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Learn chemical engineering with online courses and programs

Chemical engineering impacts all types of industries, from pharmaceuticals and petroleum products to energy and food processing. Learn how the manipulation of chemical reactions and processes can produce important materials with online courses on edX.

What is chemical engineering?

By combining scientific principles with engineering techniques, chemical engineers can develop innovative solutions to complex challenges. What kinds of solutions? Chemical engineering plays a large role in the development of consumer plastics, pharmaceutical drugs, renewable energy sources, biofuels, and many more practical applications.

As a result, chemical engineers can find professional work in a variety of industries. There, they can participate in process design and optimization, develop environmental standards, devise measures for quality control, conduct research, or oversee production teams.

Chemical Engineering | Introduction Image Description

Chemical engineering course curriculum

Learning chemical engineering means diving into a wide range of topics that serve as its foundation. As you first start learning about chemical engineering, you may find it helpful to pursue coursework that covers key subjects, such as:

  • Chemistry fundamentals

  • Mathematics and applied mathematics

  • Thermodynamics

  • Fluid mechanics and heat transfer

  • Mass transfer

More intermediate classes may go deeper into engineering principles, including:

  • Reaction engineering

  • Process control and instrumentation

  • Process design and optimization

  • Materials science and engineering

  • Environmental engineering

  • Bioprocess engineering

Advanced learners can also explore courses that offer opportunities to apply their learnings to practical scenarios. Curricula may cover concepts of process economics and management, safety and hazard analysis, process simulation and modeling, and professional ethics and communication.

Start building the knowledge you need to work in the chemical engineering field with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals. Find the right course for you.

Explore chemical engineering jobs

Do you want to pursue a career in a more traditional industry or be part of an emerging field that contributes to technological advancements? Learning chemical engineering can provide many professional opportunities. Some of the roles you can pursue with varying levels of education and preparation include:

  • Process engineer: Designs, optimizes, and troubleshoots chemical processes.Footnote 1

  • Product development scientist: Develops product formulas and improvements.Footnote 2

  • Laboratory technician: Aids in conducting experiments, running tests, and maintaining laboratory equipment.Footnote 3

  • Wastewater engineer: Designs and implements systems for water treatment and wastewater management.Footnote 4

  • Research assistant: Assists scientists and engineers in conducting experiments and data analysis.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. For example, you may be able to build relevant skills in a data analytics boot camp. However, some employers may seek candidates with a degree in engineering depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.

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