Chemical Engineering University Ranking

Last Updated on August 29, 2023

Chemical Engineering | Admissions - The University of Iowa

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Chemical engineers design and produce the processes to produce, transform and transport materials to become usable and useful end products – from plastics, to pharmaceuticals to make-up. This begins with experiments in a laboratory and follows on to implementing the technologies in full-scale production.

A degree in chemical engineering combines chemistry, physics, biology, microbiology, biochemistry, mathematics and economics, helping students develop their knowledge at a molecular level, through to the application of expertise in large-scale or industrial environments.

Courses are made up of lectures, tutorials, seminars, computer practise sessions, practical laboratory work and both individual and group work. Site visits and classes by industry professionals may also form part of the course. Many courses include work placements and a year in industry to equip graduates for tools to succeed in the industry.

In the past, chemical engineering was known to cover just oil refining and petrochemical production, but the industry is constantly progressing and study will be influenced by advancement in the field. New and improved materials are always being developed, so students will benefit from tuition in fields such as nanotechnology, fuel cells, fabric development, mineral processing and bioengineering. But core subjects include fluid mechanics, mass and heat transfer, thermodynamics, plant design, process systems, process economics, process analysis and process operations.

A large number of industries rely on the synthesis and processing of chemicals and materials so chemical engineers are always in demand. Traditional careers for a chemical engineer can be found in the chemical, energy and oil industries, as well as the less traditional spheres of biotech, pharmaceuticals, environmental engineering and device fabrication. 

Top Chemical Engineering Universities In The World

Top 10 Chemical engineering universities in USA - YouTube

Chemical engineers are in high demand because many industries rely on their work and discoveries. Becoming a chemical engineer, however, is not easy. It’s an interdisciplinary area that includes principles of Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology, and Engineering.

The first step is enrolling in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering. But which schools are the best for this type of studies?

1. QS Rankings 2021: Chemical Engineering

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the US
  • Stanford University, the US
  • National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
  • University of California, Berkeley (UCB), the US
  • University of Cambridge, the UK
  • Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • University of Oxford, the UK
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the US
  • Imperial College London, the UK

Check out the full chemical engineering ranking on

2. World University Rankings 2022: Chemical Engineering

  • Harvard University, the US
  • Stanford University, the US
  • University of California, Berkeley, the US
  • MIT, the US
  • University of Cambridge, the UK
  • University of Oxford, the UK
  • Princeton University, the US
  • Caltech, the US
  • ETH Zurich, the US
  • National University of Singapore, Singapore

See other top-ranked universities on the official Times Higher Education website.

3. Shanghai Rankings 2021: Chemical Engineering

  • MIT, the US
  • Tsinghua University, China
  • Tianjin University, China
  • Stanford University, the US
  • Georgia Tech, the US
  • Zhejiang University, China
  • Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China
  • South China University of Technology, China
  • University of Texas at Austin, the US
  • East China University of Science and Technology, China

The complete ranking is available on

Here are other chemical engineering schools we recommend:

  • University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), the US
  • University of Birmingham, the UK
  • KU Leuven, Belgium
  • LUT University, Finland
  • Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania

The best chemical engineering universities in the world

PIF takes an interactive look at two of the world’s top ten ranked Chemical Engineering universities to find out what kind of learning opportunities are out there for undergraduates, postgraduates and professionals looking to further themselves.

According to the most recent league tables published by leading university ranking specialists, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), almost a quarter (48) of the 200 best ranked global institutions are based in the United States. The next closest heavyweights are Britain and China (15 each), followed by Japan and South Korea (11 each), Canada (10), and Australia and Germany (9 each).

Chemical engineering universities

The best Chemical Engineering Universities

So we’ve selected the highest ranking Chemical Engineering universities from the United States and Europe to highlight the distinctive learning opportunities available on each side of the Atlantic.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ranking: Number 1

Perennial chart topper MIT has been at the forefront of Chemical Engineering for donkey’s years. How many other institutions can boast an alumni that accounts for 25% of the winners of major awards presented by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Chemical Society’s Murphree Award? Or indeed more than 10% of senior executives at industrial companies?

