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Undergraduate Engineering Chemistry Major

The interdisciplinary program in Engineering Chemistry (ECM), which leads to the Bachelor of Science Degree, is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the chemical principles and materials technology underlying modern materials engineering. The program emphasizes a strong background in physical chemistry infused with an orientation toward the solid state sciences and materials technology. Its central theme is a chemistry core strengthened by materials science and laboratory courses, the latter with a "chemistry of materials" component. The choice of suitable electives will help the student to prepare for work or advanced study in areas such as electronic materials, interfacial phenomena, solid-state science and technology, polymers, ceramics, biomaterials, etc.

Jointly sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the program is a basic preparation for chemical and materials professionals who can enter a wide range of industries or proceed to graduate work in either solid-state chemistry or materials science.

Declaring the Major

The Engineering Chemistry Major is open to all Stony Brook undergraduates. Perhaps the ideal time to declare the major is at the beginning of a student's sophomore year. It is usually unwise to postpone the declaration past the beginning of the student's junior year. Students who wish to elect the Engineering Chemistry Major should speak to a member of the program committee.

Plan of Study

Freshman students usually begin their studies toward the ECM major by completing their introductory studies in chemistry and mathematics. Highly qualified freshmen may wish to begin their studies in physics and computer science as well. In the sophomore year advanced mathematics and physics are combined with solid state chemistry and physical chemistry courses. In the junior and senior years, organic and inorganic chemistry courses are completed as well as a series of materials science and engineering courses.

Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Chemistry

See the Undergraduate Bulletin for degree requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Chemistry. 


Engineering Chemistry is based upon research. This is why students in the major have so many laboratory courses required for their degree. However structured instructional laboratories can not truly introduce students to independent study and research. Students who wish to acquire this experience must seek out independent study and research opportunities. The faculty of both the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering welcome qualified undergraduate students into their research laboratories. These opportunities are especially suitable for students in their junior and senior years of study. Interested students should review the research interests of the various faculty members and then discuss the possibilities for independent study or research with the individual faculty members who have the research programs of greatest interest. Each summer there are numerous special research programs available at Stony Brook, at nearby Brookhaven Laboratory and at universities across the country, open to qualified students. Interested students should talk to the Program Directors several months in advance.


Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Chemistry are well prepared for entry level positions in many different industries. Such students are particularly attractive to the chemical industry, the petroleum industry, the materials manufacturing and processing industry and the electronics industry. The best jobs go to students with good records and with lots of laboratory experience, including research. Students who earn a degree certified by the American Chemical Society may have an edge (see next section). Many students choose to pursue graduate study in such fields as Solid State Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, or Polymer Chemistry, at various universities around the nation. Masters degrees are usually obtainable after one and half to two years additional study. Ph.D. degrees usually require five years study beyond the Bachelor of Science Degree. Graduate students usually receive substantial stipends throughout their period of graduate study.

American Chemical Society Certification

The American Chemical Society is the national organization for chemists in the United States. The Society publishes the most prestigious journals, hosts the major national chemistry conferences, and influences chemical education in the country. The Society sets standards for the undergraduate chemistry programs at American universities.

As part of this program, the American Chemical Society's Committee on Professional Training has defined a minimum set of courses that they consider necessary for a student to achieve the skills needed for entry into the chemistry profession. Students who complete these requirements have their degrees certified by the Society. Students receiving certified degrees are eligible for immediate entry into the Society upon graduation. Certification requires the completion of a small number of courses in addition to those required for the major.

Minor in Materials Science

Students who have a special interest in Materials Science are encouraged to combine their major in Engineering Chemistry with the minor offered by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The minor requires four courses in addition to those required for the ECM major. The Minor is especially recommended for those students planning graduate study in Materials Science.  See theUndergraduate Bulletin for degree requirements for the minor in Materials Science. 

Double Majors

Highly motivated students often choose to complete the requirements for two majors. Students choosing to major in Engineering Chemistry may wish to consider a second major in such fields as chemistry, physics, mathematics or engineering. Students electing the Engineering Chemistry Major can easily complete a second major in Chemistry.  Students completing a double major will have an extra credential when looking for a job or when applying for graduate study; however, a double major is not a good idea for everyone. Often a better approach is to choose particular advanced courses as electives, matching one's own interests and abilities. In all cases students should consider the importance of research and additional laboratory courses.


Special internships are available for qualified undergraduate students majoring in the chemical sciences. These programs allow students to combine work in an industrial setting with their academic studies. Students in the program work in an industrial laboratory one or two days a week. In return they receive a salary from the company and academic credit from Stony Brook. Interested students should talk to the Student Affairs Coordinator several months in advance.