Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is one of the most broadly based engineering disciplines. Its field of practice covers the development, design, and control of processes and products that involve molecular change, both chemical and biological, and the operation of such processes. Because many of the products that sustain and improve life are produced by carefully designed and controlled molecular changes, the chemical engineer serves in a wide variety of industries. These industries range from chemical and energy companies to producers of all types of consumer and specialty products, pharmaceuticals, textiles, polymers, advanced materials, and solid-state and biomedical devices.

Careers are available in industry, government, consulting, and education. Areas of professional work include research and development, operations, technical service, product development, process and plant design, market analysis and development, process control, and pollution abatement.

The chemical engineering degree program prepares students for professional practice in chemically related careers after the bachelor's degree or an advanced degree. Chemical engineering graduates are expected to attain the following capabilities at or within a few years of graduation: apply the fundamentals of science and engineering to solve important chemical engineering problems in industry, government or academic settings; communicate effectively and demonstrate the interpersonal skills required to lead and/or participate in interdisciplinary projects; apply life-long learning to meet professional and personal goals of their chosen profession, including graduate study; articulate and practice professional, ethical, environmental and societal responsibilities, and value different global and cultural perspectives. To meet the program objective, the faculty has designed a rigorous, demanding, and state-of-the-art curriculum that integrates lectures and laboratory experience in basic science, mathematics, engineering science, engineering design, and the liberal arts.

Portable Computing Devices

Students entering chemical engineering are required to have a laptop computer at their disposal. Laptops do not need to be brought to campus on a daily basis, but individual courses may require that a laptop be brought to certain lectures, labs, and/or exams. Minimum requirements for the laptop are listed on the department’s website.

Curriculum

Course requirements are divided into three categories:  lower division courses in the major, upper division courses in the major, and other required courses.  Enrollment is some upper division Chemical Engineering courses requires completion of eight hours of lower division Chemical Engineering coursework (Chemical Engineering 210, 317 and 319) and 11 hours of non-Chemical Engineering coursework (Chemistry 328M, 128K, 353, Physics 303L and 103N) in the major, while earning a grade of C- or better in each course. In addition, each student must complete the University's core curriculum. In some cases, a course required for the Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering may also be counted toward the core curriculum; these courses are identified below. 

In the process of fulfilling engineering degree requirements, students must also complete coursework to satisfy the following flag requirements: 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. The independent inquiry flag, the quantitative reasoning flag, the ethics and leadership flag, and the two writing flags are carried by courses specifically required for the degree; these courses are identified below. Courses that may be used to fulfill flag requirements are identified in the Course Schedule.

