What is Chemical Engineering?
Chemical engineering is the applied science of basic chemicals, petroleum, plastics, pharmaceuticals, paints, synthetic fibers, processed foods, and biomedical and biochemical processes. Chemical engineers use their expertise in chemical reactions and separations to solve environmental problems and to produce new materials on a large scale.
Admission criteria for this program vary based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank, GPA and co-curricular activities. Please see the Freshman Class Profile for this major in the Quick Facts sidebar on this page for the range of academic credentials typically accepted into this program. Test scores in the lower range may be acceptable with higher class rank and/or GPA.
Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following college preparatory subjects:
- English (4 units)
- Mathematics, including algebra, geometry, and either pre-calculus or calculus (4 units)
- Science, including Chemistry and Physics (3 units)
- Social sciences (3 units)
- Electives (3 units)
Successful chemical engineers have a strong foundation in math and science. Skills in calculus and chemistry are particularly important. Chemical engineers are problem solvers and enjoy thinking outside of the box to develop creative solutions to problems.
Graduates of this major pursue many different careers. A few examples include:
- Chemical manufacturing
- Technical sales and support
- Environmental management
- Product and materials development
- Chemical processing
The quality of UC chemical engineering graduates is exceptional. Not only does industry hold them in high demand, but a significant number each year are awarded scholarships to the top graduate schools in the country. The UC chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers has an active, nationally recognized program that organizes student activities and interactions with local industry. The Beta Epsilon chapter of the Omega Chi Epsilon Chemical Engineering Honor Society was established in 1995 at UC.
In addition, the department distinguishes itself by participating in internationally recognized research through NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Membrane Applied Science and Technology, the Polymer Research Center and OBR Center for Computer-Aided Molecular Design.
Transfer students in good standing from accredited colleges and universities will be considered for admission to the college at the first, second and third-year levels. The degree requirement of professional practice experience normally precludes acceptance beyond the third-year level. For further detailed information such as required grade point average, please refer to Transfer Students page.
Students changing majors from outside programs or colleges within UC will be considered based on the same criteria as outside transfers.
Freshmen must begin the program during fall semester. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. High school students who wish to be considered for scholarships must apply by December 1 of their senior year.