Engineering Chemical Engineering

Quick points
Attribute Value
College: Engineering
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Hours Required: 135
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.0 for graduation
Minor Available: No
Chief Adviser: Dr. James Hendrix
  1. Intro

Chemical Engineering

COLLEGE: Engineering

MAJOR: Chemical Engineering

DEGREE OFFERED: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering


MINIMUM CUMULATIVE GPA: 2.0 for graduation


CHIEF ADVISER: Dr. James Hendrix


The mission of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln chemical and biomolecular engineering program is to provide qualified students with a foundation in engineering sciences and engineering design methods to prepare them for successful professional careers and to contribute to the needs of society.

In pursuit of the program’s mission, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has established the Educational Objectives given below:

  • Educate students in the principles and methods essential to chemical and biomolecular engineering consistent with the curricular requirements of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).
  • Broaden perspectives of students regarding social issues and responsibilities, ethics and professionalism.
  • Graduate BS chemical engineers recognized for excellence and trained to successfully compete for positions in local, state, and national industry, and enter high quality graduate programs throughout the country.
  • Create and provide access to knowledge that is supportive of the needs of chemical and biomolecular engineering.
  • Foster an intrinsic curiosity for life-long learning
  • Respond to the technical needs for economic development and diversification in the state and region.

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering offers a course of study designed for students who plan careers in a wide variety of industries, ranging from the chemical and process industries to biotechnology, electronics, and the environment. Students receive training in the basic subjects of mathematics, English, and physics in common with other students in engineering, but in addition receive extensive training in chemistry. In various courses the emphasis is placed on the fundamental principles of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass transfer, separation processes, thermodynamics, kinetics, and process dynamics, as well as process economics and design of chemical processes.

The instructional laboratories provide opportunities for students to operate experimental equipment, to test the theories and correlations developed in the classroom, and to design their own experimental equipment for the solution of special problems.

Graduates are qualified to undertake work in research, design, development, production, maintenance, and technical sales in a wide variety of industries including chemicals, petroleum, petrochemicals, rubber, plastics, agricultural chemicals, food, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, paper, fabrics, aircraft, automotive, electronics, energy conversion, and environmental pollution prevention and control.

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is located in Othmer Hall. A state-of-the-art unit operations laboratory, used to give hands-on chemical process experience, is located there. Laboratory equipment is provided for the study of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass transfer, staged operations, process control, thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, and polymerization. The department operates its own microcomputer facility. Additional research equipment is available for independent and graduate study in several areas.


Specific Major Requirements

Any student in the chemical and biomolecular engineering program whose grade point average in required chemical and biomolecular engineering courses is less than 2.4 will be admitted to the required courses of the following year only with the special permission of the department.

First Semester Hours

CHEM 113 Fundamental Chemistry I*4

CHME 113 Intro to Chemical Engineering I2

MATH 106 Analytic Geometry & Calculus I5

ACE Electives6

Choose one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 elective courses.

Total 17

Second Semester Hours

CHEM 114 Fundamental Chemistry II*3

CHEM 116 Quantitative Chemistry Lab*2

CHME 114 Intro to Chemical Engineering II2

MATH 107 Analytic Geometry & Calculus II5

PHYS 211 General Physics I4

Total 16

Third Semester Hours

CHEM 261 Organic Chemistry3

CHEM 263A Organic Chemistry Lab1

CHME 202 Mass & Energy Balances3

ENGM 223 Engineering Statics3

ENGR 20 Sophomore Engineering Seminar0

MATH 208 Analytic Geometry & Calculus III4

PHYS 212 General Physics II4

Total 18

Fourth Semester Hours

CHEM 262 Organic Chemistry3

CHEM 264A Organic Chemistry Lab1

CHME 223 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics I3

CSCE 155N Computer Science I: Engineering & Science Focus3

JGEN 200 Technical Communications I3

MATH 221 Differential Equations3

Total 16

Fifth Semester Hours

Advanced Chemistry3-4

Select from: CHEM 421, CHEM 431, CHEM 441, CHEM 471, or CHEM 481

CHME 323 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics II3

CHME 331 Equilibrium Stage Operations3

CHME 332 Transport Operations I3

ACE Electives3

Choose one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 elective courses.

