What Is A Chemical Engineering Degree?
Chemical engineering is the study and application of chemical principles to industrial processes. Chemical engineering students build a strong foundation in mathematics, chemistry, and the fundamentals of engineering.
Whether you want to discover alternative sources of energy, develop new methods of food production, or engineer the next medical breakthrough, a chemical engineering degree from Florida Tech develops a strong background in modern chemical dynamics.
Gain Practical Experience
New technical electives allow you to specialize in unique career-track subfields such as biochemical engineering, systems engineering, nuclear technology, and energy engineering, making you a hot prospect in the eyes of future employers.
Our chemical engineering degree program is dynamic and focused. Classes are small, allowing students an opportunity to work on research projects with faculty in the areas of chemical engineering, chemistry, and the biological sciences. Seniors also complete a design project in collaboration with a team of their peers to design, develop, prototype, and present a complex chemical plant.
The program’s reputation and proximity to a variety of high-tech companies mean you can also expect to find a great internship and build valuable on-the-job experience. These learning opportunities also provide an expanded professional network and often lead to a pre-graduation job offer.
Why Pursue A Chemical Engineering Degree At Florida Tech?
One reason the Florida Tech academic environment is unique among all other chemical engineering schools is that we put extraordinary emphasis on collaborative learning. From group design projects, faculty-led research opportunities, internships, and group coursework to team building for national competitions and more, our focus on a diversified learning environment has proven successful for graduates to succeed.
When you choose Florida Tech for your chemical engineering degree, you're choosing a university that is listed among the Fiske Guide’s “Engineering/Top Technical Institutes” and Parade Magazine’s “College A-List in Engineering.”
In chemical engineering exit surveys conducted in the last decade, seniors assigned the highest ratings to the “Student–student relations/rapport” category. As acknowledged by the National AIChE Student Chapter Committee, our students stand at the top of the list of most awarded chemical engineering schools in the nation. This achievement is especially significant when considering that our student body only represents about 0.3% of all US chemical engineering students.
The undergraduate chemical engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Customized Degree Options
The opportunity to specialize in unique and exciting subfields of chemical engineering helps students tailor their education based on their professional aspirations and preferences. Students may choose to specialize in alternative energy engineering, bioengineering, business, and environmental engineering, materials science and engineering, nuclear technology, nanotechnology, and petroleum engineering.
Dedicated Faculty—Consistent Focus
A big reason Florida Tech is one of the top ten chemical engineering schools is that our department faculty has had no turnover for over a decade. This consistency and stability, together with a small student-to-faculty ratio, allows the professors to engage with course material and students over time. Our faculty have earned numerous teaching and service awards from our students.
For the past seven years, students in the chemical engineering program have indicated that one of the top three reasons why they chose Florida Tech for their studies over other top chemical engineering schools is the state-of-the-art facilities on campus. Housed in the three F.W. Olin buildings (Engineering, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences), the facilities serve the needs of our curriculum and undergraduate research projects. Chemical engineering and chemistry professors recently developed another state-of-the-art laboratory: the Nanoscience–Nanotechnology Lab. The newly developed nanoscience–nanotechnology minor is already a popular choice among students.
Located In The Heart Of Florida's High-Tech Corridor
The average chemical engineering school simply cannot beat Florida Tech’s location. The 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral just north of us). The area has the fifth-largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce provides a variety of internship and employment opportunities.
Located near the beautiful Indian River, with the Atlantic Ocean beaches only a short drive away, as well as Central Florida attractions such as Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios. Florida Tech also has a rich campus life that includes intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities.
Build Lasting Professional Relationships Through Campus Organizations
Beyond the classroom, chemical engineering majors build leadership and professional experience through participation in academic organizations like the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates, student government, and over 100 other campus-wide student organizations.
Chemical engineering is primarily the application of chemical principles to industrial processes and environmental problems to effect a change in the composition and properties of matter to benefit society and the environment. The chemical engineering major has the basic training to solve problems in transport and separation processes, process dynamics and control, energy production, food and petrochemical processing, materials synthesis and processing, and chemical equipment and plant design.
The freshman and sophomore years emphasize basic mathematics, science, and communication skills; the junior year, fundamentals of chemical engineering; and the senior year, integration of those fundamentals in capstone design courses. Elective coursework also allows students to broaden their knowledge in other technical fields, deepen their understanding in an area of specialization or participate in a technical research project under the direction of an individual faculty member.