RequirementsHours
Chemical Engineering Courses
CHE 210Introduction to Computing (*)2
CHE 253KApplied Statistics2
CHE 253MMeasurement, Control, and Data Analysis Laboratory2
CHE 264Chemical Engineering Process and Projects Laboratory (writing flag)2
CHE 317Introduction to Chemical Engineering Analysis (*)3
CHE 319Transport Phenomena3
CHE 322Thermodynamics3
CHE 333TEngineering Communication (writing flag; ethics and leadership flag)3
CHE 348Numerical Methods in Chemical Engineering and Problem Solving3
CHE 350Chemical Engineering Materials3
CHE 354Transport Processes3
CHE 360Process Control3
CHE 363Separation Processes and Mass Transfer3
CHE 372Chemical Reactor Analysis and Design3
CHE 473KProcess Design and Operations (independent inquiry flag)4
Chemistry
CH 302Principles of Chemistry II (part II science and technology; quantitative reasoning flag)3
CH 204Introduction to Chemical Practice (quantitative reasoning flag)2
CH 128KOrganic Chemistry Laboratory (*)1
CH 328MOrganic Chemistry I (*)3
CH 353Physical Chemistry I (* quantitative reasoning flag)3
Mathematics
M 408CDifferential and Integral Calculus (mathematics; quantitative reasoning flag)4
M 408DSequences, Series, and Multivariable Calculus4
M 427JDifferential Equations with Linear Algebra (quantitative reasoning flag)4
or M 427K Advanced Calculus for Applications I
Physics
PHY 103MLaboratory for Physics 303K1
PHY 103NLaboratory for Physics 303L (*)1
PHY 303KEngineering Physics I (part I science and technology; quantitative reasoning flag)3
PHY 303LEngineering Physics II (* part I science and technology; quantitative reasoning flag)3
Rhetoric and Writing
RHE 306Rhetoric and Writing (English composition)3
Approved technical focus area electives in chemical engineering6
Approved technical focus area electives6
Other Required Courses
BIO 311CIntroductory Biology I3
CH 128LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory1
CH 328NOrganic Chemistry II3
CH 153KPhysical Chemistry Laboratory (writing flag)1
Chemistry elective with a laboratory experience chosen from4
Inorganic Chemistry
Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy
and Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Physical Chemistry II
and Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry
Fundamentals of Biochemistry
and Topics in Chemical Engineering
Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy
and Topics in Chemical Engineering
Approved advanced mathematics, physics, chemistry or biology elective3
Remaining Core Curriculum Courses
E 316LBritish Literature (humanities; in E 316L, 316M, 316N, and 316P some sections carry a global cultures or cultural diversity flag)3
or E 316M American Literature
or E 316N World Literature
or E 316P Masterworks of Literature
American and Texas government (some sections carry a cultural diversity flag)6
American history (some sections carry a cultural diversity flag)6
Visual and performing arts (some sections carry a global cultures and/or cultural diversity flag) 3
Social and behavioral sciences (some sections carry a global cultures and/or cultural diversity flag) 3
UGS 302First-Year Signature Course (in UGS 302 all sections carry writing flag; in UGS 303 some sections carry a writing flag)3
or UGS 303 First-Year Signature Course
*Courses marked with an * must be completed with a C- or better in order to achieve upper-division standing in the major.
Total Hours128

Honors Program

Chemical engineering students who are in the Engineering Honors Program and maintain a grade point average of at least 3.50 may take the honors research course, Chemical Engineering 679H. In this course the student performs research over two consecutive semesters under the supervision of a faculty member, makes two oral presentations, and writes a thesis. Chemical Engineering 679H may be used to fulfill either the approved area electives requirement or the approved area electives in chemical engineering requirement.

Technical Option Areas

Because of the broad training in natural sciences and engineering received by the chemical engineer, opportunities are provided for students also to develop particular talents and interests in one or two areas of emphasis. Each student must complete 12 semester hours in one of the following areas or six semester hours in each of two areas, including at least two chemical engineering courses. If two technical option areas are selected, then one chemical engineering course from each technical option area may be completed, or two chemical engineering courses in a single area. The technical area courses should be discussed with a faculty adviser during faculty advising for the next registration period. The courses listed in each area do not constitute a complete list of technical option area courses but illustrate the types of courses that are generally suitable for a given area. A list of suggested complementary biology, physics, mathematics, and chemistry electives for each of the technical option areas is available from the Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Office and published on the departmental Web page.

Students with a grade point average of at least 3.50 who are interested in seeking an advanced degree in chemical engineering are encouraged to discuss their plans with the graduate adviser or another faculty member. These students are encouraged to take at least one advanced mathematics course among their electives. They should also inquire about undergraduate research positions in the department.

For all areas, Chemical Engineering 325L and 377K may be counted as chemical engineering electives. Chemical Engineering 377K may be counted only once toward the degree as a technical area option elective.

Area 1, Process Systems and Product Engineering

The chemical process industry is one of the most advanced in the applications of modern design and control techniques and computer technology. Competence in design, economics, fault detection, optimization, control, and simulation is essential in this industry. Chemical engineers are also frequently involved in the development of new consumer and specialty products, an assignment that requires not only technical skills but also an understanding of the principles of successful marketing and quality control. Chemical engineering courses in this technical focus area cover topics such as optimization and statistical quality control, while courses in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering deal with both theory and applications in statistics, computer control, economic analysis, and operations research.

