Rania, Columbia

AddedTuesday, March 31, 2015 at 1:42 PM

Is it possible to major in chemistry and still become a chemical engineer?

Hi! I'm 17 years old, and I want to become a chemical engineer. I was accepted to colleges that do not have engineering as a major. I realized late that I wanted to become a chemical engineer instead of a chemist and the issue is that I have a scholarship for college but cannot switch the college I am attending to. Is it possible to major in chemistry and still become a chemical engineer or should I opt for a master in chemical engineering? Or can I take classes outside of college during undergrad' such as more calculus and chemical engineering? Will it work? Thank you in advance for your help :)!
Related to Chemical, Choosing a Degree, Preparation for College, Unique Challenges
  • Stacy Clark , Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation
    Answered Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 1:42 PM
    If you're anything like me, you will change your mind about what you want to do a million times still during college.  But if you do decide on chemical engineering, it is possible (although harder) to go into chemical engineering without having a degree in chemical engineering.  If you're planning to get a master's degree and this is still what you want to do when you get to that point, I think getting a master's in chemical engineering would make this a lot easier on you.
    I work with a woman who studied chemistry, and she is now a water resources engineer.  I also work with someone who studied aeromechanical engineering and is now a wastewater engineer.  My point is that you don't have to go into the field you have a degree in.  Making connections with chemical engineers and companies that have chemical engineers will be beneficial to you.  I also recommend finding professional organizations for chemical engineers and becoming a student member so you can go to their networking events and any educational seminars they host so you can learn about the field to make sure it's what you want and also to start making those connections that are going to be so important for you in the future.
  • Surya Mallapragada , Iowa State University
    Answered Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 1:42 PM
    It is possible to major in chemistry as an undergraduate and become a chemical engineer, if you pursue a graduate degree in chemical engineering. Taking more calculus and math courses during your undergraduate study while pursuing a chemistry degree will help that transition. However, whether or not you want to pursue a graduate degree depends on what kind of career you want to pursue. With a graduate degree in chemical engineering, you will probably go into research and development. If that is not the direction you want to pursue, then you should try to get an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. Hope this helps Surya