Chemical Engineering – Faculty of Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Master the principles of chemical engineering to innovate in material manufacturing, energy development, and product creation.

4 years
Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op Available)


Unique program offerings

Students develop a strong foundation in basic sciences and have the opportunity to participate in courses aimed at developing problem solving, team, self-assessment and lifelong learning skills.

Three specializations

There are three specialization streams: Water-Energy Technologies, Process Systems Engineering, and Polymer Materials and Manufacturing.

Chemical Engineering is heavily involved in various industries that interest me. This includes food processing, pharmaceuticals, and water filtration. Like other streams, it is always cool to see things you’ve learned about being used in the world.

Matthew Ferguson, Chemical Engineering and Society

Admission requirements

Academic Prerequisites

This is an above level 1 specialization that requires successful completion of the Engineering 1 general first year.

Use the Future Students admissions tool for entry requirements.

MMRT students in workshop

Program structure

This program layout applies to students registered in 2021-2022.
Where there are discrepancies in this document, the published Academic Calendar will always take precedence.
For a detailed breakdown of your course requirements, please refer to your Student Summary in Mosaic.

Level 2: 37 units (as of 2022)

Term 1Term 2
Chem 1AA3
Introductory Chemistry II
ChE 2D04
Chemical Engineering Principles I
ChE 2F04
Chemical Engineering Principles II
ChE 2E04
Numerical Methods and Computing for Chemical Engineers
ChE 2O04
Fluid Mechanics
Math 2Z03
Engineering Mathematics III
Math 2ZZ3
Engineering Mathematics IV
Statistical Methods for Materials Engineers
Integrated Engineering Design Project 2
Complementary Studies (6 units)
Notes for Terms 1 and 2:
Complementary Studies 
means one or two courses (6 units total) selected from the list of acceptable Complementary Study courses maintained by the Associate Dean of Engineering. These units have been equally divided between the terms in this analysis, but the student may choose to take all 6 units in either Term 1 or 2.

Level 3: 36 units (as of 2022)

Term 1Term 2
ChE 3D04
Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
ChE 3G04
Chemical Process Synthesis and Simulation
ChE 3I03
Data Acquisition and Analysis
ChE 3K04
Introduction to Reactor Design
ChE 3M04
Mass Transfer and Stagewise Operations
ChE 3L03
Intermediate Laboratory Skills
ChE 3A04
Heat Transfer
ChE 3P04
Process Control
6 units from
 3-6 units from:Chem 2E03 – Introductory Organic Chemistry
Or both
Chem 20A3 – Organic Chemistry I (term 1)
Chem 20B3 – Organic Chemistry II (term 2)
0-3 units from:Biochem 2EE3 – Metabolism and Physiological Chemistry
Chem 3I03 – Industrial Chemistry
Chem Bio 3BM3 – Implanted Biomaterials
ChE 3Q03 – Introduction to Polymer Science
Chem Bio 2A03 – Introduction to Bio-Analytical Chemistry

 Level 4: 34-36 units (as of 2022)

Term 1Term 2
ChE 4L03
Advanced Laboratory Skills
Engineer 4A03
Ethics, Equity and Law in Engineering 
ChE 4N04
Engineering Economics and Problem Solving
ChE 4W06 A/B
Chemical Plant Design – Capstone Project
15-16 units from:(Only two courses from approved list B can be taken over the course of the program)ChE 3BK3 – Bio-Reaction Engineering (term 1 List B)Che 3BM3 – Bioseparations Engineering (term 2 List B)ChE 4A03 – Energy Systems Engineering (term 1)ChE 4B03 – Polymer Reaction Engineering (term 1)ChE 4E03 – Digital Computer and Process Control (term 1)ChE 4H03 – Big Data Methods and Modeling in Chemical and Materials Engineering (term 2)ChE 4G03 – Optimization in Chemical Engineering (term 2)ChE 4K03 – Reactor Design for Heterogeneous Systems  (term 1)ChE 4M03 – Industrial Separation Processes (term 1)ChE 4T03 – Applications of Chemical Engineering in Medicine (term 2)ChE 4TA3 A/B – Engineering Practicum (term 1 & 2)ChE 4X03 – Polymer Processing (term 2)ChE 4Y04 A/B – Senior Independent Project (term 1 & 2 List B)ChE 4Z03 – Interfacial Engineering (term 2 List B)Engineer 4EX3 A/B – Experiential Engineering Design
Technical Electives:
3 to 4 units in Level III – IV from approved list A (Interdisciplinary engineering courses)

Co-op and experiential learning

Experiential learning provides students with hands-on opportunities beyond the traditional lecture-style format to gain valuable experience.

The Engineering Co-op Program is an optional program which provides you with the opportunity to work in real engineering positions before you graduate. The Undergraduate Co-op Program is administered by the Engineering Co-op and Career Services Department (ECCS).

Example employers:

  • Xerox Canada
  • Imperial Oil
  • Hatch
  • Dow Chemical
  • Suncor/Petro-Canada
  • Uniroyal
  • GE Water & Process Technologies

Learn more about co-op.

McMaster Engineering has many engineering clubs, teams and societies you can join to enhance your practical knowledge and soft skills, provide support, or give you the chance to explore new activities. Clubs are an enjoyable way to enrich your student life and contribute to your social development and academic success.

  • Chemical Engineering Club
  • Engineering Without Borders
  • McMaster Solar Car Team
  • MAC Formula Electric

Browse opportunities to get involved and gain experience.

Engineering programs have been enriched with interdisciplinary design courses, enabling students to work in teams on real-world problems. This practical experience builds their portfolios and hones skills vital for managing complex projects and utilizing emerging technologies. It prepares them for co-ops and future careers, fostering critical thinking, collaboration, and an understanding of societal issues.

Four project-based design courses that all students take include:

  • ENGINEER 1P13: Integrated Cornerstone Design Projects in Engineering
  • ENGINEER 2PX3: Engineering Design 2: Communications and Societal Impact
  • ENGINEER 3PX3: Engineering Design 2: Engineering Economics

Find out more

Example career paths:

  • Process and refine fuels (gasoline, natural gas, propane)
  • Develop sustainable energy systems
  • Manufacture silicon chips
  • Produce the food we eat
  • Resolve environmental problems

Research areas:

  • Energy production and energy systems
  • Biological interface engineering and nanotechnology
  • Water and wastewater treatment

How to apply

Understand every step, from applying, to accepting your offer and joining us on campus!

Department of Chemical Engineering

We are tackling challenges in energy, water, food, health and environment with practical solutions that will lead to new opportunities in a fast-paced world.

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