Viterbi School of Engineering

Chemical Engineering — Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Degree Requirements

Educational Program Objectives

Chemical engineering is the only engineering discipline that makes extensive use of chemical transformations (reactions) in addition to physical transformations (refining, molding or machining) to achieve added value. Chemical engineers are employed in virtually all manufacturing industries, from the basic chemical, biochemical, materials, energy, food, pharmaceutical and microelectronics industries to the myriad consumer product industries. Our various curricula are designed to produce graduates who are broadly educated as well as highly adaptable.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering programs are prepared to achieve any of the following accomplishments:

  • To obtain employment and succeed in organizations where physical, chemical or biochemical transformations are utilized to produce products and services that benefit society.
  • To pursue graduate or professional education in a variety of related fields.
  • To engage in continuous personal and professional development through lifelong learning.
  • To assume leadership roles in their employment organization or community.

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering Degree

The Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. Additionally, there are five possible areas of emphasis within this chemical engineering program major. These are: biochemical engineering (133 units); environmental engineering (132 units); nanotechnology (128 units); petroleum engineering (133 units); and polymer/materials science (133 units). An area of emphasis appears in parentheses after the primary major name on the transcript.

Sample student schedules are located on the department Web page (chems.usc.edu).

Common Requirements for the B.S. Degree and All Areas of Emphasis (108 units)

See also common requirements for undergraduate degrees.

composition/WRITING COURSES units
WRIT 140* Writing and Critical Reasoning 4
WRIT 340 Advanced Writing 3

General Education** units
General education+ 20

CHEMISTRY COURSES units
CHEM 105aL General Chemistry, or
CHEM 115aL Advanced General Chemistry 4
CHEM 105bL General Chemistry, or
CHEM 115bL Advanced General Chemistry 4
CHEM 300L Analytical Chemistry 4
CHEM 322aL Organic Chemistry 4
CHEM 430a Physical Chemistry 4

MATH COURSES units
MATH 125 Calculus I 4
MATH 126 Calculus II 4
MATH 226 Calculus III 4
MATH 245 Mathematics of Physics and Engineering I 4

PHYSICS COURSES units
PHYS 151*** Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics and Thermodynamics 4
PHYS 152 Fundamentals of Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism 4

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING COURSES units
CHE 120 Introduction to Chemical Engineering 3
CHE 205 Numerical Methods in Chemical Engineering 3
CHE 330 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics 3
CHE 350 Introduction to Separation Processes 3
CHE 442 Chemical Reactor Analysis 3
CHE 443 Viscous Flow 3
CHE 444abL Chemical Engineering Laboratory 3-3
CHE 445 Heat Transfer in Chemical Engineering Processes 2
CHE 446 Mass Transfer in Chemical Engineering Processes 2
CHE 460L Chemical Process Dynamics and Control 3
CHE 480 Chemical Process and Plant Design 3
CHE 485 Computer-Aided Chemical Process Design 3

*GE Category VI is taken concurrently with WRIT 140.

**Diversity course must double count as a GE course in calculating the total unit count for the degree.

***Satisfies GE Category III requirement.

+The university allows engineering majors to replace the GE Category IV with a second course in Categories I, II or VI.

Additional Requirements for Individual Degrees

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

The requirement for the degree in the absence of an area of emphasis is 129 units. A cumulative grade point average of C (2.0) is required in all upper division courses applied toward the major, regardless of the department in which the courses are taken. In addition to the previously listed common requirements, students must also take the following courses:

CHEMISTRY TECHNICAL ELECTIVE units
CHEM 322bL Organic Chemistry, or
CHEM 430b Physical Chemistry 4

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING COURSES units
CHE 405 Applications of Probability and Statistics for Chemical Engineers 3
CHE 476 Chemical Engineering Materials 3

CHE Technical Elective
An upper division CHE course 3

additional electives (8–9 units) units
Suggested Courses
CE 205 Statics 2
EE 438L Processing for Microelectronics 3
ISE 460 Engineering Economy, or
BUAD 301 Technical Entrepreneurship 3
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Emphasis in Biochemical Engineering

The requirement for the degree with an emphasis in biochemical engineering is 133 units.* A scholarship average of C (2.0) or higher is required for all upper division courses taken in chemical engineering, biomedical engineering and biological sciences. In addition to the previously listed common requirements, students must also take the following courses:

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES COURSES units
BISC 300L Introduction to Microbiology 4
BISC 320L Molecular Biology 4
BISC 330L Biochemistry 4

BIO-ELECTIVES units
BISC 403 Advanced Molecular Biology, or
approved bio-engineering elective** 3-4
BME 410 Introduction to Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering 3
CHE 489 Biochemical Engineering 3

Engineering Elective units
CHE 405 Applications of Probability and Statistics for Chemical Engineers, or
ISE 460 Engineering Economy 3

*Students in the biochemical engineering option must take a minimum of 48 engineering units total to graduate.

