Chemical Engineering Courses

What Courses Do Chemical Engineering Students Take?

Students studying chemical engineering take a lot of courses in engineering, chemistry and math.
Students studying chemical engineering take a lot of courses in engineering, chemistry and math. Klaus Tiedge / Getty Images

Are you interested in studying chemical engineering? Here's a look at some of the courses chemical engineering students are expected to take in college. The actual courses you would take depend on which institution you attend, but you expect to take a lot of math, chemistry, and engineering courses. In addition, you'll study environmental sciences and materials. Many engineers take classes in economics and ethics, too.

Typical Chemical Engineering Course Requirements

Chemical engineering usually is a 4-year degree, requiring 36 hours of coursework. The specific requirements vary from one institution to another, so here are some examples:

Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science requires 9 engineering courses, 4 math courses, 2 physics courses, 1 general chemistry course, a computer class, a general biology course, differential equations (math), organic chemistry, advanced chemistry, and electives in science and the humanities.

What Makes Chemical Engineering Special?

Studying chemical engineering opens opportunities not only for engineering, but also for biomechanical science, modeling, and simulations.

Courses specific to chemical engineering can include polymer science, bioengineering, sustainable energy, experimental biology, biomechanics, atmospheric physics, electrochemistry, drug development, and protein folding.

Examples of areas of chemical engineering specialization include:

  • bioengineering
  • biotechnology
  • microelectronics
  • environmental engineering
  • engineering mechanics
  • materials science
  • nanotechnology
  • process dynamics
  • thermal engineering

Now that you know what courses a chemistry major takes, you may be wondering why you should consider a career in engineering. There are several good reasons to study engineering.