Is Chemical Engineering Hard? The Ultimate Truth Finally Revealed!


Chemical engineering is an exciting and challenging field that involves the application of chemistry, physics, and mathematics to solve complex problems related to the production of chemicals, fuels, and other materials. However, prospective students often wonder whether chemical engineering is a difficult degree program to pursue. In this post, we will provide an honest and comprehensive answer to this question, as well as offer tips for successfully navigating the program. Additionally, we will also briefly touch upon alternative degree programs that may be applicable to those interested in chemistry and engineering but may not want to pursue the rigorous course load of chemical engineering specifically.

Is Chemical Engineering Hard?

Chemical engineering is undoubtedly a challenging degree program. It requires proficiency in a variety of subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, and fluid mechanics. Additionally, students pursuing a chemical engineering degree will encounter numerous complex problems and experiments that require critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and perseverance. However, despite its difficulty, chemical engineering remains a popular degree program with many successful graduates in the field.

So, while chemical engineering is a difficult degree program, it is not impossible to succeed. To successfully navigate a chemical engineering degree, students should make use of available resources such as tutoring, study groups, and office hours with professors. Additionally, students should practice good time management skills, prioritize studying, and actively engage in coursework. By doing so, students can overcome the challenges of chemical engineering and reap the benefits of a rewarding career.

Alternatives to Chemical Engineering Degree

Chemical engineering is not the only degree program available for students interested in chemistry and engineering. Here are a few alternative degree programs:

  1. Environmental Engineering: This degree program focuses on designing and implementing technologies to solve environmental problems.
  2. Materials Science: This degree program focuses on materials’ properties, performance, and engineering applications of materials.
  3. Biomedical Engineering: This degree program applies engineering principles to biological systems in the development of medical equipment and technology.

It is important to note, however, that these alternative degree programs may also be difficult majors to pursue, but they offer their own unique challenges and rewards. For example, nursing is another popular degree program that requires rigorous coursework and clinical training. If you are interested in learning about whether nursing is a hard major, read more at

Ultimately, the right degree program for you will depend on your interests, skills, and career goals. It is important to research and explore different degree programs before making a decision.

Interesting facts

  • According to a study, chemical engineering is consistently ranked among the top ten hardest majors.
  • Chemical engineering is a broad field that combines principles of chemistry, physics, and mathematics to design and implement various industrial processes.
  • Despite being challenging, chemical engineering can also be highly rewarding, with graduates enjoying high earning potential and job security.
  • It’s worth noting that the perceived difficulty of a degree program may vary depending on individual interests and learning styles.
  • Is journalism a useless degree? The answer may surprise you. Read the article and find out!


How difficult is it to earn a degree in chemical engineering?

Chemical engineering is a challenging major, but with dedication and hard work, it is possible to succeed.

What kind of jobs can I get with a chemical engineering degree?

Chemical engineering is a versatile degree that can lead to many different careers, including positions in pharmaceuticals, energy, materials science, and more.

Are there alternative degree programs related to chemical engineering?

Yes, some related fields include environmental engineering, materials science, and biomedical engineering.

What skills are necessary for success in chemical engineering?

Strong critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills are essential for success in chemical engineering.

What kind of salary can I expect with a chemical engineering degree?

Chemical engineers enjoy high earning potential, with an average annual salary of around $108,000.

Can I balance a chemical engineering degree with other commitments, such as work or family?

Balancing a rigorous degree program like chemical engineering with other commitments can be challenging but with good time management, it is possible.

What are some common challenges faced by chemical engineering students?

Common challenges include taking rigorous courses like organic chemistry and thermodynamics, managing a heavy workload, and finding internships or research opportunities.

Where can I find resources for studying chemical engineering?

Many universities offer resources such as tutoring and study groups, and online resources like textbooks and videos can be helpful as well.

What are some common misconceptions about chemical engineering?

Common misconceptions include that chemical engineers only work in the chemical industry, or that it is a purely laboratory-based field.

What steps can I take to prepare for a chemical engineering degree?

Building a strong foundation in math and science in high school, and exploring related extracurricular activities or internships can be helpful in preparing for a chemical engineering degree.

Real experience

Samantha had always been bright and academically gifted. Throughout high school, she excelled in science and math and had already started envisioning a career in engineering. After much research and consideration, Samantha decided to pursue a degree in chemical engineering.

Her first year was a whirlwind of difficult courses. All-night study sessions, endless problem sets, and demanding lab work had her questioning if she had made the right choice. While her friends were enjoying their college experience, she was continually buried in textbooks and lab reports.

Despite the numerous challenges, Samantha was determined to make it in chemical engineering. She sought help from professors and tutors when necessary and always tried to stay on top of the material. Her hard work paid off, as she managed to pull off a 4.0 in her first semester!

However, the pressure of succeeding in such a demanding major continued to weigh on Samantha. She constantly felt a sense of impostor syndrome, feeling like she wasn’t smart enough to be in such an intense program. She watched anxiously as her classmates landed internships and research opportunities, all while she was still struggling to manage the coursework.

Despite her doubts, Samantha pressed on. She reminded herself that success in chemical engineering wasn’t just about grades and accomplishments, but also about the dedication and hard work required to tackle such an arduous field of study.

As she progressed through her degree program, Samantha became increasingly confident in her ability to succeed in chemical engineering. She landed research opportunities and internships, and even spent a semester studying abroad in Germany, immersing herself in the global chemical industry.

Reflecting back on her journey, Samantha couldn’t believe how far she had come. Chemical engineering was undoubtedly a hard major, but the rewards of perseverance and dedication were immeasurable. Samantha graduated at the top of her class, and quickly found a job at one of the top chemical firms in the country.

Looking back on all her hard work and sacrifices, Samantha couldn’t be more grateful for her time in chemical engineering. While she wouldn’t say it was easy, it was certainly worth it.


Chemical engineering is a challenging degree program that requires dedication, hard work, and critical thinking skills. Despite its difficulty, it offers a rewarding career path with good prospects and ample opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to chemical engineering, there are several other degree programs available for students interested in chemistry and engineering. By exploring alternative degree programs, students can find a program that aligns with their interests and career goals.

If you are interested in learning more about what it’s like to work in a high-pressure environment as a chemical engineer, read our post “Working in High-Pressure Environments: The Realities of a Chemical Engineering Career”. It offers a comprehensive look at the realities of the profession and can provide valuable insight into the field.

Ultimately, pursuing a chemical engineering degree is a challenging yet rewarding undertaking. With perseverance, dedication, and a commitment to learning, students can succeed in this exciting field and achieve their career goals.

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