An online chemical engineering degree is a program that allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering through online classes. This degree program is designed for students interested in chemistry, math, and science and wanting to pursue a career in chemical engineering.

The program covers material and energy balances, concepts of rate processes, energy and mass transport, and kinetics of chemical reactions.

The online degree program is flexible and can be completed in four years. Students can take all the required courses online except for the hands-on chemical courses, offered in condensed 2-week summer sessions on campus. 

Below, I’ve given some information about universities that allow students to take online chemical engineering degrees.

2024 Best Online Degrees in Chemical Engineering

2024 Best Online Degrees in Chemical Engineering

1. University of North Dakota

  • Online Enrollment: 2,118
  • Annual Tuition: $15,037
  • Location: Grand Forks (ND)

The University of North Dakota (UND) is a big, public school. They offer a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering that needs 120 credit hours. You can finish this online program in four to five years if you study full-time.

The main classes in this major are Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, Plant Design, and Introduction to Transport Phenomena. You also need to take a capstone class. UND’s program focuses on the basics of physical sciences, math, and chemical engineering. This can lead to jobs like Environmental Engineer, Quality Control Engineer, and Product Development Engineer.

At UND, students use Blackboard to do their online coursework, which they can do online or in person. Online students can also use the Math Active Learning Lab, Math Learning Center, and other school resources.

2. Illinois Institute Of Technology

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three to five years
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,614 to $1,646 per credit

The Illinois Institute of Technology offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Chemical Engineering program that provides students with a strong foundation in chemical engineering. The program is taught by experienced faculty and offers ample opportunities for students to learn real-world skills.

The program is designed for students who wish to pursue doctoral studies and provides students with a glimpse into biotechnology and nanotechnology. The program consists of 32 credits and offers three options for completion: coursework-only, master’s project, or thesis. The coursework covers topics such as transport phenomena, thermodynamics, chemical reaction engineering, advanced process control, and entrepreneurship & IP management.

The program prepares students for advanced professional and research positions in the field of chemical engineering.

3. Columbia University

  • Location: New York, New York State
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to three semesters
  • Estimated Tuition: $2,362 per credit

Columbia University offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Chemical Engineering program, providing a comprehensive education in the field. The program is designed for working professionals, allowing students to study the latest chemical engineering topics in depth without the need to be on campus.

Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, a minimum GPA of 3.0, GRE test scores, letters of recommendation, transcripts, a resume, a statement of purpose, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students.

The curriculum consists of 30 credits, covering core courses such as transport phenomena, mathematical methods in chemical engineering, statistical mechanics, advanced chemical kinetics, and advanced chemical engineering thermodynamics.

The program prepares students for various career opportunities in the chemical engineering industry, offering a flexible and rigorous learning experience.

4. Kansas State University

  • Location: Manhattan, Kansas
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Up to six years
  • Estimated Tuition: $800.30 per credit

Kansas State University offers an online Master of Science program in Chemical Engineering, which is available to both domestic and international students. This program is designed for working professionals and includes the same courses as those offered on campus. It comprises 30 credits, all of which are available online through the K-State Online course management system.

The curriculum covers various courses such as chemical engineering analysis, advanced chemical engineering thermodynamics, advanced chemical reaction engineering, advanced transport phenomena, master’s report, biochemical engineering, and bio separations.

To be admitted to the program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from an ABET-accredited institution (or GRE test scores), a minimum GPA of 3.0, a statement of objectives, three professional and/or academic references, unofficial transcripts, and proof of English proficiency for non-native English speakers.

5. Lehigh University

  • Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three years
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,500 per credit

Lehigh University offers online graduate degrees in various fields, including chemical engineering. The online master’s degree in chemical engineering at Lehigh University is rigorous and has a high completion rate. The faculty includes active researchers who bring state-of-the-art methods, teaching, and technology to the classroom, providing students with a holistic and stimulating experience.

The program consists of 30 credits, involving core courses such as chemical engineering thermodynamics; transport processes; chemical reaction engineering; and mathematics methods in chemical engineering.

This program is open to students with an accredited undergraduate degree in chemical engineering (students not meeting this requirement must take the bridging course). A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required, while other application materials include official transcripts, a current resume, two letters of recommendation, and a professional essay. Examinations such as GRE or GMAT are not required for admission.

