The undergraduate bachelor's degree program in chemical engineering at Clarkson offers a unique and personalized educational environment designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the chemical engineering principles.

Specializing in applications of these principles in materials engineering, environmental engineering and biomedical engineering through minors and concentrations is also possible.

Small class sizes and low student to faculty ratios allow close interaction with the department faculty that have a combined expertise in all modern areas of chemical engineering. As a student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) department, you'll have the opportunity to work on research projects for course credits that lay the groundwork for success in applied research and development. After graduation, you will be an intellectual leader in industry, en route to an illustrious career.

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Chemical Engineering Careers

Clarkson Class of 2020 97 percent employment

Completing our chemical engineering undergraduate bachelor's degree program will set you up for career success, with opportunities in many different industries and applications, including: 

  • design
  • construction and management of chemicals
  • petrochemicals
  • pharmaceuticals
  • biochemical and electronics manufacturing
  • research and development of new processes and products 
  • improvement of existing processes and products 
  • design and development of control systems 
  • economic evaluation of new plants and processes 
  • air and water pollution control 
  • energy conservation and energy resource development 
  • materials engineering

According to PayScale, the average chemical engineer salary is over $74,400 per year. Students who graduated in 2020 from Clarkson's chemical engineering program boasted an average starting salary of over $64,300, with the highest starting salary at $75,000. Our graduates have recently gone on to work for companies such as Alcoa, Anheuser-Busch, Corning, Dow Chemical, Estee Lauder Companies, Globalfoundries, Indium Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Merck, Momentive Performance Materials, Plug Power, Proctor & Gamble and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. 

Students looking to continue their education can do so through master's and Ph.D. programs, including Clarkson's own M.S. and Ph.D. programs in chemical engineering. Chemical engineering majors have also gone on to graduate programs at institutions such as Cornell University, George Mason University, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, University of Virginia and Villanova University. 

Undergraduate student Julia Barnum talks about her Clarkson chemical engineering experience, extracurricular activities she pursues on campus and how she chose Clarkson not only for our accolades and job opportunities but for the people in our friendly campus environment. 

Chemical Engineering Curriculum & Academic Options

Major in Chemical Engineering

The chemical engineering undergraduate bachelor's degree program consists of 30 credit hours spent focused on chemical engineering. This is a rigorous program that allows some flexibility in your schedule to complete your degree. You may also choose to have a minor that complements your chemical engineering degree if you so wish. Chemical engineering majors take courses such as :

  • Molecular Properties
  • Process Economics & Conceptual Design
  • Air Pollution Control
  • Intro to Nanophotonics
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Industrial Chemistry
Chemical Engineering Major Curriculum

The chemical engineering program consists of 30 credit hours in chemical engineering, 25 credit hours in science, 12 credit hours in mathematics, and 30 credit hours in professional electives. 33 credit hours are in free electives, which is enough to complete a minor or second major if you so choose.

Click here for a sample curriculum schedule

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.


Clarkson Common Experience

The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.
FY100 First-Year Seminar (1 credits)
UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar (3 credits)


Chemical Engineering Core Requirements

Students are required to complete the following courses:

Chemical Engineering:

  • CH210 Molecular Properties 
  • CH220 Material Balances 
  • CH260 Thermodynamics & Energy Balances
  • CH320 Phase Equilibria 
  • CH330 Transfer Process Fundamentals 
  • CH350 Chemical Engineering Laboratory (1 credits)
  • CH360 Chemical Reactor Analysis I 
  • CH370 Design of Transfer Process Equipment 
  • CH410 Chemical Engineering Laboratory (2 credits)
  • CH420 Prccess Economics & Conceptual Design 
  • CH460 Process Dynamics & Control 


Professional Experience

Students are required to complete the following Professional Experience:
ES499 Professional Experience (0 credits)


School of Engineering Common First Year

Students must complete the following courses in their first year:

  • CM131 General Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CS141 Introduction to Computer Science (4 credits)
  • ES100 Introduction to Engineering Use of the Computer (2 credits)
  • ES110 Engineering & Society
  • MA131 Calculus I 
  • MA132 Calculus II 
  • PH131 Physics I (4 credits)
  • PH132 Physics II (4 credits)


