Chemical Engineering, B.S.

female student in front of her laptop looking at presentation


The undergraduate major in chemical engineering provides students with a solid foundation and the necessary skills to assume leadership roles in industry and government agencies. Chemical engineers are recruited for the design, synthesis and processing of chemicals and materials in a variety of industries including industrial chemicals and petroleum, environmental engineering, electronics, agriculture, tissue engineering, biomaterials engineering, food and beverage processing, semiconductor manufacturing, and power generation. Chemical engineering positively impacts society by providing efficient processes for making a range of products including cleaning air and water, nanotechnology, plastics, food, beverages, alternative fuels and recycled products. Because of the variety of fields that are relevant to this profession, the undergraduate program covers a broad range of subjects, including chemistry, physics, materials and thermal/mass/fluids/heat transfer, as well as computer-aided engineering, design, scale-up and manufacturing.


The innovative curriculum at UC Merced provides a rich educational experience that exposes students to engineering fundamentals, laboratory skills, unit operations and advanced computational tools to solve realistic engineering problems.

The program prepares students to pursue graduate studies in a variety of majors by focusing on exciting topics that not only include chemical production and processing, but also materials, nanotechnology, semiconductor fabrication, and environmental engineering. Students also get a culminating laboratory and design experience.

The program both offers the chemical engineering program as well as two optional emphasis tracks: nanoscience and engineering or materials science and engineering. Semiconductor and computational tracks are also planned. Students can also choose chemical engineering with a materials science and engineering minor, or choose a dual bachelor’s of science degree in chemical engineering and materials science and engineering.

What Can You Do With A Chemical Engineering Degree?

  • Annual Job Openings in CA: 7,663
  • 10-year projected job market growth:15.7%
  • Median wage in California: $115,556

Upon graduation, you might become:

  • Chemical Engineer
  • Process Control Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Chemical Plant and System Operator
  • Chemical Technician
  • Semiconductor Processing Technician
  • Food and Drug Research Scientist
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Production Engineer
  • Nanosystems Engineer