Chemical Engineering

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Two researchers examining beaker.
Degree Type
B.A.
B.S.
H.B.A.
H.B.S.
M.S.
MEng
Minor
Ph.D.
Location
Corvallis Campus
Table of contents

Description

Chemical engineers discover, design, and create processes to transform matter, whether they’re using controlled reactions to create useful products or advanced theory and computational techniques to design entirely new molecules or materials from scratch. Chemical engineers drive the manufacture of commodity chemicals, pharmaceuticals, fuels, and fertilizers, as well as functional materials such as semiconductors, polymers, and nanoparticles. Their work is critical to creating solutions for global challenges such as renewable energy, carbon capture, clean water, and the development of sustainable/recyclable materials.

Students who choose chemical engineering at Oregon State University will gain a solid background in chemistry (general, organic, and physical), thermodynamics, and transport phenomena, in addition to calculus, physics, and core engineering studies. Advanced coursework includes mass transfer operations, chemical reaction engineering, and chemical plant design. All students complete a capstone design project.

Our diverse faculty pursue a variety of research interests, with concentrations of expertise in surface chemistry/catalysis, reaction engineering, and computational modeling/simulation. Areas of interest include renewable energy (including battery chemistry, solar cells, hydrogen production, fuel cell technology, thermal energy storage), microreactors, advanced sensors, nanoparticles, semiconductors, and smart surfaces.
 

Undergraduate Information

  • Electrical Fundamentals  
  • Statics  
  • Thermodynamics  
  • Transport Phenomena  
  • Chemical Reaction Engineering  

Full list of requirements Sample class plan

  • Biomedical Engineering Society Student Chapter  
  • Chemical, Biological, & Environmental Engineering Student Club  
  • Engineers Without Borders - Oregon State University  

Search all clubs  

Have a question about a club? Ask the Engineering Student Council.

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Riley Humbert portrait.

“Chemical engineering involves a lot of problem solving, which I really like. And once you get out into the industry, there's a lot of hands on work that goes into chemical engineering and a lot of moving around rather than just sitting at a desk.” –Riley Humbert, B.S. chemical engineering ’21. Read about Riley Humbert’s experience at Oregon State. 

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As a first-year student, Carly Thorkildson dug into research right away. She joined a project with researchers in engineering, agriculture, and environmental systems to investigate how rain gardens can remove contaminants from stormwater.

Former classmates collaborate on cancer therapies   
Brynn Olden and Anthony Amsberry have been friends since they were both students at Oregon State a decade ago. Working together after all this time has been an unexpected bonus for both of them.  

From Zimbabwe to Corvallis 
Blessed Ndlovu, B.S. chemical engineering ’20, reflects on how far he’s come — and what he misses most — from his rural African home, 10,000 miles away. 

Graduate Information

Requirements

The School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering offers Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), Master of Science (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Chemical Engineering. A Master's degree is not required to apply for the Ph.D. program.

Students can choose from among the following areas of concentration: Biochemical Reactors; Biotechnology; Electrochemical Deposition; Environmentally Benign Manufacturing; Fluidization Engineering; Materials Synthesis and Processing; Micro Energy and Chemical Systems; Polymer Rheology and Processing; Process Control/Optimization; Thin Film Processing; and Waste Minimization and Sustainable Processing. All programs are tailored to individual student needs and professional goals. A diversity of faculty interests, broadened and reinforced by cooperation between CBEE and other engineering departments and research centers on campus, makes tailored individual programs possible. The department originates and encourages programs ranging from those that are classically chemical engineering to those that are distinctly interdisciplinary.

Questions? Need additional information or clarification? Please contact us at cbee-gradinfo@oregonstate.edu.

