Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Advising

Michael Gordon
Professor and Vice Chair of Undergraduate Affairs


Erica Diaz
Student Affairs Manager

Why Choose UCSB Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is truly an exciting field. We live in a technological society where the benefits of technology are readily apparent. Today and in the years to come, our society must address critical problems that have strong technological aspects, such as energy efficiency, safeguarding the environment, ensuring national security, and delivering health care.

At UCSB, students will experience unparalleled academic and undergraduate research opportunities, faculty members who are at the top of their fields, and momentum for your engineering career around every corner! 

+ Read: 15 Reasons to Choose UCSB's College of Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering is one of five departments within UCSB's world-renowned College of Engineering, a dynamic intellectual community with a commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and community service. We offer accredited programs with globally recognized faculty who bring excitement to education through their research and industry experience.

Since UCSB Engineering is a college within the larger UCSB campus, we offer an excellent student to faculty ratio for engineering courses while providing students with the services, programs, and opportunities of a larger campus. We offer value-added opportunities to students, such as dozens of career development events throughout the year where students can meet top industry recruiters, hands-on research internships with engineering faculty, coursework in business management and entrepreneurism via the Technology Management Program, an Education Abroad Program, and an optional BS/MS program in Materials.

Program Overview

The undergraduate chemical engineering program at UCSB balances fundamental principles of science and engineering with the practical skills necessary to apply them. We offer technical electives that provide considerable flexibility and allow students to pursue special interests including biotechnology, materials science, or technology management.

Our curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of a rapidly changing technological society. The quality of undergraduate teaching is superb. Chemical engineering courses are taught by accessible faculty, rather than teaching assistants. Our faculty are recognized leaders in their research fields and we take great pride in the outstanding contributions of our alumni in industry, government, and academia.

The undergraduate program in chemical engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Learn more at abet.org.


Educational Objectives

UCSB chemical engineering graduates will:

  • Be innovative, competent, contributing chemical engineers.
  • Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in the workplace, so that they remain effective engineers, take on new responsibilities, and assume leadership roles.
  • Continually develop new skills and knowledge through formal and informal mechanisms.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, students from the UCSB Chemical Engineering Bachelor's program are expected to have mastered these skills and practices:

  • Fundamentals: the fundamental knowledge of mathematics, computing, science, and engineering needed to practice chemical engineering, and the ability to apply this knowledge to identify, formulate, and solve chemical engineering problems 
  • Laboratory: the ability to design and conduct experiments and to analyze and interpret data
  • Design: the ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired specifications, while recognizing, assessing and mitigating potential hazards; the ability to use modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  • Advanced Training: knowledge beyond the basic fundamentals in chemical engineering and/or related technical fields as preparation for a continuing process of lifelong learning, a recognition of the need for and the ability to engage in lifelong learning
  • Teamwork/Communication: the ability to function productively in multidisciplinary teams working towards common goals; the ability to communicate effectively through written reports and oral presentations
  • Engineering & Society: the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global/societal context; a knowledge of contemporary issues; an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility


The curricula for all of the major areas emphasize education in broad principles and fundamentals. At the same time, programs of study and research are flexible and tailored to accommodate the individual needs and interests of the students. Interdisciplinary approaches are stressed, and students are encouraged to cross over traditional boundaries into other departments. LINKS TO COURSE LIST

Academic Advising

All incoming undergraduate students are assigned a faculty advisor and are required to meet with their advisor annually in the fall, but are encouraged to meet with them on a regular basis. The role of the faculty advisor is to ensure students are progressing through the curriculum, assist them in the selection of departmental elective courses and provide counseling and advice on a variety of academic issues. In the final year of the curriculum, academic advisors will provide guidance to students on identifying and pursuing a career path. 

A Chemical Engineering departmental undergraduate advisor is also available to all students for help with academic issues and policies. Undergraduate academic counseling is provided by advisors in the Office of Undergraduate Studies of the College of Engineering.

Honors Program

The College of Engineering invites approximately the top 10% of incoming freshmen into the College Honors Program based on a combination of high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students with a UC transferable GPA of 3.6 or greater are invited to join the Honors Program.

Career Development

UCSB chemical engineering graduates are uniquely qualified to make major contributions to address society's most critical problems with strong technological aspects, which will require engineering research and development, as well as enlightened policy choices. Like other types of engineers, chemical engineers have a strong background in mathematics, physics, computing, and problem solving. The UCSB curriculum also includes required courses in advanced chemistry and bioscience that typically are not required for other engineering majors.

Students are exposed to career development opportunities such as regular career events where students can meet top industry recruiters, hands-on research internships, coursework in business management and entrepreneurism via the Technology Management Program, and the interdisciplinary environment of UCSB that allows students to learn from experts in any discipline. 

Research Opportunities

Upper-division undergraduates are provided with excellent opportunities to work in a research environment with faculty members who are conducting leading-edge research in the various fields of chemical engineering.

Preparation for Graduate Studies

Our program is designed to give students ample preparation for advanced engineering graduate education and a career path in academia if they choose.