Biochemical Engineering, Bachelor of Science College of Engineering

The Department of Chemical Engineering offers two undergraduate programs: Chemical Engineering and Biochemical Engineering.

Biochemical Engineering Undergraduate Program

The Biochemical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

As the biotechnology industry expands and matures, there is an increasing need for engineers who can move products from the research stage to large-scale manufacturing. As they fill this need, engineers must also understand the production, purification, and regulatory issues surrounding biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

Biochemical engineers—with their strong foundations in chemistry, biological sciences, and chemical process engineering—are in a unique position to tackle these problems. Biochemical engineers apply the principles of cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and engineering to develop, design, scale up, optimize, and operate processes that use living cells, organisms, or biological molecules for the production and purification of products (such as monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, therapeutic proteins, antibiotics, and industrial enzymes); for health and/or environmental monitoring (such as diagnostic kits, microarrays, biosensors); or for environmental improvement (such as bioremediation). An understanding of biological processes is also becoming increasingly important in the industries that traditionally employ chemical engineers, including the industries that process materials, chemicals, foods, energy, fuels, and semiconductors.


We educate students in the fundamentals of chemical and biochemical engineering, balanced with the application of these principles to practical problems; educate students as independent, critical thinkers who can also function effectively in a team; prepare students with a sense of community, ethical responsibility, and professionalism; prepare students for careers in industry, government, and academia; teach students the necessity for continuing education and self-learning; and foster proficiency in written and oral communications.

Students are encouraged to adhere carefully to all prerequisite requirements. The instructor is authorized to drop students from a course for which stated prerequisites have not been completed.

Honors Program

An Honors Program is available to qualified students in the Chemical Engineering & Biochemical Engineering majors It is a two-year program designed to challenge the most talented students in these majors. Students are invited to participate in their sophomore year. In the upper division coursework, students will complete either an honors thesis or a project that might involve local industry. Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.500 to continue in the program. Successful completion of the Honors Program will be acknowledged on the student's transcript.

The major requirements below are in addition to meeting University Degree Requirements & College Degree Requirements; unless otherwise noted. The minimum number of units required for the  Biochemical Engineering Bachelor of Science is 161.

Lower Division Required Courses
MAT 021ACalculus4
MAT 021BCalculus4
MAT 021CCalculus4
MAT 021DVector Analysis4
MAT 022ALinear Algebra3-4
or MAT 027A Linear Algebra with Applications to Biology
or BIS 027A Linear Algebra with Applications to Biology
MAT 022BDifferential Equations3-4
or MAT 027B Differential Equations with Applications to Biology
or BIS 027B Differential Equations with Applications to Biology
PHY 009AClassical Physics5
PHY 009BClassical Physics5
PHY 009CClassical Physics5
Choose one:5
General Chemistry
Honors General Chemistry
General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
Choose one:5
General Chemistry
Honors General Chemistry
General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
Choose one:5
General Chemistry
Honors General Chemistry
General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
Biological Science
BIS 002AIntroduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth5
Chemical Engineering & Programming
ECH 005Introduction to Analysis & Design in Chemical Engineering3
ECH 051Material Balances4
ECH 060Chemical Engineering Problem Solving4
or ECS 032A Introduction to Programming
ECH 080Chemical Engineering Profession1
Choose one:4
Circuits I
Circuits I
Properties of Materials
Properties of Materials
Lower Division Composition/Writing; choose one; a grade of C- or better is required:4
Major Works of the Ancient World
Major Works of the Medieval & Early Modern World
Major Works of the Modern World
Major Works of the Contemporary World
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Native American Literature
Introduction to Academic Literacies (Recommended)
Introduction to Academic Literacies: Online (Recommended)
Introduction to Academic Literacies (Recommended)
Lower Division Required Courses Subtotal77-79
Upper Division Required Courses
Engineering Chemical
ECH 140Mathematical Methods in Biochemical & Chemical Engineering 4
ECH 141Fluid Mechanics for Biochemical & Chemical Engineers 4
ECH 142Heat Transfer for Biochemical & Chemical Engineers4
ECH 143Mass Transfer for Biochemical & Chemical Engineers4
ECH 145AChemical Engineering Thermodynamics Laboratory3
ECH 145BChemical Engineering Transport Lab3
ECH 148AChemical Kinetics & Reaction Engineering3
ECH 152AChemical Engineering Thermodynamics3
ECH 152BChemical Engineering Thermodynamics4
ECH 157Process Dynamics & Control4
ECH 158BNProcess Economics & Green Design4
ECH 158CPlant Design Project4
ECH 161ANBioseparations4
ECH 161BNBiochemical Engineering Fundamentals4
ECH 161CBiotechnology Facility Design & Regulatory Compliance4
ECH 161LBioprocess Engineering Laboratory4
Biological Science
BIS 102Structure & Function of Biomolecules3
MIC 102Introductory Microbiology3
MIC 103LIntroductory Microbiology Laboratory2
CHE 128AOrganic Chemistry3
CHE 128BOrganic Chemistry3
CHE 129AOrganic Chemistry Laboratory2
Biochemical Engineering Technical Electives
Choose eight units from the following:8
1. Choose at least one laboratory course from the Laboratory Elective list.
2. Complete at least 3 units in any upper division engineering course(s) not numbered 190C and/or 198.
3. Remainder of units, for a total of 8 units, may be completed in any upper division engineering and/or science course(s)1 excluding courses numbered 190 and 198. 2
4. You may receive biochemical engineering elective credit up to a maximum of 4 units of an internship (192) and/or independent study (199). Research does not replace the required lab elective.
a. Credit for independent studies (199s) or internships (192s) completed outside of the department must be approved by the department’s Undergraduate Affairs Committee. Additionally, students applying for these credits must submit an essay of at least 4 pages and no more than 10 pages detailing the engineering and/or science aspects of their work, results or outcomes (figures and graphs may be included), and how the experience relates to their educational program and objectives. The report must be submitted in pdf format and use 1.5 line spacing, 1” margins, and 12pt Times New Roman font. No intellectual property should be contained in the report. Applications must also include a written evaluation of the students’ performance by the student’s supervisor or faculty advisor.
5. Courses used to satisfy other major requirements cannot be used to satisfy the technical elective requirements.
Laboratory Electives
Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory
Genetics & Biotechnology Laboratory
Plant Genetics & Biotechnology Laboratory
Practical Malting & Brewing
Food Microbiology Laboratory
Enzymology Laboratory
Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Laboratory
Principles of Genetics Laboratory
Systemic Physiology Laboratory
Cellular Physiology/Neurobiology Laboratory
Analysis of Musts & Wines Laboratory
Wine Production Laboratory
Upper Division Composition Requirement
A grade of C- or better is required:
Choose one:0-4
Writing in the Disciplines: Engineering
Writing in the Disciplines: Food Science & Technology
Writing in the Professions: Business Writing
Writing in the Professions: Business Writing
Writing in the Professions: Business Writing
Writing in the Professions: Science
Writing in the Professions: Technical Writing
Passing the Upper Division Composition Exam.
Upper Division Required Courses Subtotal84-88
Total Units161-167

Acceptable science courses must carry one of the following subject designations: BIS, BIT, FST, MIC, MCB, NPB, PLB, PLS, STA, and VEN.


With the exception for ECH 198.