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Students in lectureThe 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 a departmental advisor 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.

For a sample four-year plan, please see the Plan of Study page. 

General Education Requirements

ChemE undergraduate students complete 97 credits of  general education requirements, which includes 8 credits of written and oral communication; 24 credits in Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts and Individuals & Societies; and 65 credits of natural world courses.

Written and Oral Communication (8 credits)

5 credits in English composition from the following list:

ENGL 110
ENGL 111
ENGL 121

ENGL 131
ENGL 182
ENGL 197

ENGL 198
ENGL 199
ENGL 281
CLIT 240

3 credits ENGR 231: Intro to Technical Writing

VLPA and I&S (24 credits)

Courses that count toward these requirements are identified as VLPA or I&S in the quarterly Time Schedule and in the UW Catalog. Students have many options to choose from, but here are some examples of areas of knowledge courses that are related to engineering and technology. 

Of the 24 credits, minimum 10 credits in Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA)

  • CHEM E 309 Creativity and Innovation (VLPA)
  • CLAS 314 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in the Ancient World (I&S or VLPA)
  • COM 330 Rhetoric of Science (I&S or VLPA)
  • ENGL 305 Theories of Imagination (I&S or VLPA)

Of the 24 credits, minimum 10 credits in Individuals & Societies (I&S)

  • BIOL 380 Biomedical Advances and Society (I&S)
  • ANTH 303 Technologies of Health (I&S or VLPA)
  • HSTCMP 315 History of Technology to 1940 (I&S)

At least 3 credits must be in Diversity (DIV). 

  • HONORS 220 Science and Engineering for Social Justice (DIV)
  • GEOG 272 Geographies of Environmental Justice (I&S and DIV)
  • ENGL 265 Introduction to Environmental Humanities (I&S/VLPA, and DIV)
  • CEE 420: Engineering with Developing Communities (DIV)
  • ENVIR 211 Environmental Justice (I&S, DIV)
  • ENGR 401: Leadership Development to Promote Equity in Engineering Relationships (DIV)
  • HCDE 298: Inclusive Design (DIV)

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 207 (3): Differential Equations (or AMATH 351)
MATH 208 (3): Linear Algebra (or AMATH 352)

MATH 209 (3): Linear Analysis (or AMATH 353)
*IND E 315: Statistics for Engineers or MATH/STAT 390 may substitute for MATH 209

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
OR  CHEM E 456: Quantum Mechanics for Chemical Engineers
*CHEM 143 and CHEM 153, the accelerated chemistry series, may subsitute for CHEM 142, 152, 162

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):

Chemical Engineering Core Courses (57 credits)

CHEM E 310 (4): Material and Energy Balances
CHEM E 375 (3): Chemical Engineering Computing
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 457 (3): Principles of Molecular Engineering           

CHEM E 436 (3): Chemical Engineering Laboratory I
CHEM E 437 (3): Chemical Engineering Laboratory II
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

Molecular & Nano-Engineering (3 credits):

CHEM E 455 (3): Surface and Colloid Lab  OR   CHEM E 460 (3): Polymers Lab

Engineering Electives  (16 credits)

Standard option: Any 16 credits listed on the Engineering Electives page. Students may also petition for other engineering courses to count. Most courses from outside the College of Engineering do not count. 

Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering (NME) option: 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. To declare the NME option, students must complete NME 220 and CHEM E 310 and earn minimum of 3.0 GPA.  For more information about the NME option for the B.S. ChemE, please see our NME Option page. 

Optional Focus Areas: Students may choose to complete an optional focus area. These focus areas are not listed on the transcript. Many courses that count for the focus areas also count as engineering electives. For a list of focus areas, please see our Optional Focus Areas page.

Unspecified Electives (9 credits):

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.