B.S. in Chemical Engineering Program

Chemical engineering has grown out of a combination of chemistry and engineering associated with industrial processes. Today, it possesses a body of knowledge used in the synthesis, design testing, scale-up, operation, control, and optimization of processes that change the physical state or composition of materials. Chemical engineers have played central roles in the industrial development of materials that have had major social influence, such as the production of fuels and lubricants, fertilizer, synthetic fibers, and plastics. They will be centrally involved in reducing the polluting effects of certain byproducts and cleaning up unwanted residues from previous processes.

The first part of the program offers courses on the fundamental principles underlying the conversion of raw materials into a desired product by chemical and physical processes. Development of the concepts of engineering design begins with the application of fundamental principles to solve engineering problems in these courses and culminates in a series of senior-level design courses that require comprehensive integration of technical knowledge as well as consideration of economic, environmental, safety, and societal concerns. This experience is essential in preparing graduates for entry-level positions.

Educational Objective

The objective of the program is to prepare graduates for professional practice in industry, government, or post-undergraduate training in chemical engineering, medicine, and other related disciplines.

Professional Opportunities

Chemical engineers are concerned with the chemical processes that turn raw materials into valuable products. They serve industrial and other activities where processes occur in which materials undergo a chemical or physical change. Chemical engineers build a bridge between science and manufacturing, applying the principles of chemistry, biology and engineering to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals. Chemical engineers typically work for manufacturing companies, environmental companies, health care and pharmaceuticals, petroleum industry, biotechnology, or consulting firms.

Undergraduate Admission to the School of Engineering

Admission to the KU School of Engineering (and its degree programs) is selective.

Students may be admitted to an engineering or computer science degree program as freshmen (first year) students, but all admissions, for both in-state and out-of-state students, are selective. Applications are judged on several factors, such as high school record, scores on national tests, academic record at college or university level, and trend of grades and more. High school transcripts and ACT scores (or equivalent SAT scores) are required.

Minimum Academic Standards for Admission

To be considered for admission to the School of Engineering, beginning first-year students must meet or exceed the following minimum standards:

  • Must be admissible to the University of Kansas by assured admissions or individual review AND
  • Have a 3.0+ GPA AND
  • Have a mathematics ACT score of 22 (or math SAT score of 540).

Important: Simply meeting these requirements won't guarantee admission to a School of Engineering degree program. Students who perform beyond these minimums will have a better probability of being admitted to their selected major.

Minimum Academic Standards for Direct Admission into Degree Program for incoming Freshmen

Students with a 26+ Math ACT (600+ Math SAT) or meet eligibility requirements for MATH 125 (Calculus I) may be admitted directly into their chosen major, with the exception of those seeking admission into an EECS program. Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Interdisciplinary Computing students must have a 28+ Math ACT (640+ Math SAT) or eligibility for MATH 125 for direct admission.

First-Year General Engineering Program

Students with a 22-25 Math ACT (540-580 Math SAT) or meet eligibility requirements for Math 104 (Pre-Calculus) are admitted to the School of Engineering First-Year Experience non-degree program for undergraduate students.

First-year Engineering students have one academic year (two semesters and one summer) to transition into a degree program. Admission to a degree program is possible after one of the following is met:

  • Complete 12+ credit hours at KU, earn a "B" or higher in Math 104 (Pre-Calculus), earn a "C" or higher in all science and engineering courses, and earn a KU GPA of 2.5+ OR
  • Earn a "C" or better in MATH 125 (Calculus I), earn a "C" or better in all science and engineering courses, and earn a KU GPA of 2.5+

Pre-Engineering

Students not admitted directly to the School of Engineering or their major but who are admissible to the university may be admitted to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as a pre-engineering student. They can later re-apply to the School of Engineering during the semester they are completing the admission requirements for transfer students.