Total 15-16

Sixth Semester Hours

CHME 312 Chemical Engineering Computation3

CHME 330 Chemical Engineering Lab I3

CHME 333 Transport Operations II3

ELEC 211 Elements of Electrical Engineering I3

Oral Communication Elective3

Choose from ALEC 102, JGEN 300, or COMM 286 (SLO 2).

Total 15

Seventh Semester Hours

CHME 442 Chemical Reactor Engineering & Design3

CHME 452 Chemical Engineering Processing Economics & Optimization3

CHME 462 Automatic Process Control3

Technical Electives6

The 12 hours of technical electives must include at least 3 credit hours of engineering science. All must be approved by the adviser.

ACE Elective3

Choose one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 elective courses.

Total 18

Eighth Semester Hours

CHME 430 Chemical Engineering Lab II4

CHME 453 Chemical Engineering Process Design3

CHME 460 Automatic Process Control Lab1

ENGR 400 Professional Ethics & Social Responsibility1

Technical Electives6

The 12 hours of technical electives must include at least 3 credit hours of engineering science. All must be approved by the adviser.

ACE Elective3

Choose one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 elective courses.

Total 18

Total Credit Hours Required 133-134

* The sequence CHEM 109, CHEM 110, CHEM 221 is an acceptable alternative to CHEM 113, CHEM 114, CHEM 116. However, 3 of the 12 credits of the former are not applicable to the degree and there may be scheduling problems. The student’s adviser should be consulted.

Tracks/Options/Concentrations/Emphases Requirements

Special emphasis options available in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering include:

  • biotechnology/bioengineering
  • environmental engineering
  • materials engineering
  • mathematics and statistics

Technical Electives

The purpose of technical electives is to provide the student with an opportunity to gain new knowledge in an area of engineering or science beyond the basic undergraduate chemical engineering program. The technical electives may be in engineering design, engineering science, physical science, life science, and/or math.

  • A minimum of 12 credit hours of technical electives are required. This must include at least 3 credit hours of engineering science.
  • All technical electives must be approved by a departmental academic adviser prior to registration for the course.
  • Students are expected to complete their technical elective requirements during their junior and senior years with corresponding level of courses.
  • With the pre-approval of the student’s academic adviser, a maximum of 3 credit hours of CHME 499 Senior Problems or CHME 499H Honors Thesis may be applied toward the technical electives requirement.
  • Introductory 100-level courses are not accepted as technical electives.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) high school classes are not allowed as technical electives.
  • Courses lacking a quantitative physical science foundation such as accounting, marketing, economics, or law are normally not acceptable as technical electives.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to select their technical electives from the following list. Course(s) may be taken outside of this list with approval of a departmental academic adviser prior to registration for the course.

CHEM 431/831 Biomolecules & Metabolism (BIOC 431, BIOS 431/831) (4 cr)

CHEM 432/832 Gene Expression & Replication (BIOC 432, BIOS 432/832) (2 cr)

CHEM 441 Inorganic Chemistry (3 cr)

CHEM 471 Physical Chemistry (4 cr)

CHEM 481 Physical Chemistry I (4 cr)

CHEM 482 Physical Chemistry II (4 cr)

CHEM 486/886 Advanced Topics in Biophysical Chemistry (BIOC 486, BIOS 486/886) (3 cr)

CHME 473/873 Biochemical Engineering (3 cr)

CHME 474/874 Advanced Biochemical Engineering (2-6 cr)

BIOS 312 Microbiology (3 cr)

BIOS 206 General Genetics (4 cr)

Environmental Engineering

CIVE 326 Intro to Environmental Engineering (BSEN 326) (3 cr)

CIVE 327 Environmental Engineering Lab (BSEN 327) (1 cr)

CIVE 421 Hazardous Waste Management & Treatment (3 cr)

CIVE 422/822 Pollution Prevention: Principles & Practices (BSEN 422/822) (3 cr)

CIVE 424 Solid Waste Management Engineering (3 cr)

BSEN 455/855 or CIVE 455/855 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Engineering (3 cr)

CHME 489 Air Pollution, Assessment & Control (3 cr) (See CHME 492 for course description.)

