Bachelor of science in chemical engineering

    Chemical engineering student in lab

    Immerse yourself in a collaborative, supportive environment where students learn from a team of diverse faculty who are leaders in their fields.  The bachelor of science in chemical engineering at Wayne State University starts with a hands-on design experience using 3D printing, followed by training in Python programing so students can later incorporate state-of-the-art machine learning into their studies.

    Our program provides students with engineering fundamentals that serve as the foundation for our two-semester process design sequence.  Students graduate from our program with excellent technical and oral and written communication skills, and are well prepared for careers in industry or graduate education.

    What you'll learn in chemical engineering

    With a bachelor's in chemical engineering from Wayne State University, you'll be able to:

    • Solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
    • Apply engineering design principles to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
    • Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
    • Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
    • Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
    • Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
    • Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

    Learn the difference between a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and a B.S. in chemistry. 

    Curriculum for the B.S. in chemical engineering

    In the B.S. in chemical engineering program, you will learn how to integrate math, chemistry and physics to solve complex engineering problems.  Students gain expertise in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, separations, reactor design and process safety, which serve as the foundation for process design. In our capstone program, students work on a problem provided by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and may compete in the annual design competition.

    Our bachelor’s curriculum requires students earn 128 total credits. These are distributed as chemical engineering (47), basic engineering (13), math (16), chemistry (16), physics (8) and technical communication (6); the remainder of credits come from university-required general education courses.  Students can earn up to three credits towards their degree by participating in a career preparation course (BE 1050) and two semesters of internship of co-op.  Students may also earn degree credit by participating in undergraduate research.

    Review the chemical engineering program curriculum.

    Real-world experiences and opportunities in chemical engineering

    Our department offers an exceptional professional development experience for students.  We have a large network of alumni who are highly motivated to support the success of the next generation of WSU chemical engineers. Collaboration between past graduates of our program and our active AIChE student chapter has led to numerous resources for career exploration, coaching on resume writing, interviewing and other topics such as salary negotiation. We have also developed a class (BE 1050) to prepare students for their first internship or co-op experience.  By the time of graduation, nearly all of our students have participated in one internship/co-op experience; in 2023, over 80% of our students had offers of full-time employment in their field after graduation. 

    In addition to industry experience, students can work in research labs under faculty mentorship. Students can start undergraduate research as early as their first year at WSU, and many positions are funded through either the UROP program or as supplements faculty research grants from the National Science Foundation and other agencies.

    Learn how our hands-on experience and undergraduate research prepares students for the real world.

    Accelerate your master’s degree with AGRADE (4+1)

    The Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) program at Wayne State empowers you to complete your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years. If you are accepted into AGRADE, talk to your advisor to develop a plan of work for 16 credits of coursework that contribute to both your BS and MS in chemical engineering degrees.

    Career outlook for individuals with a B.S. in chemical engineering

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected employment of chemical engineers to rise 8% from 2022 to 2033, which is faster than the national average in other occupations. Additionally, the 2023 AIChE Salary Survey shows the median salary for chemical engineers is $150,000. The same salary survey found new graduates median starting salary to be $74,500.

    Chemical engineers impact nearly every aspect of modern life. They are involved in the production, transportation and storage of energy in all forms, as well as the production of food, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, adhesives, coatings, biomaterials, plastics and composite materials.  Chemical engineers may also work in environmental operations, and/or be responsible for the production of clean water.  Chemical engineers play important roles in addressing the 14 grand challenges identified by the National Academy of Engineering.

    Top 10 accomplishments of chemical engineering

    1. Powering expanding economies
    2. Broadening energy options
    3. Dealing with an ever more crowded environment
    4. Processing sulfur containing fuels
    5. Living better through chemistry and plastics
    6. Stretching resources
    7. Manufacturing products in profusion
    8. Making food more available and convenient
    9. Delivering new medicines and prosthetics
    10. Empowering Moore’s Law

    Learn more about chemical engineering

    ABET accreditation

    The Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering program at Wayne State University is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET ABET accreditation provides assurance that our program meets the quality standards of the profession. 

    Why Accreditation Matters ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission logo

    Learn more about Wayne State University's Chemical Engineering program outcomes and ABET accreditation.

    Admission requirements

    To apply as a first-year student, follow our streamlined application process. SAT and ACT scores are optional!

    Students can transfer unlimited number of credits as long as they earn a minimum of 30 credits at WSU. Review our guide for community college transfer students for more on how to navigate the process.

    Our application deadlines are:

    • Fall (September–December) -  Aug. 1
    • Winter (January–April) - Dec. 1
    • Spring/summer (May–August) - April 1

    Apply to our B.S. in chemical engineering degree program

    Applying to Wayne State University's B.S. in chemical engineering program promises more than just a degree. It's your ticket to technical excellence in the field, arming you with the skills to not only tackle challenges but also innovate. Whether it's troubleshooting issues or revolutionizing manufacturing processes and products, this program positions you to make a meaningful impact as a standout chemical engineer.

    Detroit is a special place to live and learn because the community is so diverse. Everyone is so open to ideas and opinions, and I've seen this firsthand when working on class projects and within my student organizations.

    Amy Le

    BSChEM '23