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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Our commitment to diversity

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering supports the University of Illinois’ diversity values statement and believes that diversity strengthens excellence and innovation. A diverse workforce is more productive, creative, and adept at solving complex challenges. In the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, we are training future global leaders and recognize that we as a department should strive to reflect the world.

Thus, the department is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for faculty, students, and staff. We are also committed to increasing the number of people from underrepresented backgrounds in the department’s faculty and student body, including but not limited to

  • people of color
  • women
  • low-income students
  • first-generation college students
  • people with learning and physical disabilities

In order to foster an environment for underrepresented groups to apply, attend, and thrive at Illinois, we will work to encourage and support them while recognizing the challenges underrepresented students face. We will also create and encourage opportunities for outreach in an effort to expand and diversify the STEM pipeline.

We are making progress toward these goals, however acknowledge that further work is to be done.

Current department efforts

For undergraduate students, the department has established Pathways to Success Scholarships to recruit students from underrepresented communities. In addition, some endowed scholarships give preference to awardees who are women and/or minorities. The department also has created a tutoring program to support and retain current undergraduates and help them successfully complete the program.

Related to graduate students, faculty and current graduate students attend the annual National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conferences to recruit prospective graduate students. Working with The Grainger College of Engineering and Graduate College, the department also participates in programs such as MERGE, a diversity recruiting event, the SURGE fellowship program, Sloan Scholars and Illinois Sloan Scholars Fellowship Program with the Graduate College.

In an effort to diversify the STEM student pipeline, we support several outreach efforts. The department organizes a weeklong summer camp, Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (GAMES), which provides motivated high school girls with opportunities to explore engineering and scientific fields through demonstrations, classroom presentations, hands-on activities, and contacts with women in technical fields. The department also supports the St. Elmo Brady STEM Academy, an afterschool program for underrepresented youth and exposes, engages, and empowers them to become the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.


We want students to feel welcomed and respected in the department. We’ve compiled a variety of resources here for undergraduate and graduate students. If you still have not found the assistance or information you are looking for, graduate students can contact Cindy Dodds. If you are interested learning more about the graduate students perspective, please contact the ChBE Graduate Student Advisory Committee.

Campus offices

Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations

Part of the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations connects students with cultural centers (such as Bruce B. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, La Casa Cultural Latina and more), events and programs, additional resources, and links to reporting acts of intolerance.

Office of Diversity Equity and Access 

Serves as a resource to campus units on issues such as accessibility and accommodations, affirmative action, discrimination and harassment prevention, and Title IX.

Open Illinois

Provides information, resources and guidance for undocumented, DACA and those affected by immigration reform.

Office of Minority Student Affairs

Academic mentoring and programs, tutoring, federal TRIO programs and services.

LGBTRC (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgener Resource Center)

STEM student organizations

ChBE Graduate Student Advisory Council (will link to GSAC webpage when published)

National Organization for Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE)

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) 

Society for Advancing Chinos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE) 

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

Graduate Engineers Diversifying Illinois (GEDI)

Academic-Career Support

School of Chemical Sciences Career Services

Graduate College’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Internal and external fellowship support, programs, such including Sloan University Center of Exemplary Mentoring, summer research opportunities, and more.

Grainger College of Engineering Diversity Programs

The Grainger College of Engineering programs MERGE and SURGE are used to develop a diverse and highly motivated pool of engineers.

Campus Career Center

Career Closet

Morrill Engineering Program for undergraduates

Physical and Mental Health Support

Disability Resources and Educational Services

Campus Counseling Center

Individual, couples and group counseling available, including international students group, women of color therapy group

McKinley Health Center

Medical services, pharmacy, mental health clinic

National Grad Crisis Line


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