Chemical Engineering

As has been done since we awarded the nation’s first degree in chemical engineering in 1889, the undergraduate program in chemical engineering undertakes to prepare individuals for careers in the chemical process industries. These include all industries in which chemical and energy changes are an important part of the manufacturing process, such as the petroleum, rubber, plastics, synthetic fiber, pulp and paper, fermentation, soap and detergents, glass, ceramic, photographic and organic and inorganic chemical industries. In view of the dynamic nature of this technology, the course of study stresses fundamental principles rather than technical details. It prepares the student either for advanced study at the graduate level or for immediate entrance into industry. Opportunities in the process industries are found in a variety of activities, including design, development, management, production, research, technical marketing, technical service, or engineering.

Mission: The mission of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is to provide an excellent chemical engineering education through a combination of theory and practice that prepares students for productive professional careers including postgraduate studies.

Program Educational Objectives
Program Educational Objectives are broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years of graduation.

  • Our graduates will attain a promotion and/or responsibilities beyond their entry-level position, or progress toward the completion of an advanced degree.
  • Our graduates will continue to develop professionally.
  • Our graduates will collaborate professionally within or outside of their organizations at a regional, national and/or international level.

Student Outcomes
Student Outcomes are statements that describe what students are expected to have by the time of graduation.

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies


The curriculum covers a breadth of fundamental principles so that the chemical engineering graduates have a working knowledge of advanced chemistry, material and energy balances applied to chemical processes; thermodynamics; heat, mass, and momentum transfer; chemical reaction engineering; separation operations, process design and control. The program provides students with appropriate modern experimental and computing techniques in unit operation laboratory and requires them to work in teams and submit written and oral reports on their laboratory projects. A capstone experience in senior year gives students an opportunity to integrate their knowledge. Also included is the study of health, safety, environmental and ethical issues in the chemical engineering profession.

Graduate work leading to the degrees of Master of Science in chemical engineering or Master of Chemical Engineering provides a more thorough understanding of the discipline and enhances a student's ability to handle complex problems. A thesis is required for the Master of Science degree, but not for the Master of Chemical Engineering degree. Most recent graduate students have chosen research topics in biotechnology, polymers, or automatic control, but other specialties also are possible.

The chemical engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Approximately one-half of the students will follow schedule A1, and one-half will follow schedule A2. Depending on the students’ schedules, elective courses may be taken in terms other than the ones designated.

Chemical Engineering students must complete 28 credits of electives in humanities and social sciences in addition to RH 131 and RH 330. They are also required to take 24 credits of electives (8 credits of CHE electives, 8 credits of approved electives and 8 credits of free electives) in addition to the humanities and social sciences mentioned above. The courses listed below qualify as a CHE elective. In very specific circumstances, independent projects or other courses may qualify as a CHE elective if approved by the department.

CHE 310 Numerical Methods for Chemical Engineers
CHE 405 Introduction to MEMS: Fabrication and Applications 
CHE 419 Advanced MEMS: Modeling and Packaging
CHE 441 Polymer Engineering
CHE 460 Particle Technology
CHE 461 Unit Operations in Environmental Engineering
CHE 465 Energy and the Environment
CHE 470 Safety, Health, and Loss Prevention
CHE 502 Transport Phenomena
CHE 504 Advanced Reactor Design
CHE 512 Petrochemical Processes
CHE 513 Advanced Thermodynamics
CHE 515 Nanomaterials Science and Engineering 
CHE 540 Advanced Process Control
CHE 545 Introduction to Biochemical Engineering
CHE 546 Bioseparations

A minimum of eight credits, designated as approved electives, must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. Approved electives can be chosen from economics, engineering, engineering management, mathematics (including biomathematics), or science courses. Students are encouraged to use their electives to focus their studies in a particular subject area.

The chemical engineering profession is rapidly changing and knowledge of specialty areas has become essential in the real world. Technical elective courses are intended to provide an opportunity to introduce students to a specialty area in science and engineering and help them to expand their knowledge and expertise in new areas of chemical engineering. Although it is recommended that a minimum of eight credit hours be focused in one subject area, students are encouraged to focus most or all of the 20 credit hours of electives in a particular subject area. In many cases students can use their electives to take a package of courses toward an area minor such as, biochemical engineering, applied biology, biomedical engineering, chemistry, environmental engineering, toward a certificate in semiconductor materials and devices, or toward an area of concentration (see below).

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to work on a research project under the guidance of one of the departmental faculty members. Students who are interested in learning about research should talk to members of the faculty to define a project of mutual interest and then enroll in CHE499, Directed Research. Credit hours of CHE499 can count toward an approved elective.

