Undergraduate Degree Requirements

To obtain a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (BS in ChE) you must take every course listed in the ChE curriculum in the department section of the LSU General Catalog. To graduate, you must have at least a "C" average in all college work attempted at any US institution, in all work attempted at LSU, and in all ChE courses.

The flowchart is especially useful for planning the sequence of courses you intend to take while at LSU. This is particularly true if you are working part-time or are planning a co-op position. It is recommended that you maintain your own working copy of the flowchart and use it to plan your sequence of courses.

The following provides additional information about specific course requirements in the approximate order that courses are taken, as well as current information about several of the more important procedural rules.

Prerequisite Policy

All students must earn a “C”* or better in CHE 2171, CHE 2172, CHE 2176, CHE 3101, CHE 3102, CHE 3104, CHE 3171, CHE 3173, and CHE 3190 before registering for any subsequent course that requires one or more of these as a prerequisite.

This is in addition to the basic math and sciences requirements of:

Chemical Engineering majors must earn a grade of “C”* or better in each of the basic math and sciences preparatory courses—BIOL 1201, CHEM 1201, CHEM 1202, MATH 1550, MATH 1552, MATH 2090, PHYS 2110, and PHYS 2113—before registering for any chemical engineering course other than CHE 1100 and CHE 2171.

All students are required to maintain an overall 2.0 GPA at LSU and a 2.0 GPA in chemical engineering courses to qualify for graduation with a BS in Chemical Engineering (same as current College of Engineering policy).

* For all prerequisite requirements, a grade of “C-“ satisfies the required grade of “C” or better.

Prerequisites may occasionally be updated and the ChE office will have a current list. Completion of 60 credits serves as a minimum university prerequisite to all 4000 level courses. Alternately you may take a 4000 level course if you have 30 hours, a 3.5 GPA, approval by the instructor, and approval by the Dean of the College of Engineering. An approval form is available in the dean's office.

The university and the department rigorously enforce prerequisites for all core ChE classes during and after registration. Students who do not satisfy the requirements will be prevented from registering and/or dropped prior to the beginning of the class. If you feel an oversight has occurred, you may explain your situation to the ChE office at that time.

Core Courses

There are 14 required core ChE courses in the curriculum. These include 12 lecture courses and two laboratories. This is the most recent list of core courses and their prerequisites. Prerequisites are not catalogue specific and are strictly enforced.

Course Prerequisites

CHE 1100       


CHE 2171

MATH 1550, CHEM 1202, and CHE 1100

CHE 2172

CHE 2171

CHE 2176

CHE 2171

CHE 3101

CHE 2171

CHE 3102

CHE 3101

CHE 3104

CHE 2176 and credit or registration in CHE 3102

CHE 3171

CHE 2176 and credit or registration in CHE 3101 and CHE 3173

CHE 3173

CHE 2172

CHE 3190

CHE 3173, CHEM 3492, and credit or registration in CHE 3102

CHE 4151

CHE 3102 and CHE 3171

CHE 4162

CHE 3104 and credit or registration in CHE 4151

CHE 4172

CHE 4151 and credit or registration in CHE 4198

CHE 4198

Credit or registration in CHE 3190

Grade Exclusion Policy

The following courses are exempted from the grade exclusion/repeat-delete process.

Course Number Course Title
CHE 2171        Chemical Engineering Fundamentals: Material and Energy Balances
CHE 2176 Numerical Methods and Programming for Chemical Engineers
CHE 3104 Engineering Measurements Laboratory
CHE 4162 Unit Operations Laboratory
CHE 4210 Industrial Catalysis
CHE 4221 Senior Research I
CHE 4222 Senior Research II
CHE 4253 Introduction to Industrial Pollution Control
CHE 4260 Biochemical Engineering
CHE 4263 Environmental Chemodynamics
CHE 4270 Processing of Advanced Materials
CHE 4272 Chemical Processing of Nanomaterials
CHE 4275 Electrochemical Engineering
CHE 4285 Principles of High Polymers

General Education Requirements

All LSU students are required to complete a general education component of 39 semester hours in six major areas:

  • English Composition (six hours)
  • Analytical Reasoning (six hours)
  • Arts (three hours)
  • Humanities (nine hours)
  • Natural Sciences (nine hours)
  • Social Sciences (six hours)

The English composition, analytical reasoning, and natural sciences components are satisfied by required courses in the ChE curriculum. The arts, humanities, and social science requirements (AHS) are satisfied by three hours of economics (see below) and appropriate choices of arts, humanities, and social sciences electives.

