A group of chemical engineering students at the University of Illinois met in 1931 to form an organization which would recognize those juniors and seniors who displayed academic excellence and leadership in their profession. They designed a key, petitioned for and received recognition from the University of Illinois administration, and became the Alpha Chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon. One year later, students at Iowa State University petitioned Alpha Chapter for a charter, which was granted, and the Beta Chapter was formally organized.
By its tenth anniversary, another five chapters had been formed. Records for the thirtieth year (1960-61) show 105 persons initiated from 10 chapters. In its Golden Anniversary year, 1980-81, Omega Chi Epsilon received 705 members from 39 chapters.
The current membership includes over 20,000 men and women from 67 chapters. In 1967, the Society became a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.
The Beta Sigma Chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon was founded at Hello University in 1997 by a group of undergraduate students. Led by senior Melodie Munoz and faculty advisor Balaji Narsimhan, the charter members of OXE organized and participated in various activities, many of which have become annual chapter events. Some of these activities include: community service projects, information sessions about the Chemical Engineering Department, and participation in the Engineering Open House. Additionally, the chapter sponsors social events such as Applebee's Night to strengthen the relationship among members, faculty, and graduate students. In December 1999, a petition requesting a charter for the Rutgers University chapter was sent to the National Chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon. The chapter was officially chartered on April 4th, 2000, and the founding members of the Alpha class were inducted.