6. North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University
  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three to six years
  • Estimated Tuition: Residents ($505.28 per credit); non-residents ($1,572.28 per credit)

North Carolina State University offers an online master of science (MS) in chemical engineering program, which has been designed for students with an undergraduate degree in engineering. This distance education program teaches courses by full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty. Also, this online program offers the same courses as on-campus ones.

Applicants to the program are required to have an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from an accredited institution, an overall grade point average of 3.0, GRE scores (waiver available), and TOEFL or IELTS scores (for international applicants only). Applicants without an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering may also qualify.

The program comprises 30 credits and involves courses such as chemical engineering process modeling; thermodynamics; transport phenomena; chemical reaction engineering; biochemical engineering; advances in pollution prevention; green chemical engineering; chemical process engineering; and molecular cell engineering, among others.

7. University Of Southern California

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Full-time (1.5 to two years); part-time (2.5 to three years)
  • Estimated Tuition: $2,309 per credit

The University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering offers an online Master of Science in Chemical Engineering program through DEN@Viterbi, its online delivery method. This unique blended delivery model provides highly interactive live instruction, allowing students to engage with professors and classmates through various channels such as live chat, telephone, threaded discussions, and virtual meetings.For admission to this program, students need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in any engineering or engineering-related discipline.

The application requirements include transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, a current resume, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students. Notably, GRE test scores are not required for this program.The curriculum comprises 28 credits and includes core courses such as modeling and analysis of chemical engineering systems, thermodynamics for chemical engineers, transport processes, and chemical engineering kinetics.

the program offers various elective courses, allowing students to develop expertise in specialized areas such as materials engineering, energy engineering, bioengineering, engineering design, control management, and environmental engineering.

8. Villanova University

Villanova University
  • Location: Villanova, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three to five years
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,541 per credit

Villanova University offers a Master of Science program in Chemical Engineering that can be completed entirely online. This program is tailored for working chemical engineers, aiming to expand their knowledge in the field. Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students without an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering may also be considered for admission but will need to fulfill additional requirements.

The curriculum consists of 30 credits for students with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and 36 credits for “bridging” students. Core courses cover topics such as thermodynamics, transport phenomena, and chemical kinetics and catalysis, while elective courses include separation processes, process design, chemical engineering reactors, and biochemical engineering.

The program provides flexibility for students to complete prerequisite courses either at Villanova or through online courses at Michigan State University to expedite their degree completion.

9. Stanford University

  • Location: Stanford, California
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to five years
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,400 per unit

The Stanford university of Engineering provides a fully online Master of Science (MS) in Chemical Engineering program tailored for working professionals. This program offers a comprehensive curriculum covering a wide range of engineering topics in addition to chemical engineering. Upon completion, students receive the same degree as residential MS students.

The program is open to active Stanford undergraduates, currently matriculated Stanford graduate students, and external applicants with a bachelor’s degree. Application requirements include an online application, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, bio-demographic information, and transcripts.

The curriculum consists of 45 credits, encompassing courses such as applied mathematics in the chemical and biological sciences, micro hydrodynamics, chemical kinetics & reaction engineering, molecular thermodynamics, the fundamentals and applications of spectroscopy, and advanced biochemical engineering.

10. University Of Virginia

  • Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three to five years
  • Estimated Tuition: In-state ($781 per credit); out-of-state ($1,456 per credit)

The University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science provides an online Master of Engineering degree in Chemical Engineering. This program offers students the opportunity to work on new and emerging chemical engineering research projects while also exploring core areas such as catalysis, biotechnology, electrochemistry, separations, and polymers.

The courses are delivered through pre-recorded lectures via Virginia Engineering Online (VEO), which provides a unique blended delivery model that allows students to communicate with professors and classmates through various channels such as live chat, telephone, threaded discussions, and virtual meetings.

To be admitted to the program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in any engineering or engineering-related discipline from an accredited institution, a minimum GPA of 3.0, a statement of objectives, three professional and/or academic references, unofficial transcripts, and proof of English proficiency for non-native English speakers. Notably, GRE test scores are not required for this program.

