Program Accreditation

The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Program Educational Objectives

The undergraduate program in chemical engineering at Penn State has been designed so that students can identify and pursue their personal and professional goals while obtaining a strong foundation in the principles and practice of chemical engineering.The program aims to produce graduates who will attain one or more of the following:

  1. Careers as practicing chemical engineers in traditional chemical and energy-related industries as well as in expanding areas of materials, environmental, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries.
  2. Advanced degrees in chemical engineering (or a related technical discipline), medicine, law, or business.
  3. Positions that provide the technical, educational, business, and / or political leadership needed in today's rapidly changing, increasingly technological, global society.

Student Outcomes

We use the ABET a-k outcomes as our student outcomes. Currently, with the following 27 + 1 Pilot Performance Indicators (PIs), our students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
    1. apply calculus or differential equations to chemical engineering problems.
    2. apply chemical and biochemical concepts to ChE problems.
    3. apply transport (fluid, heat, mass) concepts to ChE problems.
    4. apply thermodynamics concepts to ChE problems.
    5. apply reaction engineering concepts to ChE problems.
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
    1. know how to conduct safe experiments for unit operations.
    2. comprehend experimental data in terms of CH E theory, with statistical analysis.
    3. design experiments or protocols that test a parameter, hypothesis, or method. 
  3. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
    1. design a single unit operation (e.g., separator, pump, heat exchanger, or reactor), applying realistic constraints.
    2. design a process with multiple unit operations, applying realistic constraints as listed above.
    3. PILOT: create "what if?" scenarios for parts of designs.
  4. An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
    1. apply division of effort strategies for complex problems (e.g., section of design, or by specialty calcs, data collection, or writing).
    2. apply management strategies to coordinate the parts into a coherent project (e.g., schedules, document formats, accountability).
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
    1. identify and formulate coherent CH E problems (e.g., PFDs, variables and parameters, equations, or molecular-continuum-system scales), even starting with more vague and unclear information.
    2. solve CH E problems, using two or more approaches (e.g., analytical, numerics, experimental).
  6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
    1. know the AIChE Code of Ethics.
    2. comprehend multiple ethical issues in a model scenario, such as conflict of interest.
    3. identify safety concerns or hazards using current frameworks (e.g., MSDS, HAZP).
  7. An ability to communicate effectively
    1. write clear and concise documents (e.g., reports, memos, emails) with proper figures and tables.
    2. present clear presentations (often including slides) and answer follow-up questions.
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
    1. comprehend sustainability using a framework (e.g., EPA PPPP people-planet-prosperity-politics, or societal-environmental-economic-political) to analyze impacts of a design or case.
    2. know key advantages and challenges for global teams and workflow.
  9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
    1. apply preparation strategies for a first job, a job transition, grad school, or similar (e.g., resume, cover letter, networking, interview questions).
    2. know professional development or entrepreneurial opportunities (e.g., books, conferences, webinars, certification, or FE-PE exams).
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues [PSU CH E uses 20 years]
    1. comprehend how modern practices (e.g., 6 Sigma, patent law, ISO, finance) and current events affect the Chemical Process Industries (e.g., Marcellus Shale, BP spill, changing petroleum prices).
    2. comprehend that complex contemporary issues are reported from diverse perspectives.
  11. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
    1. apply algorithmic thinking in spreadsheets, math software (e.g., Mathematica, MatLab, COMSOL), or programming (e.g., Visual BASIC, FORTRAN, Python, apps) to solve challenging, large-scale, or repetitive numerical problems.
    2. apply process simulation software (e.g., Hysys) to analyze processes.

Contact Information

Mechteld Hillsley
Instructor of Chemical Engineering

10 Practical Steps Presentation Contact Us


The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

121 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2574