Admission to the College as a Freshman

Students applying to UW–Madison need to indicate an engineering major as their first choice in order to be considered for direct admission to the College of Engineering. Direct admission to a major means students will start in the program of their choice in the College of Engineering and will need to meet progression requirements at the end of the first year to guarantee advancement in that program.

Cross-Campus Transfer to Engineering

UW–Madison students in other schools and colleges on campus must meet the course and credit requirements for admission to engineering degree granting classifications specified in the general college requirements. The requirements are the minimum for admission consideration. Cross-campus admission is competitive and selective, and the grade point average expectations may increase as demand trends change. The student’s overall academic record at UW–Madison is also considered. Students apply to their intended engineering program by submitting the online application by stated deadlines for spring and fall. The College of Engineering offers an online information tutorial and drop-in advising for students to learn about the cross-campus transfer process.

Off-Campus Transfer to Engineering

With careful planning, students at other accredited institutions can transfer coursework that will apply toward engineering degree requirements at UW–Madison. Off-campus transfer applicants are considered for direct admission to the College of Engineering by applying to the Office of Admissions with an engineering major listed as their first choice. Those who are admitted to their intended engineering program must meet progression requirements at the point of transfer or within their first two semesters at UW–Madison to guarantee advancement in that program. A minimum of 30 credits in residence in the College of Engineering is required after transferring, and all students must meet all requirements for their major in the college. Transfer admission to the College of Engineering is competitive and selective, and students who have earned more than 80 transferable semester credits at the time of application are not eligible to apply.

The College of Engineering has dual degree programs with select four-year UW System campuses. Eligible dual degree applicants are not subject to the 80 credit limit.

Off-campus transfer students are encouraged to discuss their interests, academic background, and admission options with the Transfer Coordinator in the College of Engineering: or 608-262-2473.

Second Bachelor's Degree

The College of Engineering does not accept second undergraduate degree applications. Second degree students might explore the Biological Systems Engineering program at UW–Madison, an undergraduate engineering degree elsewhere, or a graduate program in the College of Engineering.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

Summary of Requirements

The following curriculum applies to students admitted to the chemical engineering degree program.

Life Science6
Core Engineering Requirement49
Professional Breadth6
Communication Skills6
Liberal Studies Requirement16
Total Credits132

Mathematics Requirement

Transfer students must have equivalent math courses to meet the calculus requirement with a minimum of 12 credits to cover the three-course basic math sequence. Any deficiency in total math credits must be made up with electives in science or engineering.

MATH 221 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 15
or MATH 217 Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II
or MATH 275 Topics in Calculus I
MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 24
or MATH 276 Topics in Calculus II
MATH 234 Calculus--Functions of Several Variables4
MATH 320 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations3
or MATH 319 Techniques in Ordinary Differential Equations
STAT 324 Introductory Applied Statistics for Engineers3
Total Credits19

Physics Requirement

Transfer students who receive fewer than 6 credits for the required courses must make up the credit shortage with another physics course.

PHYSICS 201 General Physics5
or PHYSICS 207 General Physics
PHYSICS 202 General Physics5
or PHYSICS 208 General Physics
Total Credits10

Chemistry Requirement 

Credit shortages cause by transfer of freshman chemistry courses at fewer than 9 credits must be made up with chemistry, biochemistry, or chemical engineering courses.

General Chemistry (choose one)5
Advanced General Chemistry ((preferred))
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
CHEM 329 Fundamentals of Analytical Science4
CHEM 343
CHEM 345
CHEM 344
Introductory Organic Chemistry
and Intermediate Organic Chemistry
and Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 562 Physical Chemistry3
Total Credits20

Life Science

Students who meet the Introductory Biology requirement with an AP exam are encouraged to take two advanced biology electives.1 

Introductory Biology requirement (choose one)3
Introductory Biology
Introductory Biology
Advanced Biology requirement (choose one)3
Introduction to Biochemistry
General Biochemistry I
Cell Biology
Principles of Genetics
Biology of Microorganisms
Total Credits6

Core Engineering Requirement

CBE 150 Introduction to Chemical Engineering1
CBE 250 Process Synthesis (with a grade of C or better)3
CBE 255 Introduction to Chemical Process Modeling3
CBE 310 Chemical Process Thermodynamics (with a grade of C or better)3
CBE 311 Thermodynamics of Mixtures (with a grade of C or better)3
CBE 320 Introductory Transport Phenomena (with a grade of C or better)4
CBE 324 Transport Phenomena Lab3
CBE 326 Momentum and Heat Transfer Operations3
CBE 424 Operations and Process Laboratory5
CBE 426 Mass Transfer Operations3
CBE 430 Chemical Kinetics and Reactor Design3
Select one of the following:3
Chemical Engineering Materials
Polymer Science and Technology
Introduction to Colloid and Interface Science
CBE 450 Process Design3
CBE 470 Process Dynamics and Control3
CBE Electives 26
Total Credits49

