Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, BSE

Chemical Engineers apply concepts from the physical sciences (chemistry and physics) and life sciences (biochemistry and microbiology) to the design and optimization of processes for the efficient production of products ranging from fuels and chemicals to pharmaceuticals to advanced materials. Penn’s chemical engineering department provides students with both a strong foundation in engineering fundamentals and exposure to modern chemical engineering technologies. The program's versatility allows our students to excel in diverse careers in the chemical industries, research, medicine, law, government, and education.

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) Major Requirements

41 course units are required. Read more about the Undergraduate Student Handbook.

ENGR 105Introduction to Scientific Computing1
CBE 160Introduction to Chemical Engineering1
CBE 230Material and Energy Balances of Chemical Processes1
CBE 231Thermodynamics of Fluids1
CBE 350Fluid Mechanics1
CBE 351Heat and Mass Transport1
CBE 353Advanced Chemical Engineering Science1
CBE 371Separation Processes1
CBE 400Introduction to Product and Process Design1
CBE 410Chemical Engineering Laboratory1
CBE 451Chemical Reactor Design1
CBE 459Product and Process Design Projects1
CBE 460Chemical Process Control1
CBE Elective 12
MATH 104Calculus, Part I1
MATH 114Calculus, Part II1
MATH 240Calculus, Part III1
MATH 241Calculus, Part IV1
Natural Science
PHYS 140Principles of Physics I (without laboratory) 21
or PHYS 150 Principles of Physics I: Mechanics and Wave Motion
PHYS 141Principles of Physics II (without laboratory) 21
or PHYS 151 Principles of Physics II: Electromagnetism and Radiation
CHEM 101General Chemistry I1
CHEM 053General Chemistry Laboratory I0.5
CHEM 102General Chemistry II1
CHEM 054General Chemistry Laboratory II0.5
CHEM 221Physical Chemistry I1
or MSE 221 Quantum Physics of Materials
CHEM 241Principles of Organic Chemistry1
CHEM 242Principles of Organic Chemistry II1
or CHEM 251 Principles of Biological Chemistry
Technical Electives 3
Select 1 Engineering elective1
Select 2 Technical Electives2
Select one of the following:1
Laboratory in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
Experimental Physical Chemistry I
Experimental Organic Chemistry
Social Sciences and Humanities 4
Select 2 Social Science courses2
Select 2 Humanities courses2
Select 1 Social Science or Humanities course1
Select 2 Social Science or Humanities or Technology in Business and Society courses2
Free Elective
Select 3 course units of free electives3
Total Course Units41

Must be upper level CBE course, 300 or higher, or ENM 510 Foundations of Engineering Mathematics - I, ENM 511 Foundations of Engineering Mathematics - II.


One less Technical Elective required if PHYS 150 Principles of Physics I: Mechanics and Wave Motion/PHYS 151 Principles of Physics II: Electromagnetism and Radiation taken.


CBE 150 Introduction to Biotechnology recommended.


The Social Science & Humanities Depth and Writing requirements can be satisfied with the 7 total course units.


Students may select one of four concentrations:

  • Pharmaceutics and Biotechnology
  • Polymer Science and Engineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2017 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.