Chemical Engineering Colleges and Schools in the U.S.

Chemical engineering programs are readily available at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels. Learn about some of the schools that offer these programs, as well as what to look for when selecting a program.

Top Chemical Engineering Schools

The following schools offer chemical engineering programs for interested students:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $46,704
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's (professional), Doctoral $13,431 (In-state) $38,139 (Out-of-state)
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $46,320
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $9,806 (In-state) $34,676 (Out-of-state)
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's (professional), Doctoral $13,790 (In-state) $22,210 (Out-of-state)
Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $12,204 (In-state) $32,396 (Out-of-state)
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI 4-year, public Bachelor's, Doctoral $10,415 (In-state) $29,665 (Out-of-state)
California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Doctoral $45,390
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $43,450
University of Delaware Newark, DE 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $12,520 (In-state) $31,420 (Out-of-state)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Here are some more considerations for students when selecting the school that will best prepare them for their future:

  • Look for bachelor's degree programs that include courses in lower- and upper-level chemistry and engineering, plus math courses like algebra and calculus. Prospective master's degree students may want to check for advanced elective options in their interest area. Doctoral students should make sure that there are faculty members at the school with whom they share research interests.
  • Students of all levels should find a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which awards accreditation based on curriculum, faculty and facilities.
  • Prospective students may want to look into the lab facilities available at the school to make sure that they will have the chance to gain experience with industry-standard technology and/or have the equipment necessary to conduct research in their interest area.
  • For aspiring engineers who want to work in industry, the school should specify that its curriculum prepares students for licensure, which is required in all 50 U.S. states.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Aspiring chemical engineers can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Chemical Engineering. These programs begin with fundamental courses in the sciences, such as biology, chemistry, physics and math. Then, students apply their knowledge in these fields to subfields of chemical engineering, such as nanotechnology, reaction engineering, process design and biotechnology. At many schools, undergraduates are encouraged to participate in supervised research with chemical engineering faculty.

Master's Degree Programs

At the master's degree level, chemical engineering students can earn a Master of Science (MS) in Chemical Engineering or a professional Master of Engineering degree with a focus in chemical engineering. MS programs are primarily research-focused, giving students the chance to take advanced coursework and write a thesis on a particular topic of interest within the chemical engineering field. Master of Engineering programs are designed specifically for graduate students who want to enter into the industry. Therefore, in addition to advanced engineering courses, they can also take classes in finance, business, public policy or economics.

Doctoral Degree Programs

In PhD programs in Chemical Engineering, students conduct supervised research in a specialized topic related to chemical engineering, ultimately resulting in a dissertation and oral defense. Students may also gain pedagogical experience through undergraduate teaching requirements. In total, PhD programs can take 5-6 years to complete, and graduates usually go on to become professors at colleges and universities.

Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in chemical engineering are available at 4-year public and private institutions across the country. During the school selection process, students should consider things like program accreditation, licensing preparation and future career paths.

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