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Why Chemical Engineering at BYU?

Why BYU - B.S. Degree
Why BYU - Ph.D. & M.S. Degrees
Why Chemical Engineering

BYU Chemical Engineering Undergrad Program


Chem Eng = Highest Starting Salary

BYU Chem Eng is a Top Chem Eng Salary

Best Chemical Engineer Educational Value in US

Outstanding Preparation for Graduate School

  • 80 to 91% of BYU Chem Eng Undergrads are involved in cutting-edge research.
  • 30% of BYU Chem Eng Undergrads are authors on research publications.
  • BYU Chem Eng Undergrads consistently accepted into top Chem Eng Graduate programs.


Uncommon Focus on Undergraduate Education

Consistent with the emphasis of Brigham Young University, the Department of Chemical Engineering is vitally concerned about the education of undergraduate students. The following environmental features reflect that concern

You will have a faculty advisor

Every student is assigned an advisor immediately upon entering the department and is required to visit with that advisor and review his/her progress toward graduation at least twice during his/her academic career. The faculty try to maintain an open-door policy to students, and you are encouraged to visit your advisor as often as you would like.

Faculty-student interaction is positive

Classes are relatively small, ranging from the largest freshman class of approximately 100 students down to the smaller specialty classes of around 10-15, thus helping to promote interaction among students and between students and faculty. Furthermore, the faculty generally learn the names of their students early in each semester, even in the freshman class of 100, and work to foster an atmosphere of friendship and brotherhood. Excellence in teaching is promoted, and student learning is enhanced by innovative methods, quality laboratories, and the participation of undergraduates in faculty research programs.

The major is challenging, but rewards are great

The chemical engineering program is very rigorous, requiring focus and effective study habits. Students are required to take classes in chemistry, calculus, physics, and chemical engineering. Those who dedicate focused study time, diligently seek to understand, and use the available resources (faculty, teaching assistants, student groups, etc.) become more effective learners and problem solvers and find great success and satisfaction in the journey. Furthermore, graduates in chemical engineering become valuable citizens and leaders in their community, enjoy satisfying and challenging careers, and are well compensated financially. The undergraduate program, which is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, is one of the finest in the United States.

Honor Code

BYU is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Many students choose to attend BYU over academically comparable programs because of the BYU Honor Code and the wholesome social atmosphere. Under the Honor Code, all students who attend Brigham Young University agree to observe high moral standards that include chaste living, modesty in dress, and refraining from using tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and illegal or harmful drugs.

Spiritual Foundation

The Department of Chemical Engineering fully supports the mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to educate the whole person. Thus, the faculty seek to promote an atmosphere consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ as a foundation for teaching and learning chemical engineering principles.

BYU AIChE is a consistent "Outstanding Chapter"

The Chemical Engineering Department at BYU has a student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), as do nearly all chemical engineering departments. The BYU chapter, run by student officers elected by their peers, sponsors activities throughout the school year. Learn more about AIChE and other clubs.

BYU ChE Students are National Winners

Each year the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) sponsors a research competition. Chemical engineering students from BYU compete very strongly in these student paper contests. They almost always win first, second, or third place (often multiple BYU students win) at the regional level. Moreover, on three occasions (2018, 2000, 1993), a chemical engineering student from BYU was the national winner of the AIChE research student paper competition.

Positive Comments About BYU ChE Graduates

ExxonMobil Corporation

ExxonMobil recruits from only the best Universities that consistently deliver top engineering talent for our corporation. The engineers we hire are tracked throughout their careers and their long-term success with the company is one very important factor in whether their school remains on our list of recruited schools... ExxonMobil has been recruiting engineers from BYU for over 40 years uninterrupted -- and we continue to be pleased with the caliber of engineers that have emerged from the BYU program. In fact, we have expanded the scope of recruiting at BYU over the years while some other universities, even those that have managed to stay on our recruiting list, have seen a reduction in ExxonMobil's recruiting efforts... Every year all engineers that work for ExxonMobil are evaluated based on their performance and ranked in seriatim fashion without regard to what school they attended. The BYU engineers are consistently competitive in those rankings.

