Online Chemical Engineering Degrees
Learn about distance learning options in chemical engineering. Find out about the classes offered in this field of study, and get information about admission requirements.
What Chemical Engineering Degrees Are Available Online?
In a chemical engineering degree program, you'll explore how chemistry is applied to develop new products or processes. You can find Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree programs online, but they are rare. Earning a bachelor's degree will qualify you to work as a chemical engineer. You can also find entry-level work as a test, sales or process engineer.
Most online programs award a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering. This degree program prepares you for research and development work in a variety of manufacturing industries, such as pharmaceutical, food, clothing and electronics. You can also seek specialized positions in environmental, biomedical and materials engineering.
|Learning Environments||Traditional classroom and online bachelor's and master's degree options are available|
|Key Topics Discussed||Fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, polymer creation, process modeling, transport phenomena|
|Course Format||Online courses may require on-campus labs or proctored exams|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma and foundational coursework for bachelor's degree programs; a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering or related field for master's degree programs|
|Median Salary (2018)||$104,910* (for chemical engineers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)||8% growth* (for all chemical engineers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Will I Learn?
As an undergraduate, you'll learn the basics of chemical engineering, such as thermodynamics, transport phenomena, fluid dynamics and process modeling. Additionally, your curriculum may include coursework in advanced chemistry and physics as well as general engineering.
Master's degree programs in chemical engineering focus more on mathematical modeling, research and specialized chemical engineering processes. You can expect to take advanced courses that teach you how to create polymers and customized chemicals. Graduate programs also explore how advanced aspects of chemical engineering can be applied to solve problems or conduct research in biotechnology, electronics and environmental science.
How Are Online Programs Different?
As an online student, you'll receive your instruction in the form of recorded lectures in video and audio format. In some cases, you may be able to view your lectures in real time. Professors answer questions and provide assistance through e-mail, threaded discussion, telephone or live chat. Most programs are designed to be asynchronous, although there are designated due dates for assignments and exams.
Both bachelor's and master's degree programs may require you to complete proctored exams at a designated site. If you're pursuing a bachelor's degree, you may be required to complete brief on-campus labs. At the master's level, you'll complete your lab requirements in the virtual classroom. Online master's degree programs generally require you to complete a comprehensive exam - which may be conducted on campus - but you typically do not have to complete a thesis.
What Do I Need to Enroll?
To enroll in the online bachelor's degree program, you must submit a high school transcript that reflects coursework in advanced math and lab sciences. Once you're enrolled, you may have to take foundational courses in physics, chemistry and math before you can proceed to upper-division engineering courses. Depending on your age at the time of enrollment, college entrance exams may or may not be required.
Online master's degree programs look for students who've earned their Bachelor of Science through chemistry, chemical engineering, physics or related programs. Due to the highly competitive nature of master's degree programs, your undergraduate transcript must generally reflect a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.