Minor in Chemical Engineering
The minor in chemical engineering is designed to introduce principles of chemical engineering to students majoring in other disciplines. Participation in this minor will help students to understand chemical engineering aspects of industrial processes and enter a graduate program in chemical engineering if they desire.

Students who complete the minor in chemical engineering during their sophomore and junior years open the possibility of taking some chemical engineering electives during their senior years.

The minor in chemical engineering has the following requirements:

CHE 201 Conservation Principles and Balances or equivalent
CHE 202 Basic Chemical Process Calculations
CHE 301 Fluid Mechanics or equivalent
CHE 303 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics or equivalent
CHE 304 Multi-Component Thermodynamics
CHE 320 Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer
CHE 321 Applications of Heat and Mass Transfer or equivalent

Completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of courses with prefix CHE at 300 level or above is required toward the minor. Students interested in the CHE minor should consult the CHE Department Head and receive approval for equivalent courses to be considered.

Minor in Biochemical Engineering
The biochemical engineering minor is designed to allow students to concentrate in an area of study that will give them a solid foundation for further work in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology process industry.

To successfully complete a minor in Biochemical Engineering, a student must take six courses as follows:

Four required courses:

  • BIO110 - Cell Structure and Function
  • CHEM330 - Biochemistry
  • CHE545 - Introduction to Biochemical Engineering
  • CHE 546 - Bioseparations

And then take 8 credit hours from the following list of electives (the courses cannot also be used towards another minor or second major):

  • BIO210 - Mendelian and Molecular Genetics
  • BIO220 - Microbiology
    BIO230 - Cell Biology
  • BIO411 - Genetic Engineering
  • BIO421 - Applied Microbiology
  • CHEM430 - Advanced Biochemistry
  • CHEM433 - Biochemistry Lab (recommended but not required)

Interested students should obtain a form from the Chemical Engineering Department secretary.  Students interested in the Biochemical Engineering minor should consult the CHE Department head and receive prior approval for any equivalent courses to be considered.


Although it is not a requirement, students may pursue a concentration in one or more of the following areas. Students who complete the requirements of a concentration may receive, upon request, a letter from the Department Head that attests to the fact that the requirements have been completed. With proper planning, a student should be able to complete the requirements for an area of concentration without overload.

Advanced Chemical Engineering Analysis

Students need to take CHE 502 (Transport Phenomena) and 3 additional courses from the list below. Other courses may be substituted only with prior approval by the Department Head.

  • CHE 310 Numerical Methods
  • CHE 499 Directed Research (4 credit hours)
  • CHE 504 Advanced Reactor Design
  • CHE 513 Advanced Thermodynamics
  • MA 336 Boundary Value Problems

Energy Production and Utilization

Students need to take 4 courses from the list below. Other courses may be substituted only with approval of the Department Head.

  • CHE 465 Energy and the Environment
  • CHE 512 Petrochemical Processes
  • ME 407 Power Plants
  • ME 408 Renewable Energy
  • ME 450 Combustion

Industrial and Process Engineering

Students need to take CHE 470 (Safety, Health, and Loss Prevention), CHE 540 (Advanced Process Control), 2 courses from the Math List below, and 1 course from the Engineering Management List below. Other courses may be substituted only with approval of the Department Head.

Math List

  • MA 385 Quality Methods
  • MA 487 Design of Experiments
  • MA 387 Statistical Methods in Six Sigma
  • MA 444 Deterministic Models in Operations Research

Engineering Management List

  • EMGT524 Production/Operations Management
  • EMGT527 Project Management
  • EMGT562 Risk Analysis and Management
  • EMGT581 Multi-objective Optimization
  • EMGT586 Supply Chain Management
  • EMGT587 Systems Engineering
  • EMGT588 Quality Management l
  • EMGT589 Manufacturing Systems

*Rose students who have changed their major to chemical engineering or students who have transferred to Rose and have credit for CHEM 105 and CHEM 107 (formerly CHEM 201 and CHEM 202) do not need to take CHEM111 and CHEM 113, but must take CHEM 115.

Plan of Study

Freshman (A1 Schedule) Open Close
Sophomore (A1 Schedule) Open Close
Junior (A1 Schedule) Open Close
Senior (A1 Schedule) Open Close
Freshman (A2 Schedule) Open Close
Sophomore (A2 Schedule) Open Close
Junior (A2 Schedule) Open Close
Senior (A2 Schedule) Open Close

Total credits required: 194


*Rose students who have changed their major to chemical engineering or students who have transferred to Rose and have credit for CHEM 105 and CHEM 107 (formerly CHEM 201 and CHEM 202) do not need to take CHEM111 and CHEM 113, but must take CHEM 115.

Launch Root Quad