Frequently Asked Questions


How many credits should I take per semester?

A credit load of 14-16 credit hours is generally a healthy full-time academic load for a semester, and we recommend not exceeding those numbers. (Note: for Spring or Summer terms, which compress a semester into half the time, 7-8 credits is a recommended maximum.) Further, you will learn that technical courses (e.g. science, math, and engineering) require more work and time than many other courses, so the full-time loads recommended above should usually include at least one non-technical class per semester.

Is a part-time job really a bad idea?

A full academic load in chemical engineering requires a great deal of your time and effort. In fact, when considering the time for classes, studies, assignments, and the daily activities of life (sleep, hygiene, meals, exercise, and spiritual food), it's a full-time life! Depending on the number of credit hours that you take in a semester, the remaining "free" time available for such activities as a job are very limited (usually less than 10 hours/week). If your financial situation requires you to work, you may need to reduce your academic load accordingly. The following formula provides an approximate guideline for the maximum number of hours you should commit to a job (it may need to be reduced to accommodate job preparation and travel time):

Maximum Work Hours per Week = 60 - 3.5 x Credit Hours

Caution! Don't let your experience in high school and/or a community college tempt you to underestimate the time you will need to be successful in chemical engineering at BYU. It is a common (and painful) mistake made by many new students. Adhere to the above formula for at least your first year. Then, you will know better how to adjust this formula for your own personal circumstances.

If I am a Freshman and I want to major in Chemical Engineering, what classes should I begin taking?

Registration in the correct classes is important to avoid delaying graduation by a year or two. The class schedule in the BYU Chemical Engineering Department is very full, and requires four full years of course work. Meet with a faculty advisor in our department to help avoid unnecessary delays in graduation! The secretaries in the Chemical Engineering Department office can provide the name of your advisor, and you can then contact that advisor by phone or email (available in the Faculty Directory). You may want to look at the flow charts that are suggested sequences for taking courses below.

This flowchart is based on eight semesters

This flowchart is based on eight semesters and two Spring terms

Entry Level Classes
Chemical Engineering (ChEn 170 or ChEn 191)
Chemistry (Chem 111 or Chem 105)
Calculus (Math 112)

Note that we would prefer that you take ChEn 191 and ChEn 170 in alternating semesters so that we have contact with you each semester. If possible, we recommend that you take ChEn 191 the first semester, since this course is intended to help students understand the university and the department systems. ChEn 170 could then easily be taken in the Winter semester.

How do I know if AP courses I have taken are given credit at BYU?

Many of our incoming students have AP credit for Math, Chemistry, English, and/or Physics. If you received AP Chemistry credit, please note the instructions on our webpage for required chemistry classes. More generally, you should look at the BYU website explaining AP credit, or if you have not yet started BYU you can talk to the Advisement Center for the College of Engineering. Having AP credit in required classes allows students to take other classes normally not taken until later, thereby reducing the otherwise-heavy course loads in later semesters. Your advisor can help you decide which classes to take early.

Are there any classes that double as a GE Requirement and a Major Requirement?

The university's general education program (University Core) is designed to broaden your education and enrich your experience at the university. However, because of the large number of courses required for graduation in chemical engineering, it is desirable to be as efficient as possible in fulfilling course requirements. A full description of the current GE program can be found under the link "University Core" in the Class Schedule and should be studied carefully. However, the following guidelines show the most efficient plan for satisfying the GE core:

GE Requirements Satisfied by Major Requirements

GE RequirementMajor Requirement
Quantitative Reasoning Math 112
Languages of Learning Math 302
Advanced Writing Engl 316
Biology Biology 100
Physical Science Physics 121 and Chem 111
Social Science EngT 231
Global and Cultural Awareness (GCA) EngT 231

Note: Any course (or combination of courses) that fulfills the University Core requirement for "Biological Science" may be substituted for Bio 100 except PWS 100.

Note: Prior to the 2010-2011 catalog year, the Major requirement satisfying the Social Sicence GE was Econ 110.

Tips for Double Counting GE Requirements

GE RequirementTip
History of Civilization, Arts, Letters

The university requires one Arts and one Letters class from the list of approved classes. However, almost all of the History of Civilization II courses double count for either Arts or Letters. Therefore, the most efficient way to meet the Arts and Letters requirements is to:

  • Take an ARTS course and a CIV II course that counts for LTRS.
  • Take a LTRS course and a CIV II course that counts for ARTS.
Global and Cultural Awareness (GCA)

For catalog years 2010-2011 and later, GCA is fulfilled with EngT 231. Students graduating on prior catalog years must take care to double count courses. This can be done the following ways.
Take Religion 351 (World Religions: 3 credits) or the two course sequence of Religion 355 and 356 (1 credit hour each).

  • Take a CIV II course that double counts as ARTS and a LTRS course that counts as GCA.
  • Take a CIV II course that double counts as LTRS and an ARTS course that counts as GCA.

In addition to the requirements listed in the previous two tables, the following GE core requirements must be met:

  1. English 150 (or English 115 if using AP, transfer, or independent study credit)
  2. American Heritage
  3. History of Civilization I
  4. Religion (7 total courses including 2 Book of Mormon, 1 Doc. & Cov., and 1 New Testament, and any course used to double count with GCA -- see above)

What classes should I sign up for as a new transfer student?

If you have one or more semesters of college credit (not just AP credit) and you are being admitted to BYU as a transfer student, then you probably wonder what classes to take your first semester or two at BYU. Actually, to answer that question it may be necessary to plan out additional semesters. Some of your academic credit from courses taken at your previous university will satisfy major and general requirements at BYU, creating a very customized schedule for your individual case. Furthermore, chemical engineering is a busy program with less flexibility than you might imagine, and every semester affects the others. So, not taking a critical course in a particular semester may end up delaying your graduation.

Before you register for classes your first semester at BYU should should seek the advice of the transfer credit coordinator, who will also become your academic advisor for the remainder of your degree program at BYU. This faculty member will help you customize your schedule to meet your needs and optimize your progress toward graduation. For additional information, please see the transfer students page.

What courses does Chemical Engineering offer, and when are they offered?

Below you will find a PDF file you can view, which lists all of the classes and when they are offered.

Chemical Engineering Courses