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Chemical Engineering

Along with considerable training in fundamental and applied science, undergraduate students majoring in Chemical Engineering learn how modern chemical engineering processes work and how they are used to produce today’s products. Students are prepared for entry into careers in a wide range of chemical engineering fields including petrochemical and petroleum refining, renewable energy, bioengineering, semiconductor manufacturing, and food processing. This comprehensive training also prepares students to pursue graduate education and research in chemical engineering at major research universities, or professional studies such as medicine or law.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the expected income for chemical engineers?

    Chemical engineers are typically well compensated when compared to other professions. Even compared with other engineering specialties, chemical engineers rank high on most compensation scales (usually first or second on starting salaries for new BS engineers).

  • What does a chemical engineer do?

    What chemical engineers do in the workplace can vary depending on the industry they choose to work. Simply put, they use science and mathematics, especially chemistry, biochemistry, applied mathematics and engineering principles, to take laboratory or conceptual ideas and turn them into value added products in a cost effective and safe (including environmental) manner. These skills can be used in a variety of industries but the most common paths include petrochemicals, refining, specialty chemicals, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, electronics and information technologies. In fact, some chemical engineers get their law degrees and specialize in patent law.

  • What do chemical and environmental engineering students learn?

    CEE students develop a strong background in mathematics, physics and chemistry and learn important problem solving and teamwork skills to accomplish goals. The breadth and multidisciplinary nature of chemical and environmental issues requires that students expand beyond their skills of what is typically accepted in other engineering fields. Depending upon their specific career goals, chemical and environmental engineers gain knowledge and skills in areas such as microbiology and toxicology, chemical technology, nanotechnology and material science, atmospheric chemistry, chemical sensors, computers, economics, ethics and law. Our students become skilled at analysis and design, and learn to apply their knowledge to real world applications, which is why our program is designed to develop a strong interaction between our students and our industrial partners.

  • What makes the Chemical Engineering at UCR special?

    The Chemical Engineering program at UCR is unique in several ways. Small class sizes allow for one-on-one interaction with professors and unique research facilities are available year round to undergraduate students to conduct exciting research projects. These laboratories are often associated with internationally recognized research centers such as the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering and the Center for Environmental Research Technology. We encourage our undergraduates to publish their results and travel to undergraduate research conferences to present their findings. These activities enhance opportunities for students to find satisfying and rewarding employment or gain acceptance into the best graduate schools.

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