A large number of the products that improve our lives are produced by molecular changes that have been carefully designed and controlled. Because of this, a chemical engineer succeeds and contributes to a wide variety of industries. The majority of chemical engineers go on to work in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, biotech, energy, environmental health or safety industries, food processing companies, or laboratories.
We’ve put together our top picks for Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The undergraduate department of chemical engineering (“ChemE”) at MIT has four different degree options: BS in Chemical Engineering, BS in Chemical-Biological Engineering, BS in Engineering, or BS, for students who want to specialize in a different field of science but still learn the basics of chemical engineering. All of these incorporate the core components of the chemical engineering degree, but offer various flexibilities for focusing your coursework elsewhere or incorporating additional concentrations. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programs (UROP) gives undergraduates the chance to conduct extensive independent research with the benefit of a faculty advisor.
The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UC Berkeley is housed within the College of Chemistry. Students pursuing their BS in Chemical Engineering must complete 122-123 credits over the course of 4 years for the degree. The program is competitive and emphasizes a strong foundation in chemistry, biotechnology, and applied physical science. You can additionally pursue one of two joint major programs if you choose: Materials Science and Engineering or Nuclear Engineering are both offered. The BS in Chemical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
The McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at UT Austin is home to students who are pursuing their BS in Chemical Engineering. The program is rigorous and challenging. The school aims to equip students with the capabilities to excel as a chemical engineer by combining lectures and extensive laboratory experience. Students have the option to choose to become an expert in a particular area of emphasis. These Technical Option Areas include: Process Systems and Product Engineering; Materials Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Biochemical, Biomolecular, and Biomedical Engineering; Energy Technologies; Engineering Economics and Business. In addition to the core requirements, UT Austin has what they call skills and experience “flags” that every student must complete: one independent inquiry flag, one course with a quantitative reasoning flag, one ethics and leadership flag, one global cultures flag, one cultural diversity in the United States flag, and two writing flags. Students can do so by taking courses with these particular focuses.
Georgia Institute of Technology
The School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech emphasizes creative problem-solving. A central practice is that students must formulate and develop solutions regardless of the framework of the problem to fully understand the complexities of the study of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Systems are studied not just from the Chemical and Biomolecular standpoint, but in their entirety. Students can pursue a BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with or without a Biotechnology focus, or students can pursue the 5-year program to achieve their BS and MS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The BS in Chemical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
University of Minnesota--Twin Cities
The Chemical Engineering program within the College of Science & Engineering at University of Minnesota is unique for many reasons, but namely the teaching methods. The core required courses are taught by several faculty members, with one organizing professor at the head of the team. The entire class gathers 3 times a week to hear the organizing professor lecture. Each student is also assigned to a smaller recitation group that they meet with two times a week for discussions and problem-solving meetings. A series of 6 Technical Electives with various focuses like Statistics, System Methods, Chemistry, and Biology are required. The BS in Chemical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
The Chemical Engineering program at Stanford requires students to take 47-53 units of math and science courses, 3-5 units of classes that qualify as Technology in Society, and a minimum of 3 courses in engineering fundamentals to graduate with a BS in Chemical Engineering. The program recently underwent an expansion of structure and students can now choose one of three revised tracks: Chemistry of Life, Chemistry of Energy, and Chemistry of the Environment. Stanford offers students the option to pursue a co-terminal degree, which allows students to work towards their Masters while completing their Bachelor’s degree. Up to 50% of Chemical Engineering students are either working towards this co-term degree or producing an honors research thesis. The BS in Chemical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Chemical & Biological Engineering Program at UWM has a significant amount of resources and unique opportunities. Home to the nation’s largest National Institutes of Health-funded Biotechnology Training Program, students must complete a total of 133 credits in a diverse set of core subjects, including math, science, engineering, communication skills, professional breadth, liberal studies, and up to 6 credits of electives. The BS in Chemical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
California Institute of Technology
The undergraduate program of Chemical Engineering at CalTech consists of two phases. Through the beginning of your junior year, all students take courses in chemical engineering fundamentals. Junior and senior year, students focus on one of four tracks: biomolecular; environmental; process systems; materials. Each track consists of eight chemistry and engineering classes emphasizing the topic of focus. The BS in Chemical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
Princeton is a top research university, and their Chemical and Biological Engineering program is no exception to its excellence. Aside from the core curriculum requirements, there are six areas of concentration for Chemical and Biological Engineering students: Bioengineering and Biotechnology; Entrepreneurship and Management; Energy and Environmental Technology; Materials and Product Engineering; Optimization, Dynamics and Information Technology; Science and Engineering for New Technologies. Students have a unique option of pursuing a certificate program in a topic not covered by the major, which include: applications of computing; architecture and engineering; engineering and management; engineering biology; engineering physics; geological engineering; materials science and engineering; robotics and intelligent systems. The BS in Chemical and Biological Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
University of Delaware
The Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering program at UD is highly regarded. While it has been growing consistently over the last two decades, it remains intentionally small. In 2016, 85 BS degrees were awarded. The location of the school plays a role in its significance as a program--Delaware is home to a number of the nation’s notable chemical and pharmaceutical companies, including DuPont and W.L. Gore. The access to these companies for UD students is significant and beneficial. The BS in Chemical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET).
Chemical and Biomoleculuar engineering programs are incredibly competitive, but highly rewarding. Being an innovator in this field means that you are a part of future solutions that our world and society will benefit from. If you need any additional guidance or have any questions about the above list, or any other programs, please don’t hesitate to reach out.