Skillful and creative applications of the principles of chemistry, biochemistry, biology, mathematics, and physics are needed to solve the problems now confronting society. Whether these problems involve energy, food, health, or environmental quality, the modern chemical engineer is the professional concerned with finding economically and socially acceptable solutions. The program prepares graduates for employment in a great variety of industries including the chemical, petroleum, biochemical, pharmaceutical, paper, environmental, fibers, plastics, food, electronics, and consumer product industries. Students may customize their academic program around an industry of their interest by judiciously selecting electives. For example, areas of concentration such as polymer, biotechnology, marketing, and environmental chemical engineering are common choices.
The objective of our undergraduate program is to produce chemical engineering graduates who, within five years of completing the BS degree, will be successful in a variety of professional careers, including those outside of traditional chemical engineering fields as evidenced by one or more of the following achievements.
- Sustaining a career as a problem solver in engineering or other fields that require analytical skills
- Professional advancement in positions of increasing leadership and/or responsibility within their chosen career field
- Attainment of an advanced degree or advanced certification leading to a career in engineering or science, business, law, medicine, or academia
- Bettering society through professional or personal service
The curriculum has been developed to meet the department goal and the objectives for the graduates. A minimum of 130 semester credits is required for a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. Competitive entry into this restricted degree program is managed by the Department of Engineering Education, and a GPA of at least 3.0 is recommended for transfer into the program at the sophomore level. An average GPA of at least 2.00 in all ChE courses attempted is required for continued enrollment in the department. The department has specific grade policies for continuation in the program and for graduation. For further information on these policies, please contact the department.
The chemical engineering curriculum integrates studies in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass transfer, control, verbal and written communications, and reaction kinetics, along with professional ethics and environmental awareness. Students gain hands-on experience with the equipment described in the courses during the summer Unit Operations Laboratory. The laboratory and the senior design courses are recognized as two of the high points in the undergraduate program. Throughout these studies, the student learns the elements of the design of chemical processes and chemical processing equipment. The experience culminates in a senior design project, and the student may choose between a project mentored by an industrial client or in response to the AIChE annual Student Design Competition. The computer is a necessary tool in all the courses and the same software used in industry is used in the design courses.
In addition to the basic undergraduate program outlined here, more sophisticated and specialized programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering also are offered. See the Graduate Program in Chemical Engineering.
The department participates in the Cooperative Education Program whereby qualified students may alternate periods of study with periods of professional employment. Students interested in entering the co-op program should meet with the co-op advisor in the ChE Department.