Online bachelor's degree programs in chemical engineering are available, although they usually include laboratory requirements that must be completed in person. Some related programs in mechanical engineering are available in a fully online format, however. A bachelor's degree from an ABET-accredited program is typically the minimum educational level required to work as a chemical or biomolecular engineer, as well as a minimum GPA and satisfactory standardized test scores.
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Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
This science-intensive program trains students to use chemistry in engineering through courses and labs, the latter of which will likely require on-campus attendance. They learn to engineer chemicals to produce food, energy, clothing, and other materials which can be used in a practical manner by the general public.
Enrollment requirements for this program include a high school diploma and may include minimum grade point averages and test scores. To pursue a professional career in engineering, online students will likely want to pursue a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Program Information and Requirements
An online Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering program is typically a hybrid program, requiring some on-campus attendance to receive the necessary laboratory training. Altogether, it takes about four or five years to complete. A program might use a variety of distance learning and online formats, including e-mail and phone conferencing. Students can access pre-recorded online lectures, professors' lecture notes, assignments, tests, and online resources through the school's Web-based application.
To complete the online bachelor's degree program in chemical engineering, students must have a working computer, a valid e-mail address, and reliable Internet access. Students need a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, along with PowerPoint, Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Apple QuickTime.
List of Common Chemical Engineering Courses
Online chemical engineering courses consist of the text-based distance learning courses and the on-campus labs. In addition to the major courses, online courses in advanced mathematics are also required.
Students use computer technology to blend concepts of thermodynamics with those of chemical engineering. Various laws of thermodynamics are applied to the coursework.
Chemical Engineering Plant Design
Principles of industrial process design are explored in this course, and students explore the methods for cost efficiency and procedures for plant safety. The protocol and operations of large-scale chemical facilities are explored.
A survey of the causes -- and of the effects -- of air pollution is presented in this online chemical engineering course. Students learn the ways in which procedures can be implemented to reduce or eliminate the causes of pollution.
Career Information for Graduates
Upon the completion of a bachelor's degree program in chemical engineering, a student can pursue a career in food science, pharmacology, polymer engineering and chemical test engineering, among other areas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for chemical engineers was $97,360 as of May 2015. Food scientists earned a median annual salary of $65,840 in the same time frame.
Continuing Education and Professional Credentialing Information
After completing an ABET-accredited online program, graduates may enter the workforce in entry-level, supervised positions. Often, these individuals will attend periodic seminars conducted by their employers for further training. After accruing several years of experience, these individuals can then pursue professional engineering licensure in their respective states of employment. Students wishing to advanced managerial or research positions in chemical engineering can pursue online master's degree programs in the field.
Bachelor's degree programs in chemical engineering are offered partly online, blending online study in chemistry and engineering principles with in-person lab requirements to prepare students for entry-level work in the field. Graduates have several options for continuing education, from state licensure, employer-sponsored seminars, and online master's education.