Chemical Engineering 341, Design for Environment
Chemical Engineering 342, Chemical Engineering Economics and Business Analysis 
Chemical Engineering 356, Optimization: Theory and Practice
Chemical Engineering 376K, Process Evaluation and Quality Control
Chemical Engineering 379, Topics in Chemical Engineering*
Electrical Engineering 370K, Computer Control Systems
Electrical Engineering 379K*
Architectural Engineering 323K, Project Management and Economics 
Mechanical Engineering 335, Engineering Statistics 
Mechanical Engineering 348D, Introduction to Mechatronics II 
Mechanical Engineering 353, Engineering Finance 
Mechanical Engineering 366L, Operations Research Models 
Marketing 320F, Foundations of Marketing
Upper-division mathematics course

*Approved topics

Area 2, Materials Engineering

Advances in technology and improvements in our quality of life are linked to the development, processing, and manufacture of engineering materials. Materials span the spectrum from “hard” to “soft” materials and include metals, ceramics, semiconductors, and polymers; all are prepared in carefully controlled chemical processes. These materials are used technologically in objects such as catalysts, fuel cells, microelectronic devices, membranes, solar cells, and high-performance plastics. With advancements in analytical probes and modeling, our understanding of materials has become increasingly more molecular and the traditional boundaries between disciplines have faded to the extent that this is a truly interdisciplinary area. Chemical engineers can assume a creative role in this area when provided with the appropriate fundamentals and applications background.

Chemical Engineering 322M, Molecular Thermodynamics 
Chemical Engineering 323, Chemical Engineering for Micro- and Nanofabrication 
Chemical Engineering 355, Introduction to Polymers 
Chemical Engineering 379*
Chemistry 341, Special Topics in Laboratory Chemistry 
Chemistry 354, Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy 
Chemistry 354L, Physical Chemistry II
Chemistry 367L, Macromolecular Chemistry
Chemistry 376K, Advanced Analytical Chemistry
Electrical Engineering 339, Solid-State Electronic Devices 
Mechanical Engineering 349, Corrosion Engineering 
Mechanical Engineering 359, Materials Selection 
Mechanical Engineering 374S, Solar Energy Systems Design 
Physics 338K, Electronic Techniques 
Physics 355, Modern Physics and Thermodynamics 
Physics 375S, Introductory Solid-State Physics

*Approved topics

Area 3, Environmental Engineering

Chemical engineers are uniquely qualified to contribute to the solution of environmental problems and to design processes and products that minimize environmental hazards. From pollution prevention by process optimization, to new understanding of chemical processes that occur in the environment, to new materials for advanced catalysts and carbon-free energy sources, chemical engineers are creating the “green” technologies needed to sustain the planet.

Chemical Engineering 341, Design for Environment 
Chemical Engineering 357, Technology and Its Impact on the Environment 
Chemical Engineering 359, Energy Technology and Policy
Chemical Engineering 376K, Process Evaluation and Quality Control
Chemical Engineering 379*
Civil Engineering 341, Introduction to Environmental Engineering 
Civil Engineering 342, Water and Wastewater Treatment Engineering 
Civil Engineering 364, Design of Wastewater and Water Treatment Facilities 
Civil Engineering 369L, Air Pollution Engineering 
Civil Engineering 370K, Environmental Sampling and Analysis 
Mechanical Engineering 374S, Solar Energy Systems Design 
Mechanical Engineering 379M, Topics in Mechanical Engineering

*Approved topics

Area 4, Biochemical, Biomolecular, and Biomedical Engineering

Track A: Cellular and Bioprocess Engineering

Chemical engineers are developing innovative solutions to practical problems in biotechnology and in the biochemical, pharmaceutical, and life science industries. This track is designed to prepare students for a career or research in the areas of applied cellular engineering and bioprocess engineering in the chemicals and pharmaceutical industry. Chemical engineering and elective courses are available that cover chemical engineering principles applied to biological systems and the fundamentals of biomolecular, cellular, and metabolic processes. This track is also suitable for students interested in biofuels.

