Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (BSChE) Degree

The program leading to the BSChE degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, https://www.abet.org.

Program Learning Outcomes (Student Outcomes) for the BSChE Degree 

Upon completing the BSChE degree, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. An ability to apply engineering design 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.
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. An ability to 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.
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Program Educational Objectives for the BSChE Degree

Within 3 to 5 years of graduation, graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (BSChE) degree are expected to be:

  1. Graduate students, professionals, and entrepreneurs who are moving towards leadership positions as exemplary members of the global workforce; and 
  2. Professionals who practice their societal, environmental, and ethical responsibilities. 

Requirements for the BSChE Degree 

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BSChE degree must complete:

Because of the common core requirements, it is possible for students to change their area of specialization at any time, even after initially declaring the major. To do so, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Chemical Engineering97
Total Credit Hours Required for the BSChE Degree132

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Chemistry 1
CHEM 121GENERAL CHEMISTRY I3
or CHEM 111 AP/OTH CREDIT IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
CHEM 123GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I1
or CHEM 113 AP/OTH CREDIT IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB I
CHEM 122GENERAL CHEMISTRY II3
or CHEM 112 AP/OTH CREDIT IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY II
CHEM 124GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY II1
or CHEM 114 AP/OTH CREDIT IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB II
CHEM 211
CHEM 213
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
and ORGANIC CHEMISTRY DISCUSSION
3
CHEM 217ORGANIC LABORATORY FOR CHEMICAL ENGINEERS1
Select 2 from the following:6
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
and ORGANIC CHEM DISCUSSION II
PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY I
PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY II
Mathematics
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
or MATH 105 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS I
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
or MATH 106 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS II
MATH 211ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND LINEAR ALGEBRA3
MATH 212MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS 23
CAAM 336DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING3
Physics
Select 1 from the following:4
MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
and MECHANICS DISCUSSION
HONORS MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
Select 1 from the following:4
ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
and ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM DISCUSSION
HONORS ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Core Courses
CHBE 301CHEMICAL ENGINEERING FUNDAMENTALS3
CHBE 303COMPUTER-AIDED ANALYSIS OF CHEMICAL AND BIOMOLECULAR PROCESSES2
CHBE 305COMPUTATIONAL METHODS IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING3
CHBE 310FUNDAMENTALS OF BIOMOLECULAR ENGINEERING3
CHBE 343CHEMICAL ENGINEERING LAB I3
CHBE 350PROCESS SAFETY IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING1
CHBE 390CHEMICAL KINETICS AND REACTOR DESIGN3
CHBE 401TRANSPORT PHENOMENA I3
CHBE 402TRANSPORT PHENOMENA II3
CHBE 403DESIGN FUNDAMENTALS4
CHBE 404CHEMICAL ENGINEERING DESIGN4
CHBE 411THERMODYNAMICS I3
CHBE 412THERMODYNAMICS II3
CHBE 443CHEMICAL ENGINEERING LAB II3
CHBE 470PROCESS DYNAMICS AND CONTROL3
Area of Specialization
Select 1 from the following Areas of Specialization (see Areas of Specialization below):12
Biotechnology and Bioengineering
Computational Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering
Sustainability and Energy Engineering
Engineering Breadth
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Chemical Engineering97
University Graduation Requirements *35
Total Credit Hours132

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Areas of Specialization

Students must complete the requirements as listed for one of the following areas of specialization for the BSChE degree program. A minimum of 4 courses (minimum of 12 credit hours) must be taken from one of the areas of specialization as listed below.

Please Note: The following list of approved courses can be used to satisfy the requirements of the area of specialization. Courses not on the list may be taken upon approval of the academic advisor. Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Area of Specialization: Biotechnology and Bioengineering 

To fulfill the BSChE degree requirements, students pursuing the Biotechnology and Bioengineering area of specialization must complete:

  • 1 course (3 credit hours) from the area of specialization Core Requirement
  • 3 courses (9 credit hours) from the area of specialization Elective Requirements
Core Requirement
BIOC 201INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY3
Elective Requirements
Select 3 courses from the following:9
BIOCHEMISTRY I
CELLULAR ENGINEERING
BIOREACTION ENGINEERING
BIOMATERIALS
BIOMECHANICS
FUNDAMENTALS OF NERVE AND MUSCLE ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING INSTRUMENTATION
SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
TRANSPORT PHENOMENA IN BIOENGINEERING
GENE THERAPY
EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX
PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTROL SYSTEMS
FUNDAMENTALS OF MEDICAL IMAGING I
INTRO COMPUTATIONAL SYSTEMS BIOLOGY: MODELING & DESIGN PRINCIPLES OF BIOCHEM NETWORKS
TISSUE ENGINEERING
Total Credit Hours12
 Area of Specialization: Computational Engineering

To fulfill the BSChE degree requirements, students pursuing the Computational Engineering area of specialization must complete:

  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the area of specialization Core Requirements
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the area of specialization Elective Requirements
Core Requirements
CAAM 335MATRIX ANALYSIS3
CAAM 378INTRODUCTION TO OPERATIONS RESEARCH AND OPTIMIZATION3
Elective Requirements
Select 2 courses from the following:6
THEORETICAL NEUROSCIENCE: FROM CELLS TO LEARNING SYSTEMS
NEURAL COMPUTATION
DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS
MODELING MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS
NUMERICAL ANALYSIS II
LINEAR AND INTEGER PROGRAMMING
Total Credit Hours12
 Area of Specialization: Environmental Engineering

To fulfill the BSChE degree requirements, students pursuing the Environmental Engineering area of specialization must complete:

