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Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

The minimum number of credits required for a B.S.Ch.E degree is 180. Some courses cannot be counted toward degree requirements. Students should consult with the Department's Academic Advisor, Dave Drischell (206.543.2252 or, to determine whether a particular course can be counted. Among those that cannot be counted are chemistry, mathematics, and physics courses at a lower level than those required by the Department.

General Education (97 credits):

1. Written and Oral Communication Skills (8 credits)

ENGL 131 (5): Composition: Exposition (or any composition course approved by the University)

HCDE 231 (3): Introduction to Technical Writing

Additional writing credits are built into the major core courses.

2. Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA) and Individuals & Societies (I&S) (24 credits)

10 credit minimum in each area; for foreign language classes, only the third quarter (or higher) counts as VPLA.  These credits must be in Diversity (DIV). 

3. Natural World (65 credits)

Mathematics (24 credits)

MATH 124 (5): Calculus with Analytic Geometry I

MATH 125 (5): Calculus with Analytic Geometry II

MATH 126 (5): Calculus with Analytic Geometry III

MATH 307 (3): Differential Equations (or AMATH 351)

MATH 308 (3): Linear Algebra (or AMATH 352)

MATH 309 (3): Linear Analysis (or AMATH 353)

IND E 315 (statistics for engineers) or MATH/STAT 390 may substitute for MATH 309.

Chemistry (26 credits)

CHEM 142 (5): General Chemistry, with lab (or 145)

CHEM 152 (5): General Chemistry, with lab (or 155)

CHEM 162 (5): General Chemistry, with lab (or 165)

CHEM 237 (4): Organic Chemistry (or 223)

CHEM 238 (4): Organic Chemistry (or 224)

CHEM 455 (3): Physical Chemistry

Physics (15 credits)

PHYS 121 (5): Mechanics (with Lab)

PHYS 122 (5): Electromagnetism and Oscillatory Motion (with Lab)

PHYS 123 (5): Waves (with Lab)

Major Requirements (74 credits):

1. Engineering Fundamentals (4 credits)

AMATH 301 (4): Beginning Scientific Computing OR

CSE 142 (4): Computer Programming for Engineers (or any programming course approved by the Department)

2. Chemical Engineering Core Courses (54 credits)

CHEM E 310 (4): Material and Energy Balances

CHEM E 325 (4): Energy and Entropy

CHEM E 326 (4): Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics

CHEM E 330 (5): Transport Processes I

CHEM E 340 (4): Transport Processes II

CHEM E 435 (4): Transport Processes III

CHEM E 436 (3): Chemical Engineering Laboratory I

CHEM E 437 (3): Chemical Engineering Laboratory II

CHEM E 455 (3): Surface and Colloid Lab

CHEM E 457 (3): Principles of Molecular Engineering

CHEM E 465 (4): Reactor Design

CHEM E 480 (4): Process Dynamics and Control

CHEM E 485 (4): Process Design I

CHEM E 486 (5): Process Design II

3. Engineering Electives (16 credits)

Most courses from outside the College of Engineering do not count. Only one, 1-credit seminar is allowed to count toward engineering electives (e.g. CHEM E 301). A maximum of 9 credits of undergraduate research (CHEM E 299, CHEM E 499, of which no more than 3 credits may be CHEM 299) may count toward engineering electives. In order to take CHEM E 499, students must have a GPA in chemical engineering core courses of 3.00 or higher.

Unspecified (Free) Electives (9 credits, unless credits earned in other categories)

The total number of credits needed for graduation is 180. If students earn only the minimum number of credits in the above categories, they will need 9 additional (elective) credits. The electives may be used to pursue areas of interest outside chemical engineering, or to deepen professional training. Students are urged to include as many upper division courses as possible among the electives they choose.

Optional Specialty Area

Students may choose to complete an optional specialty area. They may take a sequence of related courses totaling at least 9 credits (as shown below). In each area, students may substitute a maximum of 3 credits of applicable ChemE 499 for any optional course in the area. Many courses that count for the specialty areas also count as engineering electives (compare the courses listed below with those on the attached engineering electives list). Careful planning is necessary for completing a specialty area because some courses are not taught every year and some courses have extensive prerequisites (some of which should be taken in the sophomore year).


Two courses from the following: CHEM E 355, 455, 458, 467, 554; BIOEN 420, 440, 455, 457, 485, 490, 491, 492. And one course from the following: BIOC 405, 406, 440, 441, 442; MICROM 301, 302, 402, 410, 411, 412.

Computers Applied to Chemical Engineering

Three courses from the following: CHEM E 481, 482; CHEM 465; CSE 373, 410, 413, 415 of which at least one must be in CHEM E.

Electronic Materials

Three courses from the following: CHEM E 461; MSE 485, 486.

Environmental Engineering

Three courses from the following: CHEM E 341, 445, 455, 554; ATM S 458; CEE 482, 484, 485, 490; ENVH 552, 553; MICROM 435; OCEAN 421.

Fuel Cells and Energy

Three courses from the following: CHEM E 341, 442, 445, 461; ME 430.

Nuclear Chemical Engineering

Three courses from the following: CHEM E 341, 461; CEE 357

Polymers, Composites, Colloids, and Interfaces

Three courses from the following: CHEM E 455, 458, 461, 490, 491, 554.