Best Colleges for Chemical Engineering

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Chemical engineering majors at the best colleges in the field learn two basic skills: basic chemistry and how to process and work with chemicals and fluids in an economically and environmentally productive way. This discipline deals with how to work with chemicals, and how to put them to work or produce them, such as in processing factories, and in making specific products.

Top 30 Best Colleges for Chemical Engineering

We have analyzed over 200 colleges in the creation of this ranking of the best colleges for chemical engineering. Our focus is on the undergraduate program, although many of these universities have excellent graduate schools in the field as well.

1Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeMA
2Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaGA
3Stanford UniversityPalo AltoCA
4University of TexasAustinTX
5California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaCA
6Princeton UniversityPrinceton NJ
7Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteIN
8University of MinnesotaTwin CitiesMN
9University of MichiganAnn ArborMI
10Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationTX
11University Of WisconsinMadisonWI
12University of DelawareNewarkDE
13University of California - BerkeleyBerkeleyCA
14North Carolina State UniversityRaleighNC
15Cornell UniversityIthacaNY
16Penn StateUniversity ParkPA
18Northwestern UniversityEvanstonIL
17University of IllinoisChampaignIL
19University of ColoradoBoulderCO
20Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghPA
21The Ohio State UniversityColumbusOH
22University of FloridaGainesvilleFL
23University of California - Los AngelesLos AngelesCA
24University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaPA
25Columbia UniversityNew YorkNY
26University of TennesseeKnoxvilleTN
27University of WashingtonSeattleWA
28Rice UniversityHoustonTX
29University of Notre DameSouth BendIN
30Virginia Polytechnic University (Virginia Tech)BlacksburgVA

More information on our RealRankTM analytics used in creating this ranking can be found on the About page.

Have you attended any of these programs? What is your experience at these universities?

What is a Chemical Engineering Major?

A typical chemical engineering major covers both a broad chemistry curriculum and a processing curriculum with a focus on fluids and chemical synthesis, manufacture and transport. Among the subjects covered in a typical Chemical Engineering major are:

  • Basic Core Sciences:
      • chemistry
      • biology
      • physics
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering Disciplines, such as:
      • Thermodynamics
      • Fluid mechanics and flow
      • Fluid Transport Processes
      • Chemical Processing

Chemical Engineering Careers

Students graduating with degrees in chemical engineering qualify for a wide range of engineering, research  and management oriented careers.  As with other engineering disciplines, the entry level salaries for chemical engineers tends to be at the high end of entry level jobs available to undergraduates. This of course changes the economic assessment of the private vs. public universities’ costs on the list of the best colleges for chemical engineering.  Examples of careers available in the field are:

  • Biotechnologist
  • Chemical engineer
  • Product/process development scientist
  • Energy engineer
  • Energy manager
  • Mining engineer
  • Production manager
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Color technologist
  • Quality manager
  • Waste management
  • Waste water treatment designer
  • Petroleum engineer
  • Analytical chemist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Materials engineer
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