Path to Graduation

President Eisgruber speaks at the lecturn during commencement

Every CBE student graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree. Roughly 80 percent supplement their major with an undergraduate certificate. And while they're at it, our students pursue an amazing diversity of passions — from volleyball to chamber orchestra, from start-up companies to semesters abroad.

Below, we've tried to give you a quick look at what it means to be a CBE student. But this decision is far from simple, so please reach out to us with your questions.

Academic Requirements

Here's the basic outline:

  • Start with the foundational courses required of all BSE students.
  • Dive into theory and experimentation with the CBE Core.
  • Choose one of six areas of concentration to organize your electives.
  • Embark on a year-long independent research project, known as the senior thesis, advised by a member of the CBE or CBE-affiliated faculty.

For more information please refer to the Undergraduate Handbook.


Areas of Concentration

Everyone who majors in CBE chooses one of six areas of concentration, which helps organize a student's choice of electives. In practical terms, this means three of your technical electives will come from a group of area-specific selections. Two additional electives come from two different "breadth" areas, which rounds out your over all experience.

Below find the list of electives on offer for each of the six areas of concentration.


Sample Curriculum

The table below gives you an idea what four years of classes might look like. This schedule is not fixed, and the choice of courses does not account for advanced placement or other considerations. This is simply a baseline curriculum for a typical CBE student. And it is one more tool to guide you along your path to graduation.

First Year MAT 103 Calculus MAT 104 Calculus
  PHY 103 Physics PHY 104 Physics
  CHM 201 Chemistry CHM 202 Chemistry
  Humanities/Social Science Computing Requirement
    Writing Requirement
Sophomore Year MAT 201 Multivariable Calculus CBE 246 Thermodynamics
  CBE 245 An Introduction to Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Principles MOL 214 Molecular Biology
  CHM 301 Organic Chemistry MAE 305 Differential Equations
  MAT 202 Linear Algebra Program Elective
  Humanities/Social Science Humanities/Social Science
Junior Year CBE 250 Separations in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology CBE 346 Chemical and Biological Engineering Laboratory
  CBE 341 Mass, Momentum, Energy Transport CBE 441 Chemical Reaction Engineering
  Program Elective Program Elective
  Program Elective Humanities/Social Science
  Humanities/Social Science  
Senior Year CBE 442 Design, Synthesis, and Optimization of Chemical Processes CBE 454 Senior Thesis
  CBE 454 Senior Thesis Humanities/Social Science
  Program Elective Open Elective
  Humanities/Social Science Open Elective


José L. Avalos
Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Office Phone
101 Hoyt Laboratory
Julie Sefa
Undergraduate Administrator
Office Phone
A201 Engineering Quad

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering offers an undergraduate program of study in Chemical Engineering accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET ( under the General Criteria and the Program Criteria for  Chemical, Biochemical, Biomolecular and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.