Chemical Engineering

Enjoy your adventure.

Be passionate.
Be creative.
Change the world.
Be greater than you imagined in agricultural engineering at Iowa State University.

More opportunities. More possibilities. More potential.

At Iowa State you’ll find all of these things and more. Immerse yourself in a university where top-notch academics and a vibrant student life form the ultimate college adventure. Open your mind. Broaden your horizons. Make memories to last a lifetime. Enjoy your agricultural engineering adventure.
Campus visits:
Apply for admission:
Financial support:
Chemical Engineering:
College of Engineering: 

Chemical engineering is an adventure.

It begins here.

Iowa State’s chemical engineering program has a range of resources and services to help you be creative in your field of study and life. Your adventure will take you places you can’t begin to imagine!

Engineer your future

Many of our graduates have built successful careers not only as engineers, but also as managers, entrepreneurs, sales representatives and consultants.

  • The average starting salary of chemical engineering graduates is more than $67,000/year.
  • Co-op and internship salaries for our students average more than $19/hour.
  • More than 500 companies visit the College of Engineering each year to recruit our students.
  • 93 percent of our chemical engineering students have in-profession placement within six months of graduation.

Discover your passion.

Chemical reactions are happening all around you—your body converting food to energy, the degradation of biodegradable products in the environment, and ingredients mixing and bonding together to make your favorite recipe. Chemical engineers are experts in chemical reactions—from very large (industrial size) to very small (nanoscale). Chemical engineering is a versatile field. Professionals tackle some of the most pressing issues facing us today—drugs interacting in the human body and crops being genetically modified. Recent graduates are developing new products for the food industry; aiding in the production of drugs for pharmaceutical companies; studying medicine, law and biomedical engineering in graduate school; and developing new environmentally friendly processes and products.

Be greater than you imagine

Whatever your goals are, your success is important to us! Our programs, labs, hands-on learning and facilities will give you a competitive advantage to address society’s greatest needs. Flexible program: you can tailor your course work to meet your career goals and interests. Many of your core classes will be in chemical engineering, with others in areas of your choice.

  • Interested in biorenewables and biobased products? Take additional classes in biomedical engineering, metabolic engineering and biocatalysis.
  • Want to work with food products? Take classes in food processing, biochemistry and food chemistry.
  • Interested in the chemical or petroleum industry? Take more basic science, math and polymers courses.
  • Interested in microelectronics? Take surface science and solid-state physics. Learning communities: When students work together and support each other, good things happen. We have created a strong social and academic environment for new students with our living/learning communities. Join a learning community and have a common schedule of classes, peer mentors, career exploration and the option of living on a floor with other students in your major.

Core curriculum

These are some examples of our classes:

  • Chemical and Biological Engineering Laboratory II: Conduct experiments covering fundamental material and energy balances, momentum and energy transport operations and thermodynamics.
  • Chemical Reaction Engineering: Learn about kinetics of chemical reactions and design homogeneous and heterogeneous chemical reactors.
  • Transport Phenomena II: Study conduction and diffusion, convective heat and mass transfer, boiling and condensation, radiation and the design of heat exchange equipment.
  • Material and Energy Balances: Examine chemical processes such as the physical behavior of gases, liquids and solids. Apply material and energy balances to these processes.
  • Process and Plant Design: Investigate the synthesis of chemical engineering processes, equipment and plants. Determine cost estimation and feasibility analysis.


Check us out!