The Institute for Molecular Engineering, established in 2011 in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, is a transformational academic unit that explores the intersection of science and engineering, solves technological problems of global significance, and continually inspires creative applications of molecular-level science. The Institute offers an undergraduate-level BS degree program in Molecular Engineering.
Following the Institute’s mission to translate advances in basic physics, chemistry, biology, and computation into applicable tools for important societal problems, the program’s cutting-edge engineering curriculum is built on an interdisciplinary foundation in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. Courses are designed to develop quantitative reasoning and problem-solving skills; to introduce engineering analysis of physical, chemical, and biological systems; and to address open-ended technological questions across a spectrum of disciplines.
The major program both prepares undergraduates for a wide variety of careers in technology-focused industries and positions graduates for further postgraduate study in such fields as science, engineering, medicine, business, or law. The Institute aims to introduce invention and design, along with inquiry and discovery, as fruitful and complementary intellectual activities. Majors may choose from three quantitative engineering analysis tracks:
- A track aimed at engineering, with a chemical and soft materials emphasis
- A track with a concentration on biology
- A track geared towards applied physics, which is offered in close collaboration with the Department of Physics
The minor program in Molecular Engineering is designed for undergraduates majoring in physical or biological science, mathematics, computer science, economics, or related fields. The overall objective of the program is to provide basic engineering tools and ways of thinking to students that augment scientific approaches and problem solving skills.