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Chemical Engineering Distance Education and Training Overview

Find out about online chemical engineering courses and in which degree programs they're most commonly offered. Get course titles, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

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Essential Information

Online chemical engineering degrees are available as both fully-online and hybrid programs from several traditional universities or colleges. Students can find these programs at both the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Undergraduate distance learning programs in this field provide the foundation for entering the chemical engineering career, so students should expect some on-campus instruction. Master's programs designed for experienced engineers may be offered totally online.

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Chemical Engineering Degree Programs

Online chemical engineering degree programs, like many other online programs, are usually presented via unified education software that combines e-mail, instant messenger and forums into a single interface to allow for communication among teachers and students. Automatic testing and assignment grading is also a standard feature of such software; voice or video conferencing may also be available.

Some classes function on a traditional class schedule, with regular assignment due dates and class participation requirements. This is especially true for hybrid programs, which require students to spend a certain number of class periods on campus each semester. Online-only chemical engineering programs are often more flexible, with fewer due dates, and may only have a single deadline at the end of the term to submit all assignments.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Bachelor's degree programs in chemical engineering are usually designed for students who have little or no background in chemical engineering and wish to begin a new career. These degrees take about four years to complete and often end with a Bachelor of Science degree, usually specifically in chemical engineering. In addition to general education requirements, bachelor's degree programs in chemical engineering may include courses in the following areas:

  • Stoichiometry
  • Thermodynamics
  • Process control
  • Chemical engineering plant design
  • Physics

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs in chemical engineering are typically designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. Some programs make allowances for students with a degree in a similar subject who are willing to study as necessary during their master's degree program to make up the gaps in their education. Online graduate programs in chemical engineering may require distance learning seminars or capstone courses, but many programs do not require a thesis. Commonly offered courses include the following:

  • Mass transfer
  • Chemical engineering kinetics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Viscous flow

Students can earn a chemical engineering degree fully online or in a hybrid format in either a bachelor's or master's program, with undergraduate programs more commonly offered as hybrids. Depending on the program level, different courses that students can take include process control, physics, mass transfer and viscous flow.

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