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UC Merced ChemE

Chemical Engineering

Why Choose Chemical Engineering?

The undergraduate major in Chemical Engineering provides students with a solid foundation in both chemistry and engineering with the necessary skills to work in a wide range of industries. The major also includes opportunities for students intending to continue their education in graduate school to conduct research. Chemical Engineering impacts society by developing innovative technologies in sustainability, product development, processing, and plant and operations safety.

The innovative curriculum at UC Merced provides a rich educational experience that exposes students to math, chemistry, and engineering fundamentals and includes hands-on unit operations laboratory skills. With an emphasis on problem-solving and design, the curriculum prepares students to tackle current real-world problems, and makes them highly employable.

For a glimpse of the exciting research and focus area expertise, meet our Chemical and Materials Engineering Faculty.

Undergraduate Degrees

  • Chemical Engineering, B.S.
  • Chemical Engineering, Computational Emphasis, B.S.
  • Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering Emphasis, B.S.
  • Chemical Engineering, Nanotechnology Emphasis, B.S.
  • Chemical Engineering, Semiconductor Emphasis, B.S.

View Course Catalog (navigate to "School of Engineering" and select program/catalog year)

Sample First-Year Student Schedule

Math 021: Calculus I
Chem 002: General Chemistry I
Phys 008 & Lab: Introduction to Physics I

Wri 010: College Reading & Composition
Spark 010: Spark Seminar

Math 022: Calculus II
Chem 010: General Chemistry II
Phys 009 & Lab: Introduction to Physics II
CHE 001: Current Topics in Chemical and Materials Engineering

Engr 091: Professional Development: People in an Engineered World

FOUR ONLINE PLACEMENT EXAMS: *Depending on your placement exam results, you may need to start in Math 005 (Precalculus), Chem 001 (Preparatory Chemistry), and/or Writing 001 (Academic Writing).

Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the program shall possess:

  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics

  • 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;

  • an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;

  • 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;

  • 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;

  • an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions;

  • an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Explore UC Merced's Chemical Engineering program.

What we do here today, together, will shape the world of tomorrow. And it's that vision that makes us who we are. #WeAreUCMerced

Innovate To Grow is the School of Engineering's marquee event showcasing UC Merced student ingenuity and entrepreneurship.

Where Can I work?

Chemical engineers are recruited in a variety of industries, including chemical production, environmental safety and management, bioengineering, agriculture, food processing, materials processing, automotive, energy, electronics, and consulting as well as advanced degree programs, including law school and medical school. Because of the variety of fields that are relevant to this profession, the undergraduate program covers a broad range of subjects, including membranes and mass transfer, materials, thermodynamics, fluids, heat transfer, processing and controls, and kinetics and reactor design.


  • Chemical plant and systems operator
  • Chemical process engineer
  • Semiconductor process engineer
  • Food and beverage process engineer
  • Chemical research engineers
  • Process safety engineer
  • Product engineer
  • Absorption and adsorption engineers
  • Plastics engineer
  • Polymerization engineer
  • Refinery process engineers
  • Fuel engineers
  • Oxidation engineers
  • Petroleum engineers
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Project engineer

*Please Note: Some of these careers might require education beyond a Bachelor's degree

Research Areas

  • Sustainable Water and Energy Technologies
  • Solar Energy and Materials
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing
  • Nanotechnology
  • Semiconductors
  • Computational Modeling