Undergraduate program in chemical engineering

Tackle real-world challenges from sustainability to biotechnology with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Our program equips you with a deep understanding of molecular properties and process design, empowering you to develop energy-efficient and sustainable manufacturing processes.

As a chemical engineering major, learn to use essential computational tools that help you evaluate large data sets and make predictions for the future. Work hands-on with engineering processes through class projects and labs. Finally, challenge yourself in our collaborative environment, where you conduct research alongside peers, graduate mentors, and professors.

Ranked 8th among the best undergraduate engineering programs by U.S. News & World Report, a bachelor's in chemical engineering from CMU opens doors to rewarding career opportunities and advanced academic pursuits.

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Why earn a bachelor's in chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon?

Cutting-edge, flexible curriculum

Today's chemical engineering challenges often involve analyzing large, complex data sets or modeling complex, multi-step processes. Our industry-informed program equips you to meet these demands. Through your courses, you can:

  • evaluate data and develop statistical or machine learning models for predictive analysis
  • understand industry-standard software packages
  • master programming languages like Python that allow you to analyze data and develop computational models to solve real-world problems

You can tailor your chemical engineering degree with electives. Beginning your third year, select courses in fields that align with your interests, from complex fluids to semiconductors. Build upon these courses to add additional majors and minors to enhance your chemical engineering degree.

Explore the BS in chemical engineering curriculum

Collaborative facilities

Within Doherty Hall, you can apply your knowledge and practice industry tools.

  • Undergraduate flexible learning space: A multifunction workspace, lounge area, and meeting room provide an educational workspace as well as a social and community space. A quiet study room with computers offers mathematical modeling and simulation software crucial for chemical engineers.
  • Robert Rothfus Laboratory and Lubrizol Analytical Laboratory: Use computerized data acquisition and control systems to develop experimental tests of chemical engineering theory or process design alternatives.

Working together with your classmates, you can enhance your practical skills as you apply theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios.

Hands-on chemical engineering research

CMU considers research a critical part of your bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. Our unique undergraduate research opportunities allow you to team up with professors and graduate students on ground-breaking experiments or theoretical models. Join ongoing faculty projects or test your own hypotheses with guidance from mentors. Your findings may push the boundaries of the field while preparing you for graduate school or a career at the forefront of innovation.

The department's research areas include:

Conference and international opportunities

Three young women wearing conference nametags pose for a picture

Source: Sydney Holubow

We want you to gain diverse knowledge and experience during your undergraduate journey. Our Student Travel Fund enables sophomores, juniors, and seniors to attend professional conferences. This allows you to present your research, learn from experts, and establish valuable connections within the field.

Furthermore, you can study abroad via exchange programs specifically created for chemical engineering majors. Collaborate with professionals worldwide and experience the broad applications of the field on a global scale.

CMU's Chemical Engineering department has relationships with top-tier academic institutions across the globe:

Integrated Master's/Bachelor's degree option

Gain a competitive edge by pursuing our Integrated Master's/Bachelor's (IMB) degree program. This accelerated track allows you to earn both a bachelor's and a master's degree in chemical engineering within five years. The IMB program provides advanced training, preparing you for a career in cutting-edge research or pursuing a Ph.D.

Learn more about the accelerated IMB degree

PISCES extended internship program

Through the optional Practical Internship for Senior Chemical Engineering Students (PISCES) program, you can complete a one-year internship with our industry partners. If accepted, work for a leading company up to 15 months after your junior year, gaining invaluable hands-on experience in a professional setting.

Upon returning for your senior year, you can tackle your capstone work with confidence and apply your real-world skills. In addition, the experience enhances your résumé, leading to higher compensation opportunities and even potential job offers from your internship company.

Explore the PISCES program

Close-knit, collaborative community

The Department of Chemical Engineering has created a cooperative environment where students team up on projects. In addition, faculty and teaching assistants encourage you to attend office hours and ask questions. You'll learn the technical and interpersonal skills you need to compete and succeed in the workforce.

Our facilities also reflect this collaborative approach. We have adopted an open-plan layout for our laboratories, allowing you to share equipment and ideas freely. Develop the confidence to push boundaries and seek feedback when advancing the field of chemical engineering through our supportive department.

Chemical engineering undergraduate student spotlights

What you learn in the Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering

CMU's bachelor's in chemical engineering program takes four years to complete and aims to produce graduates who can tackle important modern-day problems, such as creating more sustainable plastics and cleaning up groundwater from harmful chemicals.

Meet the Department of Chemical Engineering faculty

Chemical engineering majors study with CMU's world-class professors and conduct research side-by-side.

Through rigorous coursework, hands-on lab experiences, and design projects, you can gain:

  • A strong foundation in chemical engineering fundamentals and applications, including principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and chemical reaction engineering
  • An understanding of molecular properties and their influence on chemical processes
  • Expertise in process design, manufacturing operations, and optimizing production systems
  • Mastery of underlying principles in chemistry and physics
  • Computational strategies and advanced modeling techniques
  • Proficiency in programming languages like Python

Explore the undergraduate curriculum

Careers and outcomes for chemical engineering majors

Our BS in Chemical Engineering prepares you for immediate career opportunities or further academic pursuits. From 2020-2023, about a third of our graduates pursued advanced degrees to deepen their studies. The majority of our graduates entered the workforce directly, with many securing positions in biotechnology or scientific and technical consulting firms. Others applied their skills across various industries, including consumer goods, energy, food, and beverage.

Recent students graduating with a bachelor's in chemical engineering found roles at:

  • Accenture
  • Avery Dennison
  • Deloitte
  • Merck
  • Moderna
  • Naval Nuclear Laboratory
  • PepsiCo
  • Procter & Gamble

Job titles for our BS in chemical engineering graduates include:

  • Associate consultant
  • Associate engineer
  • Process engineer
  • Research specialist
  • Software engineer
  • Tech analyst

Median salary*: $78,000

*Based on survey results from program graduates

See more post-graduation salaries and destination information for recent CMU chemical engineering undergraduates.

Hear from CMU Chemical Engineering alumni

Enrollment and graduation statistics

View undergraduate enrollment and graduation data for the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Take the next step

Explore the world of chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where cutting-edge research, international experiences, and a collaborative environment await you. See how our bachelor's in chemical engineering program equips you with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to make a lasting impact.

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