Curriculum and Requirements

Discover what it's like to be a chemical engineer at UB. See what types of courses you might take and what classes are required to earn your degree.

Overview of Curriculum

Exploring our curriculum flowsheet is the best way to get an overview of the program, decide which courses to take each semester, and review the prerequisites for any given course.

  • In your first two years you will take a lot of math, physics and chemistry, and an introductory computing course
  • In your sophomore year your schedule will already include three Chemical Engineering courses: CE 212 (Fundamental Principles of CE), CE 304 (CE Thermodynamics) and CE 220 (CE Biotechnology Principles)
  • Your junior year will build upon your core knowledge in chemical engineering science, including transport phenomena, reaction engineering, process control, materials, and CE-specific applied math and computing
  • Your senior year completes your education with separations, and exciting capstone design courses in which you pull together all your knowledge and make decisions to design different products as well as part of a chemical plant. Your senior year also includes two electives drawn from a rich spectrum of choices.
  • Each semester in your junior and senior years you take lab courses that are synchronized with what you are learning in the classroom. Your education is rounded out with liberal arts in your general education courses. 

Required Courses

All academic requirements are outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog, including course and elective listings. Note: The edition of the catalog that contains students’ university and major requirements is determined by their academic year of entry or reentry and academic year of acceptance to the major.

Students can also check our curriculum flowsheet to see the order in which required courses can be taken.

Technical Electives

In addition to the courses outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog, students must also take three technical electives of their choice, namely one 200+ Technical Elective, and two CE Technical Electives.

200+ Technical Elective (1 course)

A 200+ technical elective is any 200, 300 or 400-level science or technology (non-Gen. Ed.) course offered at UB that is not explicitly required for the Chemical Engineering BS. This elective is meant to broaden or deepen your scientific background in an area of interest to you. It can be any course offered by a department (identified by prefix) appearing in the following list drawn from various UB schools.

Course Prefixes for 200+ Technical Elective

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) departments – allowed course prefixes are:

  • EAS  (Engineering and Applied Sciences)
  • CE  (Chemical and Biological Engineering)
  • BE  (Biomedical Engineering)
  • CIE  (Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering)
  • CSE  (Computer Science and Engineering)
  • EE  (Electrical Engineering)
  • IE  (Industrial and Systems Engineering)
  • MAE  (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)

College of Arts and Science (CAS) departments – allowed course prefixes are:

  • BIO   (Biological Sciences)
  • CHE  (Chemistry)
  • GLY  (Geology)
  • MTH  (Mathematics)
  • PHY  (Physics)

School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (SMBS) departments – allowed course prefixes are:

  • BCH   (Biochemistry)
  • BPH  (Biophysics)
  • MIC  (Microbiology and Immunology)
  • PGY  (Physiology)

The School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) - allowed course prefixes are:

  • STA  (Biostatistics)

Some courses with the above prefixes are disallowed because their content overlaps with that of required courses for the BS degree. Be sure to check the list of unacceptable courses. If you have any doubt that a particular course may be invalid as a technical elective, students should check with their academic advisor before registering for the course.

Being a non-required course with the CE prefix, a CE Technical Elective course (discussed below) is perforce valid as a 200+ Technical Elective, although taking it represents more than the minimum necessary effort in the sense that a lower (200 or 300)-level course would be sufficient.

If you don't know what you want to take, look at the list of suggested courses to get ideas.

Some courses with the above prefixes are disallowed because their content overlaps with that of required courses for a Chemical Engineering BS. Be sure to check the list of unacceptable courses. If you have any doubt that a particular course may be invalid as a technical elective, students should check with their academic advisor before registering for the course.

Suggested Technical Electives

Here are some courses you might consider as technical electives. We don't mean to endorse the quality or value of the courses by singling them out here, and there are many other courses not listed here which fulfill the technical elective requirements. We present these only as reasonable and perhaps useful choices. This should show you the breadth of options that you have.

  • BIO 205 Fundamentals of Biological Chemistry (3) (F)
  • BIO 302 Introduction to Molecular Biology (3) (F)
  • BIO 319 Genetics (3) (F)
  • BPH 303 Principles of Biophysics (3) (Sp)
  • CHE 214 Introduction to Analytical Chemistry (3) (F)
  • CHE 204 Organic Chemistry (3) (Sp)
  • CHE 321 Inorganic Chemistry I (3) (F)
  • EAS 208 Dynamics (3) (F; Sp)
  • EAS 451 Modern Methods of Engineering Computations (3) (F; Sp)
  • MTH 309 Introductory Linear Algebra (4) (F; Sp)
  • MTH 417 Survey of Multivariable Calculus (4) (F; Sp)
  • MTH 424 Survey of Fourier Series Methods (3) (Sp)
  • MTH 425 Introduction to Complex Variables I (3)
  • MTH 449 Introduction to Partial Differential Equations (3)
  • PHY 207 General Physics III (3) (Sp)
  • PGY 300 Human Physiology (3) (F; Sp)

Also consider courses offered by a specific engineering department.

CE Technical Electives

There are many courses to choose from to fulfill the CE technical elective requirement. These courses can be any 400 level CE course that is not explicitly required for the BS degree in Chemical Engineering. Most of these are classroom courses, but some are tutorial courses (CE 406, CE 496, CE 498, CE 499). CE 496 (Internship/Practicum) and CE 498 (Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity) represent exciting hands-on experiences in industrial and academic research settings, respectively.

Students may participate in a given tutorial course (CE 406, CE 496, CE 498, or CE 499) multiple times. However, one instance only of a given tutorial course may be used to satisfy a CE TE degree requirement. 

CE Technical Elective Courses

  • CE 419 Alternative Fuels
  • CE 421 Introduction to Optofluidics
  • CE 422 Electrochemistry for Energy and Environmental Technologies
  • CE 435 Introduction to Polymers
  • CE 446 Biochemical Engineering
  • CE 447 Biological Transport and Kinetics
  • CE 448 Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering
  • CE 449 Biological Systems Engineering
  • CE 450 Protein Engineering
  • CE 451 Computer-Aided Research in the Chemical and Material Sciences
  • CE 456 Introduction to Aerosol Science
  • CE 457 Colloid and Surface Phenomena
  • CE 459/460 Special Topics
  • CE 496 Internship/Practicum
  • CE 498 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity
  • CE 499 Independent Study

Certain courses from Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering (namely, CIE 334, 340, 343, 441, 442, 444) can also be used to fulfill the CE technical elective requirement. The reason is that these courses relate to environmental engineering, which is a field of interest in chemical engineering. You must obtain permission from the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering to enroll in any of these courses.

In some instances, graduate courses may be used as TE's. For more information about this see your CBE Advisor.

General Education Courses

In addition to the required courses and technical electives, students must complete the UB Curriculum, which is comprised of general education courses that build a liberal background tailored to your interests. The main element of choice here is the courses you take for your Global and Thematic pathways. For guidance, check out the good and clear advice posted by SEAS.