Engineering Chemical Engineering

Quick points
Attribute Value
College: Engineering
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Hours Required: 131-132
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.4 for graduation
Minor Available: No
  1. Intro

Chemical Engineering

COLLEGE: Engineering

MAJOR: Chemical Engineering

DEGREE OFFERED: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering


MINIMUM CUMULATIVE GPA: 2.4 for graduation




Chair: Hendrik Viljoen

Professors: Cornelius, Larsen, Noureddini, Saraf, Subramanian, Velander, Viljoen

Associate Professors: Demirel, Niu, Van Cott

Assistant Professors: Alexandrov, Kidambi, Lei

Assistant Professor of Practice: Flodman

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.

The graduate of the University of Nebraska Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering:

Performs as a chemical engineer.

Contributes with satisfying progress toward the level at which he or she chooses to engage in professional practice in industry, academics, allied or alternate fields.

Pursues a career as a practicing engineer in diverse fields such as chemical process industries, biochemical technology, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, energy, polymers/advanced materials, food processing, medicine/medical research, environment or safety; pursues an academic career to teach, research and serve the community.

Applies engineering and scientific principles.

Uses engineering and economic analyses, modern engineering tools and techniques with existing practical constraints and limitations to create solutions that are economical and sustainable.

Interacts successfully with a wide range of people.

Exercises care and responsibility in broad and diverse interpersonal interactions by effectively listening, speaking, writing and presenting.

Incorporates safety, ethics, and environmental protection in all engineering practices.

Understands the importance of safety, health, and environmental protection in all engineering practices. Upholds the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Code of Ethics and advises colleagues and the public on consequences presenting adverse effects on health, safety and the environment.

Accepts responsibility for life-long learning.

Continues professional growth and development throughout his or her career by participating in professional societies such as AIChE, industrial training, continuing education and professional development courses.

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.


To earn Professional Admission to the chemical engineering degree program, a student must complete a minimum of 43 credit hours applicable to the chemical engineering degree and complete CHME 202 with a grade of C- or higher. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.500 or higher to be professionally admitted. The faculty of the chemical and biomolecular engineering department reviews students for professional admission once they have earned 43 credit hours and completed CHME 202. A student may be reviewed twice for professional admission to chemical engineering. If the student is denied professional admission to chemical engineering twice, then the student will be required to change their major and will not be allowed to complete a chemical engineering degree. After the student is awarded professional admission to chemical engineering, they will be allowed to enroll in the appropriate 300- and 400-level engineering courses.


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

CHEM 113 Fundamental Chemistry I4

The sequence CHEM 109, CHEM 110 is an acceptable alternative to CHEM 113, CHEM 114.

CHME 113 Introduction to Chemical Engineering I2

ENGR 10 Freshman Engineering Seminar0

MATH 106 Calculus I5

Oral Communication Elective3

Select from: ENGR 100, ALEC 102, JGEN 300, COMM 286 (SLO 2)

ACE Elective13


Second Semester

CHEM 114 Fundamental Chemistry II3

The sequence CHEM 109, CHEM 110 is an acceptable alternative to CHEM 113, CHEM 114.