Transfer Admission Standards

Applications from all transfer students, whether from other institutions or from other academic schools at the University of Kansas, are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Transfer students must be admissible to KU AND have a cumulative college transferable grade-point average of 2.5+ to be considered. In addition, students must have grades of "C" or better in those courses in math (must include MATH 125 Calculus I or equivalent), science, and engineering applicable to the engineering degree.

Students interested in the Information Technology program are admitted as juniors. They must have completed 60 hours of pre-requisite courses including foundational courses in math, science, and computer science and have a 2.5+ cumulative GPA or better. The Information Technology program resides at the Edwards Campus in Overland Park, KS. Click here for more information.

Current KU Students admitted to other academic units may apply to the School of Engineering by completing a Change of School form. This must be turned in to the School of Engineering Dean's Office by the appropriate deadlines indicated below.

Already Applied to KU, But Not Engineering?

Don't worry. It's not too late to change your mind if you’ve already applied to KU and selected a major outside the School of Engineering. If you think one of the 12 engineering or computer science majors is a better fit for your talents, you can still change your requested major — preferably before May 1 — and be considered for admission to the School of Engineering and all the benefits that go with it.

To update your application, visit Undergraduate Admissions and click on “Change application term, major, mailing address, and/or email address.”

Please contact a member of our recruitment team, 785-864-3881, if you have any difficulty.

Application Deadlines For New Freshman and Transfer Applicants

September 15Priority deadline for current KU students to apply for spring admission to Engineering.
November 1Final deadline for scholarship consideration for incoming freshmen planning to enter in fall or summer semesters.
December 1Final deadline to apply for the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program for incoming freshmen
February 1Final deadline for scholarship consideration for transfer students planning to enter in fall or summer semesters. Applications available for the Engineering Learning Community
February 15Priority deadline for current KU students to apply for summer or fall admission to Engineering.
May 1Enrollment Deposit due.

General Education Requirements

The KU Core is the university-wide curriculum that all incoming undergraduate students will complete as part of their degree requirements. It comprises three general education goals and three advanced education goals. Associated with each goal are one or more learning outcomes:

  • GE 1.1, Goal 1, Outcome 1, Critical Thinking;
  • GE 1.2, Goal 1, Outcome 2, Quantitative Literacy;
  • GE 2.1, Goal 2, Outcome 1, Written Communication;
  • GE 2.2, Goal 2, Outcome 2, Oral Communication;
  • GE 3H, Goal 3, Outcome 1, Arts & Humanities;
  • GE 3N Goal 3, Outcome 2, Natural Sciences;
  • GE 3S Goal 3, Outcome 3, Social Sciences;
  • AE 4.1, Goal 4, Outcome 1, Diversity;
  • AE 4.2 Goal 4, Outcome 2 Culture;
  • AE 5.1, Goal 5, Outcome 1, Social Responsibility & Ethics (course);
  • AE 5.2, Goal 5, Outcome 2, Social Responsibility & Ethics (practice);
  • AE 6.1, Goal 6, Outcome 1 and 2, Integration & Creativity.

Details of the KU Core can be found at kucore.ku.edu. Some required courses in the Chemical Engineering curricula satisfy a KU Core goal and/or outcome. For these courses, the goal/outcome code is given in parentheses after the course on the pages below. Where required courses do NOT specially satisfy KU Core goals (Goals GE 3H, GE 3S, AE 4.1, and AE 4.2) students must choose from a list of several courses to satisfy the required goals.

