Chemical and Biological Engineering

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE) prepares students with the knowledge and skills to contribute to society and their profession. The basis of both chemical and biological engineering is the useful transformation of materials from one form to another. This transformation may be brought about by chemical or biological processes. Chemical and biological engineers often function as process engineers. A typical process involves chemical or biological reactions followed by separation of desired products. But there are distinct differences in the design and operation of chemical and biological systems, and the chemical engineering and biological engineering degrees allow students to focus on either area of specialization. Both fields continue to develop as today's research efforts create exciting new opportunities. Chemical engineers practice in a variety of fields: chemical manufacturing and petroleum refining, waste minimization and environmental engineering, materials and microelectronics, pharmaceuticals, bioengineering and biomedicine, and many others. Biological engineers work in many of the same areas: environmental engineering, materials, pharmaceuticals, bioengineering and biomedicine and the list will continue to expand as the field develops.

The outcome of the undergraduate program in chemical engineering is an accredited B.S. Ch.E. degree. We anticipate seeking accreditation for the biological engineering degree in the near future.

Our chemical engineering program objectives are as follows:
Our graduates:

  • will be confident in their ability to apply chemical engineering fundamentals
  • will be effective communicators and team members
  • will be highly ethical engineering professionals
  • will have the ability to pursue lifelong learning
  • will be proactive problem solvers
  • will embrace process safety

The Department provides graduate programs that lead to masters degrees in bioengineering, chemical engineering and environmental engineering, as well as the Ph.D. in Engineering, with chemical engineering and environmental engineering options. The graduate program complements students' undergraduate experience by providing opportunities for advanced study, undergraduate research, and cooperative education experience. The department serves the state of Montana and the nation through education, research, and service, while encouraging diversity in the student population, to meet the mission of Montana State University and the College of Engineering.

The preparation of men and women competent to develop, design, and operate new chemical or biological systems, or to perform the research and development to improve existing products and processes, is a comprehensive process. Thus the curricula in chemical engineering and biological engineering are founded on the study of engineering principles of basic science, particularly chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics. Safety and concern for the environment and society must be overriding concerns to chemical and bioengineering practitioners, and developing this awareness is another aspect of the department's educational goals. Both chemical and biological engineers typically work as teams of professionals, sharing expertise and knowledge for greater achievement, so teamwork and communication are emphasized. The following curricula have been developed to provide these skills through faculty members who have extensive knowledge and experience in the field.

Dual Degree Program in Bioengineering

In partnership with Istanbul Technical University (ITU), the department offers a dual degree program in Bioengineering intended for Turkish students enrolled at ITU. Students in the program complete unique coursework in Bioengineering at both campuses-coursework that neither campus alone can offer. Students are resident at ITU during years 1 and 3 and at MSU during years 2 and 4, and graduates receive degrees from both institutions. Detailed curricular requirements are available from the department.

The department offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering degree and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering. The department participates in the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering through the College of Engineering, with options available in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering.

Degree Offered