What is Chemical Engineering?

Why Should I Choose It As A Major?

Chemical engineering is the analysis or design of chemical systems to effectively convert materials into more useful materials or into energy. It has the following features:

A Versatile Degree

A Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from BYU is a great degree to have to stay competitive in the 21st century for the following reasons:

Variety of Career Options
Pharmaceuticals Petroleum
Biomedical Chemicals
Biotechnology Defense
Nanotechnology Textiles
Petroluem Consumer Goods
Chemicals Graduate School
Environment Medical/Dental School
Semiconductors Law/Business School


Broad Training in Fundamental Sciences
Chemistry Biology
Physics Math


Advanced Training in Fundamental Sciences
Chemical Reactions Heat/Mass Transport
Thermodynamics Process Control


Problem-Solving Experiences
Team Learning Active Learning
Project-Based Learning Hands-on Laboratories

It touches every aspect of our lives

There is hardly a single moment of the day when you are not in contact with, surrounded by, or influenced by products that are a result of chemical engineering. Just a few examples include clothing (fabric and dyes), paint, paper, plastics, soaps, cosmetics, food products, medications, and semiconductors.

It is extremely versatile

Chemical engineering combines mathematics with the three basic physical sciences : chemistry, physics, and biology, which can be used to describe nearly all physical phenomena. Because of this versatility, chemical engineers make valuable contributions in a very broad spectrum of fields, from food processing to semiconductor fabrication and from oil refining to artificial-organ development.

It leads to many kinds of careers

Our graduates successfully pursue a variety of paths, including full and part-time work, graduate school, and professional degrees in law, business or medicine. The innovative problem-solving skills you learn here will also help as you serve in your professions, families and communities.

It addresses today's pressing problems

The powerful tools of chemical engineering provide leadership in attacking the most vital and challenging issues of our day, including:

  • generating energy
  • saving the environment
  • advancing biomedicine
  • developing electronics
  • enhancing food production
  • improving materials

It is challenging and rewarding

Chemical engineers deal with exciting new problems daily and are called upon to employ innovation in creating new technologies and solving problems in existing technologies.They also receive among the highest salaries for college graduates.

Come and talk with us!

One way to learn more about chemical engineering is to come and talk to us! Faculty members are available to visit with potential students who would like to learn more about what we do. In addition the Department of Chemical Engineering at BYU has produced a video about the program and the profession that we would be happy to share with you. Come in to the department office at 350 Clyde Building and we will be happy to let you watch it and help you evaluate your interest.

Are you up for a challenge?

Another very good way to obtain a greater understanding of the chemical engineering field and to determine your interest and aptitude for this field is to enroll in the BYU course Ch En 170, Introduction to Chemical Engineering, in either Fall or Winter semester. Students in the class become familiar with the breadth of chemical engineering and our unique approach to solving problems. Students also get the rewarding experience of working on an open-ended design project. The textbook was written by two BYU ChemE faculty members and is now being used by other universities as well. After completing the course, students often remark that they have a much better understanding of what chemical engineering is all about and have a better idea as to their interest and potential to succeed in the field.

To learn more about what is required in this major, please visit our Major Requirements page.