Undergraduate chemical engineering degrees

Undergraduate options are plentiful, with a broad-reaching Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, narrower Bachelor of Science in Chemical-Biological Engineering, and flexible Bachelor of Science options that allow for a specialist focus in either an engineering field or wider academic subject.

Postgraduate chemical engineering courses

Among the three postgraduate programs, two are available only at MIT. The Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering (Ph.D.CEP) taps into the world-class resources of MIT’s David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice (“Practice School”) and the Sloan School of Management. The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering Practice degree gives hands-on experiences in industrial settings. While the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering promise a thorough grounding in chemical engineering with an intensive research experience.

Chemical engineering professional development

In terms of professional development, the Advanced Study Program includes credit courses and MIT Professional Education also offers a comprehensive array of 2-5 day Short Programs taught by MIT faculty and experts.

Chemical engineering Research

In 2013, MIT chemical engineers and biologists devised a way to dramatically boost isobutanol production in yeast, which naturally make it in small amounts, in pursuit of gasoline alternatives. According to MIT News, “They engineered yeast so that isobutanol synthesis takes place entirely within mitochondria, cell structures that generate energy and also host many biosynthetic pathways. Using this approach, they were able to boost isobutanol production by about 260 percent.”

Chemical engineering research

University of Cambridge

Ranking: Number 4

The highest overall rated university in the UK, according to the Guardian’s league tables, is also the highest achieving European centre of excellence for Chemical Engineering.

Undergraduate chemical engineering degrees

The Chemical Engineering Tripos is an IChemE accredited four-year course, leading to a BA after three years or the full MEng qualification, that also boasts strong links with industry and great career prospects.

Postgraduate chemical engineering courses

The MPhil and PhD research programmes cover the breadth of chemical engineering and biotechnology disciplines, with fundamental and applied sciences research and access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. There’s also options to pursue MPhil studies focussing on laboratory-based research (ACE) or a company internship placement (MBE).

Chemical engineering professional development

Cambridge offers short professional study courses, such as the five-day Biopharmaceutical Pricing and Market Access Strategy Programme, delivered jointly with ICON Pricing & Market Access.

UK Chemical engineering research

Ongoing research in the Processes section of the department ranges from reaction engineering to downstream processing. Current studies include separation and recovery of high-value chemicals present in wastes, such as packaging, used engine oils and tyres and CO2 sequestration.

 Top Chemical Engineering Colleges
Many Universities offer a MS in Chemical Engineering with 2 options- thesis and non-thesis.

PhD in Chemical Engineering is also very popoular but a direct entry to PhD is tough and is advisable to first get an admit to MS program and then graduae to PhD.

The below list is the ranking from US News, one of the most authentic US journals, for the Top MS programs in Chemical Engineering in USA.

