Our students are having a global impact in sustainable energy, molecular engineering, biotechnology, and synthetic biology.Our students are having a global impact in sustainable energy, molecular engineering, biotechnology, and synthetic biology.

About The Department

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is nationally recognized for its leadership in modern engineering research and education. We help provide students with the tools, experience, and adaptability to prosper—not only as new graduates but also throughout their careers.

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Undergraduate Programs

At the undergraduate level, we offer a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering. Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the program immerses students, from the very beginning, in computer applications, design, and communication. Students receive the benefits that come from studying at a major research institution, coupled with the personalized attention one expects from a prestigious, private university.

We also offer a minor in biotechnology and biochemical engineering. The minor is designed for students who have an interest in the emerging areas of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and bioprocessing. A host of McCormick-wide special programs are also available to undergraduate students.

Graduate Programs

The graduate program in chemical and biological engineering is one of the highest ranked programs of its kind in the nation. It emphasizes both core chemical engineering training and interdisciplinary research that’s on the cutting edge of the field. Both master’s and PhD degrees are offered.

Students enrolled in the PhD program have the option of completing the biotechnology training program or the chemistry of life processes training program. We also offer the master of science in biotechnology program, a professional master’s program.


The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering includes 24 core faculty members, as well as courtesy faculty with major appointments in fields such as biomedical engineering, environmental engineering, chemistry, and materials science and engineering.

Our faculty members have been frequently recognized for their excellence in research and teaching. Among the faculty there are 11 National Science Foundation PYI/NYI/CAREER Award recipients, 2 Packard Science and Engineering Fellows, 3 members of the National Academy of Engineering, and winners of numerous other research awards.


Faculty members are organized into the following research area groups

Seminars & Colloquia

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering hosts several seminars during the academic year, enriching the learning experience our students receive.

Click here for more information and a schedule.

Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The ARDEI committee is composed of ChBE undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff stakeholders who work together to bring about positive change. The committee is currently co-chaired by a faculty member and a graduate student. Bi-weekly meetings provide an opportunity for thoughtful discussions and progress updates on our initiatives, while subgroups move forward on initiatives separately. We welcome anyone in our community to join our committee by emailing us your interest at ChBE_ARDEI@northwestern.edu.

To learn more and obtain resources, please visit our page.