; ECE 2630, ECE 2330; MAE 2300, 2310, 2320; and MSE 2090.  (CHE 2246 is recommended for bio-concentration, MSE 2090 is recommended for other ChE majors.)  * Student will not get credit for both BIOM 2104 and CHE 2246 in overall program.

4.  MAE 2100 will also satisfy this course requirement.

5.  Unrestricted electives may be chosen from any graded course in the University except mathematics courses below MATH 1310 and courses that substantially duplicate any others offered for the degree, including PHYS 2010, 2020; CS 1110; 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 Thornton Hall, Room A122.  If APMA 1090 is taken as part of mathematics sequence, it counts as an unrestricted elective.

6.  Any 2000-5999 course in: APMA, MATH, CHEM, PHYS, BIOL, BIOM, CHE (other than required courses), ENGR, CE, CS, ECE, MSE (excluding MSE 2010), MAE, SYS plus STS 4110 and EVSC 2050, 2800, 3200, 3600, 3860, 4280, 4640, 4660, 4090. Courses that substantially duplicate any others taken for the degree, including PHYS 2010, 2020, cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.

7.  CHEM/SCI elective is satisfied by CHEM 1621 plus a 3-credit course chosen from BIOL 2000-5999, BIOM 2101, BIOM 2104*, CHE 2246*, CHE 3347, CHE 4442, CHE 4448, CHE 4449, CHEM 1620, CHEM 2000-5999, PHYS 2000-5999, EVSC 2800.  *Student will not get credit for both BIOM 2104 and CHE 2246 in the overall program. Courses that substantially duplicate any others taken for the degree, including PHYS 2010, 2020, cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.

8.  Chosen from a list of chemical engineering electives: CHE 3347, CHE 4442, CHE 4448, CHE 4449.


Minimum Grade Requirements for ChE Prerequisite Courses

C- is the standard required in ChE courses that are prerequisites for other ChE courses. Students cannot have more than one passing grade of less than C- in ChE prerequisites before enrolling in higher-level ChE courses. Students with more than one grade below C- in any additional ChE prerequisite will have to retake these additional courses and earn a grade of at least a C- before taking higher-level ChE courses.

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