The Department of Chemical Engineering was established in 1941 as the Department of Applied Chemistry. In 1945, it was reorganized and changed to its present status of the Department of Chemical Engineering.
The Department annually recruits a total of 120 freshmen from among high school graduates nationwide. Successful admission to the undergraduate program can be achieved by passing either the competitive national joint-entrance examination or through a highly selective application process; the latter usually accommodates about 35 students each year. The graduate program leading to MS degree recruits approximately a total of 80 students annually. Among them, about fifty percent are admitted to the program based on a written examination open to students nationwide with a BS degree in Chemical Engineering or related fields; the rest are admitted through a selective application process, which is open only to those students with fine academic records. Students admitted into the PhD program must pass both oral and written examinations, and a review of the master thesis. At most, twenty students are admitted to the PhD program annually. Students enrolled in the MS program with good academic records in the first year may also apply for admission to the PhD program.
The undergraduate program in the Department of Chemical Engineering emphasizes a balance of theory and experiment applied to the problems of chemical engineering as it is practiced, especially in the chemical process industries. A source of vitality in the graduate program is the close association of chemical engineering with many other disciplines. Cooperative efforts are encouraged by the system and by the presence of a number of interdisciplinary laboratories. Graduate students have the opportunity to draw upon and contribute to the various interdisciplinary efforts.