Engineering is one of the most profitable and lucrative careers in the market. However, it can be challenging to find affordable programs that do not compromise quality standards. That’s why we have created a list of the cheapest chemical engineering schools that will profit your wallets and your career.
This article highlights the most affordable chemical engineering schools to attend, factors to consider when choosing your school, and tips to make affordable schools even more affordable. Dive in to discover how to access the cheapest chemical engineering degrees without sacrificing quality.
What Are the Most Affordable Chemical Engineering Schools in the US?
The most affordable chemical engineering schools in the US are the University of Florida in Gainesville, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, and Auburn University. Their yearly tuition rates range between $7,000 and $10,000. According to the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), these figures are relatively better than the national average of tuition and fees of colleges and universities.
How Much Do the Cheapest Chemical Engineering Schools Cost?
The cheapest chemical engineering schools cost between $7,000 and $20,000 per year in tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate programs. Keep in mind that other academic-related expenses will contribute to the total cost of a school. These costs include accommodation, transportation, food, books, and health insurance. Price also differs for graduate and undergraduate students.
Cheapest Chemical Engineering Schools Costs Breakdown
- Accommodation. Students paying for on-campus accommodation will cover utility bills like electricity, water, trash, and heating. This amount is usually less than the cost of accommodation outside the campus.
- Books and supplies. Although paying for books may be optional in some chemical engineering schools, all programs require academic materials and stationery.
- Health Insurance. Health insurance is a wise investment as it covers medical attention in case of any complications or accidents. Although necessary, it is an extra cost.
- Transportation. Students who need a means of commuting to and from campus are sometimes provided with an on-campus transportation shuttle in exchange for a small fee. Car expenses or bus fares must be considered as well.
- Tuition and fees. For each class you take, you are required to pay a certain fee. Tuition is usually charged per credit hour. Students are unable to take their courses unless they pay tuition.
Why You Should Attend a Chemical Engineering School
You should attend a chemical engineering school because this field of study is quite promising in terms of job outlook and salary. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a positive job outlook for chemical engineers as 2,400 new positions will be created in the field by 2030. PayScale states that a senior chemical engineer’s salary is up to $112,604 per year.
Chemical engineering schools teach foundational skills that can be applied across a variety of fields. Chemical engineers apply basic science principles to the production of basic human consumables such as fuels, food, and drugs.
Best Chemical Engineering School Career Options
The best chemical engineering school career options include chemical engineers, petroleum engineers, food engineers, industrial engineers, and environmental engineers. Due to its interdisciplinary foundation, a chemical engineering degree qualifies you for numerous positions that may seem foreign to the discipline.
According to BLS, the job outlook for chemical engineering is set to increase by nine percent from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average job growth for jobs in the United States. Graduates can expect to find a job quickly after graduation.
Chemical Engineering Salary
The average chemical engineering salary is $105,550 per year, according to the BLS. This is significantly higher than the national average for all occupations. A chemical engineer’s salary also depends on their education level and how much experience they have.
Can You Attend Chemical Engineering School for Free?
Yes, it is possible to attend chemical engineering school for free if you have sufficient financial aid. To qualify for financial aid, students applying to affordable chemical engineering schools will have to fill out a FAFSA form. It is wise to do some research to see what scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities your school offers.
Moreover, some universities have invested in massive open online courses (MOOCs) that are offered by independent platforms and allow unlimited enrollment. Discover if your school of choice is affiliated with MOOCs that offer core engineering courses.
Cheapest Chemical Engineering Schools That Won’t Break the Bank
|University of Central Florida
|University of Florida-Gainesville
|North Carolina State University-Raleigh
|Missouri University of Science and Technology
|Texas A&M University-College Station
|University of California-Los Angeles
|University of Illinois at Chicago
|Rutgers University-New Brunswick
|University of Virginia-Main Campus
What Are the Cheapest Chemical Engineering Schools? A Deep Dive
Paying for Chemical Engineering School With Financial Aid
Governmental entities and chemical engineering schools offer financial aid to help students cover the expenses of higher education. Financial aid such as federal grants, federal loans, private loans, work-study programs, scholarships, and assistantships are highlighted below.
A federal grants is a sum of money awarded by the government that does not need to be repaid. There are competitive grants issued based on merit, continuation grants that can be renewed, and grants passed through a government agency. To apply for these grants, students must fill out the FAFSA form.
Federal student loans are available to eligible students attending participating schools. The US Department of Education is in charge of lending federal student loans. Only US citizens are eligible for federal loans. It is wise to turn to loans as a last resort as they must be paid back and can put students in great debt.
