Results from the AIChE education annual survey: Chemical engineering electives

Margot A. Vigeant, David L. Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The AIChE Education Division survey committee continues the tradition of an annual national survey to better understand the current state of a particular aspect of the chemical engineering curriculum. In 2013, the committee asked departments about chemical engineering electives. This paper summarizes the results from the multiple choice survey as well as from selected answers to a long-form follow up survey sent to volunteer departments. We defined "chemical engineering electives" as courses offered by the chemical engineering department or faculty that may be taken by undergraduate students but are not specifically required in order to graduate. The word that best fits chemical engineering electives is "diverse". It might be argued that the most clear differentiator among chemical engineering undergraduate programs is the areas highlighted by their elective offerings. Nearly 100 different elective course topics were reported by the 96 programs responding to the survey. The most popular topical offerings are Polymer Science, Bioprocess Engineering, Nanomaterials, and Advanced Transport. Typically, undergraduates are expected to take 2-3 chemical elective courses, although the range spans from zero to 6. It should be noted that the programs requiring zero chemical engineering electives usually require instead "technical", "engineering", or "science" electives in similar quantity to the chemical engineering electives offered by other departments. In addition to the numerical summary results, this paper will also report on department chairs' responses to the administrative question of how topics are selected, integrated, or let go from year to year.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2014
Event121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education - Indianapolis, IN, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2014Jun 18 2014


Conference121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: 360 Degrees of Engineering Education
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityIndianapolis, IN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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