The undergraduate program has one degree, a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, but two concentration options: (1) Chemical Engineering and (2) Bio-Molecular Engineering. Both concentrations contain the same core chemical engineering courses, but the latter concentration has more of a focus on the increasingly important bio-related areas of chemical engineering.
Distinction in Major
We encourage high school students and transfer students to visit our program, meet the faculty, see the laboratories and learn about what makes a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Tennessee Tech such an exciting opportunity. To visit, please contact the Admissions Office directly and they will contact the Department of Chemical Engineering to set up your visit.
Why Study Chemical Engineering at Tech?
The Department of Chemical Engineering at Tennessee Tech is a vibrant community of engineering educators where both teaching and research synergistically work to effectively enhance student learning. In fact, Tennessee Tech is the home of some of the top educators in the region with most of the ChE Department engaged in active research on various aspects of student learning. These efforts have led to multi-award winning distinctions university-wide, nationally and internationally. ChE faculty members are frequently invited to conduct training workshops for colleagues in the United States and abroad and, therefore, students are exposed to some of the most effective and modern approaches to engineering education. The ChE curriculum is often revised to reflect changes in teaching pedagogy as well as shifts in the areas that hire our graduates, such as biotechnology, materials, and the environment.
The department at Tennessee Tech also has an active AICHE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) chapter. This group is very involved on campus & around the area with service work & fundraisers. It is run by the students, for the students. All positions within AICHE are student-elected & anyone is eligible to run. On the note of student programs, the Chemical Engineering department has their own tutoring program. Again, this is run by the students, for the students. It's free to attend & is extremely helpful to all who take advantage of it.
For those interested in industrial careers, the Tennessee Tech experience has proven successful in a variety of businesses and national labs. For those more interested in graduate education, Tennessee Tech graduates can be found at some of the most prestigious universities in the country and have received fellowships from competitive agencies such as the National Science Foundation and Tau Beta Pi.
Bio-Molecular Engineering Option
The Department of Chemical Engineering offers the B.S. degree with two concentrations: (1) Chemical Engineering and (2) Bio-Molecular Engineering. Both options result in a B.S. Chemical Engineering degree and, in both options, students take the same core chemical engineering courses.
Students interested in biological areas of chemical engineerings, such as medicine, pharmaceuticals, biofuels, bio-remediation, etc., should consider enrolling in the Bio-Molecular Engineering concentration. Even if you are registered as a Chemical Engineering major, you still need to "join" the Bio-Molecular Engineering concentration (abbreviated BMOL). To do this, you will need to fill out a "change-of-major" form.
In addition to a vibrant, graduate-level research program, we offer many opportunities for undergraduate research. Such recent topics include microdevices, materials fabrication, fuel cells, and molecular-level design, among others. Students have the opportunity to present their work at regional and national conferences as well as become co-authors in refereed journal publications. Performing undergraduate research is one of the most successful roads to graduate school for an M.S. or a Ph.D. A number of our recent B.S. graduates have continued their graduate studies at Tech, while others have entered graduate programs at universities including Georgia Tech and MIT.
Freshman students can participate in research, if interested, but will receive no formal credit. However, it is a great way to become introduced to a research group and to help decide if research is for you.
For other levels (So/Jr/Sr), you will start out in ChE 3990, which is a one-credit hour Introduction to Research. If you have a successful semester, you can take a two-credit hour ChE 4990, which is called Undergraduate Research. Those classes combine to give you three-hours of a ChE Technical Elective towards your curriculum.
If interested in research, a student should visit the ChE faculty website and view the display boards outside faculty offices to decide which faculty member(s) have projects that are of most interest to the student. The next step is for the student to set up a meeting with the faculty member to discuss any potential opportunity in more detail.
Owing to our hands-on/lab-integrated curriculum, B.S. graduates in Chemical Engineering from Tennessee Tech are in high-demand. Employers comment that this sort of "real-world" training is highly desired in the industry and that our graduates "hit the ground running". Accordingly, our Chemical Engineering graduates work in a wide variety of fields following graduation. During the past decade, our students have been employed at places such as:
Proctor & Gamble
Tate & Lyle
Shell Oil Company
SABIC Innovative Plastics
The Dow Chemical Company
Hood Container Corporation