Chemical Engineering Courses

Chemical engineering students attend core subjects in Chemistry, Advanced math, Physics, chemistry, and engineering design concepts. Bachelor’s degrees generally contain a generalist curriculum. Therefore, the online courses listed below are the norm for all courses. However, you might get a degree with a specific focus, such as sustainable design, focusing on eco-friendly engineering.

Fluid Mechanics

Students in this class understand how gases and liquids behave and move. To do this, they generally examine hydrostatics, exact and exact solutions, energy balance and the use of differential equations to explain fluids.

Organic Chemistry

This course explains the properties and structures of organic materials, also known as materials that contain carbon. Faculty lectures on molecules, reactions, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. The majority of sections include laboratory research.

Reactor Design for Chemical Engineering

The instructors in this class teach the fundamentals of chemical reactions before explaining the mechanisms that allow them to occur. Students may be able to design various reactors, like catalytic chemical reactors or tubular ones.

Transport Processes

The class draws upon physics and chemistry to explain how heat, mass, and momentum move or exchange. Students apply differential equations to compute radiant heat transfer, conduction, diffusion, and convective transportation.3

Careers in Chemical Engineering

With their strong scientific and technological foundation, chemical engineers can be employed in various expanding industries. Students holding an online Chemical Engineering bachelor’s program are generally equipped for entry-level positions. They could also find positions in related areas, including Biotechnology, biochemical engineering, sustainable energy development or environmental engineering.

It’s crucial to know that graduates might require a Professional Engineering license to advance their careers. This license can open doors to jobs in education, government and consulting, and it may also allow graduates to gain access to higher-level positions.

The following list contains job opportunities available to those who have completed online chemical engineering courses. Information on salaries and job prospects is sourced via the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Chemical Engineers

  • Annual Median Salary: $105,550
  • Job Growth Rate: 14%

Chemical engineers design efficient and safe manufacturing processes with procedures for dealing with potentially hazardous substances. During their daily work, they monitor equipment, conduct tests and identify potential issues that could arise in large-scale manufacturing environments.

Agricultural and Food Scientists

  • Annual Median Salary: $74,160
  • Job Growth Rate: 8%

Food scientists and agricultural scientists study various aspects of the production of crops. Their work spans investigating soils’ composition and chemical makeup and engineering seeds to determine the best way to package and distribute food products. Certain professionals also conduct studies and communicate findings to policymakers and the general public.

Materials Engineers

  • Annual Median Salary: $98,300
  • Job Growth Rate: 6%

Material scientists use their knowledge of materials science to analyze the characteristics of different substances, like ceramics, plastics, and metals, hoping to determine how they perform in various production conditions. They assist in determining the conditions in which certain materials may fail and the safety rating for a wide range of items.

Petroleum Engineers

  • Annual Median Salary: $130,850
  • Job Growth Rate: 8%

Petroleum engineers typically are in refineries or offshore drilling rigs. They are accountable for the extraction of gas and oil deposits. Much of their work involves process engineering, in which they create safety protocols and ensure that employees follow the standard operating procedures. Petroleum engineers sometimes study deposits to discover new methods of obtaining substances.

FAQs About Chemical Engineering Degrees

What Can You Do with a Chemical Engineering Degree?

You can be a chemical engineer by obtaining an engineering degree in chemical science. However, you could also study similar engineering fields, including materials, industrial engineering and environmental engineering. It is possible to perform chemical technician work in the academic, government or companies in the private sector. However, most of these positions require an associate’s degree for entry-level positions.

Can You Become a Chemical Engineer With a Chemistry Degree?

Becoming a chemical engineer after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering is possible. However, it isn’t very specific. Engineering degrees typically contain specialization in engineering processes and mechanical design that a standard science degree will not cover. Chemical engineering employers typically prefer those who can create workflows and equipment using chemical substances.

How Many Years Does It Take to Become a Chemical Engineer?

Becoming an engineer in chemical engineering can take about four years of full-time education. Students spend most of their time finishing their bachelor’s degree before gaining field experience via an internship program or similar programme. Certain employers require graduates to be able to demonstrate their skills even for entry-level positions.

Is It Possible to Get a Chemical Engineering Degree Online?

Students can complete the majority of their chemical engineering degrees online. This usually means they can complete all their major and general education courses online. Students must return to campus for two or three weeks to complete their curriculum’s laboratory sections, usually in the summer.

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