Curriculum Changes

Several large changes to the BS Chemical Engineering requirements are being made in the 2018-2019 catalog.  (The 2018-2019 catalog is the official requirements for students entering BYU and declaring chemical engineering as a major beginning Fall 2018.) Many of these changes will not affect students who declared chemical engineering as a major prior to Fall 2018, but some are important to understand.  This page summarizes these changes.  A smaller change for the 2017-2018 catalog, regarding Econ 110 and EngT 231 is also explained below.

Engineering Problem Solving through Experiential Learning (EPSEL)

The 2018-2019 catalog has a requirement, Engineering Problem Solving through Experiential Learning, that is part of the Technical Elective.  As part of this, the total number of hours of the technical elective is 15 compared to the 12 of the previous program.  The total number of credits has not changed as is described in the next section about Organic Chemistry Changes.

Courses and Combinations of Courses Satisfying the EPSEL Requirement include: CH EN 461 (3 credits), CH EN 499 (3 credits), CH EN 199R (1 credit) + CH EN 496 (2 credits), ENG T 497R (3 credits), ME EN 475 + ME EN 476 (6 total credits). EPSEL courses are classified as ENG.

CH EN 461, 496, and 499 are new courses introduced in the 2018-2019 catalog.  Most students will satisfy the EPSEL requirement through the 3-credit, CH EN 461-Chemical Engineering Problem Solving through Experiential Learning course.  CH EN 496-Academic Internship Thesis is a course taken concurrently or after 199R-Academic Internship and is for students who have a rigorous-enough internship to satisfy the EPSEL requirements.  CH EN 499-Mentored Research and Thesis is a 3-credit course likely taken after students have taken CH EN 498R-Undergraduate Research.  This option is for students who have done enough original research with a faculty member that they can write a thesis on the work that fulfills the EPSEL requirements.

More information on EPSEL can be found here.


Organic Chemistry Changes

In Fall 2018, the chemistry department will begin teaching Chem 357 - Industrial Organic Chemistry.  This 3-credit, single class is replacing the two, 3-credit course sequence of Chem 351/352.  For students on the 2018-2019 catalog, the three credits this new course frees up is added to the ENG portion of the Technical Elective.  For these students, at least 3 hours of technical elective must be from courses that focus on Engineering Problem Solving through Experiential Learning (EPSEL).

Students may still take the two-course sequence of Chem 351/352.  This is only recommended if 6 credits of organic chemistry are required for post-graduation plans such as medical and dental school.  For such students, the second course may count towards EMSB elective.

Chem 353-Organic Chemistry Lab may be taken whether students take Chem 357 or Chem 351/352.

Course Planning Recommendations

  • F2018 and later Catalog Years
    • Take Chem 357 if the two-course sequence is not required for future professional goals such as medical or dental school.
    • Take Chem 351/352 if planning on attending medical/dental school or perhaps if desiring to specialize in bio-related fields.
  • Pre-F2018 Catalog Years
    • Take either Chem 357 or Chem 351/352
      • If you have already taken Chem 351, finish the series and complete Chem 352.
    • If Chem 357 is taken, three hours are added to the EMSB portion of the technical elective.


Unit Operations Laboratory and Fundamentals Labs

Beginning Fall 2018, students will no longer take two, 2-credit, senior-year Unit Operations Lab classes.  Instead, students will take one, 2-credit, senior-year Unit Operations Lab and four, 0.5-credit, Fundamentals Lab courses spread throughout the curriculum.  The total number of credit hours remains unchanged.  

The new UO Lab course is numbered CH EN 479.

The new Fundamentals lab courses are CH EN 285, 345, 385, and 445.

Course Planning Recommendations

  • F2018 and later Catalog Years
    • Take CH EN 285, 345, 385, 445, and 479
  • Pre-F2018 Catalog Years
    • Take CH EN 475 and 477


ChEn 291 and 391

Beginning Fall 2018, ChEn 391 will be replaced with a combination of ChEn 291 and ChEn 391.  Prior to Fall 2018, ChEn 391 was a 1-credit course where each student prepared and gave two presentations (1 technical, 1 business), learned job-search skills, listened to industrial speakers, and went on a field trip.  Now, students will take ChEn 291 for 0.5 credits in the sophomore year to learn job-search and resume-building skills, and ChEn 391 for 0.5 credits in the junior year to learn how to give presentations. Both ChEn 291 and ChEn 391 are block classes.

Course Planning Recommendations

  • Any student who has not taken ChEn 391 prior to Fall 2018 is required to take both ChEn 291 and ChEn 391.
  • ChEn 291 should be taken as a sophomore.
  • ChEn 391 should be taken as a junior.
  • Students who were planning on taking ChEn 391 for 1 credit during (or after) the 2018-2019 school year should take both ChEn 291 and ChEn 391.


Econ 110 and EngT 231

Beginning Fall 2017, students are no longer required to take EngT 231.  Instead, students are required to take Econ 110.

Course Planning Recommendations

  • No chemical engineering students should take EngT 231 in the future--even if on a pre-2017 catalog.  The department will automatically substitute Econ 110 for EngT 231 for such students.
  • Econ 110 should be taken early in the curriculum as the principles learned there are valuable for understanding concepts taught in the junior and senior years.
  • Unlike EngT 231, Econ 110 does not count for the Global and Cultural Awareness (GCA) requirement of the University Core (GE).  However, if courses are carefully chosen, this will not increase the time to graduation.  Specifically, students should understand the relationship between History of Civ II, Arts, Letters, and GCA as explained here.


Course Offering Schedule

  Sections Taught Per Semester
Course F17 W18 F18 W19 F19 W20 F20 W21 F21 W22 F22 W23
Chem 357 1 1 1 1 1
ChEn 291 1   1   1   1   1  
ChEn 391 new 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2
ChEn 285   1 1 1 1
ChEn 311 1   1   1 1   1   1   1
ChEn 345   1 1 1
ChEn 385   1 1 1
ChEn 386   1   1   1 1   1   1  
ChEn 445     1 1
ChEn 479   3 1 3 1
ChEn 461   1 1
ChEn 496 1 1 1 1
ChEn 499
ChEn 391 old 5 3
ChEn 475 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 0
ChEn 477 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 0


  • "ChEn 391 new" refers to ChEn 391 taught F2018 and after.  It is a 0.5 credit course that meets on the block. (See Section "ChEn 291 and 391" above.)
  • "ChEn 391 old" refers to ChEn 391 taught before F2018.  It is a 1 credit course. (See Section "ChEn 291 and 391" above.)