  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the area of specialization Core Requirements
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the area of specialization Elective Requirements
Core Requirements
CEVE 310PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING3
CEVE 434FATE AND TRANSPORT OF CONTAMINANTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT3
Elective Requirements
Select 2 courses from the following:6
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
INTRODUCTION TO AIR POLLUTION CONTROL
SUSTAINABLE WATER PURIFICATION FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD
APPLIED SUSTAINABLE PLANNING AND DESIGN
CHEMISTRY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE LAB
ATMOSPHERIC PROCESSES
HYDROLOGY AND WATER RESOURCES ENGINEERING
ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION RESTORATION
WATER REUSE AND RESOURCE RECOVERY
ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT & HUMAN HEALTH
ENVIRONMENTAL HYDROGEOLOGY
PHYSICAL CHEMICAL PROCESSES FOR WATER QUALITY CONTROL
ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIOREMEDIATION
ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Total Credit Hours12
Area of Specialization: Materials Science and Engineering

To fulfill the BSChE degree requirements, students pursuing the Materials Science and Engineering area of specialization must complete:

  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the area of specialization Core Requirements
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the area of specialization Elective Requirements
Core Requirements
MSNE 301MATERIALS SCIENCE FOR ENGINEERS3
MSNE 402MECH PROPERTIES OF MATERIALS3
Elective Requirements
Select 2 courses from the following:6
BIOMATERIALS APPLICATIONS
COLLOIDAL AND INTERFACIAL PHENOMENA
PROPERTIES OF POLYMERS
QUANTUM MECHANICS FOR ENGINEERS
MATERIALS PROCESSING AND NANOMANUFACTURING
NANOMATERIALS FOR ENERGY
THERMODYNAMICS IN MATERIALS SCIENCE
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SOLIDS
METALLOGRAPHY AND PHASE RELATIONS
CERAMICS AND GLASSES
COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS MODELING
CRYSTALLOGRAPHY & DIFFRACTION
PROPERTIES, SYNTHESIS AND DESIGN OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS
THIN FILMS
Total Credit Hours12
Area of Specialization: Sustainability and Energy Engineering

To fulfill the BSChE degree requirements, students pursuing the Sustainability and Energy Engineering area of specialization must complete:

  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the approved CEVE and CHBE Courses listed below
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the area of specialization Elective Requirements
Approved CEVE and CHBE Courses
Select 2 courses from the following:6
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
SUSTAINABLE WATER PURIFICATION FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD
CHEMISTRY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE LAB
FATE AND TRANSPORT OF CONTAMINANTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT
ENVIRONMENTAL HYDROGEOLOGY
PHYSICAL CHEMICAL PROCESSES FOR WATER QUALITY CONTROL
ENGINEERING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
PETROLEUM PHASE BEHAVIOR AND FLOW ASSURANCE
FLOW AND TRANSPORT THROUGH POROUS MEDIA I
FLOW AND TRANSPORT THROUGH POROUS MEDIA II
Elective Requirements
Select 2 courses from either the CEVE and CHBE course offerings listed above, or from the following:6
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT & HUMAN HEALTH
INDUSTRIAL CATALYSIS AND PETROCHEMICAL PROCESSES
ORGANIC GEOCHEMISTRY
DECISION MAKING AND ECONOMICS IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY
PETROLEUM INDUSTRY ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT
EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICS
GEOLOGICAL AND GEOPHYSICAL FLUID DYNAMICS
Total Credit Hours12
Area of Specialization: Engineering Breadth 

To fulfill the BSChE degree requirements, students pursuing the Engineering Breadth area of specialization must complete:

  • 1 course (3 credit hours) from the area of specialization Core Requirement
  • 3 courses (9 credit hours) from the area of specialization Elective Requirements
Core Requirement
Select 1 course from the following:3
INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY
ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
GEOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES
GLOBAL BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES
MODERN PHYSICS
Elective Requirements
Select 3 courses from at least 3 categories below: 19
Environmental Engineering Courses
PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
MECHANICS OF SOLIDS AND STRUCTURES
FATE AND TRANSPORT OF CONTAMINANTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT
Materials Science Engineering Courses
MATERIALS SCIENCE FOR ENGINEERS
MECH PROPERTIES OF MATERIALS
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SOLIDS
PROPERTIES OF POLYMERS
Bioengineering Courses
METABOLIC ENGINEERING
BIOMATERIALS
BIOMECHANICS
TRANSPORT PHENOMENA IN BIOENGINEERING
Sustainability and Energy Courses
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
ENGINEERING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
PETROLEUM PHASE BEHAVIOR AND FLOW ASSURANCE
Computation and Applied Mathematics Course
MATRIX ANALYSIS
Other Approved Engineering Courses
COLLOIDAL AND INTERFACIAL PHENOMENA
FUNDAMENTALS OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING II
ELECTRONIC MATERIALS AND DEVICES
Total Credit Hours12

Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the BSChE Degree 

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the BSChE degree should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering website: https://chbe.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the BSChE Degree

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Fifth-Year Master's Degree Option for Rice Undergraduate Students 

Rice students have an option to pursue the Master of Chemical Engineering (MChE) degree by adding an additional fifth year to their four undergraduate years of science and engineering studies.

Advanced Rice undergraduate students in good academic standing may apply to the MChE degree program during their junior or senior year. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables, they may then start taking some required courses of the master's degree program. A plan of study will need to be approved by the student's undergraduate advisor and the (MChE) chair of the department graduate studies committee. 

As part of this option and opportunity, Rice undergraduate students:

  • must complete the requirements for a bachelor's degree and the master's degree independently of each other (i.e. no course may be counted toward the fulfillment of both degrees).
  • should be aware there could be financial aid implications if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time status (12 credit hours).
  • more information on this Undergraduate - Graduate Concurrent Enrollment opportunity, including specific information on the registration process can be found here.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering website: https://chbe.rice.edu/