Professional Breadth

Select 6 credits

Professional Breadth Credits 36
Courses 300+ from the following College of Engineering departments and programs may be used:
Biomedical Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics
Engineering Professional Development
Geological Engineering
Industrial Engineering
Interdisciplinary Courses (Engineering)
Materials Science and Engineering 4
Mechanical Engineering
Nuclear Engineering
Engineering Physics
Courses 300+ from the following departments in the College of Letters and Sciences may be used:
Computer Sciences
The following courses may also be used:
Accounting Principles
Biology of Microorganisms
Introduction to Biochemistry
General Biochemistry I
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics
Cellular Biology
Food and Pharmaceutical Separations
Environmental Economics
Environmental Ethics
Introduction to Finance
Principles of Genetics
History of Technology
Statistical Experimental Design
Cell Biology
Total Credits6

Students may petition the department to allow other courses related to engineering professional practice. To request that a course not listed above be used, the student should fill out the Professional Breadth Requirement Course Request form available online and submit it to the advisor. The department will then determine if the course can be counted toward the Professional Breadth Requirement. Petitions must be submitted before the beginning of the semester in which the course is to be taken. 

Communication Skills

ENGL 100 Introduction to College Composition 53
or COM ARTS 100 Introduction to Speech Composition
or LSC 100 Science and Storytelling
or ESL 118 Academic Writing II
INTEREGR 397 Engineering Communication (was EPD 397 before Fall 2020)3

Liberal Studies Electives

Students must complete 16 credits of liberal studies according to the College of Engineering requirements6.

Free ElectIVES

Students fulfilling their course requirements with fewer than 132 credits must take additional free-elective credits to comply with the 132-credit minimum graduation requirement.

Course Substitution Regulations

  1. Any student may, with advisor approval, replace up to 12 credits of required courses in the curriculum, except CBE 424 Operations and Process Laboratory, by an equal number of credits of other courses within the limitations listed under (3) below.
  2. Any student who wishes to amend the curriculum by more than 12 credits or wishes to appeal the advisor's decision in (1) or to request exception to (3) below must submit a written request to the chair of the department, who will bring it to the department faculty for consideration.
  3. Restrictions on course substitutions are as follows:
    1. Physics courses may be replaced by science or engineering courses.
    2. Chemistry/life science courses must be replaced by courses with significant chemistry/life science content.
    3. Engineering courses must be replaced by engineering courses.
    4. Lab courses must be replaced by courses with an equal number of hours of lab courses.
    5. English as a Second Language courses, and MATH 112 Algebra, MATH 113 Trigonometry, and MATH 114 Algebra and Trigonometry may not be used for course substitutions.

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
  8. ability with engineering application of the basic sciences to the design, analysis, and control of chemical, physical, and biological processes, including the hazards associated with these processes.


First Year
CHEM 1095CHEM 3294 
MATH 2215MATH 2224 
CBE 1501PHYSICS 2015 
Communications A3Liberal Studies Elective3 
Liberal Studies Elective3  
 17 16 
Second Year
CBE 25013CBE 2553 
CHEM 34323MATH 320 or 3193 
MATH 2344CBE 3103 
CHEM 344
ZOOLOGY 1533STAT 3243 
 18 17 
Third Year
CBE 3113CBE 3263 
CBE 32014CBE 3243 
Professional Breadth Elective3CHEM 5623 
Advanced Biology Elective3INTEREGR 397 (was EPD 397)3 
Liberal Studies Elective3Liberal Studies Elective4 
 16 16 
Fourth Year
CBE 4263CBE 4503CBE 4245
CBE 4303CBE 4703 
CBE Elective3CBE Elective3 
Materials Elective3Professional Breadth Elective3 
Liberal Studies Elective3  
 15 12 5
Total Credits 132


Each College of Engineering program has academic advisors dedicated to serving its students. Program advisors can help current College of Engineering students with questions about accessing courses, navigating degree requirements, resolving academic issues and more. Students can find their assigned advisor on the homepage of their student center. 

Engineering Career Services

Engineering Career Services (ECS) assists students in identifying pre-professional work-based learning experiences such as co-ops and summer internships, considering and applying to graduate or professional school, and finding full-time professional employment during their graduation year.

ECS offers two major career fairs per year, assists with resume writing and interviewing skills, hosts workshops on the job search, and meets one-on-one with students to discuss offer negotiations.

Students are encouraged to utilize the ECS office early in their academic careers. For comprehensive information on ECS programs and workshops, see the ECS website or call 608-262-3471.


Eric V. Shusta (Chair)
Michael David Graham
George Huber
Daniel J. Klingenberg
David M. Lynn
Manos Mavrikakis
Regina Murphy
Sean P. Palacek
Brian F. Pfleger
Thatcher Root
John Yin

Associate Professors

Ross E. Swaney
Victor Zavala Tejada

Assistant Professors

Styliani Avraamidou
Matthew Gebbie
Siddarth Krishna
Marcel Schreier
Reid Van Lehn

research professor

William Banholzer

See also Chemical and Biological Engineering Faculty Directory.


Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Note: Undergraduate Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes are made publicly available at the Departmental website. (In this Guide, the program's Student Outcomes are designated by our campus as "Learning Outcomes.")