Frequently Asked Questions

How many credits should I take per semester?

A credit load of 14-16 credit hours is generally a healthy full-time academic load for a semester, and we recommend not exceeding those numbers. (Note: for Spring or Summer terms, which compress a semester into half the time, 7-8 credits is a recommended maximum.) Further, you will learn that technical courses (e.g. science, math, and engineering) require more work and time than many other courses, so the full-time loads recommended above should usually include at least one non-technical class per semester.

Is a part-time job really a bad idea?

A full academic load in chemical engineering requires a great deal of your time and effort. In fact, when considering the time for classes, studies, assignments, and the daily activities of life (sleep, hygiene, meals, exercise, and spiritual food), it's a full-time life! Depending on the number of credit hours that you take in a semester, the remaining "free" time available for such activities as a job are very limited (usually less than 10 hours/week). If your financial situation requires you to work, you may need to reduce your academic load accordingly. The following formula provides an approximate guideline for the maximum number of hours you should commit to a job (it may need to be reduced to accommodate job preparation and travel time):

Maximum Work Hours per Week = 60 - 3.5 x Credit Hours

Caution! Don't let your experience in high school and/or a community college tempt you to underestimate the time you will need to be successful in chemical engineering at BYU. It is a common (and painful) mistake made by many new students. Adhere to the above formula for at least your first year. Then, you will know better how to adjust this formula for your own personal circumstances.

If I am a Freshman and I want to major in Chemical Engineering, what classes should I begin taking?

Registration in the correct classes is important to avoid delaying graduation by a year or two. The class schedule in the BYU Chemical Engineering Department is very full, and requires four full years of course work. Meet with academic advisor in our department to help avoid unnecessary delays in graduation!  You can then contact the advisor by phone or email (801-422-4162 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). You should look at the flow charts available here to select the correct courses.

As a freshman, the most important classes to take are below.

Entry Level Classes
Chemical Engineering (ChEn 170 or ChEn 191)
Chemistry (Chem 111 or Chem 105)
Calculus (Math 112)

To graduate in four years, you must take four semesters of chemistry and four semesters of math in the first two years at the university (before you start junior year).  If you do not take Math 112 and Chem 111 (or Chem 105) your first semester, then you will be behind.

How do I know if AP courses I have taken are given credit at BYU?

Many of our incoming students have AP credit for Math, Chemistry, English, and/or Physics. If you received AP Chemistry credit, please note the instructions on our webpage for required chemistry classes. More generally, you should look at the BYU website explaining AP credit, or if you have not yet started BYU you can talk to the academic adviser in the the Chemical Engineering. Having AP credit in required classes allows students to take other classes normally not taken until later, thereby reducing the otherwise-heavy course loads in later semesters. Your advisor can help you decide which classes to take early.

Are there any classes that double as a GE Requirement and a Major Requirement?

The university's general education program (University Core) is designed to broaden your education and enrich your experience at the university. However, because of the large number of courses required for graduation in chemical engineering, it is desirable to be as efficient as possible in fulfilling course requirements. A full description of the current GE program can be found here and should be studied carefully. However, the following guidelines show the most efficient plan for satisfying the GE core:

GE Requirements Satisfied by Major Requirements

GE RequirementMajor Requirement
Quantitative Reasoning Math 112
Languages of Learning Math 302
Advanced Writing Engl 316
Biology Biology 100
Physical Science Physics 121 and Chem 111
Social Science Econ 110

Note: Bio 130, MMBio 221, MMBio 240, or PDBio 120 can also be taken.  Bio 100 counts but is not recommended.  See here for more information.


Tips for Double Counting GE Requirements

GE RequirementTip
History of Civilization, Arts, Letters, GCA

For catalog years F2017 and later, the four GE requirements for CIV II, ARTS, LTRS, and GCA can be satisfied by taking only two courses if carefully choses as explained below.  This approach works because most CIV II courses also fulfill either ARTS or LTRS and some ARTS and LTRS courses count for GCA.

  • Take a CIV II/LTRS course (like  CL CV 202) AND an ARTS/GCA course (like MUSIC 203)
  • Take a CIV II/ARTS course (like  ARTHC 202) AND a LTRS/GCA course (like IHUM 242)

You can also fulfill GCA by taking certain religion coures such as REL 352, 357, and 358.

See here for the offical university list on GE course counting. 

History of Civilization, Arts, Letters

For catalog years F2010 - Su2017, GCA was fulfilled with EngT 231. With careful planning, students graduating on one of these prior catalog years can fulfill the remining three requirements (CIV II, ARTS, LTRS) by taking only two courses as explained below.

  • Take a CIV II/ARTS course AND any LTRS course.
  • Take a CIV II/LTRS course AND any ARTS course.

Again, this can only be done if you take EngT 231.

See here for the officaly university list on GE course counting. 

In addition to the requirements listed in the previous two tables, the following GE core requirements must be met:

  1. English 150 (or English 115 if using AP, transfer, or independent study credit)
  2. American Heritage
  3. History of Civilization I
  4. Religion (7 total courses including 2 Book of Mormon, 1 Doc. & Cov., and 1 New Testament, and any course used to double count with GCA -- see above)

What classes should I sign up for as a new transfer student?

If you have one or more semesters of college credit (not just AP credit) and you are being admitted to BYU as a transfer student, then you probably wonder what classes to take your first semester or two at BYU. Actually, to answer that question it may be necessary to plan out additional semesters. Some of your academic credit from courses taken at your previous university will satisfy major and general requirements at BYU, creating a very customized schedule for your individual case. Furthermore, chemical engineering is a busy program with less flexibility than you might imagine, and every semester affects the others. So, not taking a critical course in a particular semester may end up delaying your graduation.

Before you register for classes your first semester at BYU should should seek the advice of the academic adviser, who will also become your advisor for the remainder of your degree program at BYU. Your advisor will help you customize your schedule to meet your needs and optimize your progress toward graduation. For additional information, please see the transfer students page.

What courses does Chemical Engineering offer, and when are they offered?

Below you will find a PDF file you can view, which lists all of the classes and when they are offered.

Chemical Engineering Courses