The Boston University Department of Chemistry is a medium-sized department of approximately 130 graduate students, with a small student-to-faculty ratio. We feature cutting-edge research that prepares trainees for many careers in science and beyond, where graduate education and mentorship that provide for a successful Ph.D. career.

About Chemistry at BU

The research world of BU’s Chemistry Ph.D. program is marked by our scholarship in many traditional areas of Chemistry including:
And cross-disciplinary areas such as:

With many faculty having connections to the Materials Science and Engineering program, the Bioinformatics Program, the Molecular Biology Cell Biology and Biochemistry program, and the Photonics Center.

The Ph.D. experience is largely driven by research scholarship, and developing areas of chemistry that yield a unique contribution to the field. Students work in cutting edge research spaces through multiple buildings on Boston University’s Charles River Campus. Being in the heart of Boston provides unique opportunities for science, training and career development, and we strive to provide a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for graduate study.

Financial Support

All admitted Ph.D. at Boston University are admitted with a guarantee of five-years of support. The current Ph.D. stipend is approximately $35,800. Further support is available to graduate students, including support for travel, and a series of AWARDS that are granted annually recognizing excellence in research, education, and service to the department.

Intellectual Life of Our PhD Students

Life in the department for Ph.D. students goes beyond the research enterprise, additionally providing enriching academic and professional training opportunities. Many of the following have a home in Chemistry, but others are a part of the greater Boston community.
  • Boston University Chemistry Colloquium. Held on Mondays, our colloquia bring in world class speakers around the work.
  • PChem Seminar Series. These weekly seminars feature visitors to the BU Community, but also feature our own PhD and Graduate students, to provide a space that focuses on interests in physical chemistry, broadly defined.

  • Boston Regional Inorganic Colloquium. A seasonal event, the BRIC meetings have now expanded beyond the Boston area, to include all of New England, where students and faculty gather with industrial scientists for seminars on Saturdays. Feel free to contact Prof. Sean J Elliott (elliott for details.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Chemistry Department is deeply committed to providing a safe, inclusive and supporting environment for graduate students. You can learn more about our Departmental perspective and activities that are focused on promoting anti-racism, diversity and inclusion. Our graduate students receive anti-racism and implicit bias training as a part our graduate student training seminar series. We engage and invest in a many-year-running Research Experiences for Undergraduates program (sponsored by the National Science Foundation). We promote the study of scholarship that comes from under-represented minority scientists. And we are regular and enthusiastic supporters of conferences such as SACNAS, NOBCChe, and ABRCMS.

Other Questions?

Please reach out to us, starting with following us on Twitter @BU_Chemistry, and please feel free to contact us:

Sean J Elliott

Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering