Degree Enhancements

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Directed Research Project

Description: Directed research project under the supervision of a faculty member. Participation will give students experience in advanced research techniques, which is valuable training for those interested in graduate school or industrial research careers. Taken over and above normal course load. Good standing and permission of department required for registration.

Purpose: To provide a research experience for undergraduate students. Registration in the course provides documented academic credit for the activity, which is completed above the normal course load. It does not count towards any degree requirements. This experience could take many different forms:

  • Completion of an Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA)
  • Completions of a volunteer research assistantship in a faculty members lab or research group; or,
  • Participation in an extra-curricular, on-campus student design team that involves research supervised by a faculty member.

Courses: CHE 298, CHE 299, CHE 398, CHE 399, CHE 498

To participate in one of these courses, students must follow these guidelines:

  1. Ensure that you can commit the extra time to participate in a research project. A time commitment of 60 hours during the term would be typically required to make significant progress in a project. A previous term average over 70% will normally be required.
  2. Find a research supervisor (normally a faculty member in Department of Chemical Engineering or another engineering department). Project lists are not available. Use the department website to identify a professor with research activity in your area of interest, and contact them to inquire about possible projects.
  3. Fill out a registration form describing the project title and name of supervisor. In addition, summarize the "deliverables", i.e., things that you and your supervisor have agreed will be done during the term, such as reports or presentations. Obtain signatures and submit to the Chemical Engineering Undergraduate office in E6 Room 3026 for approval.
  4. The registration form must be submitted by the end of the "Add" period (normally the end of the second week of classes) along with a completed Course Override Form.
  5. Work with your supervisor during the term on the project as agreed upon. At the end of the term, the supervisor will be asked if the grade should be credit (CR) or no credit (NCR). NCR would result if you fail to meet reasonable time commitments or achieve significant deliverables.
  6. If necessary, the course can be dropped during the term, subject to the normal drop deadlines.

Note: CHE 499 in the 4A or 4B term is a research project carried out as a TE. The pre-requisite for CHE 499 is CHE 398 or CHE 399 or CHE 489.

Note: Students enrolled in any Directed Research Project must read the department safety manual and submit a safety report to their supervisor and the Safety Officer (Charles Dal Castel) as described in the manual.


There are currently 13 options available to engineering students. Options often require advanced planning and extra courses on top of your scheduled workload. Some of these options are compatible with the Chemical Engineering degree requirements and only require a few additional courses. Chemical Engineering students are allowed to take one extra course during an academic term if they have an average greater than 70% in each of the previous two academic terms. Another possibility is to add a course during a co-op term.

The most common option completed by chemical engineering students is the Management Sciences option.

For more information or help planning contact Denise Mueller


The Faculty of Engineering recognizes three designated specializations within the BASc degree in Chemical Engineering:

Students interested in pursuing one of these specializations must take four required technical elective courses from the corresponding list of approved technical electives. An average of at least 60% in the four specialization courses and a grade of at least 50% in each of the four courses is required.


In Chemical Engineering, exchange is only available in 3B. Detailed information about the International Exchange can be found on the Faculty of Engineering Exchange Office Website. Before you apply make sure you meet the eligibility criteria.

Do your research before applying and make sure there are suitable courses available at the host school. Courses taken by previous chemical engineering students on exchange are available under course packages. Ideally courses equivalent to the 3B core courses are available at the host institution. Note, for students on exchange special arrangements can be made to complete CHE 383 remotely. If you are unable to find a match for a core course, you should fill this spot with a technical elective or CSE course. There is a bit more flexibility with elective courses. If a course does not match a Waterloo course exactly, but has suitable content the Exchange Course Coordinator may approve the course as a general engineering course: GENE 21C, GENE 22A, GENE 22C or GENE 22D.

Complete the Exchange Equivalency Chart  by listing courses that you have identified as possible matches. Submit this form to the Exchange Course Coordinator for review. This step may be completed before you apply or after you have been placed. Note the Exchange Course Coordinator will only review courses for your first-choice school. After you have been placed at the host institution and equivalent courses have been approved by the Exchange Course Coordinator a proposed study plan is completed.

For general exchange questions, including questions regarding the application process contact: .

For specific questions related to the Chemical Engineering program, course selection and exchange contact the Exchange Course Coordinator: Eline Boghaert (

Sustainability Diploma

Chemical Engineering Students can earn a Diploma in Sustainability by selecting their Complementary Studies electives towards this diploma. For more information or help planning contact Denise Mueller.