Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is concerned with the design, development, and management of facilities that convert raw materials into useful products. The engineer must assume responsibility for the economical use of the raw materials, preservation of the environment, and profitability of the operation. The chemical engineering program has been designed to provide both the engineering competence and the professional skills necessary to succeed in this endeavor. In order to achieve this objective, the curriculum incorporates coursework in both of these areas throughout the four-year duration of the program.


The chemical engineering curriculum emphasizes basic knowledge and applications of transport processes, thermodynamics and kinetics of processes, automatic control, and design, as well as fundamental sciences, mathematics, and engineering sciences. Design experience is spread across the curriculum, beginning with the Introduction to the Profession courses. Equipment design is emphasized in courses such as Fluid Mechanics, Heat and Mass-Transfer Operations, Thermodynamics, and Chemical Reaction Engineering. Control-system design is practiced in the Process Control course. Process modeling, simulations and optimization are discussed and practiced in Transport Phenomena, Process Modeling and System Theory, Numerical and Data Analysis, Statistical Tools for Engineering, and Process Control courses. The capstone design courses (Chemical Process Design I & II) integrate these design concepts and practice process design and optimization. In addition to engineering competence, the program also examines the economic, environmental, and societal implications of chemical engineering.

Professional Training

Professional training is stressed in the design of the chemical engineering curriculum. Because engineering is largely a team effort, the department develops the individual’s ability to work effectively as a team member. Group projects are assigned starting with the Introduction to the Profession course. Laboratory course and capstone design course projects are conducted by teams of students. The laboratory work is designed to reinforce the concepts developed in the lectures and to show the application of chemical engineering principles to the solution of real-world problems.

Because individual attention is so important to the student’s growth, laboratory sections are small and a high-level of personal contact between student and instructor is maintained. Students are encouraged to become involved with state-of-the-art research projects at the undergraduate level. The industry/university co-op program is available to students who would like to use one or more extra semesters any time after their second year to work on an internship in industry.

Specialized Programs

In addition to the core curriculum, special programs exist to accommodate students who want to develop more extensive background in related areas. With their exposure to a wide range of industrial applications and problems, students are better equipped to make a decision to explore an area of interest in depth. Professional specializations are available in:

  • Bioengineering
  • Energy/Environment/Economics (E3)
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Polymer Science and Engineering
  • Process Design and Operation

Students may also choose a minor program.  All students must include in their minor program, or as a technical elective, CHE 426 or at least one 3 credit hour engineering science course. Students who plan to go to graduate school are advised to take CHE 535 as a technical elective.

Required Courses

Chemical Engineering Requirements (47)
CHE 100Introduction to the Profession I2
CHE 101Introduction to the Profession II2
CHE 202Material Energy Balances3
CHE 239Mathematical and Computational Methods3
CHE 301Fluid Mechanics3
CHE 302Heat and Mass Transfer Operations3
CHE 311Foundations of Biological Science for Engineering3
CHE 317Chemical and Biological Engineering Laboratory I2
CHE 351Thermodynamics I3
CHE 406Transport Phenomena3
CHE 418Chemical and Biological Engineering Laboratory II2
CHE 423Chemical Reaction Engineering3
CHE 433Process Modeling and System Theory3
CHE 435Process Control3
CHE 451Thermodynamics II3
CHE 494Process Design I3
CHE 496Process Design II3
Mathematics Requirements (18)
MATH 151Calculus I5
MATH 152Calculus II5
MATH 251Multivariate and Vector Calculus4
MATH 252Introduction to Differential Equations4
Physics Requirements (8)
PHYS 123General Physics I: Mechanics4
PHYS 221General Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism4
Chemistry Requirements (18)
CHEM 125Principles of Chemistry II with Laboratory 14
CHEM 237Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 239Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 343Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 344Physical Chemistry II4
or BIOL 403 Biochemistry
Computer Science Requirement (2)
CS 104Introduction to Computer Programming for Engineers2
or CS 105 Introduction to Computer Programming
Electrical and Computer Engineering Requirement (3-4)
ECE 211Circuit Analysis I3-4
or ECE 218 Digital Systems
Technical Electives (9)
Select 9 credit hours 29
Humanities and Social Science Requirements (21)
See IIT Core Curriculum, sections B and C21
Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) (6)
See IIT Core Curriculum, section E6
Total Credit Hours132-133

Initial placement in CHEM 125 requires consent of the chemistry department.


One technical elective must be CHE 426 or an engineering science elective (CHE 400+ level).


Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering Curriculum

Year 1
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
CHE 1002CHE 1012
MATH 1515MATH 1525
CHEM 12514PHYS 1234
CS 104 or 1052Social Sciences Elective3
Humanities 200-level Course3Humanities or Social Sciences Elective3
 16 17
Year 2
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
CHE 2023CHE 2393
MATH 2524CHE 3013
CHEM 2374MATH 2514
PHYS 2214CHEM 2393
Humanities Elective (300+)3CHEM 3433
 18 16
Year 3
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
CHE 3023CHE 3172
CHE 3113CHE 4333
CHE 3513CHE 4513
ECE 211 or 2183-4CHEM 344 or BIOL 4034
Humanities Elective (300+)3IPRO Elective I3
 Technical Elective23
 15-16 18
Year 4
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
CHE 4182CHE 4063
CHE 4233CHE 4963
CHE 4353IPRO Elective II3
CHE 4943Technical Elective23
Technical Elective23Social Sciences Elective (300+)3
Social Sciences Elective (300+)3 
 17 15
Total Credit Hours: 132-133

Initial placement in CHEM 125 requires the consent of the chemistry department.


One technical elective must be CHE 426 or an engineering science elective (CHE 400+ level).

This program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.


Professional Specializations

Students choosing one of the professional specializations should take a total of three courses in the specialization area.

Appropriate substitutions may be made with the approval of the program adviser.


Program advisers: S. Parulekar and V. Pérez-Luna

Bioengineering has two career specializations:

Biomedical Engineering

BIOL 107General Biology Lectures3
BIOL 115Human Biology3
Select one elective from the following:3
Genetics for Engineering Scientists
Introductory Biochemistry3
Human Physiology3
Cell Biology3
Undergraduate Research1-6
Bioprocess Engineering3


Select three electives from the following:9
General Biology Lectures3
Genetics for Engineering Scientists
Introductory Biochemistry3
Cell Biology3
Bioprocess Engineering3

Energy/Environment/Economics (E3)

Program adviser: J. Abbasian

CHE 543Energy, Environment, and Economics3
Energy Sources, Conversion, Utilization, and Distribution (3)
Select at least one course from the following:3
Electrochemical Energy Conversion3
Fuel Cell System Design3
Undergraduate Research1-6
Renewable Energy Technologies3
Fluidization and Gas-Solids Flow Systems3
Fundamentals of Electrochemistry3
Fuel Cell Fundamentals3
Interfacial and Colloidal Phenomena with Applications3
Fundamentals of Power Engineering4
Power Electronics4
Power Systems Analysis with Laboratory4
Analytical Methods in Power Systems3
Control Systems3
Direct Energy Conversion3
Nuclear, Fossil-Fuel, and Sustainable Energy Systems3
Fundamentals of Combustion3
Fundamentals of Heat Transfer3
Energy and Environment, System Analysis, and Special Problems (3)
Select at least one course from the following:3
Statistical Tools for Engineers3
Undergraduate Research1-3
Economic Analysis of Capital Investments3
Water and Wastewater Engineering3
Introduction to Air Pollution Control3
Industrial Ecology3
Interprofessional Project (IPRO)3
Undergraduate Research1-6
Undergraduate Design Project1-3
Undergraduate Special Topics1-6
Energy and Environmental Policy3

Environmental Engineering

Program adviser: P. Anderson

Environmental Engineering (3)
Select at least one course from the following:3
Statistical Tools for Engineers3
Water and Wastewater Engineering3
Introduction to Air Pollution Control3
Industrial Ecology3
Civil Engineering (3)
Select at least one course from the following:3
Risk Assessment Engineering3
Hydraulic Design of Open Channel Systems3
Interprofessional Project (IPRO)3

Polymer Science and Engineering

Program advisers: J. Schieber, D. Venerus

The program embraces polymer chemistry, characterization, structure and properties, as well as the manufacture of polymeric raw materials and their processing into finished products.

Select one course from the following:3
Introduction to Polymer Science3
Introduction to Polymers3
Introduction to Polymer Science3
Select at least one course from the following:3
Polymerization Reaction Engineering3
Polymer Processing3
Polymer Rheology3
Polymer Synthesis3
Polymer Chemistry Laboratory3
Polymer Characterization and Analysis3
Advanced Materials Processing3
Thermodynamics in Materials Science3
Students may take up to one of the following courses:3
Statistical Tools for Engineers3
Undergraduate Research1-6
Interfacial and Colloidal Phenomena with Applications3
Finite Element Methods in Engineering3
Manufacturing Processes3

Process Design and Operation

Program adviser:  D. Chmielewski

For students interested in design, operation, monitoring, optimization, and control of chemical processes.

Select at least one course from the following:3
Statistical Tools for Engineers3
Process Design Optimization3
Advanced Process Control3
Statistical Quality and Process Control3
Select at least one course from the following: 13
Electrochemical Energy Conversion3
Undergraduate Research1-6
Introduction to Air Pollution Control3
Engineering Control of Industrial Hazards3
Industrial Ecology3
Physical and Chemical Processes for Industrial Gas Cleaning3
Hazardous Waste Engineering3

Only one course selection may be an ENVE course.