Chemical Engineering 339, Introduction to Biochemical Engineering
Chemical Engineering 339P, Introduction to Biological Physics 
Chemical Engineering 379*
Biochemistry 369, Fundamentals of Biochemistry 
Biochemistry 370, Physical Methods of Biochemistry 
Biology 311D, Introductory Biology II 
Biology 325, Genetics 
Biology 326R, General Microbiology
Biology 339, Metabolism and Biochemistry of Microorganisms 

*Approved topics

Track B: Biomedical Engineering

This track is designed to prepare students for careers in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries that deal with medical systems or improvement of health treatment alternatives. This is also a natural track to be followed by students who plan to attend medical school. Chemical engineering courses and electives are available that cover the application of chemical engineering principles to the design of new medical and therapeutic devices, as well as to the understanding of physiological processes.

Chemical Engineering 339, Introduction to Biochemical Engineering 
Chemical Engineering 339P, Introduction to Biological Physics 
Chemical Engineering 339T, Cell and Tissue Engineering 
Chemical Engineering 355, Introduction to Polymers
Chemical Engineering 379*
Biology 311D, Introductory Biology II 
Biology 320, Cell Biology 
Biology 325, Genetics 
Biology 326R, General Microbiology 
Biology 365S, Human Systems Physiology 
Biomedical Engineering 352, Engineering Biomaterials 
Biomedical Engineering 353, Transport Phenomena in Living Systems 
Biomedical Engineering 365R, Quantitative Engineering Physiology I 
Biochemistry 369, Fundamentals of Biochemistry 
Electrical Engineering 374K, Biomedical Electronic Instrument Design 
Mechanical Engineering 354, Introduction to Biomechanical Engineering
Neuroscience 365R, Vertebrate Neurobiology

*Approved topics

Area 5, Energy Technologies

The need for energy sustainability and new energy technologies provides some of the most significant scientific and engineering challenges that face society. Chemical engineers are uniquely qualified to address these issues and contribute new solutions to the problem. Technologies include solar energy utilization in the form of photovoltaics, biofuels and solar fuels; new and more efficient ways to extract fossil fuels from existing reservoirs; alternative power sources like wind, geothermal, and nuclear. Policy is also an important and active area that involves chemical engineers. Chemical engineering and other elective courses are available that teach fundamentals of energy technology and policy.

Chemical Engineering 323, Chemical Engineering for Micro- and Nanofabrication 
Chemical Engineering 339, Introduction to Biochemical Engineering 
Chemical Engineering 341, Design for Environment 
Chemical Engineering 355, Introduction to Polymers 
Chemical Engineering 357, Technology and Its Impact on the Environment 
Chemical Engineering 359, Energy Technology and Policy
Chemical Engineering 379*
Civil Engineering 341, Introduction to Environmental Engineering 
Electrical Engineering 339, Solid-State Electronic Devices 
Mechanical Engineering 374S, Solar Energy Systems Design 
Mechanical Engineering 379M, Topics in Mechanical Engineering 
Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering 305, Energy and the Environment
Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering 430, Drilling and Well Completions

*Approved topics

Area 6, Engineering Economics and Business Leadership

Chemical engineers who understand the economic and policy issues faced by modern chemical and materials companies are needed to solve the challenges of modern industry. Globalization, sustainability, safety and modern labor practices, intellectual property protection, and the process of innovation are all issues facing modern industry. This focus area is designed to prepare students for business leadership in a technical arena.

Chemical Engineering 342, Chemical Engineering Economics and Business Analysis 
Chemical Engineering 356, Optimization: Theory and Practice
Chemical Engineering 379, Topics in Chemical Engineering*
Architectural Engineering 323K, Project Management and Economics 
Economics 304K, Introduction to Microeconomics 
Economics 304L, Introduction to Macroeconomics 
Economics 328, Industrial Organization 
Economics 339K, International Trade and Investment
Economics 351K, Current Issues in Business Economics 
International Business 378, International Business Operations 
Mechanical Engineering 353, Engineering Finance 
Mechanical Engineering 366L, Operations Research Models 
Marketing 320F, Foundations of Marketing 
Marketing 460, Information and Analysis
Science, Technology, and Society 332, The Nanotechnology and Science Revolution

*Approved topics