To become a CBEE graduate student you must be admitted to Oregon State University through both the Graduate School and the School of CBEE. The faculty in CBEE examine the material submitted to determine adequacy of academic background and to decide whether facilities in the School are adequate for the expressed aims of the student. The Graduate School will determine whether the general university conditions for admission have been met. Applicants will be notified by the Graduate School as to the action taken. A critical consideration in the decision is whether the applicant's academic objectives can be satisfactorily fulfilled. CBEE does not have the capacity to accommodate all applicants who meet the minimum admission requirements. Applicants to the school of CBEE graduate program must meet the OSU Graduate School's CBEE minimum admission requirements listed below, and submit a complete application package in order to be considered for admission https://oregonstate.force.com/GradAppLogin.

International students interested in the Master of Engineering (MEng) program should apply through Master's International Direct.

Only complete applications will be reviewed and considered for admission.

Application Cycles/Deadlines

CBEE only accepts students for the fall term.  We do not allow admissions for winter or spring terms.

  • Application deadline for MS and PhD programs: December 15, 2022.
  • Applications deadline for MEng program: May 1, 2023.

Assistantships/Funding

The School of CBEE application process is highly competitive and we normally make no more than 10-15 offers of support (assistantships) per year. Applicants with a very strong record and particular aptitude for graduate research may be offered an assistantship which provides a stipend and tuition remission. We can't guarantee that you will always be awarded funding. These are offered each February for the upcoming school year. Graduate assistants may work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. If you are not awarded funding you should be prepared to be a self-supporting student. Also, due to the limited number of assistantships available, a preference is awarded to doctoral students and masters students are generally not financially supported by the School. Applicants to the School of CBEE do not need to complete a separate application in order to be considered for assistantships.

For full-consideration of all available funding opportunities, applicants must submit a complete application packet by December 15. A complete application packet consists of the completed application, 3 letters of reference (included in application process), resume/CV, language proficiency scores (if applicable), and copies of transcripts from all post-secondary coursework.

Grade Point Average

The School of CBEE requires a four-year baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent), a professional degree, or an appropriate U.S./Canadian alternative degree, from a regionally accredited (US) or recognized (International) college or university, with a cumulative B average (equivalent 3.00 on a U.S. 4.00 grading scale) on the most recent baccalaureate degree or any subsequent graduate degree from a regionally accredited (US) or recognized (International) college or university, plus all work completed thereafter.

Or

A four-year baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent), a professional degree, or an appropriate U.S./Canadian alternative degree, from an regionally accredited (US) or recognized (International) college or university, and a 45-quarter credit equivalent graduate degree from a regionally accredited (US) or recognized (International) college or university, with a cumulative B average (equivalent 3.00 on a U.S. 4.00 grading scale) on the most recent graduate degree.

GRE

The GRE is not required for application/admission into our programs.

Language Proficiency

The CBEE minimum TOEFL is 580 (237 computer, 92-93 iBT with a minimum score of 18 on each section). TOEFL must be less than two years old at the time you will start your studies. The IELTS is accepted as well. The minimum score is 6.5. Language Proficiency tests are not required for US citizens or those who received their undergraduate degree from an English speaking country institution.  If your scores do not meet the minimum requirements you are encouraged to seek admission through the INTO Graduate Pathways Program.

Degree Programs

CBEE offers three degree programs in Chemical Engineering.  Students may apply directly to the program of their choice:

Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) - coursework only masters degree 
Master of Science (M.S.) - research/thesis-based masters degree
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) - research/thesis-based doctoral degree 

-- A Master's degree is not required to apply for the Ph.D. program.

Applying for Admission

1. Materials that must be submitted electronically

  • Application for Graduate Admission: online application form Graduate Application. (International students interested in the Master of Engineering (MEng) program should apply through Master's International Direct.)
  • Fee: $75 for domestic students, $85 for international students (by credit card as part of online application)
  • Statement of Objectives (part of online application)
  • Resume/CV
  • Recommendation Letters: You must provide the names and email addresses of three professional references as part of the online application. The references will be sent instructions on how to submit their letters and you will have the ability to manage those reference requests after submitting the application.
  • TOEFL: You must self-report your scores as part of the online application. You must also request that TOEFL send your scores to OSU. Scores must be no older than 2 years at the time when your graduate studies start.
  • Applicants can upload documents during and after the application process.