First- and Second-Year Preparation

Recommended enrollments for the first 2 years are as follows:

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
C&PE 1112ENGL 102 (KU Core GE 2.1)3
ENGL 101 (KU Core GE 2.1)3MATH 1264
CHEM 130 or 170 (KU Core GE 3N)5C&PE 1213
MATH 1254CHEM 135 or 1755
KU Core GE 3H, GE 3S, AE 4.1, or AE 4.23 
 17 15
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
C&PE 2114C&PE 2213
MATH 1274PHSX 2123
PHSX 210 (KU Core GE 1.1)3PHSX 2361
PHSX 2161Advanced Chemistry elective3
CHEM 3303MATH 2203
CHEM 3312MATH 2902
 ENGR Elective (See handbook for approved Engineering Electives)3
 17 18
Total Hours: 67

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering Degree Requirements

Following are descriptions of the General Program, the Biomedical concentration, the Petroleum concentration, the Premedical concentration, and the Environmental concentration, as well as the Co-Op program.

  1. A student must achieve a combined 2.0 GPA in C&PE 211 and C&PE 221 to progress to junior-level core courses. 
  2. A student must attain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.0 in required C&PE courses taken at KU through the junior year before being admitted to senior-level courses.
  3. A student must attain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.0 in C&PE courses taken at KU for graduation with a B.S. degree in chemical or petroleum engineering.

General Program

A total of 131 hours is required:

Chemical Engineering Science (17)
C&PE 111Introduction to the Chemical Engineering Profession2
C&PE 121Introduction to Computers in Engineering3
C&PE 211Material and Energy Balances3
C&PE 221Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics3
C&PE 511Momentum Transfer3
C&PE 521Heat Transfer3
Chemical Engineering Sciences and Design (13)
C&PE 512Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics II3
C&PE 523Mass Transfer4
C&PE 524Chemical Engineering Kinetics and Reactor Design3
C&PE 615Introduction to Process Dynamics and Control3
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Design and Integrating Courses (17)
C&PE 522Economic Appraisal of Chemical and Petroleum Projects (KU Core Goal 5)2
C&PE 613Chemical Engineering Design I (KU Core Goal 2.2, Goal 6)4
C&PE 616Chemical Engineering Laboratory I (KU Core Goal 2.2)3
C&PE 623Chemical Engineering Design II2
C&PE 624Plant and Environmental Safety (KU Core Goal 5)3
C&PE 626Chemical Engineering Laboratory II (KU Core Goal 2.2)3
Engineering Science/Design Electives (12)
7 hours of engineering science are required from any field of engineering. The remaining 5 hours may be engineering science or design. At least 5 elective hours must be in engineering areas outside the department, and 3 hours must be in chemical and petroleum engineering. A maximum of 6 hours may be taken in chemical engineering. All electives must be selected from an approved list available in the department.12
Basic Sciences (16-18)
CHEM 130General Chemistry I5
or CHEM 170 Chemistry for the Chemical Sciences I
CHEM 135General Chemistry II5
or CHEM 175 Chemistry for the Chemical Sciences II
PHSX 210General Physics I for Engineers (KU Core GE 1.1)3
PHSX 216General Physics I Laboratory (KU Core AE 5)1
PHSX 212General Physics II1-3
PHSX 236General Physics II Laboratory1
Advanced Chemistry (15)
CHEM 330Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 331Organic Chemistry I Laboratory2
Chemistry or biochemistry electives, selected from courses numbered 300 and above or approved natural science courses.3
CHEM 530Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 535Physical Chemistry II4
Mathematics (17)
MATH 125Calculus I4
MATH 126Calculus II4
MATH 127Calculus III4
MATH 220Applied Differential Equations3
MATH 290Elementary Linear Algebra2
General Education Component (18)
Students with an initial term of Fall 2014 or later must meet the minimum requirements of the KU Core. Learn more about KU Core requirements at http://kucore.ku.edu
ENGL 101Composition (KU Core GE 2.1)3
ENGL 102Critical Reading and Writing (KU Core GE 2.2)3
KU Core GE 3S3
KU Core GE 3H3
KU Core AE 4.13
KU Core AE 4.23

Biomedical Concentration

The student in the biomedical concentration takes the same courses specified for the General Program, with the following additions or specifications:

