Home Home
College of Engineering

Chemical Engineering

105 Benson Hall
206-543-2250
Website
Faculty Website

The chemical engineering profession is a close-knit group with a common background in chemical processes, systems analysis, and systems economics. Chemical engineering training occurs through course and laboratory work addressing mathematical, scientific, and engineering fundamentals. Chemical engineers study, design and operate processes to provide food, water, energy, clothing, medicine and materials. These processes transform raw materials from the environment into desired products. They also return spent products and by-products to the environment in an ecologically sustainable manner.

 Undergraduate Program


Chemical Engineering

105 Benson Hall
206-685-1634
chemeadv@uw.edu

 Program of Study: Major: Chemical Engineering


Program Overview

Chemical engineering is the study of transforming matter under constraint. Chemical engineers find industrial employment in areas of energy, the environment, biomedicine, electronics, food production, and materials. Chemical engineers also find careers in academia and government and military service. Students study chemical processes at the molecular level and the chemical plant level and gain an engineering education deeply grounded in mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, and materials science.

This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree: Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering
Admission Requirements

Engineering Undeclared Students

See section on College of Engineering Admission for additional details on Direct-to-College admission and placement process for Engineering Undeclared students. The deadline to submit a request for placement in an engineering major occurs annually on July 1.

If the number of Engineering Undeclared students requesting the major exceeds the department capacity for such students, a matching process is implemented. Factors considered include performance in prerequisite courses, quality of overall academic record, content of personal statement, applicable work or extracurricular activities, and other special circumstances as disclosed by the applicant.

Core courses within the department form a seven-quarter curriculum designed to start spring quarter of the sophomore year. Because the curriculum is cohort-based and all students start and proceed at the same pace, Engineering Undeclared students admitted to Chemical Engineering after their first year are expected to start the curriculum in spring quarter of their second year.

Engineering Undeclared students in good standing with respect to the continuation criteria described below may request placement into an engineering major after completion of minimum requirements as specified below:

  1. ENGR 101
  2. English composition
  3. MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136)
  4. CHEM 142 (or CHEM 143 or CHEM 145)
  5. PHYS 121 (or PHYS 141)
  6. One course from the list on this website. Students are encouraged to choose a course required for graduation in the majors they are considering. Students requesting placement in Chemical Engineering must take CHEM 152 (or CHEM 153 or CHEM 155) from this list and they are also strongly recommended to complete CHEM 162 (or CHEM 165) prior to requesting placement.
  7. Minimum 2.0 grade in all courses used to satisfy placement requirements
  8. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in courses used to satisfy placement requirements
  9. Minimum 12 credits as a matriculated UW student. Some departments require more credits. See department websites for details.

Chemical Engineering is the only engineering major that requires students to complete CHEM 152 (or CHEM 153 or CHEM 155) to request placement because that course is required in order to complete the major in four years.

Students in good standing who do not meet the placement requirements by July 1 will be placed into a major on a conditional basis pending the completion of all placement requirements and readiness to begin the chemical engineering core course sequence in the following spring quarter. Additional advising resources will be available to these students. See section on College of Engineering Continuation Policy for Engineering Undeclared Students for additional details.

Current UW Students and Transfer Students

The department follows a cohort model beginning in spring quarter. Transfer students, current UW students without Engineering Undeclared status, and current UW students with Engineering Undeclared status who are eligible to begin the chemical engineering core sequence of courses in their first spring quarter may apply. Admission is competitive.

  1. Admission is for spring quarter only. Application deadline: January 15
  2. Minimum course requirements: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 207 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136; AMATH 351 may substitute for MATH 207); CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162 (or CHEM 143, CHEM 153; or CHEM 145, CHEM 155, CHEM 165); PHYS 121, PHYS 122 (or PHYS 141, PHYS 142); 5 credits of English composition. Two required courses may be in progress during winter quarter. CHEM 237 (or CHEM 223 or CHEM 335) strongly recommended.
  3. Grade requirements: Minimum 2.0 grade for each course required for application; minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in courses required for application

Factors evaluated for admission include performance in prerequisite courses, quality of overall academic record, demonstrated ability to handle rigorous course load, record of honors, content of personal statement, applicable work or extracurricular activities, and other special circumstances as disclosed by the applicant.

General Expectations of Academic Progress: Completion of all admission requirements listed for "Current UW Students and Transfer Students" as well as the following courses by the start of autumn quarter of the junior year: organic chemistry I and II (CHEM 237 and CHEM 238; or CHEM 223, CHEM 224; or CHEM 335 and CHEM 336), PHYS 123 (or PHYS 143), AMATH 301 (or CSE 142), MATH 208 (unless MATH 136 or AMATH 352 is taken), CHEM 310.

Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the departmental adviser or refer to the department website.

 Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree


Credential Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (B.S.Ch.E.) is a highly marketable, professional degree that prepares undergraduate students for employment in industry or graduate study. With a strong background in mathematics, chemistry, and physics, chemical engineering students study transport phenomena (the description of momentum, heat, and mass transfer in chemical processes); chemical kinetics and reaction engineering; process control and design; and optimization of chemical processes and apply this knowledge to engineering solutions in a wide variety of areas.

Completion Requirements

180 credits

General Education Requirements

Basic Skills (20 credits)

  1. Written and Oral Communication (12 credits)
    1. English Composition: 5 credits from the University list
    2. Writing: ENGR 231; 4 remaining credits met by coursework in the major
  2. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) (5 credits): met by program requirements
  3. Diversity (DIV) (3 credits): courses can also apply to an Areas of Knowledge requirement

Areas of Knowledge (80-90 credits)

  1. Visual, Literary & Performing Arts (VLPA) and Individuals & Societies (I&S) (24 credits)
    1. VLPA (10 credits)
    2. I&S (10 credits)
    3. Additional credits in VLPA or I&S to bring total to 24 credits
  2. Natural World (NW) (56-66 credits)
    1. Mathematics (18-25 credits) complete one of the following:
      1. MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 207 (or AMATH 351), MATH 208 (or AMATH 352); one of MATH 209, STAT 390, IND E 315, or AMATH 353
      2. MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136; one of MATH 209, STAT 390, IND E 315, or AMATH 353
    2. Chemistry (23-26 credits) complete one of the following:
      1. CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162 (or CHEM 145, CHEM 155, CHEM 165), CHEM 237 (or CHEM 223 or CHEM 335), CHEM 238, CHEM 455
      2. CHEM 143, CHEM 153, CHEM 237 (or CHEM 223 or CHEM 335), CHEM 238, CHEM 455
    3. Physics (15 credits): PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123 (or PHYS 141, PHYS 142, PHYS 143)

Major Requirements

74 to 77 credits, depending on credential/option

  1. A minimum 2.00 GPA in core chemical engineering courses, based on the first time each course is taken, is required for graduation.
  2. Additional requirements specified below.

Of Special Note:

Many engineers design new equipment and processes or design modifications to them. The design experience is integrated throughout the curriculum, with open-ended problems (sometimes involving economic constraints) in several courses: design of heat exchangers (CHEM E 340) and distillation towers (CHEM E 435), design of piping and pumping systems (CHEM E 330), design of chemical reactors (CHEM E 465). The design experience culminates in two capstone design courses (CHEM E 485 and CHEM E 486 or CHEM E 485 and CHEM E 497 or faculty approved alternative) which involve the design of an integrated chemical system.

Additional Completion Requirements

74 credits

  1. Engineering Fundamentals (4 credits): AMATH 301 or CSE 142
  2. Chemical Engineering Core Courses (51 credits): CHEM E 310, CHEM E 325, CHEM E 326, CHEM E 330, CHEM E 340, CHEM E 435, CHEM E 436, CHEM E 437, CHEM E 457, CHEM E 465, CHEM E 480, CHEM E 485, CHEM E 486
  3. Molecular and Nanoscience Engineering (3 credits): CHEM E 455 or CHEM E 460
  4. Engineering Elective Courses (16 credits): Only one, 1-credit seminar allowed toward engineering electives. Maximum 9 credits undergraduate research (CHEM E 299, CHEM E 499, of which no more than 3 credits may be CHEM 299) may count toward engineering electives.

Unspecified Electives (9 credits): to reach 180 credits

 Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree: Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering


Credential Overview

The Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering (NME) Option in the Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering is a transcriptable option focusing on nanoscale principles in molecular engineering that provides hands-on experience and stresses the interdisciplinary nature of the field. Students must indicate their plan to apply for the NME option in their Chemical Engineering application and discuss their interests and background in the essay.

Completion Requirements

180 credits

General Education Requirements

Basic Skills (20 credits)

  1. Written and Oral Communication (12 credits)
    1. English Composition: 5 credits from the University list
    2. Writing: ENGR 231; 4 remaining credits met by coursework in the major
  2. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) (5 credits): met by program requirements
  3. Diversity (DIV) (3 credits): courses can also apply to an Areas of Knowledge requirement

Areas of Knowledge (80-90 credits)

  1. Visual, Literary & Performing Arts (VLPA) and Individuals & Societies (I&S) (24 credits)
    1. VLPA (10 credits)
    2. I&S (10 credits)
    3. Additional credits in VLPA or I&S to bring total to 24 credits
  2. Natural World (NW) (56-66 credits)
    1. Mathematics (18-25 credits) complete one of the following:
      1. MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 207 (or AMATH 351), MATH 208 (or AMATH 352); one of MATH 209, STAT 390, IND E 315, or AMATH 353
      2. MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136; one of MATH 209, STAT 390, IND E 315, or AMATH 353
    2. Chemistry (23-26 credits) complete one of the following:
      1. CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162 (or CHEM 145, CHEM 155, CHEM 165), CHEM 237 (or CHEM 223 or CHEM 335), CHEM 238, CHEM 455
      2. CHEM 143, CHEM 153, CHEM 237 (or CHEM 223 or CHEM 335), CHEM 238, CHEM 455
    3. Physics (15 credits): PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123 (or PHYS 141, PHYS 142, PHYS 143)

Major Requirements

74 to 77 credits, depending on credential/option

  1. A minimum 2.00 GPA in core chemical engineering courses, based on the first time each course is taken, is required for graduation.
  2. Additional requirements specified below.