Students can acquire a private student loan from private loan organizations. Such loans are viable alternatives for students who have burned out their federal loans. Private loans have higher borrowing limits but lack subsidies and fixed interest rates.
Another way to pay for college is through federal or in-house work-study programs. These programs allow you to work part-time while studying in college. They can help students build experience while learning the tricks of the trade.
Best Schools For Your Area of Study
How to Apply for Federal Aid to Finance Your Chemical Engineering School Program
To apply for federal aid, there are specific steps you must follow. Below, we have provided the steps you should follow when applying for financial aid by completing a FAFSA so you can attend a cheap engineering school without financial stress.
- Step 1: You need to conduct research into the kind of financial aid you would prefer and how to get it. You will need to fill out the FAFSA and provide some personal information.
- Step 2: Create an FSA ID. Filling out the FAFSA online can take as little as 10 minutes.
- Step 3: Using your FSA ID, complete the FAFSA registration. Select and fill out the student and parent demographic portion on the form and select your school.
- Step 4: Provide financial details such as total family income and threshold. Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to collect tax return information if it’s an online registration.
- Step 5: Sign and submit the FAFSA form.
Best Chemical Engineering Scholarships
- American Chemical Society Scholars Program | Amount: $5,000. This is a renewable scholarship program for students in chemistry and chemistry-related disciplines. It awards $5,000 every academic year to selected recipients.
- AFCEA DC STEM Scholarships | Amount: Varies. This scholarship is available for students who are US citizens or permanent residents in DC, Virginia, and Maryland. It is available to students in all engineering programs.
- AIChE Minority Scholarship Award | Amount: $1,000. This scholarship is awarded to incoming college freshmen by the Minority Affairs Committee. It prioritizes students of underrepresented minority groups in chemical engineering.
Cheapest Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Schools
The cheapest undergraduate chemical engineering schools offer quality education at a low cost. If you’re seeking affordable undergraduate studies in chemical engineering, we have provided a list of the best associate and bachelor’s degrees to kickstart your career.
Most Affordable Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Programs
- Baton Rouge Community College | Associate of Science in Pre-Engineering With a Concentration in Chemical Engineering | $134.89/credit. This associate degree program prepares its students for transfer into higher institutions like the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The program offers courses such as engineering graphics.
- Coastline Community College | Associate of Arts in Process Technology | $46/unit. Process engineers have similar roles as chemical engineers. This program teaches students the skills they need for working as system operators or chemical equipment operators. The program requires 60 credits.
- Midlands Technical College | Chemical Engineering Associate Degree | $188/ credit (in region); $235/credit (in state); $264/credit (out of state). This program features seven credit hours which can be completed in five semesters. It is offered in online, in-person, or hybrid formats.
- South Seattle College | Associate of Science (AS) Degree in Chemical Engineering | $1,550/quarter. At 110 credit hours, this program equips graduates for employment in the chemical engineering field. Students study molecular change, reactor design, and biomedical devices.
Most Affordable Chemical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs
- McNeese State University | Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering | $4,500/semester (in state); $5,000/semester (out of state). This interdisciplinary program teaches fundamental principles of physics, math, life sciences, chemistry, and social sciences. Through this 120-credit program, students will learn the production and transformation of chemical materials.
- Michigan Technical University | Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering | $33,283/year (resident); $55,243/year (non-resident). This program teaches students skills needed to design sustainable, safe, and reliable equipment for large-scale biological manufacturing, environmental protection, and promotion of life.
- University of Central Florida | Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering | $212/credit (in state); $748.89/credit (out of state). This bachelor’s degree program is offered by the Department of Engineering and Computer Science. Students must complete 67 credit hours in organic chemistry, engineering methods, analysis, and statistics.
- University of Illinois | Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering | $17,138 per/year (resident); $35,110/year (non-resident). This program allows students to choose from six specializations, such as process automation and entrepreneurship. The four-year program provides knowledge of the basics of chemical engineering.
- University of North Dakota | Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering | $427.86/credit. This program is offered online or on-campus. It offers hands-on learning by providing internships, research, and competitions. It requires 130 credits and takes four to five years to complete.
Best Online Associate Degrees
Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Cheapest Graduate Schools for Chemical Engineering
The cheapest graduate chemical engineering degrees are at schools like the University of Florida, University of Central Florida, Rice University, Lamar University, and Northwestern University. Keep reading to discover the most affordable master’s and PhDs.