Fall (17 credit hours)
BUS 1301 Basic Economics
CHE 1101 Introduction to Chemical Engineering 1
CHM 1101 General Chemistry 1
COM 1101 Composition and Rhetoric
FYE 1000 University Experience
MTH 1001 Calculus 1 or MTH 1010 Honors Calculus 1
Spring (17 credit hours)
CHE 1102 Introduction to Chemical Engineering 2
CHM 1102 General Chemistry 2
COM 1102 Writing About Literature
MTH 1002 Calculus 2 or MTH 1020 Honors Calculus 2
PHY 1001 Physics 1
PHY 2091 Physics Laboratory 1
Fall (17 credit hours)
CHE 2101 Chemical Process Principles 1
CHM 2001 Organic Chemistry 1
CHM 2011 Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
MTH 2201 Differential Equations/Linear Algebra or MTH 3200 Honors Differential Equations
PHY 2002 Physics 2
PHY 2092 Physics Laboratory 2
Spring (17 credit hours)
CHE 2102 Chemical Process Principles 2
CHE 3260 Materials Science and Engineering
CHE 3265 Materials Laboratory
CHM 2002 Organic Chemistry 2
COM 2223 Scientific and Technical Communication
MTH 2001 Calculus 3 or MTH 2010 Honors Calculus 3
Fall (17 credit hours)
CHE 3101 Transport Processes
CHE 3170 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
CHE 4240 Advanced Computational Methods for Engineering Applications
CHM 3001 Physical Chemistry 1
CHM 3011 Physical Chemistry Laboratory 1
Select first HUM Core Course:
HUM 2051 Civilization 1: Ancient Through Medieval
HUM 2141 World Art History 1: Pre-History to Early Global Awareness
HUM 2211 British Literature and Culture
HUM 2212 British and American Literature 1
HUM 2331 American History: Pre-Columbian to Civil War Era
HUM 2551 Survey of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
Spring (16 credit hours)
CHE 3103 Heat Transfer Processes
CHE 3104 Mass Transfer Processes
CHE 3110 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
CHE 4122 Chemical Process Control
Select second HUM Core Course:
HUM 2052 Civilization 2: Renaissance Through Modern
HUM 2142 World Art History 2: Early Modern to Post-Colonial
HUM 2212 British and American Literature 1 (may not be repeated for credit)
HUM 2213 British and American Literature 2
HUM 2332 American History: From Reconstruction to the Present
HUM 2552 Survey of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
Fall (17 credit hours)
CHE 3115 Chemical Engineering Processes Lab 1
CHE 4131 Separation Processes
CHE 4151 Chemical Engineering Reactor Design
CHE 4181 Chemical Engineering Plant Design 1 (Q)
Humanities Elective (HU) 3000-level or higher recommended Credit Hours: 3
Restricted Elective (Advanced Chemistry) Credit Hours: 3
Spring (17 credit hours)
CHE 4115 Chemical Engineering Processes Lab 2
CHE 4182 Chemical Engineering Plant Design 2 (Q)
Free Elective Credit Hours: 3
Restricted Elective (CHE) Credit Hours: 3
Technical Electives Credit Hours: 6*
The Restricted Elective (Advanced Chemistry) should be satisfied by completion of one of the following courses. A list of other recommended electives is available in the chemical engineering department office.
BIO 2010 Microbiology
BIO 4010 Biochemistry 1
CHM 3002 Physical Chemistry 2
CHM 3301 Analytical Chemistry 1
CHM 4222 Environmental Chemistry
CHM 4550 Polymer Chemistry
CHE 4563 Materials Characterization Lab (restricted to students pursuing the nanoscience/nanotechnology minor)
Total Credits Required: 135
*BUS 3xxx may be taken in place of three credit hours of Technical Elective.
CWE 3003 may be taken in place of three credit hours of Technical Elective.
The educational objectives of the chemical engineering program are to provide graduates with the technical, communication, and professional skills, a thorough understanding of ethical and social responsibility, and the ability to participate in interdisciplinary and intercultural teams, to allow them within a few years of graduation to demonstrate professional competence through career advancement or progress toward obtaining professional registration or certification in chemical engineering, and allied field such as environmental or materials engineering or a nontraditional field such as business or medicine; successfully complete a graduate degree in chemical engineering or another discipline; volunteer their services to the profession through involvement with professional societies such as AICHE or to their respective communities through involvement with government agencies or nonprofit organizations.
Students seeking admission should have one year of high school biology, chemistry, and physics, in addition to at least three years of mathematics, including algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.
For those interested in pursuing careers in chemical engineering, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides detailed information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions, and job outlook, among other things.
According to the labor bureau, employment of chemical engineers is projected to have modest growth of 6% through 2020. Demand is tied to the need for specific products and their ability to stay at the forefront of new, emerging technologies.
With employment somewhat tied to the state of overall manufacturing in the United States, careers in chemical engineering fluctuate. Chemical engineering is entering the new fields of nanotechnology, alternative energy, and biotechnology, which will likely increase demand for engineers in these areas. Check the handbook for complete information on careers in chemical engineering.