BU Chemistry at a Glance


  • Pursue with distinction the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding related to the chemical sciences
  • Teach Chemistry in a way that promotes a culture of creativity in classrooms and laboratories and which prepares students for positions of leadership and lives of service



  • Synthetic Organic Chemistry; Biochemistry and Chemical Biology; Inorganic Chemistry; Experimental Physical Chemistry; Computational & Theoretical Chemistry
  • Research grants from federal (NIH, NSF, DOE, DOD) and non-federal sources
  • Chemistry participates in scientific research initiatives throughout the University – materials Science; systems and integrative biology; photonics research; energy; and molecular and medicinal discovery – and collaborate with investigators at the BU School of Medicine and biomedical university and industry researchers throughout the Boston area
  • Center for Molecular Discovery
  • Faculty Awards include: Sloan Research Fellowship (Sloan Foundation) – Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (the American Chemical Society) – Bristol-Myers Squibb Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry – Edward M. Kennedy Award for Healthcare Innovation – Boehringer-Ingelheim Young Faculty Award – Scialog Award (Research Corporation) – Amgen Young Faculty Award – NSF CAREER Award – Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award in Aging Research – Smith Family Foundation – Herbert A. Sober Award – Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar – Sloan Research Fellowship


Metcalf Center for Science & Engineering

Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering320,000 square-foot building with high quality laboratories, classrooms, and computer facilities

Life Science & Engineering Building

Life Sciences and Engineering Building 280,000 square-foot facility, dedicated in 2005, accommodating and encouraging interdisciplinary and cross-departmental research in the life sciences

Photonics Research Center

Photonics Center Building235,000 square-foot facility where traditional academic science is coupled with start-up companies to create innovative new technologies in the field of photonics


Prof. Norman Lichtin (1947 – 1993, Emeritus) has written the only known history of the Department of Chemistry, which was established in 1904 and is BU’s oldest natural science department. His review covered the period between 1904 and 1973. Written in the days before word processing, we have created a pdf of the scanned document, which you are welcome to download. Prof. Lichtin also cordially invites anyone interested, to “take up the gauntlet” and continue the history, describing the Department’s growth and evolution to the leading research and educational enterprise it is today. History Of Boston University Chemistry: 1904 – 1973