Chemical Engineering Core Electives

Students must complete the following courses:

Core Electives:

  • BY160 Biology II - Cellular & Molecular Biology
  • CM132 General Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • CM241 Organic Chemistry I 
  • CM242 Organic Chemistry II 
  • CM244 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 
  • EC350 Economic Principles & Engineering Economics 
  • MA231 Calculus III 
  • MA232 Elementary Differential Equations 

Professional Electives:

  • 1 x Mathematics (MA) elective
  • 2 x ES electives from two different areas (mechanics/electrical science/materials science)
  • 3 x engineering electives
  • 2 x technical electives (science/engineering/mathematics)
  • 2 x undesignated electives


Knowledge Area/University Course Electives

Students will have at least 18 credit hours available to use toward Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives to satisfy the Clarkson Common Experience requirements.

Free Electives

Students will have approximately 33 credit hours available to use toward courses of their choice.

Relevant Minors & Concentrations

Chemical engineering majors have the opportunity to pursue a professional concentration in biomolecular engineering while also exploring minors that will complement the chemical engineering bachelor's degree. View our recommendations below or learn more about all of Clarkson's minors, concentrations and professional advising tracks.

All Clarkson Minors, Concentrations and Tracks

Biomolecular Engineering Concentration

A professional concentration in biomolecular engineering has been designed for chemical engineering majors who desire a strong background in biochemical engineering and biology. This will benefit students pursuing careers in medicine, biomedical engineering or in the following industries: consumer products, food processing, and pharmaceuticals. The decision to obtain this concentration is made optimally in the sophomore year. 

Biomolecular Engineering Curriculum

The professional concentration in biomolecular engineering offers a chemical engineering major an alternative path for obtaining a BS in chemical engineering.

    Further information on this concentration is available in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering office. A sample curriculum for chemical engineering majors choosing the biomolecular engineering concentration is given in the Handbook.

    By successfully completing the courses recommended above, upon graduation, students receive a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with a dean’s certificate indicating a “Professional Concentration in Biomolecular Engineering” and a notation to that effect on their transcript.


    Required Courses

    Students pursuing the concentration must take BY162 Cellular & Molecular Biology Lab (2 credit hours) in the spring semester of their sophomore year. The required mathematics elective in the curriculum must be a suitable statistics course (STAT383 Applied Statistics), and science and engineering electives are replaced with the required courses CM460 Biochemistry I and CH465 Biochemical Engineering.


      An undesignated elective is replaced with a course selected from the following list of courses relevant to biomolecular engineering:

      • BR400 Introduction to Biomedical Rehabilitation Engineering and Science 
      • BY214 Genetics
      • BY312 Advanced Cell Biology 
      • BY316 Immunobiology 
      • BY320/322 Microbiology with Lab 
      • BY360/362 Physiology with Lab 
      • BY412 Molecular Biology Laboratory 
      • CM426 Intro to Biophysics 
      • CM453 Intro to Biomaterials 
      • CM464 Physical Biochemistry 
      • ES380 Biomechanics
      • ES452 Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering Applications


      Biomedical Engineering Minor

      As various fields of medicine and healthcare increasingly depend upon advances in technology, graduates who possess combined expertise in biomedical engineering principles and knowledge of biological sciences at all levels will be in high demand. The minor in biomedical engineering enhances opportunities for you to meet this need while you graduate with a traditional engineering degree.

      The biomedical engineering minor is just one of the examples addressing the Coulter School of Engineering’s motto, “Technology Serving Humanity.”

      All courses are 3 credits unless noted.


      About the Biomedical Engineering Minor

      Engineers with skills that integrate engineering principles with an understanding of the human physical and psychosocial characteristics are in increasing demand. The minor in biomedical engineering meets this need. Combining a traditional engineering degree with this minor is an attractive opportunity for engineering students who have a strong desire to use their talents to improve the quality of life for people with medical conditions or disabilities.

      The biomedical engineering minor is connected closely with the minor in biomedical science and technology. Students from both minors participate in shared core courses along with a multidisciplinary capstone design course. Students can take only one of the two minors (not both).


