B.S. Chemical Engineering

The undergraduate curriculum constitutes a four-year accredited program in Engineering leading to a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and requires completion of 187* units. The objective is to meet the standards of excellence at UC San Diego which allows students graduating with this degree to enter the industrial job market.

*Includes 48 units of general education requirements which are shown for Warren College students as an example to fulfill the general education requirements. Students in other colleges need to adjust their plan to match their own college requirements.

Strong emphasis is placed on the development of communication skills, both written and oral. In addition, experiences are provided which enhance the ability of our graduates to work effectively in team efforts. These goals are achieved in a two-quarter senior laboratory (CENG 176A-B) which deals with process design and research. It is through this laboratory that seniors are also exposed to real-world industrial problems since projects in CENG 176A-B are often sponsored and monitored by local companies.

General Catalog Description

The Chemical Engineering program (B.S.) is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET www.abet.org. The curriculum is tailored to provide breadth and flexibility by taking advantage of the strength of basic sciences and other engineering disciplines at UC San Diego. The intention is to graduate chemical engineers who are multidisciplinary and can work in a broad spectrum of industries rather than solely traditional chemical and petrochemical industries.

Areas of specialization are available whereby a graduate can be in a position for a career in nanotechnology, environmental technology, microelectronic device fabrication, materials and polymer processing, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, biomedical engineering, energy and thermal systems, control and system engineering, and so forth.

For students who aspire to pursue a graduate degree and a career in research and development, the units in an area of specialization can be allocated to more fundamental science and engineering courses. These students are also encouraged to perform independent projects in one of the faculty research laboratories or groups.

Whether the career goal is industry, or graduate or professional school, the curriculum has a strong emphasis on developing problem-solving skills and the ability to think and learn independently. The capstone courses are the senior design and process lab courses. Students learn to participate in project teams, refine their communication skills, and work on various design and experimental projects that, over two quarters, introduce them to elements of project planning, execution, analysis, and improvement.

Entering freshmen will follow the new set of coursework guidelines detailed in this section. Continuing students will continue with their current set of coursework guidelines outlined in previous general catalogs. The Student Affairs Office can provide the proper curriculum tables. All students are encouraged to visit the Student Affairs Office or the Department of Chemical and Nano Engineering Website for any clarification and updated information.

Deviations from these programs of study must be approved by the Undergraduate Affairs Committee prior to taking alternative courses. In addition, technical elective (TE) course selections must have departmental approval prior to taking the courses. Courses such as CENG 195, 197, and 198 are not allowed as a technical elective in meeting the upper-division major requirements. CENG 199 can be used as a technical elective only under restrictive conditions. Policy regarding these conditions may be obtained from the department’s Student Affairs Office. To graduate, students must maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.0, and the department requires at least a C– grade in each course required for the major.

Deviations in scheduling CENG upper-division courses are discouraged and require prior approval. All CENG upper-division courses are taught only once per year, and courses are scheduled to be consistent with the curricula as shown in the tables.

General-Education/College Requirements

For graduation, each student must satisfy general education course requirements determined by the student’s college, as well as the major requirements determined by the department. The six colleges at UC San Diego require widely different general education courses, and the number of such courses differs from one college to another. Each student should choose his or her college carefully, considering the special nature of the college and the breadth of general education. Learn more about the different colleges here.

The CENG program allows for general education (G.E.) courses so that students can fulfill their college requirements. Students must develop a program that includes a total of at least twenty-four units in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, not including subjects such as accounting, industrial management, finance, or personnel administration. Students must consult with their college to determine which G.E. courses to take.

Professional Licensing

After graduation, all students are encouraged to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination as the first step in becoming licensed as a professional engineer (PE).  Students graduating from our accredited program can take the PE examination after FE certification and two years of work experience; students graduating from a non-accredited program can take the PE examination after FE certification and four years of work experience. 

For further information on either exam please visit the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) website at https://ncees.org. You can also contact your local Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors at www.bpelsg.ca.gov.

Learn more about the Chemical Engineering major