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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


2017 Faculty Group Photo

About

Our Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry isn't just one of the best in the Southeast, it's one of the strongest in the country.  We have world-class research programs in analytical, biochemistry and molecular biology, environmental, inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical, and polymer chemistry, with many highly successful interdisciplinary collaborations.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been an integral part of the university since it was chartered in 1803.  Our first recorded hour exam dates back to 1851, and our first research paper in an American Chemical Society journal was published in February, 1914. 

People and Facilities

Today, the Department has grown to a vibrant and productive department of 34 tenure-track faculty, 575 undergraduate majors, over 145 Ph.D. graduate students, and 23 support staff (as of Fall, 2016).  We are housed in the John M. Palms Center for Graduate Science Research (GSRC).  Several of our research groups occupy laboratory space in the nearby Horizon I (HZN1), Jones Physical Science Center (JONES), and Sumwalt College (SMWALT).  A map of our university campus buildings is found on Our Locations page.

Going Places

Chemistry is a wonderful profession.  Its diversity offers a challenge for everyone and provides unsurpassed opportunities to solve significant scientific problems and benefit society as a whole.  Chemists are in demand in industry, government and academic labs. Median salaries for Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degree holders in the contiguous United States were $101,688, $81,024 and $75,228 per year in 2016.

Award Winning Faculty

The quality and promise of the department has been recognized outside the University, as well as within.  Ten of our current faculty members are Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Since 1985, the Governor of South Carolina has honored top research scientists in the state annually.  Eighteen faculty members from the department have received a Governor's Award- eleven for Excellence in Science or Scientific Research, five for Young Scientist Awards for Excellence in Scientific Research, and two for Excellence in Scientific Awareness.  Within the university, we are one of the top departments in receiving the university's highest awards.  Twenty-five faculty have received the Russell Research Award and Educational Foundation Research Award for Science, Mathematics and Engineering, five faculty members have won the University's highest honor for excellence in teaching, the Amoco Foundation Award; ten faculty members have received the Michael J. Mungo Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; and two have received the Michael J. Mungo Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching.  Our faculty has also received national and international recognition by earning awards from the American Chemical Society (ACS) and by serving as editors and editorial advisory board members for numerous prestigious chemical journals.