Associate Professor Noelle Comolli works with a student in a lab.

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering offers a full-time academic program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree in 4 years.

A student may also be able to obtain a Bachelor and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering or Biochemical Engineering in 5 years.

What is Chemical Engineering?

Using the principles of mathematics, chemistry, physics and engineering sciences, Villanova Chemical Engineering students learn to transform and properly use chemicals and energy to produce almost anything. You will be taught to creatively solve relevant technical problems arising in industries that manufacture bulk chemicals, fuels, pharmaceuticals, cell therapies, plastics, cosmetics, foods and much more. These solutions must respond to economic constraints as well as social, ethical, environmental and safety implications.

Why Villanova?

What makes Villanova’s Chemical and Biological Engineering department unique is our commitment to community:

  • Between students who learn teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills together during classes and in clubs
  • With faculty who value your success and take the time to get to know you—by name
  • In the world outside of Villanova, where we engage in service learning trips, study abroad experiences and STEM outreach programs
  • Through Nova Nation whose alumni are there to mentor, guide and support our students during their time here and after they graduate


All undergraduates in Chemical and Biological Engineering take required courses in:

  • Mass and Fluid Mechanics
  • Heat Transfer
  • Thermodynamics
  • Reactor Design
  • Chemical Process Control
  • Process Design

Through elective courses you can tailor the program to focus on a specific discipline, including:

  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Nano and Advanced Materials
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Cellular and Genetic Engineering

Related minors—including Biochemical and Biomedical Engineering and Sustainable Engineering—also offer an opportunity for more in-depth study.

Experiential Opportunities

A highlight of the program is the department’s two-semester Senior Project Studio through which Chemical Engineering majors can participate in an industry-sponsored design or research project. A number of students also work directly with professors, which can lead to co-authored papers and presentations at industry conferences.

Recent undergraduate research projects include:

  • Removal of copper from wastewater by adsorption
  • Optimizing lyophilization processes for drug formulations
  • Using antibody coating polymer microparticles for vaccine delivery
  • Rational synthesis of highly dispersed bimetallic catalysts
  • Expression of recombinant earthworm hemoglobin in CHO cells
  • Engineering an intron sequence to optimize transgene expressionAfter Earning Your Degree

Demand is increasing for chemical engineers in emerging areas such as nanotechnologies, alternative energy and biotechnology. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the retirement of many current chemical engineers by 2024 will create favorable job prospects.

In 2020, 14% of Villanova chemical engineering graduates continued their educations after graduation. Those who entered the job market found opportunities in engineering, research, operations/production, consulting, and lab work/science.

Where Are They Now?

2020 graduates are working in a number of fields and continuing their education in specialty programs from medical school to law school. Here is just a sampling:

  • Staff Engineer, All4
  • Applications Engineer, Arkema
  • Controls Engineer, Avanceon
  • Automation Engineer, Cytiva (Global Life Sciences Solutions)
  • Chemical Engineer, Dow
  • Research Specialist, Drew Marine
  • Associate Scientist, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Associate Product Manager, Globus Medical
  • Financial Analyst, Goldman Sachs
  • Process Engineer, Jacobs Engineering Group
  • Staff Engineer, Langan Engineering and Environmental Services
  • Quality Engineer, Lockheed Martin
  • Associate Scientist, Merck
  • Systems Engineer, RoviSys
  • Engineer, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Manufacturing Operations Scientific Associate, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
  • Junior Automation Engineer, Zenith Technologies

Department Chair
Chris Kitchens, Ph.D.

Office Assistant:
Nancy D'Angeli

Office: 610-519-4950