Chemical engineering involves the industrial application of chemicals to new inventions or to improve the world. Chemical engineers use microbes to produce pharmaceuticals and chemicals, develop new sources of energy, create artificial organs, and design the next generation of polymers.
Chemical and biochemical engineers combine engineering principles with knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, biological sciences, and physics to develop and operate processes that convert raw materials into products that benefit the global community.
Chemical engineering relies on chemical reactions and physicochemical transformations to produce a wide variety of important materials and products. For example, biochemical engineers might develop and operate processes to mass-produce an antibiotic or generate products ranging from high fructose corn syrup in soft drinks to recombinant human insulin.
Chemical and biochemical engineers learn ethical design and a respect for the larger issues in any design, such as community health, employee safety, and global implications of the design. Iowa's curriculum emphasizes chemical process safety and environmentally conscious chemical engineering design.
Engineering student organizations, fraternities and sororities, and national honorary societies offer many opportunities to develop your leadership skills.
The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college.
Apply early for scholarships. The College of Engineering offers Engineering First-Year Scholarships as well as many other scholarship opportunities for sophomore, junior, and senior students. To learn more, visit College of Engineering Scholarships.
The major in chemical engineering emphasizes fundamental concepts, problem-solving, laboratory techniques, and communication skills.
The curriculum includes courses required for the major, mathematics, basic sciences, engineering topics, the general education component (humanities and social sciences), and an elective focus area. Students may choose an approved focus area or work with their adviser to customize an area that aligns with their interests or career objectives.
To learn about required course work and graduating with honors, see Chemical Engineering in the UI General Catalog.
BSE/MS Fast-Track Degree Program
This program is for eligible students who seek to complete both the BSE and MS degrees in chemical and biochemical engineering at Iowa. Students apply in the second semester of their junior year and, if admitted, enter the program in the first semester of their senior year. The fast-track program allows 12 credit hours to be counted toward both their BSE and MS degrees. This program may be especially attractive to students who are interested in product research, development, and design.
BSE/MS Joint Degree Program
The Departments of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering support a combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree program for students pursuing a BSE in Chemical Engineering and an MS in Environmental Engineering and Science.