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Undergraduate Courses
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Freshman and sophomore students normally take the core courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology (Ma 1 abc, Ma 2 ab, Ph 1 abc, Ph 2 ab, Ch 1 ab, and Bi 1 --see the Caltech Catalog for descriptons). They also take the second-year chemistry course, Ch 41 abc, and the basic chemical engineering courses, ChE 63 ab and ChE 64. It is strongly recommended that they also take a course in computer programming (e.g. CS 1 or CS 2).

Option Requirements

  1. Ch 3 b, Ch 41 abc, ChE 63 ab, ChE 64, ACM 95 abc, Ch 21ab1, ChE 101, ChE 103 abc, ChE 105, ChE 126, Ch/ChE 91 (or En 84), three science/engineering electives (two if ChE 90 ab is selected), and one of Ec 11, BEM 101, or BEM 1032.
  2. Completion of a track (biomolecular, environmental, process systems, or materials), each consisting of eight science or engineering courses.
    Students should inform the executive officer of their track choice by the beginning of the spring quarter of the sophomore year by providing a planned schedule for completion of all degree requirements. Requirements for the tracks are as follows:
    1. Biomolecular track: Bi/Ch 110, BE 151, 152, 153, [ChE/BE 163 or ChE/BE 1693], [ChE 130 or ChE 90 ab], two additional bioengineering or related electives.
    2. Environmental track: ESE/CE 148 abc, [ChE 128 or ChE 90 ab], four additional ESE or related courses.
    3. Process systems track: ChE 110 ab, [ChE 128 or ChE 90 ab], five engineering electives.
    4. Materials track:
      1. ChE 128 or ChE 90 ab.
      2. One course on materials synthesis and processing: Ch/ChE 1473, ChE 1893, or MS 133.
      3. One pair of courses on the physical bias of structure and properties selected from: [Ch120 a and ChE/Ch 1483], or [MS 131 and MS 132], or APh 114 ab.
      4. Four materials science elective courses; these may be any combination of the remaining courses from those listed above, and/or any of the following courses: ChE/Ch 155, ChE/Ch 164, Ae/AM/CE/ME 102 abc, Ae/Ge/ME 160 ab, Ae/AM/MS/ME 213, Ae/AM/CE/ME 214 abc, ME 35 abc, AM/ME 165 ab, APh 109, APh 125 abc, Ch 121 ab, Ge 114 ab, or any MS courses.
  3. Passing grades must be earned in all courses required by the Institute and the option.


1 Ch 21ab may be taken in the junior or senior year. Ch24a may be substituted for Ch21b.
2 These 9 units partially satisfy the Institute requirements in humanities and social sciences.
3 Given in alternate years.

Undergraduate research is emphasized, and students are encouraged, even in the freshman year, to participate in research with the faculty. In order to obtain a basic intellectual background, all students take courses in the fundamentals of chemical engineering through the junior year. During the junior and senior years, students can diversify into one of four tracks to achieve concentrated study in areas of chemical engineering. An optional senior thesis is a unique aspect of the chemical engineering program.

See ChE Option and FAQs for more on course design, curriculum and requirements. See Schedule for details on a typical course schedule including sample tracks and a template. If you are attending high school, or have graduated from high school but have never enrolled at a college or university as a degree-seeking student, apply as a freshman.


Chemical Engineering Courses
ChE 10 Introduction to Chemical Engineering
ChE 63 ab Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
ChE 64 Principles of Chemical Engineering
ChE 80 Undergraduate Research
ChE 90 ab Senior Thesis
Ch/ChE 91 Scientific Writing
ChE 101 Chemical Reaction Engineering
ChE 103 abc Transport Phenomena
ChE 105 Dynamics and Control of Chemical Systems
ChE 110 ab Optimal Design of Chemical Systems
ChE 115 Electronic Materials Processing (formerly ChE 189)
Chemical Engineering Laboratory &
Chemical Engineering Design Lab (formerly ChE 126 ab)
ChE 130 Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory
Ch/ChE 140 ab Principles and Applications of Semiconductor Photoelectrochemistry
Polymer Chemistry
Polymer Physics
ChE 151 ab Physical and Chemical Rate Processes
ChE 152 Heterogeneous Kinetics and Reaction Engineering
ChE/Ch 155 Chemistry of Catalysis
ChE/ESE 158 Aerosol Physics and Chemistry
ChE/BE 163 Introduction to Biomolecular Engineering
ChE/Ch 164 Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics
ChE/Ch 165 Chemical Thermodynamics
ChE/BE 169 Biomolecular Cell Engineering
ChE 174 Special Topics in Transport Phenomena

 

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