Advanced Chemistry (4)
BIOL 600Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures4
Basic Sciences (8)
(Add 6 hours in restricted electives)
BIOL 150Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology4
BIOL 646Mammalian Physiology4
Engineering Science/Design Electives (11)
7 hours of engineering science are required from any engineering field. The remaining 4 hours may be engineering science or design. At least 5 elective hours must be taken from engineering areas outside the department, and 3 hours must be taken in chemical and petroleum engineering. A maximum of 6 hours may be taken from chemical and petroleum engineering. Electives, in all cases, must be selected from an approved list available in the department.
C&PE 651Undergraduate Problems (recommended, not required)3
C&PE 656Introduction to Biomedical Engineering3
5 hours of engineering science/design electives subject to requirements above5

Petroleum Engineering Concentration

The petroleum engineering concentration in chemical engineering is distinct from the B.S. in petroleum engineering degree (see below). A total of 131 credit hours is required for this concentration. The student takes the same courses specified for the General Program, with the following following additions or specifications:

Geology (5)
GEOL 101
  & GEOL 103
The Way The Earth Works
   and Geology Fundamentals Laboratory (meets Advanced Chemistry requirement of Chemical Engineering BS)
5
Engineering Science (2)
C&PE 117Energy in the Modern World1
C&PE 127Introduction to Petroleum Engineering Profession1
(Recommended instead of C&PE 111.)
Engineering Science/Design Electives (14)
C&PE 327Reservoir Engineering4
C&PE 527Reservoir Engineering II4
Petroleum engineering elective3
Engineering elective3

Premedical Concentration

A total of 137 credit hours is required for a B.S. in chemical engineering for students who plan to apply for admission to medical school. Additional hours are recommended (see Biological Science below). Premedical students take the same courses specified for the general program with the following additions or specifications:

Engineering Science/Design Electives (11)
7 hours of engineering science are required from any field of engineering. The remaining 4 hours may be engineering science or design. At least 5 elective hours must be in engineering areas outside the department, and 3 hours must be in chemical and petroleum engineering. A maximum of 6 hours may be taken in chemical engineering. All electives must be selected from an approved list available in the department.11
Social Sciences (6)
PSYC 104General Psychology (KU Core GE 3S)3
SOC 104Elements of Sociology (KU Core AE 4.1)3
Advanced Chemistry (5)
CHEM 335Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 336Organic Chemistry II Laboratory2
Biological Science (22)
BIOL 150Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology4
BIOL 152Principles of Organismal Biology4
BIOL 600Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures3
BIOL 646Mammalian Physiology4
The following courses are recommended but not required:
BIOL 350Principles of Genetics4
BIOL 416Cell Structure and Function3

Environmental Concentration

The student in the environmental concentration takes the same courses specified for the General Program, with the following additions or specifications:

Engineering Science/Design Electives (12)
CE 477Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science3
Select 6 hours from the following principles courses:6
Concepts of Environmental Chemistry
Environmental Chemical Analysis
Physical Principles of Environmental Engineering Processes
Biological Principles of Environmental Engineering
Chemical Principles of Environmental Engineering Processes
Select 3 hours from other environmental elective courses or any course chosen in consultation with the advisor3

Co-Op Program

The Co-Op Program is essentially the same as the General Program with the timing modified to include Co-Op employment.

Credit for ROTC Courses

Only ROTC courses qualifying as engineering electives and humanities/social sciences may be used.

Departmental Honors

An undergraduate may receive departmental honors by completing the B.S. with an overall grade-point average of 3.5 in courses taken at KU and 3.5 in KU engineering courses and by completing C&PE 661 Undergraduate Honors Research for a minimum of 3 credit hours with a grade of A or B. Students with overall grade-point averages of 3.5 in courses taken at KU and 3.5 in KU engineering courses are allowed to enroll in C&PE 661 in the second semester of the junior year. Enrollment in C&PE 661 constitutes acceptance into the honors program. The departmental honors designation appears in the commencement program and on the transcript.