      Biomedical Engineering Core Requirements

      Students are required to complete the following courses:


      • BY471 Anatomy and Physiology I
      • and BY473 Anatomy and Physiology I Laboratory
      • or BY472 Anatomy and Physiology II
      • and BY474 Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory
      • or BY360 Comparative Physiology
      • and BY362 Comparative Physiology Laboratory
      • BR200 Introduction to Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology
      • BR450 Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Technology Capstone Design I
      • or equivalent engineering design course with a BEST approved project
      • BR400 Biomedical Engineering Fundamentals


      • MA131 Calculus I
      • MA132 Calculus II
      • PH131 Physics I
      • PH132 Physics II
      • BY160 Biology II: Cell and Molecular Biology


      Biomedical Engineering Core Electives

      Engineering Depth Elective:

      Students must complete 1 3-credit course from the approved list of upper-level biomedical engineering related courses.

      Breadth Elective:

      Students must complete 1 3-credit course from the approved list of upper-level biomedically related courses.

      Materials Engineering Minor

      Many engineers and scientists are employed in the materials processing and manufacturing industries. Increasing demands on the mechanical and environmental durability of national infrastructure require improving the strength and useful life of steels, concrete, ceramics and other engineering/structural materials. Space exploration and miniaturization of electronic devices, for example, are made possible by the development and processing of nanostructured composite materials through nanotechnology.

      To help students improve employment opportunities in materials-related areas, Clarkson University's Coulter School of Engineering offers a minor in Materials Engineering for undergraduate students. 

      A Clarkson undergraduate student can qualify for a Certificate from the Dean of the Coulter School of Engineering verifying satisfactory completion of the coursework necessary to create a minor in Materials Engineering.


      Materials Engineering Curriculum

      A Clarkson undergraduate student can qualify for a Certificate from the Dean of the Coulter School of Engineering verifying satisfactory completion of the coursework necessary to create a minor in Materials Engineering. 

      Students seeking the minor must complete 2 required courses and 3 electives from the listed courses below for a minimum of 15 credit hours. Alternative elective courses can seek approval from the Materials Engineering Minor program director.* 

      Required Courses for Materials Engineering:

      • ES260 Materials Science and Engineering I
      • ES360 Materials Science and Engineering II

      Courses & Prerequisites (choose three from the two lists below):

      Engineering Electives

      • ES222 Strength of Materials 
        • Prerequisite: ES220 or permission of the instructor
      • ES241 Solid-State Materials Systems for Advanced Technologies
        • Prerequisites: PH131, CM103 or CM131, MA131 and MA132
      • ES361 Fine Particle Technology
        • Prerequisites: CM104 or CM132
      • ES365 Polymer Materials 
        • Prerequisites: CM104 or CM132
      • ES452 Biomaterials and Biomedical Applications
        • Prerequisites: Junior or Senior Standing
      • ES464 Corrosion of Metals
        • Prerequisites: CM132 or CM104 and ES260 
      • MSE451 Advanced Materials Characterization 
        • Prerequisites: CM371, CH210, PH132, and ES260 
      • CE411 Construction Materials Engineering.
        • Co-requisite: CE441
      • CE453 Properties and Performance of Concrete
        • Prerequisite: ES260
      • CH441 Introduction to Nanophotonics 
        • Prerequisites: PH132 and MA232
      • CH484 Polymer Engineering
        • Prerequisites: CH301 or ES330 (either can be taken as a co-requisite)
      • EE341 Microelectronics
        • Prerequisite: ES250
      • EE439 Dielectrics
      • EE443 Semiconductor Material and Devices for Engineers
        • Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission by instructor
      • AE/ME457 Composite Mechanics and Design
        • Prerequisites: ES222 and ES260
      • ME390 Additive Manufacturing
        • Prerequisites: ES260 and ES222 or equivalent
      • ME457 Composite Mechanics and Design 
        • Prerequisites: ES222 and ES260
      • ME492 Welding Metallurgy
        • Prerequisites: ES260 and ME411

