Complete Guide to an Online Chemical Engineering Degree

Quick Facts
Accreditation: ABET
Degree Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
Avg Tuition: $35,952
Avg Salary: $97,691

Accredited online chemical engineering degrees are offered by 17 colleges and are available at the bachelor's, master's, and certificate levels. Chemical engineering incorporates and applies math and science principles to problems that arise in the production of drugs, food, fuel, chemicals, and other products. Those who choose to pursue this degree path must have a strong grasp of math, science, and engineering principles, and enjoy solving complex problems. 

Prospective online chemical engineering students should make sure to attend a school that has earned both regional and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accreditation. Accreditation at both the regional and programmatic level helps to ensure that the education students receive is relevant and meets national standards. 

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Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Chemical Engineering Degrees ( 17)

School Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Arizona State University HLC $15,691 - $27,372 68% (81 reviews)
208 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Power Generation
Auburn University SACS COC $29,640 100% (2 reviews)
114 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Master of Chemical Engineering
Columbia University in the City of New York MSCHE $57,208 Add Review
75 Programs, 4 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Certificate in Materials Science
  • Certificate in Materials Science - Nanotechnology
  • Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
Excelsior College MSCHE Not Provided 59% (120 reviews)
195 Programs, 2 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Associate of Applied Science in Technical Studies - Nuclear Technologies / Power Plant Technologies
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Technology Management - Nuclear Technology
Lehigh University MSCHE $50,740 Add Review
31 Programs, 4 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Biological Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Chemical Energy Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering
Michigan State University HLC $39,406 100% (3 reviews)
110 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Certificate in Foundations of Chemical Engineering
Michigan Technological University HLC $32,318 100% (1 review)
15 Programs, 2 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Hybrid Electric Drive Vehicle Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Hybrid Electric Drive Vehicle Engineering
Missouri University of Science and Technology HLC $25,918 Add Review
166 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Safety Engineering - Chemical/Metallurgical Process Safety
New Jersey Institute of Technology MSCHE $31,918 Add Review
82 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
North Carolina State University SACS COC $27,406 67% (3 reviews)
91 Programs, 2 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Master of Engineering - Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Texas A&M University-College Station SACS COC $36,606 67% (3 reviews)
129 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Security
University of California - Los Angeles WASC WSCUC $41,275 100% (2 reviews)
137 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Master of Science in Engineering - Materials Science
University of Idaho NWCCU $23,812 100% (2 reviews)
60 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Graduate Academic Certificate in Nuclear Criticality Safety
University of Massachusetts-Lowell NECHE $31,865 83% (6 reviews)
87 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Plastics Engineering Fundamentals
University of North Dakota HLC $20,047 67% (3 reviews)
75 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
University of Southern California WASC WSCUC $54,259 64% (11 reviews)
119 Programs, 1 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Villanova University MSCHE $51,284 100% (2 reviews)
79 Programs, 3 in Chemical Engineering (view all)
  • Certificate in Biochemical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Biochemical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Chemical Engineering

Online Chemical Engineering Degree Overview & Career Information

Online chemical engineering are available at the bachelor's, master's, and certificate level. A bachelor's degree in chemical engineering is required to find entry-level work. At the master's level, a graduate will be more qualified for advanced leadership and management roles. There are also certificate programs available in chemical engineering and related subjects, which can be earned at the graduate level after a bachelor's degree has already be completed. A certificate may be a good fit for someone who wishes to diversify their skill set and become qualified for more advanced positions, but who isn't ready to or interested in pursuing a full graduate degree.

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Online Associate Degrees in Chemical Engineering

View Associate Programs View Associate Programs

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Chemical Engineering

An online bachelor's degree in chemical engineering is the minimum educational level required to find work as a chemical engineer. This degree may take anywhere from four to six years to finish, depending on whether the student is enrolled on a full or part time basis, and consists of 120 to 133 semester credit hours. Coursework covers topics including calculus, differential equations, fluid mechanics, separation processes, quantum chemistry, and many other advanced topics in mathematics and science.

A high school diploma or GED is required to enroll in one of these programs. Depending on the school, additional admissions requirements may include an essay, SAT or ACT scores, and letters of recommendation. Students with previous college work will need to submit those transcripts as well. High school students who know they want to pursue a degree in chemical engineering should prepare by taking classes in math and science, such as biology, chemistry, calculus, and trigonometry. 

Upon completing an online bachelor's degree, graduates may be qualified for entry-level work as a chemical engineer in a variety of settings, such as industrial plants, offices, laboratories, and refineries.

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Online Master's in Chemical Engineering

Individuals who wish to advance into leadership and management roles within the field of chemical engineering may want to pursue an online master's degree. An online master's degree in chemical engineering typically takes two to three years to complete and consists of 30 semester credit hours. Classes that students may take during these online programs cover topics such as chemical engineering thermodynamics, transport processes, polymer blends and composites, and air pollution.

To be admitted to one of these online programs, an applicant will usually need to hold a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering or a related field, though some schools will consider applicants from different educational backgrounds. Some schools require that a prospective student's bachelor's degree was earned from an ABET-accredited school. Applicants also need to submit an admissions essay that goes over their educational and professional goals. Other requirements may include an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and test scores from a graduate entrance exam like the GRE.

An online master's degree in chemical engineering may help to prepare graduates for advanced positions in a variety of industries, such as petrochemical processing, materials manufacturing, energy distribution, microelectronics, and biotechnology.

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Online Certificates in Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers looking to expand upon existing skill sets may be interested in pursuing an online graduate certificate. An online graduate certificate in chemical engineering may also be appropriate for someone who wants to apply to a master's or Ph.D. program and wants to gain an advantage as an applicant.

Classes that a student might take during an online certificate program include Advanced Fluid Mechanics, Advanced Engineering Mathematics, Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Engineering, and Advanced Mass and Heat Transfer. Online chemical engineering certificate programs can be found at the university level and can likely be completed in less than a year.

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The Importance of an Accredited Online Chemical Engineering Degree

When choosing an online chemical engineering program, students should make sure their schools of choice are both institutionally and programmatically accredited. Schools that have earned institutional accreditation at the regional level have met national standards for educational quality that have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Attending an accredited school is crucial for students who are hoping to apply for federal financial aid or who may want to transfer credits between institutions of higher education.

In addition to regional accreditation, students should look for online degree programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET is the predominant accrediting body for engineering and technology degrees in the United States. Attending an ABET-accredited program helps to ensure that the engineering education offered meets the highest standards for quality and relevance. Many engineering employers look for ABET accreditation when hiring so attending such a program is beneficial to students' future professional pursuits. 

Careers in Chemical Engineering

Graduates of online chemical engineering programs may go on to work as chemical engineers, using aspects of science and math to find solutions to various problems that have to do with making products like food, fuel, drugs, chemicals, and others. They can work in many different settings, such as manufacturing plants, laboratories, refineries, and offices. Day-to-day duties may include conducting research to find ways to make production procedures more efficient and making sure equipment meets safety and environmental standards.

Chemical engineers also spend time determining the most effective way to lay out equipment and run different types of tests to measure performance levels in various production processes. A chemical engineer may choose to specialize in certain areas like biological engineering or nanomaterials or focus on a particular chemical process like polymerization or oxidation. To advance in their careers, chemical engineers may choose to obtain Professional Engineering licenses, but this isn't as commonly required as it is in other engineering fields. Most advancement opportunities in chemical engineering come through experience and higher education.

References

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