Most Affordable Schools for Master’s Degrees in Chemical Engineering
- University of Florida | Master of Science in Chemical Engineering | $12,744/year. This 30-credit master’s degree teaches the fundamentals of chemical engineering. It requires a thesis, an internship, and a final oral examination. This degree is for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
- University of Central Florida | Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering | $369.65/credit (in state); $1,194.05/credit (out of state). Offered by the Department of Engineering and Computer Science, students choose between a thesis or non-thesis course path. The program requires 30 credit hours.
- Johns Hopkins University | Master of Science in Chemical Engineering | $60,480/year. This program trains students to become chemical engineers through rigorous courses and a modern curriculum. The program focuses on areas like biotechnology and nanotechnology and offers numerous financial aid for its students.
- Purdue University | Professional Master of Science in Chemical Engineering | $5,558/year (resident); $14,959/year (non-resident). This 12-month master’s program is designed for students of all backgrounds. It provides them with the opportunity to learn skills that will ensure their success in the chemical engineering industry.
- Rice University | Master of Science in Chemical Engineering | $2,146/credit. This 30-credit, non-thesis Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering develops students’ skills and in-depth knowledge in chemical engineering. It also tackles sub-disciplines such as biomolecular engineering and materials science.
Most Affordable PhDs in Chemical Engineering Universities
- Binghamton University | PhD in Materials Science and Engineering | $11,310/year (resident); $23,100/year (non-resident). This graduate program in Materials Science and Engineering leads to a master’s degree or a PhD. Based on student interests, programs may emphasize either engineering or science.
- Colorado Technical University | PhD in Chemical Engineering | $540/credit. This degree includes a total of 30 credit hours of coursework and 30 semester hours of thesis work. Students will need to complete three preliminary core courses, comprehensive examinations, and a PhD dissertation within six years.
- Lamar University | PhD in Chemical Engineering | $686.82/credit (resident); $1,094.82/credit (non-resident). This 70-credit program is offered on campus to prepare chemical engineers to conduct research for the development and education in the industry. Graduates can work in petrochemicals, process design, or pharmaceuticals.
- Northwestern University | PhD in Chemical Engineering | $18,689/quarter. This PhD program provides advanced coursework through a hands-on teaching method and rigorous research in the chemical engineering discipline. Doctorate students are trained to lead research and development in the educational and industrial sectors.
- Texas Tech University | PhD in Chemical Engineering | $9,984/year (resident); $17,512/year (non-resident). This PhD program is designed for students with foundational knowledge at the undergraduate and gradute levels. It requires 72 credit hours of research, electives, dissertation, and core courses.
Best Online Master’s Degrees
Best Online PhD Programs
How to Choose a Good and Affordable Chemical Engineering School
When choosing a chemical engineering school, the cost is the first thing to consider. Other factors to consider when looking into a chemical engineering academic institution include the mode of learning, student-to-faculty ratio, accreditation, location, and student services. We dive into a few of these factors below.
Tuition fees are an unavoidable aspect of any school. However, many private and public universities provide financial aid that covers a significant part of the total cost of attendance. It is important to weigh the price of each school and consider what financial aid options are available.
It is usually more expensive to go to school outside your state or city. Out-of-state students may need to secure accommodation, food, and transportation. Regardless of tuition, it can be very beneficial to choose a school that has a lively campus life. Attending a school that has clubs and activities can help students with their work-life balance.
Although many schools offer chemical engineering degrees at cheap prices, not all of them are accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. Some recognized accreditation agencies include the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Tips for Saving Money While Attending Chemical Engineering School
- Get a job. A part-time job will help you save money in college. The government provides financial aid in the form of work-study programs that can help you fund your studies.
- Apply for chemical engineering scholarships. A scholarship is very helpful to students with financial needs. Most scholarships are awarded based on merit. They are especially useful because they do not need to be repaid.
- Buy used books or rent them. Spending full price on books that will only be used for one semester is a waste. Renting books will save you money and home space. Some books can be found online at cheaper prices as well.
- Cook at home or use on-campus meal plans. Cooking or using on-campus meal plans is usually less expensive than eating out at your favorite restaurants. Although it is nice to treat yourself, be smart and budget your leisure expenses.
- Buy necessary supplies in bulk. Buy items you use very often like soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and tissue in bulk. You will save money in the long run by avoiding running to the store every week for these expenses.
