Curriculum - Chemical Engineering

The below curriculum represents the 2015/2016 academic year. We are in the process of revising this curriculum for the 2016/2017 academic year and will update this page soon.

The education of the chemical engineer requires a strong foundation in chemistry and physics, which must be applied through the medium of mathematics to the solution of design problems.

A thorough knowledge is required of chemical structures, together with energy and kinetic relationships of chemical reactions and molecular transfer. The chemical engineer deals with the application of these principles to processes carried out on a variety of scales from micro-reactors to an industrial scale, in which matter undergoes changes in physical state, chemical composition or energy content. Emphasis is placed on developing creative ability. Facts and theories are presented primarily to stimulate further thought and study in all fields of chemical engineering.

Formal instruction is supplemented by visits to several plants and companies where the contribution of engineers can be observed and understood with respect to equipment, utilities, safety, costs, environmental impact, labor and supervision. The students gets first-hand experience in the chemical engineering laboratory in applying engineering analysis to equipment performance, and in learning limitations of theoretical concepts. In the senior year, the student learns how to design chemical plants from fundamental data on new processes and to recognize areas of limited knowledge from the results of the design, and thus recommend pilot plant studies, if necessary.

Chemical engineering graduates find employment in a wide variety of areas. In addition to the chemical and petroleum industries, chemical engineers are involved heavily in the biomedical, materials and environmental fields. A chemical engineering education can also be easily applied to other interdisciplinary areas such as biochemical and biomedical engineering, energy resources ,environmental engineering and materials resources. As a result, chemical engineers are also finding employment in nonindustrial institutions such as government, research think-tanks, policy study groups and even publishing companies.

Note that the chemical engineering department does not make use of the 12-credit rule.


This material has been extracted from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science & Art current course catalog. It is not guaranteed to be completely correct in all respects—please consult the most recent catalog for official information:

A minor can be obtained by a student in chemical engineering taking any four (4) classes in one of the fields below. The courses listed are examples of courses currently in the Cooper Union catalog. Note that some may require prerequisites or permission of the instructor. Additionally, note that it will not be necessary to obtain a minor in any field in order to graduate with a bachelor of engineering in chemical engineering.

Environmental Engineering

ChE 340/Industrial Waste Treatment
CE 141/Environmental Systems Engineering
CE 142/Water Resources Engineering (also EID 142)
CE 346/Hydraulic Engineering
EID 141/Air Pollution Control Systems
CE 414/Solid Waste Management
CE 435/Geo-Environmental Engineering (also EID 435)
CE 440/Industrial Waste Treatment Design
CE 441/Water and Wastewater Technology
CE 446/Pollution Prevention or Minimization
CE 447/Stream and Estuary Pollution
CE 449/Hazardous Waste Management

Biomedical Engineering

ECE 343/Bio-instrumentation and Sensing
EID 121/Biotransport Phenomena
EID 122/Biomaterials
EID 123/Biosystems and Instrumentation
EID 124/Bioengineering in Safety Design and Injury Analysis and Prevention
EID 125/Biomechanics
EID 320/Special Topics in Bioengineering
EID 325/Science and Application of Bioengineering Technology
EID 326/Ergonomics
EID 327/Tissue Engineering
Ch 340/Biochemistry (also Bio 102)
Bio 101/Molecular and Cellular Biology
ECE 422/Selected Topics in Embedded Systems
ME 421/Rehabilitation Engineering (also EID 421)
ME 423/Measurement of Human Performance (also EID 423)
EID 424/Bioengineering Applications in Sports Medicine
Ch 440/Biochemistry II

Energy Engineering

ME 131/Energetics (also EID 131)
ME 133/Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (also EID 133)
ME 330/Advanced Engine Concepts
ME 334/Combustion (also EID 334)
ChE 421/Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering
ChE 434/Special Topics in Combustion (also ME 434)
ChE 435/Transport Processes in Internal Combustion Engines (also ME 435)
ECE 422/Selected topics in Embedded Systems
Ph 462/Nuclear Physics

Applied Chemical Technology

ChE 311/Introduction to Polymer Technology
ME 313/Science of Materials for Engineering Design (also EID 313)
ME 314/Introduction to Composite Materials (also EID 314)
Ch 364/Solid State Chemistry
Ph 319/Introductory Quantum and Solid State Physics
ChE 411/Polymer Technology and Engineering
ME 410/Materials, Manufacturing Process (also EID 410)

Note: You will be given a letter by the Chemical Engineering Department certifying that you have completed a minor.

Chemical Engineering Program


Freshman Year Credits

Fall Semester:Credits
ESC000.1 Professional Development Seminar0
Ma 110 Introduction to Linear Algebra2
Ma 111 Calculus I4
Ch 110 General Chemistry3
EID 101 Engineering Design and Problem Solving3
CS 102 Introduction to Computer Science3
HSS 1 Literary Forms and Expressions3
Total Credits Fall Semester18


Spring Semester:Credits
ESC000.2 Professional Development Seminar0
Ma 113 Calculus II4
Ph 112 Physics I: Mechanics4
Ch 111 General Chemistry Laboratory1.5
Ch 160 Physical Principles of Chemistry3
HSS 2 Texts and Contexts: Old Worlds and New3
Total Credits Spring Semester15.5


Sophomore Year Credits

Fall Semester:Credits
ESC000.3 Professional Development Seminar0
ESC 170 Energy and Material Balances3
Ma 223 Vector Calculus2
Ph 213 Physics II: Electromagnetic Phenomena4
ESC 110.1 Materials Science for Chemical Engineers3
Ph 291 Introductory Physics Laboratory1.5
Ch 231 Organic Chemistry I3
HSS 3 The Making of Modern Society3
Total Credits Fall Semester19.5


Spring Semester:Credits
ESC000.4 Professional Development Seminar0
Ma 240 Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations3
Ph 214 Physics III: Optics and Modern Physics3
Ch 232 Organic Chemistry II2
Ch 233 Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
ESC 130.1 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics3
HSS 4 The Modern Context: Figures and Topics3
Total Credits Spring Semester16


Junior Year Credits

Fall Semester:Credits
Ma 224 Probability2
EE 121 Basic Principles of Electrical Engineering2
Ch 251 Instrumental Analysis Laboratory2
Ch 261 Physical Chemistry I3
ChE 131 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics II3
ESC 140 Fluid Mechanics and Flow Systems3
Engineering Elective3
Total Credits Fall Semester18


Spring Semester:Credits
Ch 262 Physical Chemistry II2
ChE 121 Chemical Reaction Engineering3
ChE 141 Heat and Mass Transfer4
ChE 151 Process Simulation and Mathematical Techniques for Chemical Engineers3
Engineering or Science elective3
Free Elective3
Total Credits Spring Semester18


Senior Year Credits

Fall Semester:Credits
ChE 162.1 Chemical Engineering Laboratory I1.5
ChE 161.1 Process Evaluation and Chemical Systems Design I3
ChE 142 Separation Process Principles3
ChE 152 Chemical Process Dynamics and Control3
Engineering or Science Elective3
Humanities/Social Sciences Elective3
Total Credits Fall Semester16.5


Spring Semester:Credits
ChE 162.2 Chemical Engineering Laboratory II1.5
ChE 161.2 Process Evaluation and Chemical Systems Design II3
Engineering or Science Elective3
Free Elective3
Humanities/Social Sciences Elective3
Total Credits Spring Semester13.5
Total credits required for degree135


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.