Young male undergraduate student performing chemical engineering in the lab with safety glasses

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research can be a very fulfilling and exciting part of a chemical engineering education. Chemical engineering students have the opportunity to participate in a number of research experiences, both within the department and across Penn State. Research can be carried out during the academic year or during the summer months as part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program.

To initiate a new research opportunity, we suggest that students first identify a research area of interest by visiting our research page.

To become involved in research, contact a professor in a research area that interests you and set up an appointment to meet and discuss the research. Some specific research positions are posted on Penn State’s Research Opportunities for Undergraduates website. Depending on your research interests, you may want to consider research in other engineering departments or colleges at Penn State.

Research experiences may be used to complete an undergraduate thesis or independent study course (CH E 494) or may be considered part-time employment (research assistant for up to 15 hours/week.)

Undergraduate research is an important component of the honors program, where this research leads to a thesis. However, any chemical engineering student can write a senior thesis and receive course credits for his or her work. Students who carry out undergraduate research are encouraged to focus their work toward a chemical engineering senior thesis.

Contact Information

Rachel Smith
Undergraduate Staff Assistant

chemical engineering reu program


The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

119 Greenberg Complex

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2574