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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Major Guide for 2016-2017

What is Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Chemical and biomolecular engineering is engaged in the development, design, operation, and management of plants and processes for economical, safe conversion of chemical raw materials to useful products, such as pharmaceuticals, plastics, and specialty chemicals. It is a broadly based discipline with heavy emphasis on chemistry and mathematics, with supporting study in areas such as physics, materials science, and humanities.

Chemical and biomolecular engineering graduates of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, possess the knowledge base, intellectual skills, and professional commitment which prepare them for innovative technical leadership, graduate study, productive service to society, and continued professional growth through lifelong learning. Preparation is based in the attainment of the objectives identified below, regular evaluation of the achievement of these objectives, and use of evaluation results to improve the educational process.

  • Graduates of the chemical and biomolecular engineering program who enter professional practice will demonstrate a high level of technical competence, along with career progression toward positions of technical or managerial leadership.
  • Graduates of the chemical and biomolecular engineering program who pursue full-time graduate or advanced professional study will complete their programs of study successfully.
  • Graduates of the chemical and biomolecular engineering program will continue their professional growth through lifelong learning.

The curriculum provides a central core of required courses with the flexibility in the upper-division years to permit emphasis on preparation for graduate school or professional employment, and to concentrate in either chemical or biomolecular tracks.

Career Opportunities in Chemical Engineering

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering plays a central and essential role in these and many other fields that involve chemical or physical transformation of matter. As a graduate of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering program, you will have a broad foundation for career opportunities in many critical technologies, including: (1) Biotechnology (genetic engineering, pharmaceuticals, medical devices); (2) Electronics (chip manufacturing, semiconductors, networking, databases); (3) Energy (petrochemicals, energy conversion and storage, solar and other types of sustainable energy); (4) Advanced materials (polymers and textiles, composite materials, ceramics, and coatings); (5) Food (agricultural productivity, packaging and preservation, genetic modification); (6) Environment (green processing, aquatic engineering, waste minimization);  (7) financial and business services, and (8) academia. A good career resource is the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook

High School Preparation

The College of Engineering has established admissions criteria for incoming freshmen based on several performance criteria, including completion of core academic subjects, GPA scores on these subjects and standardized test (SAT or ACT) scores. A Success Prediction Indicator (SPI) number of 60 and a math ACT of 25 or a math SAT of 570 are minimum standards used for admission to the College of Engineering. The admitted class may also be limited by space available in the College. The SPI is calculated by adding an individual’s ACT mathematics score to 10 times their core high school GPA (based on a 4.0 scale). For information on what constitutes core high school courses, please consult admission website

SPI EXAMPLE: A student with a high school core GPA of 3.5 and an ACT mathematics score of 28 would have an SPI of 63 using the formula (3.5 X 10) + 28 = 63. SAT scores are converted to an equivalent ACT score to perform this calculation.

Students who wish to pursue a degree in the College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, but do not meet the college admission criterion may enroll as University Undecided students and complete appropriate mathematics, science, and other courses before applying again for admission to the College of Engineering

How to Major in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Students applying for entry to the university should specify Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering as their chosen major when completing the admission form. Students who are transferring from other departments within UT or from other educational institutions should contact the department or the Engineering Advising Services office for more information regarding the appropriate entry level and any additional courses necessary.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

All freshman engineering students are automatically enrolled in the innovative Engage Engineering Fundamentals Program, desidned to help students learn basic engineering concepts and teamwork skills through a series of hands-on projects and activities:

The College of Engineering’s Professional Practice Office (EPP) provides income-generating opportunities for engineering students to experience realworld engineering challenges through cooperative education (co-op) and internship programs.  Both programs offer structured learning environments where students develop increasing responsibilities by holding full-time paid positions in a professional environment related to their academic and career goals:

In addition to financial and scholarship programs available to all students, the college also provides special scholarships and support programs to minority students including:

The College of Engineering also participates in the University Honors Program, which is designed to give academically outstanding students a unique undergraduate experience consisting of special courses, seminars, mentoring and research projects  The College of Engineering also offers honors programs in all majors

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers study abroad programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. Program lengths vary from mini-term trips to the entire academic year, and students may choose to fulfill general education requirements, study a foreign language, or take courses within their majors. In addition, UTK offers students opportunities for international internships.

Students are highly encouraged to begin planning early in their academic career and to consult with an academic advisor about the best time to study abroad as well as what courses to take abroad. For more information about program options, the application process, and how to finance study abroad, please visit the Programs Abroad Office website.

For more information about opportunities for majors in the College of Engineering, please see the section of the Engineering Outreach Office website which highlights study abroad programs for engineering students.

Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Experience Learning

Experience Learning LogoExperience Learning is a bold new initiative with the goal of transforming the educational student experience at the University of Tennessee. Over a five-year period, UT will transform our culture to give students more opportunities to be involved in civic engagement, solve complex real-world problems, and contribute to the welfare of their communities as part of their regular course work.

The purpose of Experience Learning is to help students apply the knowledge, skills, and values learned in the classroom to real-world challenges. Experience Learning also seeks to engage student learning through direct experience and intense reflection to increase knowledge, acquire lifelong learning and problem-solving skills, and elucidate values.

Learn more about Experience Learning.

Academic Plan and Milestones

Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. Beginning with first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering in the Fall 2013 semester, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.

To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, go to Chemical Engineering or Chemical Engineering with the Biomolecular Concentration in the Undergraduate Catalog (

Honors Concentration

The honors concentration encourages highly motivated students to experience a more rigorous preparation in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Admission is selective, and application to the honors concentration is made when the student applies for upper-division status.

Candidates for the honors chemical engineering concentration must complete the following requirements.

  • First-year courses for honors concentrations in the engineering majors.
  • Further requirements for the honors chemical engineering concentration are as follows. Maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.3 and a GPA of at least 3.3 in departmental courses. Complete CHEM 483 ; CBE 407 , CBE 447 , and one of the following: CBE 467 , CBE 488 , CBE 498 . Complete a 3-hour senior design course. This requirement is satisfied by CBE 488
  • If participating in only the Chancellor’s Honors Program, the Honors-by-Contract paperwork goes to the Chancellor’s Honors Office on campus during the first 10 days of the semester. If participating in Engineering Honors and not Chancellor’s Honors, the Honors-by-Contract paperwork is submitted the first 10 days of the semester to the engineering major department. If participating in both Chancellor’s and Engineering Honors, the Honors-by-Contract paperwork is submitted to both areas.

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