Studying to Be a Chemical Engineer? Have Scholarships Pay for It

Chemical engineering students can choose among a number of different career paths. Employers in manufacturing, research and development, healthcare, the military, colleges, and other areas are all hiring chemical engineers. The field sometimes overlaps with other engineering fields, even other subjects, which means parts of such disciplines as biomedical and biochemical science or nanotechnology may be required in chemical engineering.

As is true for any type of science, you can find many scholarships available, but don't be bewildered by the large assortment of choices. Make sure you have defined your goals for education and career as clearly as possible. That focus will permit you to narrow your long list of scholarship possibilities to the ones that best fit your personal aims, which you'll find especially helpful when you're seeking scholarships that come with internships.

chemical engineering scholarships

Federal Government Scholarships for Chemical Engineers

The federal government is very supportive of students pursuing any educational course in the STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In addition, there are many engineering scholarships designed to increase diversity in the work force. Those are intended for minorities, disadvantaged students, and women, all of whom have been poorly represented in the many branches of engineering.

Here are two places to start your scholarship hunt:

  1. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sometimes has scholarships available, depending on their federal budget allocation. If you're a chemical engineering student, or interested in any field of study listed on this page of DHS research activities, you should check here to see whether the program has current funding. When DHS does have the money, you as a chemical engineering student will be able to apply under the "Chemical Threats and Countermeasures" research inclusion.
  2. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program is designed to encourage students in scientific disciplines, including chemical engineering. These awards go to students who have showed academic excellence, and candidates are nominated by a faculty member who has been named as a Goldwater Faculty Representative. The Goldwater Scholarship is worth as much as $7,500 per year.

Colleges and Universities

It is always recommended that you investigate the scholarships offered by your own institution of higher learning, which will have many financial aid options for you to explore. Other than the general academic scholarships provided through your school's financial aid office, you should check with staff at the College of Engineering and your Department of Chemical Engineering to find subject-specific awards. For example, schools often receive valuable endowments from major chemical corporations that underwrite thousands of dollars in scholarships each year.

Here are two of the many examples of scholarship aid chemical engineers can find at schools:

  1. Mississippi State University's Bagley College of Engineering has an entire page devoted to engineering scholarships. Look for entries like the DOW Chemical Scholarship and the six named departmental scholarships.
  2. Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge's Cain Department of Chemical Engineering has a scholarship page listing its requirements for eligibility, plus an application link.

Private and Professional Sources for Chemical Engineering Student Aid

Private industries seeking to recruit new chemical engineers often proffer monetary incentives in the form of scholarships and paid internships, in the hope of attracting new employees as talented students. And professional associations, which are groups of working chemists and engineers, are also reliable sources for college financial aid. They derive satisfaction from helping a new generation of fellow professionals succeed. This type of aid is very easy to locate, but here's one example of what you will find:

The American Chemical Society (ACS) sponsors several annual awards, including the ACS Scholars Program. These renewable scholarships go to African American, Hispanic and Native American students. Applicants must be enrolled in the chemical sciences or in chemical technology, and may receive as much as $5,000 each year, depending on available funds.