S. No.University NameStateRankTution Fee / App. FeesAccept.
Fall / SpringAvg GRE / TOEFL
1Massachusetts Institute of
MA 1$48,140 23.61-Dec166/108
2California Institute of TechnologyCA 2$45,846 N/A1-Dec169/107
3University of California
CA 2$26,322 22.55-Dec165/90
4Stanford UniversityCA 4$50,424 17.9rolling167/89
5University of Minnesota
Twin Cities
MN5$25,120 35.11-Jan164/79
6Georgia Institute of TechnologyGA6$27,872 35.215-Jan164/104
7Princeton UniversityNJ6$45,320 5.41-Dec167/N/A
8University of DelawareDE6$1,720 per credit45.96-Jan/30-Nov169/95
9University of Texas
Austin (Cockrell)
TX6$18,030 15.415-Dec165/104
10University of Wisconsin
WI6$25,269 16.1rolling164/102
11University of California
Santa Barbara
CA 11$27,396 10.715-Dec165/80
12University of Illinois
Urbana Champaign
IL12$32,628 32.831-Dec166/102
13University of Michigan
Ann Arbor
MI12$45,974 34.815-Jan166/N/A
14Carnegie Mellon UniversityPA14$43,000 22.115-Dec/15-Jan166/104
15Northwestern University
IL15$50,424 28.415-Apr166/80
16Purdue University
West Lafayette
IN15$29,134 30.11-May164/99
17University of PennsylvaniaPA15$32,286 26.62-Jan165/105
18University of Colorado BoulderCO18$31,248 31.615-Dec162/103
19Cornell University NY19$29,500 33.8rolling165/NA
20Johns Hopkins
University (Whiting)
MD19$50,410 42.85-Jan166/100
21North Carolina State UniversityNC21$22,610 14.61-Mar/15-Jul164/105
22Pennsylvania State University
University Park
PA21$35,650 20.51-Feb163/98
23Ohio State UniversityOH23$32,376 14.5rolling164/98
24University of California
Los Angeles (Samueli)
CA 23$27,786 26.91-Dec166/104
25University of California DavisCA 25$28,339 20.315-Jan163/98
26University of Notre DameIN25$49,050 4.115-Jan/1-Oct163/80
27Columbia University
(Fu Foundation)
NY27$44,592 27.215-Dec167/104
28Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteNY27$49,520 22.71-Jan/15-Aug164/96
29Rice University (Brown)TX27$43,220 3231-Dec166/102
30Texas A&M University
College Station (Look)
TX27$681 per credit19.91-Dec/1-Oct164/80
31University of WashingtonWA 27$30,153 42.115-Dec163/102
32University of FloridaFL32$30,130 48.45-Dec163/101
33Iowa State UniversityIA33$23,024 18.21-Jan/15-Aug167/97
34University of Maryland
College Park (Clark)
MD33$28,080 36.915-Jan164/105
35University of Massachusetts
MA 33$29,644 34.515-Jan163/99
36University of PittsburghPA33$41,222 40.415-Jan/1-Feb162/96
37Virginia TechVA33$27,644 18.415-Jan/1-Sep162/102
38Case Western Reserve UniversityOH38$42,576 38.61-Mar/1-Nov164/96
39Colorado School of MinesCO38$34,020 52.3rolling160/79
40University of Houston (Cullen)TX38$950 per credit34.115-Feb161/97
41University of Southern
California (Viterbi)
CA 38$29,520 21.115-Jan/15-Jul166/90
42University of VirginiaVA38$25,578 32.215-Jan164/90
43Washington University
in St. Louis
MO38$48,950 44.31-Mar165/100
44Lehigh University (Rossin)PA44$1,420 per credit34.315-Jan165/99
45Michigan State UniversityMI44$1,386 per credit6.415-Jan162/95
46Rutgers, the State University of
New Jersey New Brunswick
NJ44$28,128 21.215-Apr/15-Oct163/NA
47University at Buffalo
NY44$22,210 33.315-Jan162/99
48Vanderbilt UniversityTN44$1,854 per credit11.720-Dec163/103
49Arizona State University
AZ49$28,186 47.931-Dec/1-Aug162/100
50Auburn University (Ginn)AL49$27,216 45.515-Jan163/90
51University of California
Irvine (Samueli)
CA 49$30,243 17.91-Dec164/98
52Iowa State UniversityIA49$28,183 18.4rolling161/96
53Yale UniversityCT49$39,800 18.610-Feb168/105
54Drexel University PA54$1,192 per credi65.713-Jun160/82
55Tulane University LA54$49,030 21.231-Dec161/NA
56University of California
Riverside (Bourns)
CA 54$26,322 27.215-Dec162/80
57University of California
San Diego (Jacobs)
CA 54$26,322 30.316-Dec166/103
58Clemson UniversitySC58$21,532 29rolling158/NA
59Northeastern University MA 58$1,471 per credit44.615-Jan162/97
60Tufts University MA 58$50,520 60.115-Dec/15-Sep162/100
61University of South CarolinaSC58$27,408 52.21-May156/96
62University of Utah UT58$22,472 34.915-Dec161/99
63Brigham Young University (Fulton) UT63$13,360 70.431-Jan/15-Oct162/95
64Brown University RI63$50,224 321-May165/NA
65Colorado State University CO63$27,850 50.815-Jan/15-Sep167/92
66CUNY – City College (Grove) NY63$870 per credit65.31-May157/80
67Stony Brook University – SUNY NY63$22,210 33.415-Jan165/100
68University of ArizonaAZ63$30,124 51.4rolling162/95
69Clarkson University NY69$1,300 per credit70.31-Jan162/88
70Illinois Institute of Technology (Armour) IL69$1,400 per credit73.131-Jan/1-Oct160/90
71Kansas State University KS69$910 per credit37.5rolling162/97
72Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge
LA69$25,643 35.515-May/15-Oct159/93
73Michigan Technological University MI69$18,477 24.515-Jan162/98
74Syracuse University NY69$25,974 40.4rolling162/95
75University of Akron OH69 $748 per credit66.21-Mar160/79

