What do Chemical Engineers do?
- Develop manufacturing processes for food
- Creating new vaccines, antibiotics, and pharmaceuticals
- Produce environmental technology to clean up air and water
Where do Chemical Engineers work?
Chemical Engineers work in a variety of industries including:
- aerospace & automotive,
- medical & biomedical,
- electronic & environmental,
- military industries & more
- Academic Specialization & Small Class Size
- Undergraduate Research & Internships
- Award winning students
UMBC’s BS in Chemical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. All students earn a BS in Chemical Engineering and require the same chemical engineering core classes, we offer three tracks allowing students to specialize in one of three tracks. These include:
- The Traditional Track prepares students for graduate study or immediate industrial employment in such varied fields as chemical processing, food processing, metallurgy, energy conversion, petroleum refining and pharmaceutical production.
- The Biotechnology and Bioengineering Track integrates the life sciences into each year of the curriculum and is intended for students who are interested in working in the biotechnology industry, pursuing graduate work in biochemical or biomedical engineering or going to medical school.
- The Environmental Engineering and Sustainability Track stems from the traditional chemical engineering track and provides specialization in the application of basic chemical engineering principles in the field of environmental engineering such as cleaning up air and water pollution and managing chemical processes to minimize environmental impact.
The primary differences are in the science courses and technical electives that are taken. Your advisor can help you decide which track is right for you. For a side-by-side comparison view the the Undergraduate Course Plan Chart.
Past experience has shown that for students to successfully and efficiently pursue an engineering education immediately upon graduation from high school, they should have taken three years of high school mathematics including algebra, geometry and trigonometry, one year of physics and one year of chemistry. Students should also have obtained an SAT score of 1200 with a minimum of 600 on the quantitative test.
Small Class Size
Our departmental classes are designed to provide the most individual attention possible. For example, our Intro to Chemical Engineering class (sophomore year) and all of our Junior level classes have an average of 35 – 45 students per section. Our laboratory classes are also set up such that our Sophomore lab has around 20 students per section and our Senior lab has 15 students per section.
Our faculty include undergrads on exciting, funded research projects in the areas of biomedical, environmental and bioprocess engineering. For example, in 2019, Dr. Marten has 14 undergrads working in his lab, working on cellular engineering and systems biology research (martenlab.umbc.edu).
Our programs include funded opportunities and scholarships such as Meyerhoff, MARC U*STAR, and Undergraduate Research Awards. And these students are often present their work at URCAD and are sponsored to attend national meetings to present their work (e.g., ACS). For more info on UMBC undergraduate research in general, visit https://research.umbc.edu/undergraduate-research-opportunities-and-resources/.
Over the past 5 years, over 75% of our students have participated in an engineering internship (industry or government) or academic undergraduate research. These experiences often lead to excellent jobs!
Jobs & Salary
In 2018, 86% of our graduates started their first job within six months of graduation, working at places such as: Exxon Mobil, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Northrop Grumman, US Navy, and many more! And they had starting annual salaries ranging from $60,000 – $80,000.
Our students have pursued graduate studies in diverse programs (Chemical, Biochemical, Bioengineering, Biomedical, Nuclear, Environmental Engineering, and even Medical schools) at universities which include: UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford, UC Boulder, Cornell and many more!
CBEE Undergraduate Programs Mission
Our mission is to instill a capacity for life-long learning based on competence in chemical engineering principles coupled with critical thinking, cooperation and communication skills.
Elizabeth Tan, Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Bioengineering Track (’19)
All students apply to UMBC through the Undergraduate Admissions office. At the time of application students designate any major. All Chemical Engineering students will be accepted as Pre-Chemical Engineering. Freshmen may pursue any of our Pre-Majors without additional review. Transfer students’ transcripts will be evaluated to determine eligibility for the Pre-Major. See Transfer Information for additional resources and information.