  • Bruce Hamaker, Recruiter and Executive, Exxon Mobil Corporation

Dow Chemical Company

I recruited Chemical Engineering students from BYU for The Dow Chemical Company for approximately 20 years. I can tell you that BYU Chemical Engineering students stack up against any other school in the country and the top chemical and oil companies in America seek after BYU students. Leading Chemical companies like Dow Chemical have strong company cultures based on hard work, professionalism, integrity, trustworthiness, leadership, tenacity, innovation, communication and teamwork. BYU students (many of whom are returned missionaries) bring an abundance of these characteristics and therefore are highly sought after. The average university alumni chemical engineers at Dow have approximately 10 percent of their members in leadership roles, but BYU chemical engineer alumni averaged almost 40% of their members in leadership roles at Dow during the last survey I completed. That means that a BYU chemical engineer may be 4 times more likely to end up in leadership roles during their career, no wonder they are so highly sought after. The BYU Chemical Engineering educational program is as good as any in the US of which I am aware... If I were starting my career over, I would not hesitate for one moment to come to BYU for a great educational program and a wonderful selection of companies to choose from to start my career.

  • Roger McCarty, Former Executive from Dow Chemical

Graduate School

BYU offers more opportunities for meaningful undergraduate research than any place I know. I feel that I came to MIT with comparable academic skills (an understanding of the core ChemE subjects (Thermo, Transport, and Kinetics), but where I feel far ahead of others is my ability to conceive of and execute novel research. I visited five of the top graduate schools in Chemical Engineering as I tried to make my decision for where I wanted to attend. At each school, the professors had nothing but respect and admiration for their BYU students. We are well respected in the graduate community.

  • Nigel Reuel, BYU and MIT ChE Alumnus

BYU Chemical Engineering Graduate Program


Offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, the Chemical Engineering Dept. has enjoyed significant success in educating its graduate students and contributing to the technical knowledge of our society. We perform cutting-edge research with exceptional placement of our graduates into top positions in industry, national labs, and academia.

High Academic Quality

The chemical engineering department has offered graduate degrees since 1962 and is home to world-class research facilities and researchers. We have strong research programs in sustainable energy, combustion, catalysis, thermophysical properties, biochemical/biomedical engineering, electrochemical engineering, and process optimization. All of these areas include experimental investigations and computer modeling of complex molecular and physical systems. With multiple faculty members in each area, graduate students have many options when choosing faculty advisors and research topics.

BYU is home to ACERC, an internationally recognized center for combustion research, and DIPPR, a premier thermophysical properties database managed for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The department's graduate program has been ranked as high as #11 in the country in terms of federal support of research and #20 in the country in terms of total research support. Students benefit from being at a large university (30,000 students) with strong departments in a range of scientific and engineering disciplines. The University library is ranked 3rd best college library in the US, after Harvard and Princeton. The Fulton supercomputer facility is ranked among the top five university supercomputers in the nation.

All 18 full-time faculty members are active in research and receive millions of dollars each year to support student research. The median time to graduation for MS students is 2 years and for PhD students is 4.5 years. For the PhD this is considerably less than graduation times at many other programs in the US. Faculty employ significant numbers of undergraduate students to assist graduate students in their work, which provides graduate students with experience in mentoring and leading others as part of a research team.

Our graduates receive great opportunities for employment. All of the MS and PhD graduates from our program are able to secure rewarding jobs that use their unique skills, such as at industrial research centers, national laboratories, and universities.

Quality of Life

BYU is located in Provo, Utah at the base of the Wasatch Mountains and next to Utah Lake. It is part of a metro area with around 350,000 residents, and is 1 hour south of Salt Lake City, host of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Provo City is commonly ranked as the best mid-sized city in the United States for livability and has consistently received awards from national business publications.

