Undergraduate Admitted Student Information
Congratulations again on your admission to Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign! This is a well-deserved achievement, and we are excited to welcome you to our community of change-makers.
Ranked #5 by U.S. News and World Report, our undergraduate program emphasizes transforming you into an outstanding problem solver through learning and applying fundamental chemical engineering knowledge in real-world design projects, undergraduate research opportunities, and hands-on internships/co-ops that lead to job offers.
At Illinois, you can join forces with our world-class faculty on research to create sustainable local water supplies, develop infinitely recyclable plastic, improve biomaterials for bone regeneration, and transform carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into useful products—and much more.
All incoming first-year students are automatically considered for several four-year departmental scholarships upon admission to our program. During your time at Illinois, you will have unparalleled access to resources, programs, and scholarships through our department, the School of Chemical Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and The Grainger College of Engineering. Our academic advisors will partner with you to create a targeted plan to reach your goals and guide you throughout your academic journey. The SCS Career Services office will connect you with internships, co-ops, and job opportunities.
Last year, 97% of our graduates reported securing their first choice destination after graduation. Our alumni can be found reducing costs at production facilities and building reactors to manufacture new materials. They’ve been instrumental in developing products like Tide (Procter & Gamble), Cheerios (General Mills), and Cottonelle tissue (Kimberly-Clark) as well as next-generation solar panels, optical materials for electronics, and therapeutics to eliminate cancer. With a degree in chemical engineering from Illinois, you will be ready to make your mark in the world!
I can't wait to see you achieve your potential at Illinois!
Professor Baron Peters
Director of Undergraduate Studies
William H. and Janet G. Lycan Professor
“I chose chemical engineering because I wanted to do something that enabled me to make as great an impact as possible on society by using my interest in chemistry and mathematics. Naturally, chemical engineering is quite powerful, and chemical engineers have changed so many peoples’ lives with innovation and ingenuity. The University of Illinois is a unique place where you are given an enormous amount of freedom to explore all of your interests. The opportunities are all there—it’s just up to you to find them. Whether it be through talking to people from all walks of life or traveling to new countries, every moment I’ve had at Illinois provided its own unique adventure." — Adeel Afshar
Undergraduate Opportunities and Resources
Our students are collaborating with world-class faculty to lead independent research projects (for course credit).
UIUC offers the most student organizations to help you find your community and opportunities to thrive.
From tutoring to Career Services, we provide the resources you need to be successful at Illinois and beyond.
“Take advantage of all the opportunities around you—go to office hours, form study groups, join clubs, and go to events with friends. There is so much out there for you if you just look for it, and seemingly small interactions can have a big impact on your career and success here. I am following the biomolecular path, so I am interested in pharmaceuticals and medical research. I work in Dr. Brendan Harley’s tissue engineering lab as an undergraduate research assistant, and I have gotten to learn a lot more about the human body and how it repairs itself.” — Megan Shamsi
Frequently Asked Questions
The School of Chemical Sciences (SCS) Academic Advisors will meet individually with all incoming students to discuss their interests, goals, and plans for their first semester at Illinois. Students can begin signing up for New Student Registration in March. We recommend that students sign up for New Student Registration as early as possible and complete all necessary tasks (placement exams and online orientations) before their appointment. SCS Advising will email about 1-2 weeks before your registration appointment with details to help you prepare.
Maybe! Students who have taken AP exams in Chemistry may have earned some Chemistry lecture credit. However, we usually recommend that incoming first-year students waive these credits and take the Accelerated Chemistry sequence, which is the core first-year Chemistry sequence for ChBE majors.
Students who have earned Calculus I and/or Calculus II credit from AP Math exams may be able to use some of that credit and start in a higher-level math course, but it will depend on the student’s experience and skill with math. (There is no harm in starting with Calculus I even if a student has earned AP credit for the course!)
Students who earn a 5 on the AP Physics C exam may have some Physics – Mechanics or Physics – Electricity & Magnetism credits that can be applied to their degree. However, AP credit for Physics 1 or Physics 2 will not count toward the required calculus-based Physics needed for ChBE.
Yes – AP Chemistry exams only provide credit for General Chemistry lectures. Students cannot earn any lab credit from an AP course, so they should plan to take (at least) a Chemistry lab. In general, though, students who have had AP Chemistry in high school and have an appropriate Chemistry placement exam score should plan to take Accelerated Chemistry (CHEM 202, 203, 204, & 205) at Illinois for ChBE.