Chemical Engineering University Ranking UK

The Best UK Universities for Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering is one of the most demanding subjects in the UK. Every year thousands of local and international students study Chemical Engineering courses in different British universities.

Finding the top university to study for a bright future is not an easy job. Here is a list of the top 20 universities if you are looking for the best university to study one of the UK’s Chemical Engineering courses.

Top Universities to Study Chemical Engineering in the UK

Best Engineering Universities in UK (2021) - Studying in UK
RankUniversity NameTHE World RankingTotal Students
1Univesity of Oxford120,774
2University of Cambridge619,370
3Imperial College London1117,176
5University of Edinburgh3030,649
6University of Manchester5136,550
7University of Birmingham10730,198
8Queen Mary University of London11019,365
9University of Sheffield12126,165
10University of Southampton12723,498
11Lancaster University13613,047
12Durham University14917,049
13University of Nottingham15830,789
14University of Leeds16031,240
15University of Exeter17422,007
16University of Aberdeen17812,863
17Newcastle University17824,089
18University of East Anglia20015,757
19Queen’s University Belfast20018,438
20University of Bath20114,410

We prepared this table using The Times Higher Education (THE) ranking data, one of the world’s most trusted university ranking tables. The table is based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across four areas: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

UK universities ranked by subject area: Engineering: chemical

2021InstitutionGuardian score/100Satisfied with courseSatisfied with teachingSatisfied with feedbackStudent to staff ratioSpend per student/10Average entry tariffValue added score/10Career after 15 monthsContin-uation
1 Cambridge100n/an/an/a12.610235696100
2 Imperial College80.186.491.272.215.910192710094.5
3 Nottingham70.790.584.975.814.9715989197.7
4 Birmingham6881.881.45814.6818869698.4
5 Bradford62.893.788.878.218.12111107897.1
6 London South Bank60.591.588.681.914.139795594.9
7 Edinburgh59.467.774.242.610719249797.9
8 Bath5992.186.371.718417579196.1
9 Sheffield55.187.183.565.617.6714349699.6
10 Lancaster54.382.583.149.412.771474n/a100
11 Loughborough52.58177.967.212.8414448498.6
12 Aston52.482.183.767.616.9512198297.7
13 Chester49.476.584.866.48.3n/a103n/an/a91.5
14 Surrey4871.977.854.813.1513278795.9
15 Heriot-Watt44.386.986.756.817.4617349392
16 Swansea42.887.183.565.917.5512449195.5
17 Strathclyde42.577.181.854.620.5422139296.6
18 UCL37.86464.448.114.1616268793.6
19 Hull34.770.577.754.218.149877897.4
19 Leeds34.760.960.146.115417049794.2
21 Newcastle32.969.870.256.817.4513849597.4
22 Manchester32.371.673.347.719.8717458596.7
23 Portsmouth30.47574.958.819.731142n/a95.9
23 West of Scotland30.490.291.16114.421501n/a90.8
25 Teesside29.784.184.178.622.4311757994
26 Queen’s, Belfast24.7486439.312.9615386698
Other universities that taught this subject
 Canterbury Christ Church
 Sheffield Hallam

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