2. Provide the following to the Graduate School:

  • Application materials may be scanned and uploaded into your online application.
  • If you upload documents to the online application, do not send them to the Graduate School via regular mail or email. Sending duplicate documents slows the processing of your application.
  • If you choose not to use the document upload system, please send all materials to this mailing address:

    Graduate School
    Oregon State University
    Heckart Lodge
    2900 SW Jefferson Way
    Corvallis, OR 97331-2121

If admitted you will be required to submit official documentation of all academic work attempted or completed prior to registration for courses. This includes all official transcripts/academic records, degree statements, test scores, etc. A list of required documents will be included on your formal letter of admission from the Graduate School. Further information about what is required for an official academic record can be found in the Newly Admitted section.

Questions? Need additional information or clarification? Please contact us at cbee-gradinfo@oregonstate.edu

 

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A picture of Kingsley Chukwu looking at a piece of machinery.

Intel engineer adapts computational chemistry skills learned at Oregon State  
After obtaining his Ph.D. from Oregon State University’s College of Engineering in 2021, Kingsley Chukwu has transitioned to a successful career as an electronic design automation tools software engineer at Intel. However, Chukwu is not your typical software engineer; while he has a minor in computer science, his degree is in chemical engineering with a focus on computational chemistry. 

Oregon State researchers develop computer model to predict whether a pesticide will harm bees 
Researchers in the Oregon State University College of Engineering have harnessed the power of artificial intelligence to help protect bees from pesticides. 

Kelsey Stoerzinger earns Department of Energy early career award 
Kelsey Stoerzinger will design and test catalysts that facilitate the conversion of nitrate into ammonia more efficiently and sustainably than current methods. 

Chemical reactions enhance efficiency of key energy storage method, OSU research shows  
Research led by Nick AuYeung has uncovered a way to improve the efficiency of a type of grid-scale storage crucial for a global transition toward renewable energy.  

OSU research pushes auto industry closer to clean cars powered by direct ethanol fuel cells 
Zhenxing Feng of the OSU College of Engineering helped lead the development of a catalyst that solves three key problems long associated with DEFC, as the cells are known: low efficiency, the cost of catalytic materials and the toxicity of chemical reactions inside the cells.

Clean water: Going beneath the surface 
Lewis Semprini, Distinguished Professor of environmental engineering, discusses strategies for bioremediation, using microorganisms to break down dangerous chemicals into harmless end-products.

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Kelsey Stoerzinger, assistant professor and Callahan Faculty Scholar in Chemical Engineering, is inspired by the College of Engineering’s supportive culture for women, both faculty and students. "I think there are a lot of great support systems. … I'm thriving here because people support my career and me as a person on every level," she said.  

Accreditation

The Bachelor of Science & Honors Bachelor of Science degree programs in Chemical Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Program Educational Objectives

Alumni of the Chemical Engineering program will be work-ready engineers, problem solvers, responsible professionals, and interdisciplinary collaborators. Specifically, based on the needs of the program’s constituencies, within a few years of graduation chemical engineering alumni will have:

  1. Obtained professional employment in a company, institute or agency within the chemical or related industries, entered a graduate program in chemical engineering or a related field or gained admission to a professional program such as medicine, law or business.
  2. Created value by applying appropriate modern chemical engineering tools to the analysis, design, and control of chemical, physical, and/or biological processes, including the hazards associated with these processes.
  3. Continued to develop their skills and knowledge through professional activities including FE/PE certifications, memberships in professional organizations and continuing education courses in order to fulfill their professional and ethical responsibilities though lifelong learning.
  4. Demonstrated good communication skills and worked effectively in cross-functional team environments comprised of a diverse set of members with varying organizational backgrounds, positions, and geographic locations.

Student Outcomes

The graduates of the chemical engineering undergraduate program must demonstrate that they have: 

  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.