**Student may combine a 3-unit approved bio-engineering elective with 1 unit of free elective.

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Emphasis in Environmental Engineering

The requirement for the degree with an emphasis in environmental engineering is 132 units. A cumulative grade point average of C (2.0) is required for all upper division courses applied toward the major, regardless of the department in which the courses are taken. In addition to the previously listed common requirements, students must also take the following courses:

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING COURSES units
CHE 405 Applications of Probability and Statistics for Chemical Engineers 3
CHE 476 Chemical Engineering Materials 3
CHE 486 Design of Environmentally Benign Process Plants 3

OTHER COURSES units
CE 453 Water Quality Control 3
CE 463L Water Chemistry and Analysis 3
ISE 460 Engineering Economy, or
BUAD 301 Technical Entrepreneurship 3
PTE 463L Introduction to Transport Processes in Porous Media 3

Air Pollution Elective
ENE 428 Air Pollution Fundamentals, or
ENE 429 Air Pollution Control 3
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Emphasis in Nanotechnology

The requirement for the degree with an emphasis in nanotechnology is 128 units. A cumulative grade point average of C (2.0) is required for all upper division courses applied toward the major, regardless of the department in which the courses are taken. In addition to the previously listed common requirements, students must also take the following courses:

Chemistry units
CHEM 453 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 4

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (11 Units) units
CHE 487 Nanotechnology and Nanoscale Engineering through Chemical Processes 3
CHE 391L Introduction to Nanotechnology Research (2) and
CHE 491 Nanotechnology Research for Undergraduates (2) or approved upper division undergraduate electives (4) 4
MASC 350L Nanostructured Materials: Design, Synthesis, and Processing 4

Nanotechnology electives units
EE 438L Processing for Microelectronics, or
CHE 489 Biochemical Engineering, or
PTE 463L Introduction to Transport Processes in Porous Media 3

Other electives units
CHE 405 Applications of Probability and Statistics for Chemical Engineers, or
ISE 460 Engineering Economy, or
BUAD 301 Technical Entrepreneurship 3
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Emphasis in Petroleum Engineering

The requirement for the degree with an emphasis in petroleum engineering is 133 units. A cumulative grade point average of C (2.0) is required for all upper division courses applied toward the major, regardless of the department in which the courses are taken. In addition to the previously listed common requirements, students must also take the following courses:

CHEMISTRY COURSE units
Chemistry Technical Elective
CHEM 322bL Organic Chemistry, or
CHEM 430b Physical Chemistry 4

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING COURSES units
CHE 405 Applications of Probability and Statistics for Chemical Engineers 3
CHE 476 Chemical Engineering Materials 3

PETROLEUM ENGINEERING COURSES units
PTE 461 Formation Evaluation 3
PTE 463L Introduction to Transport Processes in Porous Media 3
PTE 464L Petroleum Reservoir Engineering 3
PTE 465L Drilling Technology and Subsurface Methods 3

other COURSE units
ISE 460 Engineering Economy, or
BUAD 301 Technical Entrepreneurship 3
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Emphasis in Polymer/Materials Science

The requirement for the degree with an emphasis in polymer/materials science is 133 units. A cumulative grade point average of C (2.0) is required for all upper division courses applied toward the major, regardless of the department in which the courses are taken. In addition to the previously listed common requirements, students must also take the following courses:

CHEMISTRY COURSES UNITS
CHEM 322bL Organic Chemistry, or
CHEM 430b Physical Chemistry 4

OTHER CHEMICAL ENGINEERING/MATERIALS SCIENCE COURSES UNITS
CHE 472 Polymer Science and Engineering 3
CHE 476 Chemical Engineering Materials, or
MASC 310 Materials Behavior and Processing 3
MASC 350L Nanostructured Materials: Design, Synthesis, and Processing 3

Polymer/Materials Electives (choose three courses) UNITS
BME 410 Introduction to Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering 3
CHE 474L Polymer Science and Engineering Laboratory 3
CHE 475 Physical Properties of Polymers 3
CHE 477 Computer Assisted Polymer Engineering and Manufacturing 3
CHE 487 Nanotechnology and Nanoscale Engineering through Chemical Processes 3
EE 438L Processing for Microelectronics 3
MASC 440 Materials and the Environment 3

OTHER COURSE units
CHE 405 Applications of Probability and Statistics for Chemical Engineers, or
ISE 460 Engineering Economy, or
BUAD 301 Technical Entrepreneurship 3

Minor in Engineering Technology Commercialization

See listing in the Special Educational Opportunities section.