Careers for Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineers develop chemical processes and products that transform raw materials into useful technologies. They are employed in a wide variety of industries that include: chemical manufacturing, energy conversion, plastics, consumer products and pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and semiconductor processing. They're engaged in research, development, design, manufacturing and technical management. Most of our Chemical Engineering alumni are employed in industry or government agencies; about 20 percent pursue graduate degrees.

+ Learn more about career mentorship and research opportunities

Preparing for Undergraduate Admissions

Chemical Engineering and all undergraduate majors at UC Santa Barbara only admit new undergraduate students during Fall quarter. Read through the follow steps in preparation for application:

1. Get to know our undergraduate program

Read the chemical engineering undergraduate program overview, including areas of study and research, academic objectives, advising, preparing for graduate school, and industry career opportunities. Learn more about the College of Engineering Honors Program.

2. Prepare for admission

Freshmen Students

Given the strength of its programs and its national reputation, it is not surprising that UCSB's College of Engineering receives applications from more qualified students than can be admitted. Each applicant must apply to a specific major, such as Chemical Engineering. Applicants with the strongest qualifications are admitted. The College accepts applications for the fall quarter only and gives preference to freshmen and upper-division transfer students. 
+ College of Engineering Freshman Preparation and Admissions

Transfer Students

Learn more about what the College of Engineering considers when admitting transfer students. Carefully review the information for students preparing to transfer into an undergraduate major in the College of Engineering from a California Community College, or from any other institution. 
+ College of Engineering Transfer Student Preparation and Admissions

3. Understand the Bachelor of Science Requirements

Read through the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) requirements for the Chemical Engineering major at UCSB. Prospective students may also be interested in the combined BS/MS in Chemical Engineering/Materials coordinated by the Department of Materials.

4. Visit the UCSB campus

To arrange for a tour and more information about our program, please contact us at (805) 893-8671 or Explore the UCSB Virtual Tour or schedule a UCSB campus tour through the admissions office. During the spring quarter of each year, UCSB hosts an open house event called Spring Insight and several weekend tours to get to know the College of Engineering. 

5. Apply for Admission

Learn more about the UCSB undergraduate admissions timeline and how to apply. The University of California application will be available on August 1 and students will be able to submit their applications from November 1 - 30. This timeline applies to all UCSB undergraduates. Admission decisions are announced in the spring, typically mid-March, but applicants should check the UCSB Admissions website for details.

Accepted and Ready to Register?

Congratulations! We look forward to learning with you. Complete your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) today.

Changing Your Major to Chemical Engineering

Read through these step-by-step instructions for changing your major to Chemical Engineering, whether you are a current UCSB non-engineering major or a UCSB engineering student in another major.

Admissions Data

Five-Year Total Enrollment

Fall 2017 Fall 2018 Fall 2019 Fall 2020 Fall 2021 Fall 2022 FALL 2023
231 217 197 203 184 163 172


2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23
57 46 65 54 43 53 41

average time TO DEGREE FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS (in years)

2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23
2.5 2.88 2.57 2.73 2.66