Of Special Note:

Many engineers design new equipment and processes or design modifications to them. The design experience is integrated throughout the curriculum, with open-ended problems (sometimes involving economic constraints) in several courses: design of heat exchangers (CHEM E 340) and distillation towers (CHEM E 435), design of piping and pumping systems (CHEM E 330), design of chemical reactors (CHEM E 465). The design experience culminates in two capstone design courses (CHEM E 485 and CHEM E 486 or CHEM E 485 and CHEM E 497 or faculty approved alternative) which involve the design of an integrated chemical system.

Additional Completion Requirements

Option specific credits (77 credits)

  1. Engineering Fundamentals (4 credits): AMATH 301 or CSE 142
  2. Chemical Engineering Core Courses (51 credits): CHEM E 310, CHEM E 325, CHEM E 326, CHEM E 330, CHEM E 340, CHEM E 435, CHEM E 436, CHEM E 437, CHEM E 457, CHEM E 465, CHEM E 480, CHEM E 485, CHEM E 486
  3. Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Courses (22 credits): CHEM E 299, CHEM E 455, CHEM E 499 (3-6 credits, maximum 3 credits from CHEM E 299), NME 220, NME 221, NME 321, NME 421; minimum two additional approved nanoscience and molecular engineering electives. See adviser for list of approved electives.

Unspecified Electives (6 credits): to reach 180 credits.

Additional Information

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Chemical engineering graduates possess knowledge (including safety and environmental aspects) of material and energy balances applied to chemical processes; thermodynamics of physical and chemical equilibria; heat, mass, and momentum transfer; chemical reaction engineering; continuous and stage-wise separation operations; process dynamics and control; and process design. They also gain ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering; ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data; ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs; ability to function on multidisciplinary teams; and ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems. They also possess an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility; an ability to communicate effectively; the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context; a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning; a knowledge of contemporary issues; and an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The chemical engineering building, Benson Hall, contains classrooms, offices, stockrooms, computer rooms, machine and electronics shops, and laboratories. The Unit Operations Laboratory holds a variety of experiments designed to give undergraduate students the experience of using real chemical process equipment and to deepen their understanding of chemical engineering fundamentals of fluid flow, heat transfer, separation processes, and reactor behavior. Departmental computer facilities include a network of PCs located in a keyed room for the exclusive use of chemical engineering students. Ten of these machines have hardware for computer data acquisition (to collect experimental data and support experiments on process automation). All have fast connections to the Internet and to larger UW computers.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Students are encouraged to participate in internships, which are generally facilitated through the Engineering Co-op Office.
  • Department Scholarships: The department awards 20-25 full-tuition scholarships per year. See departmental website for application procedures.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: The undergraduates in the department run a dynamic chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Of Special Note:

Entrance into most chemical engineering courses is ordinarily limited to majors in chemical engineering and bioresource science and engineering. Other students who wish to take departmental courses must meet the prerequisites and obtain instructor approval (except for CHEM E 485 and CHEM E 486, which are open to majors only).

 Graduate Programs


Chemical Engineering

cegrad@uw.edu

 Program of Study: Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering)


This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering)
  • Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering: Advanced Data Science)
  • Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering: Chemical Engineering And Nanotechnology And Molecular Engineering)
  • Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering: Chemical Engineering And Nanotechnology)
  • Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering: Data Science)
Admission Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering)


Completion Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering: Advanced Data Science)


Completion Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering: Chemical Engineering And Nanotechnology And Molecular Engineering)


Completion Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering: Chemical Engineering And Nanotechnology)


Completion Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Doctor Of Philosophy (Chemical Engineering: Data Science)


Completion Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Program of Study: Master Of Science In Chemical Engineering


This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Master Of Science In Chemical Engineering
  • Master Of Science In Chemical Engineering (Data Science)
Admission Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Master Of Science In Chemical Engineering


Completion Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Master Of Science In Chemical Engineering (Data Science)


Completion Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Program of Study: Master Of Science In Engineering (Chemical Engineering)


This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Master Of Science In Engineering (Chemical Engineering)
Admission Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Master Of Science In Engineering (Chemical Engineering)


Completion Requirements

Contact department for requirements.