Cheapest Online Schools for Chemical Engineering
The cheapest online schools for chemical engineering include University of Arkansas, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, University of Central Florida, University of North Dakota, and Kansas State University. Their tuition and graduation rates are detailed below.
|University of Arkansas
|$255.51/credit (resident, undergraduate);
$437.54/credit (resident, graduate);
$816.06/credit (non-resident, undergraduate);
$1,190.02/credit (non-resident, graduate)
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh
|$272.29/credit (undergraduate); $505.28/credit (graduate)
|University of Central Florida
|$327.32/credit (in state); $1,151.72/credit (out of state)
|University of North Dakota
|Kansas State University
Most Affordable Online Chemical Engineering Bachelor’s Programs
- North Carolina State University at Raleigh | Engineering 2+2 | $272.29/credit. This program allows students to complete the two first years of their engineering degree at their home institution before transferring to NC State. They choose their branch of studies, such as material science or chemical engineering.
- University of North Dakota | Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering | $370.08/credit class. This 130-credit Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering can be taken online and on campus. In four years, students conduct their own experiments and learn the fundamentals of chemical engineering.
- Liberty University | Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering | $390/hour. This 120-credit program is available online. It affords you skills that can be used in various fields of engineering, including chemical engineering. Students learn about electrical systems engineering, facilities tuition, and machine learning.
Most Affordable Online Chemical Engineering Master’s Programs
- University of Central Florida | Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering | $327.32/credit (in state); $1,151.72/credit (out of state). This online master’s program can be completed in 16 weeks. It requires 30 credit hours. Students do not need to submit a GRE score to apply.
- University of Arkansas-Fayetteville | Master of Science in Chemical Engineering | $437.54/credit. This 31 credit hour program is divided into six research credit hours and 26 credits of coursework. Students study topics such as thermodynamics and reactor design.
- North Carolina State University | Online Master of Material Science and Engineering | $505.28/credit. This online Master of Science is a non-thesis course that gives students an understanding of the structure and properties of materials. Students study processing methods and structure modification.
- Kansas State University | Online Master of Science in Chemical Engineering | $800.30/credit. This program is offered completely online, and its curriculum consists of 30 credit hours. Courses include bioseparations, chemical engineering analysis, and an air quality seminar.
- Auburn University | Online Master of Science in Chemical Engineering | $949/ semester credit hour. This master of chemical engineering program teaches students about various fields like biochemical engineering, paper engineering, and environmental engineering.
Will Attending an Online Chemical Engineering School Save Me Money?
Yes, an online program is a cost-effective alternative to an in-person program. Online chemical engineering schools save you the cost of transportation, parking, accommodation, and other daily expenses.
Benefits of Online Chemical Engineering Programs
- Flexible. Online chemical engineering programs are flexible because there is no fixed lecture schedule or school activities. You can take your courses when it is beneficial for you, which is ideal for working students.
- Convenient. You can attend lectures and other meetings from the comfort of your room. An asynchronous learning style is usually more convenient for people who live busy lives or work.
- Affordable tuition. Online tuition is usually fixed for a program irrespective of the student’s location. This means there is no out-of-state student charge for prospective students who want to take an online program from a foreign location.
- No transportation fares. In an online learning system, you only have to spend money on computer maintenance and data subscription plans. Since there is no need to leave your house for school, you don’t have to pay for transportation.
- No need to relocate. Finding housing is often a big challenge for students studying on-campus. Although you can apply for on-campus accommodation, slots are usually limited. Online students can study from home and do not need to worry about these things.
Highest-Paying Chemical Engineering Careers
|Chemical Engineering Job
|Chemical Engineering Degree
Best Chemical Engineering Jobs Explained
There are plenty of job opportunities with a chemical engineering degree. The best chemical engineering jobs are high-paying and require the skills of a chemical engineer. These jobs include petroleum engineers, environmental engineers, industrial engineers, and food engineers.
Chemical Engineering Schools Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Most Affordable Chemical Engineering Schools
We chose the most affordable chemical engineering colleges based on tuition and general costs information from the schools’ official websites, the US Department of Education’s database of accredited schools, and the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard tool.
Additional Reading About Chemical Engineering
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Cheapest Chemical Engineering Schools FAQ
Yes, chemical engineers are in demand. However, top companies hiring chemical engineers are looking out for professionals with at least a bachelor’s degree.
Chemical engineers can earn as much as $105,550 per year. It’s important to note that the salary of a professional engineer differs based on state, location, position, and level of experience. It is also possible to work your way up to higher salaries.
The best chemical engineering school in the United States, regardless of cost, is MIT or Caltech, especially if you want to be a research scientist. If you want to work in the industry, you might want to look into schools like UC Berkeley, Stanford University, or Carnegie Mellon University.
The difference between grants and loans is that grants are typically need-based, meaning they are given to prospective students who demonstrate financial needs and meet the eligibility requirements. Loans are not need-based and must be repaid with interest. There are numerous reasons why loans may be a good or bad option.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.