Those considering a career in the demanding and complex field of chemical engineering usually set their sights on the best schools to aid them in their mission. Selling points usually include a well-trained faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities. A common reference for top schools in the United States is the U.S. News & World Report, which lists the following schools as the top five in the nation for chemical engineering.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

As of 2009, U.S. News & World Report has ranked MIT as the top chemical engineering school in the United States for 20 consecutive years. Long considered a pioneer institution in the field, it was the first American university to offer Ph.Ds in chemical engineering (1924). Several of MIT's faculty and alumni hold prestigious positions in both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences. Specialized undergraduate and graduate programs gear students toward careers in fields such as biotechnology, biochemical engineering and microelectronics.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Chemical Engineering Building 66 25 Ames St. Cambridge, MA 02139 617-253-4561

University of California - Berkeley

Ranked second on the U.S. News & World Report list is the chemical engineering department at UC Berkeley. It should be noted that UC Berkeley's science department offered major contributions to the American war effort during WWII, namely in the areas of petroleum, chemicals and atomic weaponry. Graduate programs cover a variety of specializations such as synthetic biology, molecular simulations and electrochemical engineering. Meeting with the demands of modern global energy and climate issues, UC Berkeley has designed the Helios Energy Research facility.

University of California - Berkeley Department of Chemical Engineering 201 Gilman Hall Berkeley, CA 94720-1462 510-642-2291

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

At the University of Minnesota's Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, there is a faculty of approximately 33. This small group is actively involved with over 200 graduate students, 400 undergrads and a mix of research and postdoctoral associated. Prospective students will find a department specializing in research areas like ceramics and metals, polymers, chemical process synthesis and reaction engineering. U of M's chemical engineering students also have access to partnered research facilities such as the Nanofabrication Center and the Supercomputing Institute.

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science 151 Amundson Hall 421 Washington Ave. SE Minneapolis, MN 55455-0132 612-625-1313

California Institute of Technology

Cal Tech's Department of Chemical Engineering has long been considered one of the most innovative and prestigious learning centers in the world. One of its many claims to fame is its leadership of the American Petroleum Institute's Project 37. Graduate and undergraduate students at Cal Tech have access to top-rated computational facilities such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the San Diego Supercomputer center. Department faculty have received awards from noted institutions such as the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering.

California Institute of Technology Chemical Engineering Mail Code 210-41 Pasadena, CA 91125 626-395-4115

University of Wisconsin - Madison

UW's Department of Chemical Engineering has been in place since 1905, and has been rated as one of the top chemical engineering programs in the world since that time. For prospective graduate students, research opportunities are available in specialized fields such as molecular and multiscale modeling, complex fluids and environmental engineering. This department also awards approximately 100 bachelor of science degrees each year. Graduate and undergraduate programs maintain high application standards and invite students who are ready to take on a demanding curriculum.

University of Wisconsin - Madison Chemical and Biological Engineering Department 2014 Engineering Hall 1415 Engineering Drive Madison, WI 53706-1607 608-262-1092