The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering brings the premier disciplines of chemical engineering and life sciences together to form a program distinct in the nation. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Undergraduate program

If you are interested in chemical or life science engineering, you have a strong aptitude for math and science and like to work in teams to find solutions, you should apply to our undergraduate program in chemical and life science engineering. The department offers a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Life Science Engineering, and includes a chemical engineering track and a life science engineering track. Each student must choose the desired track upon initial registration.

For more information about the application process and to apply online, visit the VCU Undergraduate Admissions website.

Graduate program

Graduate students in the School of Engineering have the opportunity to pursue the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees in engineering with tracks in chemical and life science engineering. These tracks are designed primarily for students who are interested in applying biological, chemical, medical and engineering principles toward important contemporary topics.

For more information about the application process, visit the admissions procedures page on this website.

Program details

The undergraduate program in chemical and life science engineering contains a common “core” in basic science, mathematics and engineering. The common core engineering component consists of courses in material and energy balances, thermodynamics, transport phenomena, unit processes and operations, and process design and control. The basic principles elucidated in these courses dictate the behavior of both living and non-living systems.

In addition, the department offers an expanded or in-depth track in life science engineering (pre-med focus) that provides a more in-depth study of the underlying behavior of life processes. The life science engineering track includes all pre-med requirements, and therefore is an excellent option for those students also considering an advanced degree in health and medicine.

For those students who prefer to select a different or more varied set of technical electives, the chemical engineering track is offered.


Visit the VCU Bulletins website to view the curriculum for the individual tracks in life science engineering and chemical engineering.


Visit the VCU Courses online database for the most current undergraduate course descriptions.