An international experience will provide you with the necessary skills to work effectively in industry, academia, and the public sector. Every CSE student should consider gaining international experience through study abroad.
Study Abroad Process
This is the basic process you'll complete in order to study abroad. The order in which you do things is somewhat flexible.
Review the following suggestions from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science before beginning your study abroad research.
Talk to your adviser
- Contact your chemical engineering adviser to discuss how study abroad can best fit into your academic plan. Use an Academic Planning for Study Abroad form to facilitate this discussion. Also contact Adam Pagel in 106 Lind Hall, 612.624.8013 for more information.
- Due to the lock step curriculum in chemical engineering, students should talk with an academic adviser as early as possible—Freshman year—about study abroad.
- Chemical Engineering students planning on studying abroad will need to start working on their Academic Planning for Study Abroad (APSA) Form as soon as they have chosen a program. Once you have chosen the courses that you want to take abroad (always choosing more than the amount you intend to take), have descriptions for those courses, and have begun filling out the APSA, you will meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Chemical Engineering.
- Be sure to meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies at least three months prior to departing for your program, if not sooner. Any chemical engineering courses or technical elective courses you wish to take must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies to ensure that they will be counted toward your degree requirements. Bring your transcripts, APSA, and the course descriptions.
- Be aware that stepping out of the curriculum for a semester can often be more difficult then doing so for one full year.
Guidelines for Choosing Courses
Best time to go abroad:
- Sophomore year.
- Any Summer or May Session.
- Fourth or Fifth year if students finish all core requirements and have liberal education or technical electives left to complete.
Liberal Education Requirements
- May take courses required for the degree only with approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Major Pre-requisites & Courses Outside the Chemical Engineering Department
- May take courses required for the degree only with the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
- The same policies for grades required to fulfill major requirements are the same for Education Abroad as while on campus.
- Only two credits of research or directed study will be accepted for the major.
- Internship credit will generally not be counted as an upper division elective in the major.
Core Major Courses
- Students can take near equivalence of CHE 2001 if pre-approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
- Students may be able to take intro courses that are pre-approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Major Emphasis & Technical Electives
- May take any upper division technical elective abroad—up to 12 credits—if pre-approved the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
- All courses that will be used for major requirements should be taken for a grade, not pass/fail. Though transfer credits can be used for the major. Students will be required to provide a copy of the foreign transcript showing the letter grades.
- If you have a second major, you will need approval from the supporting department as the Chemical Engineering Director of Undergraduate Studies can only approve for Chemical Engineering degree requirements.
Africa and the Middle East
- Combine engineering and cultural coursework, to get a well rounded view of engineering in the developing world
- Participate in a hands-on service learning project in a rural area
- Earn 6 credits in 5 weeks in the summer
University Study in South Africa: University of Cape Town
- Located on the slopes of Devil’s Peak, UCT is home of the faculties of Science, Engineering, Commerce, and Humanities
- UCT is dedicated to educating for life and addressing the challenges that face society. All courses are in English
Asia and Oceania
Monash University, Melbourne (available through Arcadia Australia or IFSA-Butler Australia)
- Monash is known as Australia’s biggest and boldest university with six campuses, located in the suburbs of the cosmopolitan city of Melbourne
- The Engineering Department is known for great staff and top quality research faculty with a large number of industry links
- Variety of courses in chemical engineering
University Study in Australia: University of Melbourne
- Melbourne was recently named the “world’s most livable city” because of its culture and arts, parks, and climate
- A wide variety of chemical engineering courses available, including Organic Chemistry, Engineering Analysis, Chemical Process Analysis, Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Reactor Engineering
- Some courses offer a significant fieldwork component
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (CSE)
- This is a special exchange program open to CSE students
- Courses include; Computer Programming Fundamentals, Data Structures and Algorithms, Analog Integrated Circuit Analysis and Design, Communication Systems, and Design and Analysis of Architecture
- All courses are in English
University Study in New Zealand: University of Auckland
- Located on the top of North Island with a large, diverse campus and an excellent reputation for sciences, engineering, and research
- Courses available include; Materials Science, Process Engineering, Transfer Processes, Materials, Applied Chemistry, Process Dynamics and Control, Chemical Reactor Engineering, Engineering Biotechnology, and Studies in Chemical Engineering
Pohang University of Science & Technology (CSE)
- Asia’s premier research and teaching institution for science and engineering. POSTECH offers research opportunities for undergraduates
- Research disciplines include civil, transportation, environmental, structural, and architectural engineering, among many more
University Study in South Korea: Yonsei University
- Yonsei University is the most prestigious private university in Korea
- Seoul, South Korea is filled with museums, palaces, advertisements, and companies, making it a modern, yet traditional way of life
- Courses available in English include Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, Polymer Chemistry Analysis, Biochemical Engineering, Fluid Transport Phenomena, and Reaction Engineering
University Study in Ireland: University of Limerick
- Offers a wide variety of subjects and is regarded as one of the leading institutions in Ireland for business, science and engineering
- Situated three miles from bustling Limerick, providing easy access to a mix of historical and cultural attractions and scenic landscapes of the surrounding countryside
- Students may elect to take courses such as organic and inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and computational chemistry
Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondheim (CSE)
- The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) was established in 1996, and is an innovation in the Norwegian academic world
- It is a national center for technological education and research within the natural sciences
Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg (CSE)
- Available for CSE students with junior or senior class standing
- Located on the beautiful west coast of Sweden, Chalmers University was founded in 1829
- Approximately 40% of Sweden’s graduate engineers and architects were educated at Chalmers
University Study in the UK: Queen Mary, University of London
- A leading institution for teaching and research, Queen Mary is located near the center of London, yet it maintains a strong sense of campus community.
- Queen Mary has the oldest materials science department in Great Britain and is active in science and engineering.
- A variety of courses are offered in the sciences, including engineering courses.
Additional Options to Consider
College of Science and Engineering Learn Abroad
Work, Intern, and Volunteer Abroad Programs (non-credit)
- An alternative or complement to study abroad
- Explore new interests or gain experience related to your field of study
- Consider paid and unpaid opportunities offered throughout the year at locations around the globe
- 3-week, 3-credit programs at the 3000-level led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff over Winter Break or May Session.
- Fulfill Liberal Education requirements, or earn major/minor credit.
- Explore an exciting location and topic! Check out this year's offerings!
- Freshman Seminars Abroad combine on-campus instruction during spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break.
- Seminars are 3 credits at the 19xx level and most fulfill a liberal education requirement.
- Seminars are designed specifically for first year students as an introduction to study abroad.
International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)
- IAESTE United States is an organization dedicated to developing global skills in tomorrow’s technical leaders. Founded in 1948, IAESTE coordinates on-the-job training for students in technical biomedical engineering. The University of Minnesota is one of twenty educational institutions in the U.S. with a local IAESTE committee. Opportunities for involvement in this committee are available as well.
Engineers Without Borders
- EWB partners with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through implementation of environmentally and economically sustainable engineering projects, while developing internationally responsible engineering students.
Zach W. Studies Chemical Engineering in South Africa
Zach spent an entire year in Cape Town, South Africa. He took coursework for major and outside requirements, and spent the summer working with a research group.
James in Austria
James, a Chemical Engineering and German major, studied in Austria for a semester in his junior year.
Visit the Learning Abroad Center's Student Experiences web page for details on other students' experiences studying abroad.