Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Dual Bachelor of Science Degree in Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering

Undergraduates in the Department of Bioengineering and Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering are currently exposed to curricula that have numerous common courses. This overlap makes pursuing a dual degree in bioengineering and chemical engineering a logical choice.

In addition to the educational benefits associated with the completion of the additional courses, this joint degree offers practical advantages. Bioengineering students, typically restricted to "bio" jobs after graduation, will enjoy the broad range of career paths available to chemical engineering students (chemicals, petroleum, polymers, environment, paper, materials, modeling, coatings, fibers, and power generation). The chemical engineer joining this dual degree program will have the opportunity to pursue their interests in bioengineering without relinquishing job opportunities associated with the chemical engineering degree. Dual degree graduates will be uniquely qualified for career opportunities that blend the skills of both degrees, such as medical devices, chemical manufacture, waste remediation, fermentation processes, CO2 sequestration, and "green" engineering.

Admissions Requirements

Students will enter the common first year of the School of Engineering in the traditional manner and select either the chemical engineering department or the bioengineering department as their "home" department for the first term of their sophomore year. As early as the first term of their sophomore year, students may apply for the dual degree by notifying their home department's undergraduate coordinator of their desire. The student's file will be forwarded to the undergraduate coordinator of the "second" department for review. If accepted, the student will then meet with their chemical engineering and bioengineering advisor during each subsequent registration period for evaluation of their progress.

CAS-Chemical Engineering Joint Degree

Interested chemical engineering students are directed to their departmental undergraduate coordinator and secretary. The student will be asked to fill out an academic program change form and the CAS/Engineering joint degree program application. These forms will then be sent to the School of Engineering's Office of Administration (the latter form requires comments from the undergraduate coordinator concerning the student's academic skills and chances of successfully completing the program). The application for the dual degree will be forwarded along with the student's file to the appropriate CAS department for review.

Students applying from CAS to Chemical Engineering will have their file reviewed by the undergraduate coordinator. If accepted into the Chemical Engineering program, the student's first term of advising will be with the undergraduate coordinator. Subsequently the student will be assigned a faculty advisor based on the first letter of their last name.

If accepted, students must satisfy all chemical engineering requirements and will maintain their chemical engineering faculty advisor. The student will also be assigned an advisor in their CAS department by CAS. CAS typically waives its restriction on the number of credits that can be taken outside the college and drops the requirement for a related area. Normally the student may take up to an extra year to graduate and transfer back and forth between Engineering and CAS. Records are maintained in both Schools' administrative offices. We encourage those students with the academic aptitude and motivation to pursue the dual degree, particularly in areas from either the humanities or social sciences. In the past we have had students obtain dual degrees in Chemistry, Mathematics, Behavioral Neuroscience, Philosophy, Music, and Economics.

Advising will be provided by both CAS and the School of Engineering. All students will thus have two advisors and will be expected to consult with each advisor before registering each term, in order to insure that they meet each school's requirements and that they take prerequisite courses at the appropriate times. Students need not meet with their Engineering advisor after graduating with the chemical engineering degree, even if they have not completed the CAS degree requirements. Students may apply for graduation for each degree separately as soon as they complete the degree requirements for that degree; such degree completions may or may not occur during the same term.