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000Chet000Chet Posts: 377Registered User Member
edited November 2012 in Engineering Majors
I'm a junior right now and I'm not really sure what I want to do as far as college majors go. I'm an A student, and I excel at and generally enjoy math and science.

Currently I'm taking Chemistry H and, despite having a somewhat nutty teacher, enjoying it now that we've finally gotten past basic things like significant figures and moved on to actual chemistry. That's caused me to start considering Chemical Engineering as a possibility in college. How tough is it? I've heard it's on of the most difficult majors. How much work should I expect to be putting in if I major in it? Would I be able to have a social life still?

Is it also true that chemE isn't super chemistry based, and actually uses more physics? I'm taking physics next year so if that's the case I can get a better idea of if chemE is for me next year.

And lastly, to anyone who might know, how is the chemE program at the University of Illinois? According to US News it's 50th in the world, but I'm not sure how much I can really take from that. Going to a different college is pretty much out of the question, since tuition will skyrocket if I go out of state.
Post edited by 000Chet on

Replies to: ChemE?

  • viciouspoultryviciouspoultry Posts: 837Registered User Member
    As a senior in ChemE I personally never found it too tough, a lot of work yes but if you manage priorities you should still be able to have a decent social life. The amount of work I put in ranges from a low of 5 hours week to as much as 30-40 when I need to.

    As far as the chemistry in ChemE its fairly limited to chemistry classes like general chemistry and organic chemistry and their corresponding labs. Chemical Engineering is mainly based around thermodynamics and transport, which derive more from physics than chemistry, but I personally don't feel as I used any of the actual physics I learned in my general physics classes in my core ChemE classes. Really I would say ChemE is more less applying calculus and differential equations than anything else.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,764Registered User Senior Member
    000Chet wrote:
    And lastly, to anyone who might know, how is the chemE program at the University of Illinois? According to US News it's 50th in the world, but I'm not sure how much I can really take from that. Going to a different college is pretty much out of the question, since tuition will skyrocket if I go out of state.

    UIUC is $33,922 in-state:
    University of Illinois Financial Aid: Undergraduate Resident 2010-2011 Cost

    Minnesota - Twin Cities is $29,968 out-of-state:
    Estimating your costs

    Of course, if you need financial aid, the in-state public schools are likely to be better than the out-of-state public schools. But if you won't get any, you may also want to consider lower cost out-of-state public schools, as UIUC is relatively expensive for an in-state public school.
  • 000Chet000Chet Posts: 377Registered User Member
    Yes, unfortunately U of I is on the expensive side as far as in-state tuition goes. I'm not entirely sure how much aid I would receive. I believe I would receive some, but not a great amount.

    I never looked into Minnesota before, so I never realized that it had such low tuition. I remember seeing it fairly high on the list of chemE programs too, which is a plus if I do decide on that. On the downside, I'd be facing a 7 hour drive or so back home instead of the 2 hour drive to Champaign.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,764Registered User Senior Member
    If you need even cheaper, there is South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, at an out-of-state cost of $22,980 per year. But it does not have the reputation of Minnesota, although ABET accreditation does indicate a decent quality chemical engineering degree program.

    Full Time Undergraduate Students
  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad Posts: 4,290Registered User Senior Member
    Just be aware that at Illinois, you are admitted right into the department, whereas at University of Minnesota, there is another application procedure at the end of sophomore year which may or may not admit you to the department. You need a 3.2 technical GPA to guarantee admission, after that it's space available. Getting a 3.2 is not as easy as it sounds.
  • lynacclynacc Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
    I'm planning to transfer to the U of M too. Talked to the transfer counselor and she said admission is pretty competitive. Having a 3.2 technical GPA doesn't guarantee a seat because most successful applicants have 3.45. And that really worries me since I will be having one W on my transcript.
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