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2021 Best Colleges for Chemical Engineering

Approximately 14,363 chemical engineering degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a daunting task finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Chemical Engineering ranking analyzed 132 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of colleges for Chemical Engineering students.

Choosing a Great Chemical Engineering School

Best Colleges for Chemical Engineering The chem eng program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality chem eng program can vary widely even among the top schools. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we include a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a collection of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 15% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 8%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 133 to 4 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

Chemical Engineering graduates from colleges on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average chemical engineering bachelors degree from U.S. schools results in an average starting salary of $62,713, graduates of colleges on this list average $71,321.

Starting Salary  ( 65210 to 77789 )
$0
$80,100

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Chemical Engineering students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other chemical engineering students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized chemical engineering related accrediting body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Chemical Engineering students.

Best Schools to Study Chemical Engineering in the United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study chemical engineering. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

Top 19 Best Chem Eng Colleges

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the best schools in the country for chemical engineering. Located in the city Cambridge, MIT is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 5 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means MIT is a great school overall.

There are about 139 chemical engineering undergraduates studying this degree at MIT. Chemical Engineering students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology earn a boost of about $7,676 over the typical earnings of chemical engineering majors.

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Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a wonderful decision for individuals pursuing a Chemical Engineering degree. Located in the small city Terre Haute, Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 66 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a great college overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology offers a Master's Degree in chemical engineering. Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology chemical engineering majors make $5,376 more than the typical chem eng grad.

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It is difficult to beat Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus if you wish to pursue chemical engineering as a major. Located in the large city Atlanta, Georgia Tech is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 82nd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

There are approximately 263 chemical engineering undergrads studying this degree at Georgia Tech. Students who graduate from this degree state that they receive average early career wages of $71,500.

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#4

Rice University

Houston, TX

Rice University is a great option for students interested in a Chemical Engineering degree. Located in the city Houston, Rice is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 11 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Rice is a great school overall.

Rice University is a fairly popular college to study chem eng in United States with more than 83 graduations last year. Students from the chemical engineering major at Rice University earn $9,576 above the average college grad with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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RPI is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Troy. A Best Colleges rank of 58 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means RPI is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, RPI also offers 2 different higher degree levels in chemical engineering, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Soon after graduation, chem eng students usually earn about $66,000 in the first five years of their career.

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WPI is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Worcester. A Best Colleges rank of 51 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means WPI is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, WPI also offers 2 different higher degree levels in chemical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from the chem eng program earn an average of $68,800 in their early career salary.

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Located in the midsize city College Station, Texas A&M is a public school with a very large student population. This college ranks 102nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

For those interested in something more advanced, Texas A&M also offers 2 different higher degree levels in chemical engineering, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Texas A&M University - College Station chemical engineering majors receive $9,376 more than the typical chem eng graduate.

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#8

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Located in the large city Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 33 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great college overall.

A popular major for chemical engineering undergrads, there are approximately 130 learners studying this degree at Carnegie Mellon. Chemical Engineering students from Carnegie Mellon University earn a boost of around $2,576 over the average income of chemical engineering majors.

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#9

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Located in the small city Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Cornell is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Cornell also offers 2 different higher degree levels in chemical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students from the chemical engineering major at Cornell University earn $6,976 more than the typical college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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Located in the suburb Golden, Mines is a public college with a moderately-sized student population. This school ranks 137th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

There are roughly 104 chemical engineering undergrads enrolled in this program at Mines. Soon after graduating, chem eng students typically earn around $59,400 at the beginning of their careers.

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#11

Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Located in the large city Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. This college ranks 81st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, Northeastern also offers 2 different higher degree levels in chemical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the chem eng program report average early career income of $68,600.

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U of Michigan is a very large public school located in the city of Ann Arbor. A Best Colleges rank of 38 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means U of Michigan is a great school overall.

There are about 192 chemical engineering undergraduates enrolled in this program at U of Michigan. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, chem eng students usually earn about $72,500 in the first five years of their career.

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Missouri University of Science and Technology is a medium-sized public school located in the town of Rolla. This college ranks 257th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Missouri.

There are approximately 102 chemical engineering undergraduates studying this program at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Graduates of the chem eng program make about $68,300 for their early career.

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Located in the remote town Houghton, Michigan Tech is a public college with a moderately-sized student population. This college ranks 205th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

A favorite choice for chemical engineering undergrads, there are roughly 107 individuals enrolled in this program at Michigan Tech. Graduates of the chem eng program earn around $68,100 in their early career salary.

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#15

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Baltimore. A Best Colleges rank of 20 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Johns Hopkins is a great college overall.

There are roughly 170 chemical engineering undergraduates studying this degree at Johns Hopkins. After graduation, chem eng students usually make around $57,700 in their early careers.

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Located in the city Cleveland, Case Western is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. This college ranks 71st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

Case Western Reserve University is a fairly popular college to study chem eng in United States exceeding 89 graduations last year. Grads of the chem eng program report average early career wages of $69,200.

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Located in the city Raleigh, NC State is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 105th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

For those interested in something more advanced, NC State also offers 2 different higher degree levels in chemical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the chem eng program report average early career income of $69,200.

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UT Austin is a fairly large public school located in the city of Austin. This school ranks 91st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

For those interested in something more advanced, UT Austin also offers 2 different higher degree levels in chemical engineering, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Chemical Engineering students from The University of Texas at Austin receive an earnings boost of approximately $7,876 over the average income of chemical engineering majors.

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UC Berkeley is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. This school ranks 69th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are roughly 189 chemical engineering undergraduates studying this degree at UC Berkeley. Chemical Engineering majors from University of California - Berkeley receive an earnings boost of approximately $2,176 over the average income of chemical engineering graduates.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Chemical Engineering

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Chemical Engineering students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Chemical Engineering award.

Rank College Location
26 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA
20 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
21 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
22 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ
23 Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, IL
24 Clarkson University Potsdam, NY
25 University of Florida Gainesville, FL

Chemical Engineering by Region

View the Best Colleges for Chemical Engineering for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 38 majors within the Engineering area of study, Chemical Engineering has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 47,405
Electrical Engineering 31,384
Civil Engineering 21,938
Computer Engineering 15,891
Biomedical Engineering 12,001

View All Chem Eng Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Mikulova. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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