Chemical Engineering, Bachelor of Science College of Engineering

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

Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Program

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

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry and engineering to produce useful commodities, ranging from fuels to polymers. Chemical engineers are increasingly concerned with chemical and engineering processes related to the environment and food production. They work in diverse areas ranging from integrated circuits to integrated waste management. Preparation for a career in chemical engineering requires an understanding of both engineering and chemical principles to develop proficiency in conceiving, designing, and operating new processes.

The chemical engineering curriculum has been planned to provide a sound knowledge of engineering and chemical sciences so that you may achieve competence in addressing current and future technical problems.


The objectives of the program in Chemical Engineering are to educate students in the fundamentals of chemical engineering, balanced with the application of these principles to practical problems; to train them as independent, critical thinkers who can also function effectively in teams; to foster a sense of community, ethical responsibility, and professionalism; to prepare them for careers in industry, government, and academia; to illustrate the necessity for continuing education and self-learning; and to help students to learn to communicate proficiently in written and oral form.

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.

Junior & Senior Year Options

The focus in the junior year is on fundamentals such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, energy transfer, and mass transfer phenomena. In the senior year, students draw these fundamentals together and apply them in a study of kinetics, process design, and process dynamics and control. The program’s requirement of eight chemical engineering elective units allow students to strengthen specific areas in chemical engineering, explore new areas, or pursue new areas of specialization.

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 Chemical Engineering Bachelor of Science is 156.

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
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
Introduction to Academic Literacies
Lower Division Required Courses Subtotal72-74
Upper Division Required Courses
Chemical Engineering
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 148BChemical Kinetics & Reaction Engineering4
ECH 152AChemical Engineering Thermodynamics3
ECH 152BChemical Engineering Thermodynamics4
ECH 155Chemical Engineering Kinetics & Reactor Design Laboratory4
ECH 157Process Dynamics & Control4
ECH 158ANSeparations & Unit Operations4
ECH 158BNProcess Economics & Green Design4
ECH 158CPlant Design Project4
CHE 128AOrganic Chemistry3
CHE 128BOrganic Chemistry3
CHE 129AOrganic Chemistry Laboratory2
Chemical Engineering Technical Electives
Choose 20 units:20
1. At least 3 units must be completed in any upper division engineering course(s) not numbered 190C, 192, 198, and 199 (independent study, research, seminar, or internship courses).
2. Remaining 17 units, for a total minimum of 20 units are subject to the following:
a. Units must be completed in science, engineering or business courses carrying one of the following subject designations: ARE, ATM, BIM, BIS, BIT, CHE, EAE, EBS, ECH, ECN, ECI, ECS, EEC, EME, EMS, ENG, FPS, FST, MAT, MCB, MGT, PHY, STA and VEN.
b. A minimum of 9 units must be completed in upper division (100-199) courses.
c. You may receive chemical engineering elective credit up to a maximum of 4 units of ECH 192, ECH 198, and ECH 199 combined (192's/198's/199's from outside the department require a petition, see below item d).
d. 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.
e. Courses numbered 92, 98, and 99 may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
3. Courses used to satisfy other major requirements cannot be used to satisfy the technical elective requirements.
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 Units156-162