Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Chemical and biomolecular engineering is engaged in the development, design, operation, and management of plants and processes for economical, safe conversion of chemical raw materials to useful products, such as pharmaceuticals, plastics, and specialty chemicals. It is a broadly based discipline with heavy emphasis on chemistry and mathematics, with supporting study in areas such as physics, materials science, and humanities.

Chemical and biomolecular engineering graduates of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, possess the knowledge base, intellectual skills, and professional commitment which prepare them for innovative technical leadership, graduate study, productive service to society, and continued professional growth through lifelong learning. Preparation is based in the attainment of the objectives identified below, regular evaluation of the achievement of these objectives, and use of evaluation results to improve the educational process.

  • Graduates of the chemical and biomolecular engineering program who enter professional practice will demonstrate a high level of technical competence, along with career progression toward positions of technical or managerial leadership.
  • Graduates of the chemical and biomolecular engineering program who pursue full-time graduate or advanced professional study will complete their programs of study successfully.
  • Graduates of the chemical and biomolecular engineering program will continue their professional growth through lifelong learning.

The curriculum provides a central core of required courses with the flexibility in the upper-division years to permit emphasis on preparation for graduate school or professional employment, and to concentrate in either chemical or biomolecular tracks.

Career Opportunities in Chemical Engineering

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering plays a central and essential role in these and many other fields that involve chemical or physical transformation of matter. As a graduate of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering program, you will have a broad foundation for career opportunities in many critical technologies, including: (1) Biotechnology (genetic engineering, pharmaceuticals, medical devices); (2) Electronics (chip manufacturing, semiconductors, networking, databases); (3) Energy (petrochemicals, energy conversion and storage, solar and other types of sustainable energy); (4) Advanced materials (polymers and textiles, composite materials, ceramics, and coatings); (5) Food (agricultural productivity, packaging and preservation, genetic modification); (6) Environment (green processing, aquatic engineering, waste minimization);  (7) financial and business services, and (8) academia. A good career resource is the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook

High School Preparation

Core academic subjects required for admission can be found on the Undergraduate Admissions website

Prospective students who want to enter the engineering program are required to meet the criteria of the “Success Prediction Index” (SPI). The formula for SPI is 10 x high school core GPA + math ACT score. The College of Engineering Admission requirements are explained in the Undergraduate Catalog

Students who are unable to meet admission requirements may register as “university undecided” students and complete appropriate mathematics, science and other courses before applying for admission to Engineering the following year.

How to Major in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Students applying for entry to the university should specify Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering as their chosen major when completing the admission form. Students who are transferring from other departments within UT or from other educational institutions should contact the department or the Engineering Advising Services office for more information regarding the appropriate entry level and any additional courses necessary.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

All freshman engineering students are automatically enrolled in the innovative Engage Engineering Fundamentals Program, desidned to help students learn basic engineering concepts and teamwork skills through a series of hands-on projects and activities:

The College of Engineering’s Professional Practice Office (EPP) provides income-generating opportunities for engineering students to experience realworld engineering challenges through cooperative education (co-op) and internship programs.  Both programs offer structured learning environments where students develop increasing responsibilities by holding full-time paid positions in a professional environment related to their academic and career goals:

In addition to financial and scholarship programs available to all students, the college also provides special scholarships and support programs to minority students including:

The College of Engineering also participates in the University Honors Program, which is designed to give academically outstanding students a unique undergraduate experience consisting of special courses, seminars, mentoring and research projects  The College of Engineering also offers honors programs in all majors

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Engineering students can take part in UT Study Abroad programs throughout the world. There are programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. You can take classes during one semester, mini-term, summer, or the whole academic year.  There are also opportunities for international internships and other work experiences.  See the websites at the Engineering Outreach Office and Programs Abroad Office for more information.

Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Sample Curriculum


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English 101* or 118*, 102* 6
Chemistry 120* or 128*, 130* or 138* 8
Mathematics 141* or 147*, 142* or 148* 8
Engineering Fundamentals 105, 151 or 157, 152 or 158 9
Critical Courses:  Math 141/147 and 142/148; EF 151/157 and 152/158; Chemistry 120/128  
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 201, 235, 240, 250 15
Mathematics 200, 231, 241 or 247 8
Engineering Fundamentals 230 2
Biology 140 4
Chemistry 310, 319 4
General Education Elective (Social Science) 3
 Critical Courses:  CBE 201, 235, 240, 250  
Junior Year Credit Hours
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 301, 310(OC), 340, 360, 380 13
Chemistry 350 3
General Education Electives (Arts and Humanities) 3
Physics 231 3
General Education Electives (Arts and Humanities) 3
1Chem Option I 3
2Bio Option I 3
3 Technical Elective 3
 Critical Courses: CBE 301, 310, 340, 360, 380  
Senior Year Credit Hours
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 401, 445, 450, 480, 488(OC) or 490(OC) 13
General Education Electives (Two Cultures and Civilizations and One Social Science) 9
3 Technical Electives 5
Critical Courses: CBE 401, 445, 450, 480, 488 or 490  
* Meets University General Education Requirement .
1Chem Option I: Any 200-level or above BCMB courses; any 200-level or above CHEM courses; Environmental Engineering 554, 562; MSE 340 , MSE 360 ; any 200-level or above MICR courses.
2Bio Option I: BCMB 230 , BCMB 310 , BCMB 321 , BCMB 401 , BCMB 402 ; BIOL 240 , BIOL 250 ; MICR 210 , MICR 310 .
3One technical elective must be a chemical and biomolecular engineering course.

Honors Concentration

The honors concentration encourages highly motivated students to experience a more rigorous preparation in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Admission is selective, and application to the honors concentration is made when the student applies for upper-division status.

Candidates for the honors chemical engineering concentration must complete the following requirements.

  • First-year courses for honors concentrations in the engineering majors.
  • Further requirements for the honors chemical engineering concentration are as follows. Maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.3 and a GPA of at least 3.3 in departmental courses. Complete CHEM 483 ; CBE 407 , CBE 447 , and one of the following: CBE 467 , CBE 488 , CBE 498 . Complete a 3-hour senior design course. This requirement is satisfied by
  • If participating in only the Chancellor’s Honors Program, the Honors-by-Contract paperwork goes to the Chancellor’s Honors Office on campus during the first 10 days of the semester. If participating in Engineering Honors and not Chancellor’s Honors, the Honors-by-Contract paperwork is submitted the first 10 days of the semester to the engineering major department. If participating in both Chancellor’s and Engineering Honors, the Honors-by-Contract paperwork is submitted to both areas.