Chemical engineers apply physical, chemical, mathematical, and engineering principles to the processing and utilization of chemicals, fuels, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products, foods, plastics and metals.
Given the broad applications of chemical engineering, our program has the following two objectives:
- 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.
- 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 career and graduate school opportunities, undergraduate studies for the B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering are very broad in both science and engineering. The curriculum progresses from mathematics and basic sciences (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 completed minors in many other engineering disciplines, in business , and in many different humanities and liberal arts programs. Throughout the CHE program, students develop 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 during the first year. Further, those planning on medical school should schedule a full year of organic chemistry and biology, including laboratories.
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 studies in these areas. The concentration consists of a course in introductory molecular and cell biology and of the two CHE electives: CHE 3347 - Biochemical Engineering and CHE 4448 – Bioseparations Engineering. Additional bioscience or bioengineering elective courses may be taken from a list available in the department.
Minor in Chemical Engineering
A minor in chemical engineering consists of:
Chemical Engineering Curriculum (128 Credits)
First Semester Credits: 15
Second Semester Credits: 18
Third Semester Credits: 17
Fourth Semester Credits: 16
Fifth Semester Credits: 16
Sixth Semester Credits: 16
Seventh Semester Credits: 15
Eighth Semester Credits: 15
(1) HSS Electives: chosen from the approved list available in A122 Thornton Hall or from the SEAS website.
(2) Technical electives: any 2000 to 5999 course in: APMA, MATH, CHEM, PHYS, BIOL, BIOM, CHE (other than required courses), ENGR 4880, CE, CS, ECE (except ECE2066), MSE (except MSE 2010), MAE, SYS plus ENVS 2050, 2800, 3200, 3600, 3860, 4280, 4640,4660, 4090. Special Topics and Special Projects courses as well as other courses introduced after the 2011-12 academic year must be individually approved.
(3) Engineering elective: any BME, CHE (other than required courses), CE, CS, ECE (except ECE2066), MSE (except MSE2010, 2090), MAE, and SYS courses, plus EVSC3600 and 4640. Special Topics and Special Projects courses as well as other courses introduced after the 2011-12 academic year must be individually approved.
(4) Unrestricted electives: chosen from any graded course in the University except mathematics courses below MATH1310 and courses that substantially duplicate any others offered for the degree, including PHYS2010, 2020; CS1010, 1020; 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 APMA1090 is taken as part of mathematics sequence, it counts as an unrestricted elective.
(5) CHE Electives: chosen from CHE2246, CHE3347, CHE4442, CHE4448, CHE4449, CHE5600
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.