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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Penn State University Park

Chemical Engineering

University Park, College of Engineering (CH E)

Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in attending to determine which options are offered.

PROFESSOR PHILLIP E. SAVAGE, Head, Department of Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering is one of the most versatile professions--you'll find Chemical Engineers employed in a broad array of industries ranging from pharmaceutical and biotechnical companies to semiconductor manufacturing to start-up companies converting the latest laboratory discoveries to large-scale commercial production. Chemical Engineers work with catalysts to develop new ways to manufacture medicines and plastics; they develop control systems that enable the safe production of products from semiconductors to household soap; they design chemical and petroleum plants; they research the effects of artificial organs on blood flow; and they develop the equipment and processes necessary for advances in biotechnology. While chemistry emphasizes the facts and principles of science, chemical engineering emphasizes its practical application for the development of new products and processes.

The undergraduate program in Chemical Engineering provides students with fundamental skills in problem solving, analysis, and design, along with hands-on experience in practical applications. The curriculum builds upon the traditional foundation in the chemical and energy-related industries and introduces new material in the life sciences, polymers, and environmental fields.

Program Educational Objectives:

The educational objectives of the undergraduate program in Chemical Engineering are specifically designed to produce graduates who will be able to:

  1. identify and pursue their personal and professional goals using the foundation provided by the breadth of educational opportunities in chemical and biomolecular engineering offered at Penn State
  2. pursue careers as practicing chemical engineers in traditional chemical and energy-related universities as well as in expaning areas of materials, environmental, biomedical, and biotechnology
  3. apply their broad chemical engineering education--including their problem solving, analytical, design, research, and communication skills--in industry, government agencies, financial instutitions, consulting firms, educational instutitions, business, law, and medicine
  4. provide the technical, educational, business, and poltical leadership needed in today's rapidly changing, increasingly technological, global society.

Program Outcomes (Student Outcomes):

(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic contraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
(g) an ability to communicate effectively
(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues
(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

ENTRANCE TO MAJOR -- In addition to the minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements* described in the University Policies, all College of Engineering entrance to major course requirements must also be completed with a minimum grade of C: CHEM 110 (GN), MATH 140 (GQ), MATH 141 (GQ), MATH 250 or MATH 251, PHYS 211 (GN) and PHSY 212 (GN). All of these courses must be completed by the end of the semester during which the admission to major process is carried out.

For the B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering, a minimum of 133 credits is required. This baccalaureate program in Chemical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc.,

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem:1-2)

(27 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in this bulletin.)


(Included in GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)


(This includes 27 credits of General Education courses: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GS courses; 9 credits of GWS courses.)

CHEM 110 GN(3)[1], CHEM 111 GN(1), CHEM 112 GN(3), CHEM 113 GN(1), EDSGN 100(3), MATH 140 GQ(4)[1], MATH 141 GQ(4)[1], PHYS 211 GN(4)[1] (Sem: 1-2)
BMB 251(3), CHE 210(3)[1], CHE 220(3)[1], CHE 230(1), CHE 300(1), CHE 320(3)[1], CHE 330(3), CHE 340(3), CHE 350(3)[1], CHEM 210(3), CHEM 212(3), CHEM 213(2), CHEM 457(2), MATH 231(2), MATH 251(4), PHYS 212 GN(4), ENGL 202C GWS(3) (Sem: 3-6)
CHE 410(3)[1], CHE 430(3)[1], CHE 452(3), CHE 470(3), CHE 480W(3) (Sem: 7-8)

Select 1 credit of First-Year Seminar (Sem: 1-2)
ENGL 15 GWS(3) or ENGL 30 GWS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
ECON 102 GS(3), ECON 104 GS(3), or ECON 14 GS(3) (Sem: 1-6)
CAS 100A GWS(3) or CAS 100B GWS(3) (Sem: 3-4)

Select 3 credits of physical chemistry from departmental list (Sem: 5-8)
Select 3 credits of materials elective from departmental list (Sem: 5-8)
Select 6 credits in 400-level chemical engineering electives from departmental list (Sem: 5-8)
Select 3 credits of approved engineering electives from departmental list (Sem: 5-8)
Select 6 credits of professional electives from department list [31] (Sem: 5-8)

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.
[31] Students may substitute 6 credits of ROTC for part of this requirement in consultation with department.
[91] "...senior, undergraduate students with an average of at least 3.5, and certain other students with averages of at least 3.00 who have been granted special permission to enroll through the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services." Penn State University 2003-2004 Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin. Instructor approval is also required.


Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2017

Blue Sheet Item #: 46-03-020

Review Date: 11/14/2017

R & T: Approved 5/24/2013

UCA Revision #1: 8/3/06
UCA Revision #2: 7/26/07



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