Yes – it is possible to complete a minor with a ChBE major! Just make sure to speak with your advisor about it and plan ahead since you should allow yourself about 3 years (6 semesters) to complete a minor. ChBE students have pursued minors in a variety of fields, but some of the more common ones include Computer Science (CS); Business; Technology & Management (applications are competitive); Sustainability, Energy, & Environment; Food Science; Statistics; and Spanish. Some of the courses required for these minors may overlap with General Education or technical elective requirements, but most minors will require 5-6 unique classes that may not count toward your major or other degree requirements.
The average time to degree for a ChBE major at Illinois is just over 4 years. This is often because students take a semester away from classes in order to complete a cooperative education experience where they gain 6-8 months of invaluable on-the-job experience. If you are a first-year student, you should plan on 4 years (8 semesters) to complete the degree in most cases.
If you are a transfer student, you will need at least 2.5 years (5 semesters) and more commonly 3 years (6 semesters) to complete the ChBE degree. Many of the core ChBE classes must be taken in a certain order and students often cannot double up on core classes in one semester.
Various computer labs, maker spaces, and printing stations can be found around campus. Students in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering also have access to computer labs in 211 & 308 Noyes Lab (off of the main quad). We recommend that students purchase a personal computer and download the Microsoft Office Suite (available for free at the Illinois Webstore). Either a PC or a MAC should be sufficient for your needs.
Our faculty and teaching assistants are engaged and available to meet with you during office hours—which are dedicated times that you can stop in to ask your instructor's questions. The department also offers peer tutoring for the program's core chemical engineering courses.
Free tutoring resources available on campus:
If you have questions about housing choices, assignments, or roommates, please contact University Housing.
There are so many different communities and ways to get involved at Illinois! We recommend that students explore a variety of professional and more social student organizations. Many of our students are members of AICHE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) and/or ACS (American Chemical Society)
You can also search Involved@Illinois for many other registered student organizations (RSOs) online or take advantage of the activities and support offered by the many cultural and resource houses at Illinois.
Health Professions Advisors at The Career Center assist pre-health students in preparing for the application process to health professional schools. The office provides information, resources, and insight to assist you in exploring the various health professions, identifying hands-on experiences in the health field, and learning how to become a competitive applicant.
Illinois also has an excellent Pre-law Advising staff to help students prepare and apply for law school.
If you have any other questions, contact SCS Advising at email@example.com.
“I enjoyed chemistry and physics in high school, so I wanted to study something that applied those skills. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to pursue as my profession yet, so I loved that ChBE was widely applicable to many industries and gave me some time to explore which field to go into. I love the ChBE community and having supportive professors and classmates. It is also one of the best programs in the country, and I feel like I have many opportunities through the program here.” — Chikako Barnes
Explore the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Get to know the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and what this campus has to offer through these virtual tours and guides.
Ever wonder what it’s like being a first-generation college student, a woman in computer science, a Big Ten football player, a student entrepreneur, or a performing musician? Join our host Alex and 11 star students at UIUC as they talk about extracurricular activities, majors, studying abroad, life after college, and advice for current and prospective students! Do you want to know what life is like at the University of Illinois? What our students are passionate about? What they do, and why? Stay tuned.
Looking to see campus? You're in the right place. Each student will greet you in a place important to them on a tour of journeys at the University of Illinois. The college tour isn't a traditional campus tour, but you'll see what kind of places on campus matter to each person we talk to.
If you’re hesitant to attend college or wondering how to enrich your college experience to launch your career, these students will inspire you to courageously pursue your goals and passions. Dream big, Illini!
The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Quad, main quad, or main quadrangle, is at the heart of campus. It is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spaces on any college campus! Located in the center of campus, the Quad is surrounded by historic buildings on every side, including the student-friendly Illini Union to the north and the regal Foellinger Auditorium to the south. It's beautiful, inclusive, and a welcoming space for all Illini to share.
This timelapse/hyperlapse video was shot by members of Champaign Photography. Check out scenes from across our gorgeous campus.
See what campus looks like right this moment with this live stream of the Alma Mater at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign! Alma Mater is a beloved statue created by alumnus and sculptor Lorado Taft.
“I love the small-school feel of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering while being part of a large campus and all the opportunities it offers. Everyone in the program is close, like a family. ChBE does a great job of including everyone. The professors are accessible, and there are lots of student organizations, so you can be as involved as much or as little as you want.” — Mikaela Dressendorfer