Undergraduate Program

Review degree requirements and course descriptions in our General Bulletin

Chemical Engineering addresses the design and operation of processes for separation, purification, and reaction of raw materials to produce useful products and energy. It is a broad discipline, focusing on processes from the atomic level, through the nano-scale, to mega-scale manufacturing. It combines expertise from the basic sciences (chemistry, mathematics and physics) and engineering (transport, reactions, separations, process design) with economics and business considerations. 

Chemical Engineering is central to topics high on the national and international agenda:

  • Renewable energy (including photovoltaics, fuel cells, batteries) 
  • Global warming (including sequestration of green-house gases) 
  • Advanced materials (including nano structures, novel composites and compounds)
  • Sustainable and ‘green’ manufacturing processes and materials
  • Biological and health related products (including drug discovery and manufacturing, tissue and biomolecular engineering)

Our program enables each student to design an individualized curriculum that highlights his or her interests within the field of chemical engineering. Chemical engineers apply a common core of knowledge to a broad range of applications, and our curriculum reflects this idea: Each student attains this core knowledge through a common set of math, science and chemical engineering courses, and focuses on his or her interests through a series of twelve elective courses. As examples, students can focus on biochemical engineering, management, or complete premedical coursework through these electives. Our program is described in detail here.

We also emphasize opportunities for experiential learning (that is, learning-by-doing). Almost half of our students participate in our co-op program, where they spend two semesters doing engineering work (and getting paid) at a company. Many students do undergraduate research in the labs of our faculty, which sometimes leads to publications in scientific journals and presentations by the students at scientific meetings. Students may also enroll in our BS-MS program, which is a 5 year program that leads to both a BS and MS degree in chemical engineering.