- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Chemical engineers devise innovative solutions to today's most pressing challenges—addressing our needs for clean, sustainable energy, maintaining and remediating the environment, and maintaining and improving the health of people everywhere. Chemical engineers develop new products, design new chemical plants, and keep existing plants running better, safer, and more environmentally sound. At WSU, we provide an education that prepares you to help meet these challenges, preparing you to become a leader.
- Strengths of the program
- WSU has a strong reputation for producing hands-on, industry-ready engineers who lead their companies and find solutions to problems small and large.
- The chemical engineering program provides opportunities for students to partner with industry and government and participate in hands-on research.
- You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- An active student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Among the activities of this group is the Chemically Powered Car Competition.
- Companies like to hire WSU chemical engineering graduates because of their sound and practical education and for their leadership experiences outside the classroom.
- The College of Engineering and Architecture offers a nationally accredited bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.
- Areas of focus
Chemical Engineering provides a broad education designed to prepare students to address society’s most challenging problems: Development of energy systems that allow us to enjoy a high quality, environmentally friendly lifestyle, development and application of new technologies to remove pollutants and/or transform them to environmentally benign chemicals, and understanding the molecular and cellular processes that promote health in an increasingly aging population. Our research foci include:
- Catalysis for environmental and energy systems
- Molecular and Cellular Engineering, including:
- Biofilm engineering
- Muscle systems, from proteins to fibers
- Engineering Education
- Signature courses
Some of the core courses and chemical engineering electives that you could take:
Chemical Process Principles
Kinetics and Reactor Design
Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer
Chemical Engineering Separations
Process Control/Process Analysis and Design
Classical Physical Chemistry
Biomedical Engineering Principles
Integrated Envirochemical Engineering
Find out more about the chemical engineering major from the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering.
Note: See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Transfer information
To certify your major in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, you will need to complete specific prerequisite courses. Use our list of transfer equivalencies to make sure you take the right transfer courses at your current college.
Also check out the University's transfer student guide for more information on transferring to WSU.
- Facilities and equipment
WSU offers you the benefit of world-class lab facilities. Two privately endowed funds ensure support for equipment, so you can be sure that you're getting experience with the latest in chemical engineering technology.
- The Voiland School has 12 laboratories in the Engineering Teaching and Research Laboratory (ETRL) building, including the O.H. Reaugh Laboratory for Oil and Gas Processing.
- The Voiland School's unit operations laboratory includes upgraded equipment such as a distillation tower, an ion exchange column equipped with multiple detectors, and an absorption tower modified for use of amine solutions.
- Computerized data acquisition has been implemented on many pieces of equipment.
- Additional laboratories are located within the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine, enabling close collaborations with health-care researchers and professionals.
- The Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL), a new facility located on the WSU Tri-Cities campus, allows chemical engineering students to work with scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on solutions to some of the nation's largest energy problems.
- Scholarships and financial aid
For chemical engineering students
The College of Engineering and Architecture offers more than 300 scholarships a year to first- and second-year students. The Voiland school awards approximately $65,000 annually to students who have certified their majors (typically in the junior year) and show leadership and academic promise.
For all students
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs. Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
Students should complete the Washington State University general scholarship application and the FAFSA to ensure their eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.
For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
Strong high school preparation in the sciences and mathematics
Minimum of four years high school math—including trigonometry—and one year each of chemistry and physics
Enjoy solving problems and working with people and in teams
Have some background in chemistry, math, and sciences
- Careers in chemical engineering
Chemical engineers often work in the processing industries, where 70,000 consumer products—such as computer chips, foods, paper products, plastics, fuels, dyes, synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, and many others—are produced by 7,000 companies in 12,000 plants in the United States. Industries and government agencies employ chemical engineers for energy production, transportation, environmental protection, electronics, computing, and medicine.
They also work for companies around the world in offices, plants, in the field, or at other locations. Chemical engineering can be a springboard to other careers, such as consulting, law, medicine, business, policymaking or government, technical marketing and sales, plant management, research, and teaching.
Demand for chemical engineering graduates is high. Starting salaries for new graduates exceed $50,000 per year.
Northwest organizations such as BP, Boeing, Weyerhaeuser, Intel, Micron, Battelle Pacific Northwest National Labs, and Hanford contractors actively recruit WSU graduates, as do smaller companies in the region and international companies of all sizes.