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Undergraduate Programs

Siris Laursen in a laboratory with a student.

Undergraduate Program

Chemical and biomolecular engineers use their basic understanding of physical, chemical, and biological processes in combination with molecular information and discovery to develop new processes and products that are not only essential in everyday life but also are critical to the advancement of human health and development and the improvement of environmental conditions. Read more about careers in chemical and biomolecular engineering.

Why Choose UT’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering?

If you join CBE as an undergraduate, you will be trained to understand the basic principles of science and engineering that provide the foundation for modern chemical and biological technology, maintain awareness of environmental safety, become committed to ethical practice, and recognize that lifelong learning is essential for prolonged superior performance. CBE also offers several distinct advantages for its students:

  • Diverse Student Body
    With its diverse student body (42% female and 10% underrepresented groups among undergraduates and 26% female and 12% underrepresented groups among graduate students), the department provides the ideal setting to prepare students for a successful career in a global and technological society.
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities
    The Eastman Unit Operations Laboratory offers cutting edge facilities for chemical engineering students to learn real-world practices. The lab is designed to help chemical engineering students take theoretical knowledge from the classroom and put it to use under monitored conditions. Upper class students are exposed to the practices and experience that are so critical to success after college.
  • Partnerships Create Research Opportunities
    Partnerships with other disciplines at UT, such as medical, life and physical sciences, and nearby industries and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, help to create exceptional research opportunities for undergraduate students in CBE and develop leadership roles in the vital technologies of the future. Read more about our partners.
  • Options for Concentrations and Minors
    In recognition of the importance of biology, the department offers a biomolecular engineering concentration. CBE students can easily acquire several different minors, ranging from biology and business to environmental and material science engineering.
  • Strong Student Organization
    The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals. The UT Student Chapter of AIChE provides students with opportunities to develop leadership skills, gain technical knowledge, build a chemical engineering network by connecting with industry experts, applying for scholarships, and competing for awards. The department also supports a Chem-E-Car team that competes at the annual AIChE Student Southern Regional conference. Student members gain valuable research and design experience.
  • Co-op and Internship Opportunities
    The Office of Engineering Professional Practice helps engineering students find educationally relevant paid co-op or internship positions. The most typical assignments for CBE students involve working at chemical facilities, refineries, oil platforms, and process control of chemical production systems such as BAE Systems, Bayer, Cargill, Chemours, Eastman Chemical, ExxonMobil, Flint Group, Kimberly-Clark, Mars Petcare, PepsiCo/FritoLay, The Dow Chemical Company, Olin Corporation, SABIC Innovative Plastics, and Shaw Industries.
  • Career Readiness
    We work hard to ensure all our students are well prepared for their next chapter upon graduation. In industry, ExxonMobil, BAE Systems, Eastman Chemical, Nissan North America, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, and Proctor & Gamble are just a few of the top-notch places that employ our grads. A number of CBE grads also pursue research placements at places like ORNL and the US Department of Defense. Recent CBE grads with a bachelor’s degrees have landed jobs with an average starting salary of $72,000.
  • World-Renowned Faculty
    Our faculty is a highly accomplished and energetic group of leaders that includes three UT-ORNL Governor’s Chairs, distinguished professors, named professors, and recipients of numerous awards for their contributions to engineering education. View ABET accreditation information