  • Crime rates are among the lowest in the nation .
  • The cost of living is modest. Estimated living expenses for single graduate students at BYU are around $15,000 per year. There is a great deal of affordable student housing within walking distance of campus.
  • Many outdoor activities are available within just a few minutes from campus including skiing, watersports, hiking, biking, and camping. Utah is also home to five national parks within a half-day drive from Provo.
  • The climate exhibits four distinct seasons, with warm, dry summers, and cold, snowy winters.

A Welcoming Environment

The chemical engineering graduate program averages around 45 students, or approximately 3 students per faculty member. Students will get to know nearly all the faculty, staff, and their fellow students while attending socials and scientific seminars and in day-to-day interactions in hallways, classrooms, and laboratories. In recent years, around one-fifth of our students are women, and one-third are international students (including China, India, Singapore, Nepal, Iran, and Canada).

BYU is a very family-friendly environment. Around two-thirds of our graduate students are married and many also have children.

BYU as a whole is well known for its international reach, with students (graduate and undergraduate) from all 50 states, and 115 countries. More than 75% of BYU students speak a second language.

Honor Code

BYU is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Many students choose to attend BYU over academically comparable programs because of the BYU Honor Code and the wholesome social atmosphere. Under the Honor Code, all students who attend Brigham Young University agree to observe high moral standards that include chaste living, modesty in dress, and refraining from using tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and illegal or harmful drugs. About 20% of the department's graduate students are not members of the Church.

Spiritual Foundation

The Department of Chemical Engineering fully supports the mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to educate the whole person. Thus, the faculty seek to promote an atmosphere consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ as a foundation for teaching and learning chemical engineering principles.

Safety

The safety of our students is the department's #1 priority. We require everyone to be trained and to document continuous training (please report monthly safety training here). Lab specific training is required before working in each lab and is generated from the Risk Management Training Guide. The college also has a number of resources devoted to safety including a training guide, safety snapshots, a chemical hygen plane, and links to online basic safety training you can access here. We have an outstanding safety record and work each day to make sure our students are safe.

    Why Should I Choose It As A Major?

    It is extremely versatile

    Chemical engineering combines mathematics with the three basic physical sciences: chemistry, physics, and biology, which can be used to describe nearly all physical phenomena. Because of this versatility, chemical engineers make valuable contributions in a very broad spectrum of fields, from food processing to semiconductor fabrication and from oil refining to artificial-organ development.

    It leads to many kinds of careers

    Our graduates successfully pursue a variety of paths, including full and part-time work, graduate school, and professional degrees in law, business or medicine. The innovative problem-solving skills you learn here will also help as you serve in your professions, families and communities.

    It addresses today's pressing problems

    The powerful tools of chemical engineering provide leadership in attacking the most vital and challenging issues of our day, including: generating energy saving the environment advancing biomedicine developing electronics enhancing food production improving materials

    It is challenging and rewarding

    Chemical engineers deal with exciting new problems daily and are called upon to employ innovation in creating new technologies and solving problems in existing technologies.They also receive among the highest salaries for college graduates.

    Come and talk with us!

    One way to learn more about chemical engineering is to come and talk to us! Faculty members are available to visit with potential students who would like to learn more about what we do. Come in to the department office at 330 Engineering Building and we would be happy to answer any questions you have or give you tour.

    Are you up for a challenge?

    Another very good way to obtain a greater understanding of the chemical engineering field and to determine your interest and aptitude for this field is to enroll in the BYU course Ch En 170, Introduction to Chemical Engineering, in either Fall or Winter semester. Students in the class become familiar with the breadth of chemical engineering and our unique approach to solving problems. Students also get the rewarding experience of working on an open-ended design project. The textbook was written by two BYU ChemE faculty members and is now being used by other universities as well. After completing the course, students often remark that they have a much better understanding of what chemical engineering is all about and have a better idea as to their interest and potential to succeed in the field. To learn more about what is required in this major you can visit our Coursework Planning page or the university's Major Requirements page.