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Engineering students must satisfy the university general education requirements for non-technical electives by taking the following number of courses in specified areas:

  • Arts (one course)
  • Humanities (three courses)
  • Social Sciences (two courses)

These courses must be selected from the approved list of general education courses given in the catalog. These courses are generally marked with an asterisk next to their course description.


Students in the College of Engineering must satisfy an economics course requirement. This can be done in either of two ways:

  • ECON 2030: This will satisfy the economics requirement, and will also satisfy one of the social science course requirements.
  • ECON 2000 and ECON 2010: Together these will satisfy the economics requirement, and will also satisfy both social science course requirements.

Proficiency Requirements

English Proficiency

English proficiency is a requirement for graduation. All students are advised to work continuously until the requirement is met. Proficiency is established by earning a "C" or better, or receiving advanced standing credit, in all required English courses in the ChE curriculum (ENGL 1001 and ENGL 2000).

Basic Science & Mathematical Proficiency

Proficiency in college-level mathematics and physics is essential to successful completion of upper-division engineering courses. Engineering students must earn a minimum grade of “C” in MATH 1550, MATH 1552, and PHYS 2110 before they enroll in any engineering course numbered above 2999. However, CE 3700, IE 3201, IE 4462, and PETE 3025 may be taken.

The Cain Department of Chemical Engineering requires a grade of "C" or better in each of the basic sciences preparatory courses—BIOL 1201, CHEM 1201, CHEM 1202, MATH 1550, MATH 1552, MATH 2090, PHYS 2110, and PHYS 2113—before students may register for any chemical engineering course other than CHE 1100 and CHE 2171.

Required Courses Outside the ChE Department (with Prerequisites)


Course Prerequisites

ENGL 1001       

Placement by department

ENGL 2000

ENGL 1001 or equivalent


Course Prerequisites

CHEM 1201

Credit or registration in MATH 1022, MATH 1023, MATH 1431, MATH 1550, or MATH 1551

CHEM 1202

CHEM 1201 or CHEM 1421

CHEM 1212

Credit or registration in CHEM 1002, CHEM 1202, or CHEM 1422

CHEM 2261

CHEM 1202 or CHEM 1422

CHEM 2262

CHEM 2261

CHEM 2364

CHEM 1212 and CHEM 2060 or credit or registration in CHEM 2262 or CHEM 2462

CHEM 3492       

MATH 2057 or MATH 2090, PHYS 1202 or PHYS 2113, and CHEM 1202 or CHEM 1422 (all three courses with a grade of "C" or better)


Course Prerequisites

MATH 1550       

Appropriate ALEKS placement score

MATH 1552

MATH 1550 or MATH 1551

MATH 2090

MATH 1552 or MATH 1553


Course Prerequisites

PHYS 2110       

"C" or better in MATH 1550 and credit or registration in MATH 1552 or MATH 1553

PHYS 2113

"C" or better in PHYS 2110 and MATH 1552 or MATH 1553


Course Prerequisites

BIOL 1201

Minimum ACT composite of 23 or "C" or better in CHEM 1201

ECON 2030       


ME 2733       

CHEM 1201 and credit or registration in PHYS 2112 or PHYS 2113

Transfer Students

Transfer students should be aware of the requirements for admission to LSU and to the College of Engineering. You must have earned a 2.5 GPA for all coursework attempted at US Institutions. The calculation will be made using LSU's system of counting all attempts at all courses, even if your former institution used another system such as replacing grades in repeated courses. The catalog allows the dean to grant admission in exceptional cases if the GPA is below a 2.5, but above a 2.0. Upon written request, the dean will evaluate an applicant's entire academic record and may grant admission to the college.