To Pre-req or Co-req: An Assessment of Why Chemical Engineering Students Elect to Take a Course as a Prerequisite or as a Corequisite




In our chemical engineering curricula, students may enroll in introductory thermodynamics as a prerequisite to or as a corequisite with material and energy balances (MEB). We sought to determine why students enrolled in these courses in a given sequence whether it impacts performance. Students’ enrollment decisions were mostly based on logistics such as curriculum guides and scheduling issues. Students who enrolled in thermodynamics before MEB may have outperformed students who took them together.

Author Biographies

Jordan Lopez, Colorado School of Mines

Jordan Lopez was a mechanical engineering student at the Colorado School of Mines. He graduated in December of 2020 with plans to work in the biotechnology industry. 

Justin F Shaffer, Colorado School of Mines

Justin F. Shaffer is a Teaching Associate Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. He teaches material and energy balances, introductory thermodynamics, introductory biology, and anatomy and physiology. His research focuses on the efficacy of components of high structure courses and engineering students’attitudes towards biology.