CHME 114 Introduction to Chemical Engineering II2

CSCE 155N Computer Science I: Engineering & Science Focus3

MATH 107 Calculus II4

PHYS 211 General Physics I4


Third Semester

CHEM 261 Organic Chemistry3

CHEM 263A Organic Chemistry Lab1

CHME 202 Mass & Energy Balances3

ENGR 20 Sophomore Engineering Seminar0

MATH 208 Calculus III4

PHYS 212 General Physics II4

ACE Elective13


Fourth Semester

CHEM 262 Organic Chemistry3

CHEM 264A Organic Chemistry Lab1

CHME 223 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics I3

ELEC 211 Elements of Electrical Engineering I3

JGEN 200 Technical Communication I3

MATH 221 Differential Equations3


Fifth Semester

CHEM 221 Elementary Quantitative Analysis4

CHME 323 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics II3

CHME 331 Equilibrium Stage Operations3

CHME 332 Transport Operations I3

ACE Elective13


Sixth Semester

Advanced Chemistry/Chemical Engineering3-4

Select from: CHME 324, CHEM 421, CHEM 431, CHEM 441, CHME 473

CHME 312 Chemical Engineering Computation3

CHME 330 Chemical Engineering Lab I3

CHME 333 Transport Operations II3

CHME 434 Diffusional Operations3


Seventh Semester

CHME 442 Chemical Reactor Engineering & Design3

CHME 452 Chemical Engineering Processing Economics & Optimization3

CHME 462 Automatic Process Control3

Technical Electives26

ACE Elective13


Eighth Semester

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 Elective23

ACE Elective13


Total Credit Hours Required 131-132

1 Choose one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 elective courses. BSEN 206, ACE 8, is not degree applicable.

2 The 9 hours of technical electives must include at least 3 credit hours of engineering science. All must be approved by the advisor.

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 9 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 advisor 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 advisor, 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 advisor prior to registration for the course.

CHEM 431/831 Structure & Metabolism (BIOC 431/BIOS 431/831) (3 cr)

CHEM 432/832 Metabolism & Biological Information (BIOC 432/BIOS 432/832) (3 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 470 Biomanufacturing Laboratory (3 cr)

CHME 473/873 Biochemical Engineering (3 cr)

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

CHME 475/875 Biochemical Separations (3 cr)

CHME 476/876 Micro/Nano Systems for Engineering & Life Sciences (3 cr)

BIOS 312 Microbiology (3 cr)

BIOS 206 General Genetics (4 cr)

BIOS 213 Human Physiology (3 cr)

BIOS 214 Human Anatomy (5 cr)

Environmental Engineering

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

CHME 489/889 Air Pollution, Assessment & Control (3 cr)

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

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

CIVE 421/821 Hazardous Waste Management & Treatment (3 cr)

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

CIVE 424/824 Solid Waste Management Engineering (3 cr)

CHEM 421/821 Analytical Chemistry (3 cr)

CHEM 423/823 Analytical Chemistry Lab (2 cr)

ENVR 489 Environmental Studies Seminar (1 cr)

Materials Engineering

CHME 482/882 Polymers (3 cr)

MATL 360 Elements of Materials Science (4 cr)

MATL 460 Mechanical Aspects of Materials (3 cr)

MATL 462/862 X-Ray Diffraction (3 cr)

MATL 469/869 Physical Materials Systems (3 cr)

MATL 471/871 Electron Microscopy of Materials (3 cr)

MATL 473/873 Corrosion (3 cr)

MECH 325 Mechanics of Elastic Bodies (3 cr)

MECH 381 Elements of Computer-aided Design (3 cr)

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

Mathematics and Statistics

MATH 314/814 Linear Algebra (3 cr)

MATH 322/822 Advanced Calculus (3 cr)

MATH 424/824 Introduction 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 Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center. Pre-engineering students are advised within the College of Engineering.

Students for whom English is not their language of nurture must meet the minimum English proficiency requirements of the University.

Students who lack entrance units may complete precollege training by Independent Study through the UNL Office of On-line and Distance Education, in summer courses, or as a part of their first or second semester course loads while in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center or other Colleges at UNL.

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

Other Admission Requirements

Students who transfer to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from other accredited colleges or universities and wish to be admitted to the College of Engineering (COE) must meet COE freshman entrance requirements and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for Nebraska residents or 3.0 for non-residents. Students not meeting either of these requirements must enroll in the Explore Center or another UNL college until they meet COE admission requirements.

The COE accepts courses for transfer for which a C or better grade was received. Although UNL accepts D grades from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and at Omaha, not all majors in the COE accept such low grades. Students must conform to the requirements of their intended major and, in any case, are strongly encouraged to repeat courses with a grade of C- or less.

All transfer students must adopt the curricular requirements of the undergraduate bulletin current at the time of transfer to the COE—not that in use when they entered UNL. Upon admission to UNL, students wishing to pursue degree programs in the COE will be classified and subject to the policies defined in the subsequent section.

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, and appropriate department chair or school director (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 advisors, 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.