How come not many engineering schools offer chemical engineering?

Hi, I'm graduating this year I would like to know if chemical engineering has a good scope in today's world. And also how come not many universities offer chemical engineering while stuff like civil,mechanical, electrical are always present.
posted by Tameez, Colombo on June 3, 2014

Answer by Christine F.

Hello Tameez, thank you for writing in. Chemical Engineering is alive and well and more important than ever in today's world. Chemical Engineering is applied in Oil & Gas, Chemicals Manufacturing, Food Processing, Medicine, and Automobile Design to name a few. In fact the need for Chemical Engineers is so high that some employers offer incentives just for those holding a degree in it.  

Many Chemical Engineering programs (especially in the US) sprang up around industry - so you may tend to see a larger concentration in one geographical area vs. another. Due to its vast nature and field of application Chemical Engineering has given birth to other engineering subsets that are now their own stand alone programs - e.g. Environmental (combo of Chemical and Civil); Biomedical (combo of Mechanical and Chemical); Biochemical, Petroleum, Pharmaceutical, and the list goes on and on.  Some universities have opted to offer only the four core Engineering fields (ChemE, EE, CivE, and ME) and allow their students to choose concentrations with electives.  Other schools offer a broader range of programs.   Chemical Engineers often work as Process Engineers and many shift into other roles over their careers in part due to the doors opened up by having a foundation in Chemical Engineering. 

If Chemical Engineering is something you are truly interested in pursuing or knowing more about consider contacting some of the professional organizations such as American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). They can connect you with a local chapter where you can find out more about opportunities in your area and perhaps even offer some mentoring.  It's a great profession and it's great time to be a Chemical Engineer.