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Academics - Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering


Have you ever thought about the person who makes:

  • pharmaceuticals for health care?
  • plastics for cars and appliances?
  • chips in your computer?
  • synthetic fibers?
  • gasoline from crude oil?
  • peanut butter and breakfast cereal?
  • cosmetics and personal care products?

Society needs large quantities of these (and many other) products to function smoothly. Chemical engineers touch just about every product you use on a daily basis on the way from concept to use.

Chemical engineers are thoughtful professionals who are always improving the manufacturing processes so that they are cleaner, safer, more environmentally friendly, produce better quality products, uses less resources.

Chemical engineers combine engineering and chemistry to solve problems in many different industries from biotech pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, environmental services, foods, cosmetics and more.

Chemical engineers find themselves in many roles in a company:

  • in a laboratory, understanding how a chemical reaction works
  • in an office, designing equipment for a chemical process (How big? What material? What temperature? How much energy to operate it?)
  • in a manufacturing plant, troubleshooting a process or providing technical support.
  • in a meeting, working as part of a cross disciplinary team to develop new technology
  • in management, supervising the operations of a manufacturing facility.

Sometimes, the Chemical engineer may do all of these in one day.

Program Overview

Freshman & Sophomore Year

The first two years include introductory engineering courses, physics, chemistry, math and humanities courses. The engineering courses will give you a broad base of engineering skills, and along with your other classes, will build the foundation for a more advanced study. At the end of your second year, you will formally select chemical engineering as your concentration.

Many of the courses in the first two years include lab work and explore real engineering principles. We also make use of service-learning projects — you dive into solving a real-world problem for real people right away. Please see the link at the bottom of this page for a .pdf file of the Model Program for Chemcial Engineering.

Junior & Senior Year

You have picked chemical engineering, and now you build the chemical engineering expertise. You will take Chemical Engineering classes and lab courses, advanced chemistry classes, and a variety of humanities and fine arts classes.

Senior Project

Your senior year will include a capstone project in which your team of three or four students will develop a project that integrates all of your college education. Some examples of Chemical Engr. Sr. projects are found here.

Summer Internships

We work to place students in a variety of internships at local and international chemical, nuclear and pharmaceutical companies to gain practical work experience.

Dual Major or a Minor in Chemistry

As a chemical engineer major, you can get a chemistry minor with no additional classes, or take two additional classes and earn chemistry as a dual major. Student interested in this should be sure to talk to their advisor.