ENVR 489 Environmental Studies Seminar (1 cr)

CHEM 421/821 Analytical Chemistry (3 cr)

CHEM 423/823 Analytical Chemistry Lab (2 cr)

Materials Engineering

CHME 482/882 Polymers (3 cr)

METL 360 Elements of Materials Science [ES] (4 cr)

METL 460 Mechanical Aspects of Materials (3 cr)

METL 462 X-Ray Diffraction (3 cr)

METL 469/869 Physical Materials Science (3 cr)

METL 471 Electron Microscopy of Materials (3 cr)

METL 473 Corrosion (3 cr)

PHYS 422/822 Intro to Physics & Chemistry of Solids (ELEC 422/822) (3 cr)

ENGM 325 Mechanics of Elastic Bodies (3 cr)

ENGM 380 Elements of Computer-aided Design (3 cr)

Mathematics and Statistics

MATH 314/814 Applied Linear Algebra (Matrix Theory) (3 cr)

MATH 322/822 Advanced Calculus (3 cr)

MATH 324/824 Intro to Partial Differential Equations (3 cr)

STAT 380 Statistics & Applications (MATH 380) (3 cr)


Grade Rules

GPA Requirements

Any student in the chemical and biomolecular engineering program whose grade point average in required chemical and biomolecular engineering courses is less than 2.4 will need special permission of the department to be admitted to the required CHME courses the following year.


University Honors Program

For those students who have been admitted to the University Honors Program, junior- and senior-level chemical and biomolecular engineering classes are available as honors-designated classes (i.e., CHME xxxH) on a “contract basis” between the student and the instructor with approval by the department faculty. The requirement of an honors thesis research project is fulfilled by completion of a minimum of 3 credits of CHME 499H (Honors Thesis) under the direction of a department faculty member. Additional information on the University Honors Program, including admission requirements, can be found in the Honors Program section.


College Admission

College Admission

College Entrance Requirements

Students must have high school credit for (one unit is equal to one high school year):

1. 4 units of mathematics: 2 of algebra, 1 of geometry, 1 of precalculus and trigonometry.

2. 4 units of English.

3. 3 units of natural science that must include 1 unit of physics and 1 unit of chemistry (chemistry requirement waived for students in construction management).

4. 2 units of a single foreign language.

5. 3 units of social studies.

6. Students having a composite ACT score of 28 or greater (or equivalent SAT score) will be admitted to the College of Engineering even if they lack any one of the following: trigonometry, chemistry, or physics.

7. Students having an ACT score of 19 or less in English (or equivalent SAT score) must take ENGL 150 or ENGL 151.

A total of 16 units is required for admission.

Students must have an ACT (enhanced) score of 24 or greater (or equivalent SAT). Students who lack entrance requirements may be admitted based on ACT scores, high school rank and credits, or may be admitted to Pre-Engineering status in the Division of General Studies. Pre-engineering students are advised within the College of Engineering.

Students who lack entrance units may complete precollege training by Independent Study through the UNL Extended Education, in Summer Sessions courses, or as a part of their first or second semester course loads while in the Division of General Studies or other Colleges at UNL.

Students should consult their adviser, their department chair, or the Office of the Dean if they have questions on current policies.

Other Admission Requirements

Students who transfer from other colleges or universities must meet the freshman entrance requirements and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 for Nebraska residents. Nonresidents must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 unless they are transferring from an accredited engineering program, in which case a 2.5 grade point average is acceptable. Students who do not meet this requirement must enroll in another college at the University and achieve a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average in the first 12 hours or more of course work taken at UNL. They may then be considered for admission to the College of Engineering.

The College of Engineering accepts courses for transfer for which a C grade or above was received. Grades of D from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Lincoln, or Omaha may be transferred to fulfill requirements, however, students are strongly encouraged to repeat those courses. All transfer students must adopt the curricular requirements of the undergraduate bulletin current at the time of transfer–not that in use when they entered UNL.

College Degree Requirements

Grade Rules

Grade Appeals

In the event of a dispute involving any college policies or grades, the student should appeal to his/her instructor, adviser, and department chair (in that order). If a satisfactory solution is not achieved, the student may appeal his/her case through the College Academic Appeals Committee on his/her campus.

Bulletin Rule

Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the bulletin for the academic year in which they are first admitted at UNL. In consultation with advisers, a student may choose to follow a subsequent bulletin for any academic year in which they are admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at UNL in the College of Engineering. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single bulletin year. The bulletin which a student follows for degree requirements may not be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.


This is the site for old bulletin data. Please head to UNL's Course Catalog for updated course and program information.