The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering offers a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering. Learn more about the chemical engineering profession.
The objectives of the Chemical Engineering Program at Iowa State University are to produce graduates who:
- Will excel in careers as professional chemical engineers in the businesses and industries related to chemical engineering
- Will successfully pursue research and advanced studies in chemical engineering, or in related fields such as chemistry and biology, or in related professional fields such as medicine, law and business
Bachelor of Science
The first year of the program is much the same for all professional curricula in the College of Engineering. Each curriculum requires completion of the basic program as well as the curriculum designated requirements (125.5 total credits required).
Entering undergraduates must demonstrate proficiency in trigonometry based on test scores, or by having transfer credits from a college trigonometry course, or by passing either Math 141 or 142 before enrolling in Math 166 or CE 160.
The Department of English may recommend placement in one or more sections of Engl 101 because of unsatisfactory performance on the English placement test administered to students whose first language is not English. Satisfactory completion of the recommended course(s) will be required of students in the College of Engineering.
Engineering students are required to complete certain basic courses as a condition of enrollment in engineering courses at the 200-level or above.
The general requirement is to complete the basic engineering program with a quality point average of 2.00 or better, including transfer courses.
The basic program courses are the following:
- Mathematics 165, 166
- Chemistry 177 (or 167)
- English 104, 105
- Physics 221
- Engineering 101, 160
- Library 160
Prior to satisfying the basic program requirement, a chemical engineering student may (if otherwise qualified) enroll in 200-level or above engineering courses for no more than one semester.
Discover the bioengineering minor if you’re interested in applying engineering to biology topics.
The department offers a wide range of chemical engineering courses, which many are taught in state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories. Core courses are offered each semester to enable rapid progress of those taking advantage of industrial internship opportunities.
- Get started with a chemical engineering adviser
- Course descriptions (2012-13 Catalog)
- Electives and areas of emphasis (see below)
- Degree planning worksheet (pdf)
- Transfer course equivalencies and guides
- Recommended high school preparation (pdf)
- 2011-2012 undergraduate handbook (pdf)
Transfer Waivers and Substitutions
For transfer students, enrollment is permitted for no more than two semesters before satisfying the basic program requirement. For transfer students, certain waivers and substitutions are possible and should be discussed with the academic advisor as early as possible.
It is allowable to waive or substitute the following basic program requirements:
- Waive Engr. 101 for declared students presenting thirty (30) or more semester credits.
- Substitute a technical elective for Engr. 160 only if the coursework contains both engineering problemsolving and computer programming experience.
- Substitute Chemistry 167 for Chemistry 177.
Transfer students should also review the transfer plans and equivalency guides.
Programs of Study
Chemical Engineering track
Chemical engineering is well-established at Iowa State University with nearly a century of history and growth. Learn more about what chemical engineers do.
Biological Engineering track
You can elect to choose electives to construct a chemical engineering program that looks like “biological” engineering to prepare for careers in the food, pharmaceutical, biotech, environmental, or an emerging chemical industry based on biorenewable foodstocks. Learn more about what biological engineers do.
The design experience begins in ChE 210, Materials and Energy Balances, in which students are introduced to the design and computation tools used in subsequent courses.
Introduction to databases, data manipulation and reduction, and the use of numerical method packages are covered, along with the concept of optimization and economic design. The design experience then continues through the sequence of primarily engineering science courses.
The senior elective courses include a design experience. Finally, the capstone design course, ChE 430, brings together all of these elements in an integrated design experience.
Electives and Areas of Emphasis
The chemical engineering curriculum provides considerable flexibility, which allows students to tailor the curriculum to meet their own needs. The elective requirements (pdf) are in communications, social sciences and humanities, and technical or scientific areas.
The chemical engineering curriculum includes 18 credits of technical electives to encourage students to develop an area of emphasis (pdf).
For example, a student may wish to take courses that prepare them for graduate school. Or, a student may wish to develop a stronger background in environmental engineering, biochemical engineering, biotechnology, or solid state (electronic or polymeric) materials processing.
For more information on the bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.