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College of Engineering

Chemical Engineering

68K

average starting salary

#6

College of Pharmacy national ranking

classes available through biopharmaceutical engineering certificate

128

total credit hours

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Barbara Knutson

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Chemical Engineering

College of Engineering

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

177 F. Paul Anderson Tower

Lexington, KY 40506-0046

Program website

(859) 257-8028

  • BS

Chemical engineering emerged over a century ago when engineering professionals were needed to design and implement processes for large, commercial scale chemical production. Modern chemical engineering combines knowledge of chemistry and molecular interactions with the discipline of engineering to address problems at both the small scale (designing nanodevices, for example) and the large scale (bringing chemistry out of the lab to the full scale production of items that we use every day). Chemical engineers invent new processes, improve existing ones and designand operate plants and equipment to transform raw feed stocks into useful products across a wide range of industries including agricultural and food-based products, consumer products, fine chemicals, fuels and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics and electronic materials.

Chemical engineering students at UK experience an environment where faculty are readily accessible both inside and outside the classroom, and where students have the chance to grow personally and professionally through hands-on research projects, industrial cooperative education and service opportunities. You’ll study a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, chemistry and physics, as well as core engineering topics such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, separation processes, heat and mass transfer and chemical reactor design. Our electives address numerous specialized areas of chemical engineering and include courses in biotechnology, advanced materials, drug delivery, environmental engineering, fuel science, nanotechnology and polymer processing. A program is also available to fulfill pre-medical requirements simultaneously with requirements for the B.S. in chemical engineering.

Industries Looking for You 

  • Alternative and renewable fuels
  • Environmental engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutics
  • Food and consumer products
  • Oil and natural gas
  • Polymers and electronic materials
“It’s amazing how much chemical engineers touch. There’s not a process or product out there that they haven’t affected in some way."

Ali Crupper

2019 Chemical Engineering Graduate

Admission Requirements

Students may directly enroll as pre-engineering students; however, there are minimum admission requirements. Minimum freshman entry requirements are an ACT Math score of 25 or higher (or a SAT Math score of 590 or higher) and a 3.0 or higher unweighted high school GPA. Additionally, students must also meet the minimum Kentucky statewide academic readiness requirements for reading and writing. If you do not meet the initial admission requirements, please refer to the University of Kentucky Bulletin for alternative routes to admission to the College of Engineering.


First-Year Engineering Program

The smartest, most talented engineers around the world are devoting themselves to tackling immense global challenges. As a First-Year Engineering (FYE) student, you get to join them!

In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering identified 14 “Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century”—opportunities to greatly increase humanity’s sustainability, health, security and joy of living. Themes include making solar energy economical, enhancing virtual reality, reverse-engineering the brain, securing cyberspace, providing access to clean water and more.

These ambitious goals demand engineers roll up their sleeves and get to work, which is why we put them front and center during your first year as an engineering student. We have designed the FYE program to inspire you. We want you to discover your passion. We want you to explore where you might make your unique contribution. We want you to get your hands dirty and make stuff that might, one day, lead to a breakthrough.

Why wait until you’re taking upper-level classes to figure out what interests you? Through real engineering classes taught by top faculty and exposure to engineering’s greatest challenges, the FYE program gets you into the game from day one.


Curriculum Information 

In addition to fulfilling UK Core and College of Engineering requirements, students must complete the Chemical Engineering curriculum. The following curriculum meets the requirements for the B.S. degree.

2019-20 Information Sheet 2018-19 Major Sheet 2017-18 Major Sheet 2016-17 Major Sheet 2015-16 Major Sheet 2014-15 Major Sheet 2013-14 Major Sheet 2012-13 Major Sheet 2011-12 Major Sheet 2010-11 Major Sheet 2009-10 Major Sheet 2008-09 Major Sheet

Student Involvement

Active professional and honorary student organizations are an integral part of the educational experience in the College of Engineering. The Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering is home to student chapters of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Omega Chi Epsilon honorary. Members of AIChE gather for regular meetings featuring speakers from industry and academia, participate in field trips, networking and community service opportunities and attend regional and national professional conferences. In addition, many of our undergraduates participate in student organizations that include members of all majors.


Career Prospects in Chemical Engineering

The breadth and analytical rigor of the Chemical Engineering degree makes it one of the most highly valued technical credentials and starting salaries for chemical engineering graduates are typically among the highest of all majors. Chemical engineers are in demand and work in a wide range of industries. Our Chemical Engineering alumni have been successful in traditional and alternative energy, biotechnology, consumer products, environmental engineering, fine chemicals, food technology, materials processing, pharmaceuticals and more.


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Imagine Your Future

Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. They design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test production methods and byproducts treatment, and direct facility operations.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$96,940

per year in 2017

Number of Jobs

34,300

in 2017

10 Year Job Outlook

600

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Chemical engineers work mostly in offices or laboratories. They may spend time at industrial plants, refineries, and other locations, where they monitor or direct operations or solve onsite problems. Nearly all chemical engineers work full time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Enhancing Your Time at UK

There are countless ways to “see blue.” on campus, but the best way to maximize your journey at the University of Kentucky is by engaging in an Education Abroad opportunity.

This will allow you to gain a global perspective and enhance future employability. As you take the first step towards investing in your future, we encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the options UK Education Abroad & Exchanges office suggests to complement your major! #SeeBlueAbroad

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Contact

Barbara Knutson

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Chemical Engineering

College of Engineering

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

177 F. Paul Anderson Tower

Lexington, KY 40506-0046

(859) 257-8028