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Why Chemical Engineering?

Why should you be interested in Chemical Engineering?

Chemical Engineering is a broad field that brings together math, chemistry, biology and engineering to build the world around us, from the fuel in your car to the materials in your clothes. Many of the products of chemical engineering can be seen just by looking around the room you're in. Large-scale production of pharmaceuticals, development of new semiconductor technologies and alternative energy sources are just a few of the areas in which chemical engineers are making a difference. Chemical engineers are also at the forefront of efforts to move to a more environmentally sustainable economy. Chemical engineering is also an excellent major for those students wishing to pursue formal studies in medicine, pharmaceuticals engineering or even law. Here at KU, we offer first-hand experience in all aspects of chemical engineering. Students may choose a general option, or premedical, biomedical, petroleum, or environmental specializations.

What's the future of the industry like?

The future of the industry is very bright, thanks to increased worldwide demand for energy resources, medicines, and biomedical products. Chemical engineers are highly sought after to work in these industries as well as in research and development. This trend is likely to continue for many years.

How much can I expect to make?

With an undergraduate degree, the starting salary currently averages $52,000 in addition to an initial bonus. The average raise after the first year is typically 4.8%, with an industry average salary after 15 years of $84,000

Students graduating with MS degrees make about the same salaries starting out as those with BS degrees. Students holding an MS, however, have higher advancement potential. 90% of PhD graduates go on to industrial research and development, where they start at an average of $73,000. This initial salary typically grows to about $101,000 after 15 years of experience.


High school seniors can apply to the SELF Program, a four-year enrichment and leadership experience
Engineering students build concrete canoes, Formula race cars, unmanned planes, and rockets for competitions nationwide
More first and second place awards in student AIAA aircraft design contests than any other school in the world
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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