      Science Electives

      • CM221 Spectroscopy
        • Prerequisites: CM104 or CM132
      • CM430 Colloids and Interfaces
      • CM435 Better Materials through Chemistry
        • Prerequisite: CM241
      • CM475 Sustainable Nanotechnology
        • Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission by instructor
      • CM481 Computational Chemistry
        • Prerequisites: CM371 and CM372
      • CM483 Introduction to Polymer Science
        • Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission by instructor
      • CM485 Nanostructured Materials
        • Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission by instructor
      • PH331 Quantum Physics
        • Prerequisites: PH231 and MA232
      • PH341 Solid State Physics I
        • Prerequisites: PH231, or ES260, or permissions by instructor
      • PH442 Solid State Physics II
        • Prerequisites: PH341 or permission by instructor
      • PH487 Applications of Synchrotron and Electron Based Techniques
        • Prerequisites: PH132 or permission by instructor; ES260 and/or PH231

       *Possible alternative courses include those at the graduate level, such as:

      • ME506 Mechanical Behavior of Materials
        • Prerequisite: permission by instructor
      • ME508 Fracture Mechanics
        • Prerequisite: permission by instructor

      Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Research

      There are several faculty members active in research in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. As an undergraduate student, you can sign up for 1-3 credits per semester to perform research with a faculty member. Research topic examples include:

      • atmospheric chemistry
      • chemical-mechanical polishing for microelectronics
      • nanotechnology
      • membranes
      • plasma chemistry
      • process control
      • thermodynamics

      Learn more about our Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering faculty and their research expertise.

      Chemical Engineering Professor Nakao works in his lab with students

      Chemical Engineering Co-ops & Internships

      A Clarkson undergraduate student talks to a representative of potential employer ExxonMobil at Career Fair

      As a Clarkson chemical engineering major, you'll have opportunities for internships and co-ops in the chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, microelectronics, and other industries. The University's award-winning Career Center hosts two Career Fairs each year, bringing in nearly 200 companies at each one who are recruiting Clarkson students, including many looking for chemical engineers. Students make connections, apply for internships, co-ops and full-time positions, attend informational sessions hosted by companies and interview for positions during Career Fair. Our chemical engineering students have had internships and co-ops at companies like:

      • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
      • Globalfoundries
      • Schenectady International
      • Pall Corporation
      • L'Oreal
      • Procter & Gamble
      • Estee Lauder

      Engineering Project Teams

      Undergraduate chemical engineering students get hands-on experience through our SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience & Design) teams, especially representing the department on our Chem-E Car team, which designs and builds a shoebox-sized car that is powered and stopped by chemical reactions and competes in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE Competition each year. Any major can join any of our 12 SPEED teams, with chemical engineers joining other teams like Human-Powered Vehicle, FIRST Robotics, Baja SAE, Concrete Canoe and Formula SAE.

      In 2020, Clarkson's Chem-E Car team took 1st place in regionals and then tied for third place nationwide, and in 2018 took 4th place nationwide!

      The Student Prototyping Machine Shop is a fully equipped engineering machine shop for student use. Manual lathes and mills, an extensive welding lab, water jet cutting, as well as computer driven machining centers are provided for students to use for research and engineering competitions. Multidisciplinary Project Team Undergraduate Courses (MT Courses) are offered to all students who are interested in learning everything from basic shop skills, lathes, milling, welding, MasterCam and CNC Machining. Students also use the Innovation Hub, a University-wide resource hosted by Clarkson Ignite, to hone their skills and ideas using state-of-the-art technology.

      Undergraduate chemical engineering students on Clarkson University's Chem-e-car engineering design competition team pose for a photo after winning the 2020 regional competition

      Chemical Engineering Student Clubs

      Undergraduate students from Clarkson's National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) talk to prospective students during Open House

      Clarkson chemical engineering students can get involved outside the classroom through over 200 clubs and organizations on campus, including several related to engineering. These include:

      • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
      • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
      • Engineers for International Sustainability (EIS)
      • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
      • Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society
      • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
      • Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)
      • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
      • Tau Beta Pi - National Engineering Honor Society
      What's your purpose? Achieve it here.