The Department of Chemistry offers programs leading to the MA and PhD degrees. Strong preference is given to PhD candidates. The program seeks to achieve both breadth of knowledge in the chemical subdisciplines and specialized competence through formal courses, seminars, examinations, and research. Research specializations in the department include biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and theoretical chemistry.

Research opportunities within the Department of Chemistry span traditional and interdisciplinary areas of molecular science. Specific areas include total synthesis, reaction methodology, medicinal translational chemistry, organic and inorganic catalysis, photonics, materials chemistry, nanoscience and nanotechnology, spectroscopy, electrochemistry, mechanistic enzymology, structural and chemical biology, and the development of theory in the areas of quantum chemistry and molecular dynamics.

The departmental office, teaching laboratories, and several research groups are housed in the Metcalf Science Center (590 Commonwealth Ave.). Further research laboratories are located in the Life Sciences and Engineering Building (24 Cummington Mall) and the Photonics Center (8 St. Mary’s St.), allowing for collaborative interactions at the interface of chemistry, biology, biomedical and electrical engineering, and materials science. The Metcalf Science Center also houses the Chemical Instrumentation Center (CIC), which is the home for cutting-edge core-instrumentation essential to the molecular sciences. A complete listing of the CIC resources, including the departmental NMR, Mass Spectrometry, X-ray Diffraction, EPR and CD resources, can be found at the Chemistry homepage. Additional shared instrumentation resources (AFM, SEM, TEM, clean room, etc.) are located at the Photonics Center.