Undergraduate Information and Opportunities

Undergraduate Program
The mission of the undergraduate program is to educate students in the scientific principles of chemical engineering and provide opportunities to explore their applications in the context of a humanistic education that prepares them to address technological and societal challenges.

In accordance with the mission of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and with the broader missions of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Lehigh University, the faculty of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department has formulated the following Undergraduate Program Educational Objectives: Graduates of the Undergraduate Program in Chemical Engineering will:

1. Apply their broad education in chemical engineering to pursue careers in industry, government agencies, consulting firms, educational institutions, financial institutions, business, law, and medicine
2. Pursue graduate studies, research, or continuing education
3. Be sensitive to the social, ethical, and technical implications of their work as it affects the environment, safety, and health of citizens worldwide.

Chemical Engineers need a sound background in

  • the fundamental sciences of chemistry and physics
  • a working capability with mathematics, numerical methods, and application of computer solutions, and
  • a broad education in humanities, social sciences, and managerial techniques

These bases are applied in a sequence of chemical engineering courses in which creativity and applied mathematics are applied to chemical processing problems. Coupling precise thought to a broadly-based scientific and general education, Lehigh graduates have been effective throughout industry and in advanced professional education.
The program is also designed to prepare students for careers in industry as well as graduate study in chemical engineering, allowing them to participate in the technical development of the field. The increasing complexity of modern manufacturing methods requires superior education for men and women working in research, development, and the design fields or for teaching.

131 credit hours are required for graduation with the degree of Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering. A typical schedule may be downloaded here. Additional details - such as a comprehensive course list - may be found at the Lehigh Course Catalog.

Opportunities in Chemical Engineering

  • Co-op Program: The department, in conjunction with the College of Engineering and Applied Science, operates a cooperative program that is optional for specially selected students who are entering their junior year. This program affords early exposure to industry and an opportunity to integrate an academic background with significant periods of engineering practice. Our program is unique in offering two work experiences and still allowing the co-op students to graduate in four years with their class.
  • Study Abroad Program: Students may go study abroad any semester or year they desire. The following provide guidelines so that students do not lose a semester or a year due to prerequisites.
    • Nottingham Exchange: There is an established exchange program between Lehigh and the University of Nottingham in the UK for ChE majors. Each year several ChE juniors spend two semesters at Nottingham. They are able to take all critical courses there. When they return to Lehigh, academically, these students are at the same level as their classmates.
    • Dortmund Exchange: There is an established exchange program between Lehigh and the TU Dortmund University in Germany for ChE majors. Every year we send a few ChE majors to Dortmund during the Summer-June 15 to August 20 period. Due to the level of the courses at Dortmund, these Lehigh students are required to be at the rising senior level. They attend mostly engineering courses with other international students. Since this program is during summer months, students have flexibility in course selection.
    • Junior year First Semester: The most convenient way to do study abroad is to stay at Lehigh during the summer at the end of the sophomore year and take required courses for the Fall- Junior year. This arrangement will allow student to do study abroad, during the Fall of Junior year, at almost any university in the world with no limitation in course selection.
  • Other Options: Without the above arrangements, chemical engineering majors may study abroad during any semester, provided that they will be at least at the same academic level as their peers upon their return. Students can satisfy this requirement by taking the critical courses either ahead of the time, before going to study abroad, or at the host institution. The critical courses are the ones that are prerequisite to the required courses in the curriculum. The critical courses are printed "Bold & Italic” in the course list below. A chart that indicates prerequisites for ChE majors is also attached below.

    Freshman year, first semester (14-15 credits)
    ENGL 1 Composition and Literature (3)
    CHM 25 Introductory Chemical Principals and Laboratory (4)
    PHY 11, 12 Introductory Physics I and Laboratory (5)
    MATH 21 Calculus I (4)
    ENGR 1 Engineering Computations (3) or
    ENGR 5 Introduction to Engineering Practice (3)

    Freshman Year, second semester (14-15 credits)
    ENGL 2 Composition and Literature: Fiction, Drama, Poetry (3)
    PHY 11, 12 Introductory Physics I and Laboratory (5) or
    CHM 25 Introductory Chemical Principals and Laboratory (4)
    MATH 22 Calculus II (4)
    ENGR 5 Introduction to Engineering Practice (3) or
    ENGR 1 Engineering Computations (3)

    Sophomore Year, first semester (16 credit hours)
    CHE 31 Material and Energy Balances of Chemical Processes (3)
    CHM 31 Chemical Equilibria in Aqueous Systems (4)
    PHY 21 Introductory Physics II (4)
    PHY 22 Introductory Physics Laboratory II (1)
    MATH 23 Calculus III (4)

    Sophomore Year, second semester (18 credit hours)
    CHE 44 Fluid Mechanics (3)
    CHE 210 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (4)
    CHE 179 Professional Development (1)
    MATH 205 Linear Methods (3)
    Elective (7)

    Junior Year, first semester (17 credit hours)
    CHE 151 Introduction to Heat Transfer (3)
    CHE 201Methods of Analysis in Chemical Engineering (4)
    CHM 110 Organic Chemistry I (3)
    CHM 111 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (1)
    CHM 341 Molecular Structure, Bonding and Dynamics (3)
    Electives (3)

    Junior Year, second semester (18 credit hours)
    CHE 244 Mass Transfer and Separation Processes (3)
    CHE 211 Chemical Reactor Design (3)
    CHM 112 Organic Chemistry II (3)
    CHM 343 Physical Chemistry Laboratory (2)
    Electives (7)

    Senior Year, first semester (18 credit hours)
    CHM 341 Molecular Structure, Bonding and Dynamics (3)
    CHE 202 Chemical Engineering Laboratory I (2)
    CHE 233 Process Design I (3)
    CHE 242 Introduction to Process Control and Simulation (3)
    Electives (9)

    Senior Year, second semester (15 credit hours)
    CHE 203 Chemical Engineering Laboratory II (2)
    ECE 83 Principles of Electrical Engineering (3)
    CHE 234 Process Design II (3)
    Electives (7)

    Prerequisite Chart can be found here: Download file

  • OSI: In Lehigh's Opportunities for Student Innovation (OSI) program, students spend two semesters working with faculty and industrial advisors on research projects that address specific real world technical problems. OSI students develop critical problem solving and technical communication skills by seeking innovative solutions to relevant industrial problems. The opportunity to work alongside technical experts from participating companies helps bridge the gap between textbook learning and industrial experience.

    Recent OSI projects have included:
    Alternative Crystal Products Drying Technology
    Statistical monitoring of Multivariate Controllers
    Hot Liquid Process Simulator
    Purification of contaminated formaldehyde products
    Equilibrium Sulfur Dioxide Vapor Pressure Measurement over Sodium
    Fluid Bed Scrubber that Captures Fluoride on Alumina

OSI students develop strategies, define objectives, analyze literature and industrial data, execute plans, and test innovative solutions. In the lab, OSI teams typically do advanced computer simulations and small scale experiments.
The OSI program benefits industrial sponsors by granting them access to Lehigh's state of the art labs and to the faculty and their expertise. Students gain an advantage in the search for employment and advanced study. The OSI program is open to seniors majoring in chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, and materials science and engineering.

For more information, please contact:
Israel Wachs
Department of Chemical Engineering