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Chemical Engineering

College of Engineering

Chemical engineering is the study of transforming matter under constraint. Chemical engineers find industrial employment in areas of energy, the environment, biomedicine, electronics, food production and materials. Chemical engineers also find careers in academia and government and military service. Students study chemical processes at the molecular level and the chemical plant level and gain an engineering education deeply grounded in mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and materials science.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Curricular options: Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering

Topic(s): Computing, Engineering, Natural and environmental sciences

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Degree requirements

Applicant type

Applicant type

Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).

The primary pathway to chemical engineering is through Direct to College admission to the College of Engineering. If you want to major in this or any major within the College of Engineering, be sure to list it as your first-choice major on the freshman application.

Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

Departmental application deadline: January 15
Please contact the department for details about the application process.

This major is capacity-constrained. Completion of prerequisites does not guarantee admission.
  • Transfer students must submit two applications: one to the Office of Admissions and one to the Chemical Engineering.
  • To be eligible to apply, you must have a 2.0 (“C” grade) minimum GPA in each prerequisite course and a 2.5 cumulative GPA in all the prerequisites. These are minimums; the actual GPA of those admitted is much higher.
  • To plan your transfer, be sure to:
    1. Utilize the College of Engineering’s transfer admission website and contact the department if you have additional questions.
    2. In addition to submitting the departmental application, you must apply to the Admissions Office spring quarter (deadline: December 15)
    3. For more information, please visit Chemical Engineering’s website.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Courses required for the major:

  • CHEM 142 NSc RSN – General Chemistry
  • CHEM 152 NSc RSN – General Chemistry
  • CHEM 162 NSc RSN – General Chemistry
  • MATH 124 NSc RSN – Calculus Analytic Geometry I
  • MATH 125 NSc – Calculus Analytic Geometry II
  • MATH 126 NSc – Calculus Analytic Geometry III
  • MATH 207 NSc – Introduction to Differential Equations
  • PHYS 121 NSc RSN – Mechanics
  • PHYS 122 NSc – Electromagnetism
  • 5 Credits of English composition C

Courses recommended for the major:

CHEM 237 NSc – Organic Chemistry (strongly recommended)

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 171
Total from Washington community colleges: 30

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: 9
3.50 – 3.74: 7
3.25 – 3.49: 5
3.00 – 3.24: 6
2.75 – 2.99: <5
2.50 – 2.74: <5
2.49 and below: <5

Career outcomes


See list of all majors