Schools with Process Engineering Programs: How to Choose

Process engineering is a versatile branch of engineering that involves various industries, including food research and development. Most process engineering programs can be found in either the biological or chemical engineering departments of colleges and universities. Read on for tips on selecting a school for your process engineering studies.

How to Choose a Process Engineering Program

Process engineering is mainly offered as a graduate-level program. Interested students will need an undergraduate degree in a major such as chemical, biological or environmental engineering. A GPA of 3.0 or higher and undergraduate research experience are desired prerequisites.

Summary of Considerations

  • Type of degree
  • Program attributes

Type of Degree

According to the Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering, an international professional trade organization, process engineering is the means by which materials are developed or selected and then manufactured (www.sampe.org). Since some programs are geared toward research while others are professional master's degrees that are industry-related, students will need to review a program's curriculum to ensure it covers their area of interest.

Program Attributes

Also, students should review a program's attributes, such as the availability of research assistantships and the condition of facilities and equipment. Research assistantships may require duties such as teaching undergraduates, conducting research or contributing to an administrative project. A research facility specific to process engineering usually indicates a vested commitment by the university to this field.

Process Engineering Degree Program Overviews

Master's Degree in Environmental Process Engineering

Environmental process engineering programs study the contaminants that occur around us and their effect on our health and the natural environment. These programs focus on the chemical and biological processes that interact with contaminants in areas such as energy production and water purification. Graduate courses may include:

  • Environmental biotechnology
  • Water chemistry
  • Toxic contaminants

Master's Degree in Food Process Engineering

Individuals working in food process engineering programs look at ways to improve food items through production and engineering. A certain number of credit hours should be set aside for research in addition to general requirements coursework. This field, which is part of biological process engineering, covers areas such as:

  • Food processing operations
  • Food product development
  • Quality control
  • Food safety

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