Nov 28, 2023  
Rensselaer Catalog 2018-2019 
Rensselaer Catalog 2018-2019 [Archived Catalog]

Chemical and Biological Engineering

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The chemical engineering program comprises a minimum of 39 courses, which include three free electives and three area electives: one in advanced chemistry, one in advanced chemical engineering, and one in a nonchemical engineering area. On completion of three years of the baccalaureate program, the student may continue to the fourth year or be admitted to the professional program. While individual variations may be made in the course sequence in consultation with a faculty adviser, all listed courses and elective credits in the curricula must be satisfactorily completed to qualify for the specified degrees. A program outline that indicates required courses and electives is provided below. The complete curriculum totals 131 credit hours.

First Year


  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4


  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4

Second Year

Third Year

The Arch Summer Semester*

*For students who have applied for and been granted an exception, the Arch Summer courses would be taken during the fall semester. For listing of the exception process go to:

  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4

Fall OR Spring

  • Free Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • HASS Elective Credit Hours: 4
  • Professional Development II Credit Hours: 2
    (See footnote 4 below)

Fourth Year


  • Free Elective II Credit Hours: 4
  • CHME 4XXX Chemical Engineering Elective Credit Hours: 3
    (See footnote 5 below)


  • Engineering Elective Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 6 below)
  • Free Elective III Credit Hours: 4


As is evident in the above outline, the B.S. program includes several types of electives, three of which are specifically designated. These designated electives are subject to the following constraints:

  • The chemical engineering elective must be 4000-level and above in chemical engineering or in an approved, advanced chemical engineering subject.
  • The engineering elective cannot be a chemical engineering course; it must be at least 2000-level and contain four credits of engineering topics.
  • The engineering elective cannot be ENVE 2110, ENGR 2250, or MANE 4010.

The curriculum clearance officer, who maintains a list of appropriate courses, must approve selection of these three constrained electives. The three free electives are completely unconstrained.

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Electives

In this area, the electives are based on the Institute and School of Engineering requirements. Students are urged to elect humanities, arts, and social science sequences through which they will obtain adequate breadth and depth in subject areas. Students desiring minors in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences must consult the school or department in which the courses are offered to obtain further information and specific requirements.


  1. May be replaced by “ENGR 1300 Engineering Processes”, although CHME 1010 is recommended.
  2. May be taken in either order. ENGR 1200 Engineering Graphics and CAD may replace ENGR 1400.
  3. May be replaced with BIOL 1010, but BIOL 2120 is recommended for those who have had biology in high school and who have had Chemistry I.
  4. Will be fulfilled from a list of courses published at the beginning of each semester.
  5. 4000-level or higher.
  6. Cannot be a chemical engineering course; it must be at least at the 2000 level and contain 4 credits of engineering topics. This elective cannot be ENVE 2110 or ENGR 2250.

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