UC Berkeley College of Chemistry

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University of California, Berkeley College of Chemistry
Established 1872
Type Public Professional School
Dean Douglas S. Clark
Academic staff
89 [1]
Undergraduates 815 (2012-13)[1]
Postgraduates 526 (2012-13)[1]
Location Berkeley, California, U.S.
Website chemistry.berkeley.edu

The UC Berkeley College of Chemistry is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. It houses the departments of Chemistry and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and occupies six buildings flanking a central plaza.[2][3] US News and World Report has ranked its chemistry and chemical engineering programs first and second in the U.S., respectively, while the 2014 QS World University Rankings has ranked both its chemistry and chemical engineering programs second best in the world.[4] Its faculty and graduates have won numerous awards, including the Wolf Prize, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as thirteen Nobel Prizes.[1] As of 2012-13, it has 815 undergraduates, 526 graduate students, and 187 postdoctoral fellows.[1]

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most productive in the world, graduating about 80 doctoral students per year[1] while maintaining the world's highest citation-per-faculty score.[citation needed] It hosts 6 of the top 100 chemists worldwide by citation impact for 2000–2010, tied with MIT for the most of any institution.[5] Scientists affiliated with the department and the nearby Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are responsible for the discovery of sixteen elements, including berkelium, named after the city, and seaborgium, named after Nobel laureate and former department chair Glenn Seaborg.[6]

First established in 1872, the college awarded its first Ph.D. in 1885 to John Stillman, who later founded the chemistry department at Stanford University. A Division of Chemical Engineering was established in 1946, becoming a department in 1957. The Department of Chemical Engineering changed its name to Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2010 to reflect the research focus of its faculty in the 21st century.[7]


The College offers three undergraduate degrees: chemical engineering, chemistry, and chemical biology.[1] Chemistry undergrads in the College of Chemistry also have the option to earn a B.A. in chemistry from the College of Letters and Science. Two double major programs with the College of Engineering exist: chemical engineering and materials science and engineering, and chemical engineering and nuclear engineering.

Popular undergraduate courses such as Chem 1A (general chemistry) and Chem 3A (organic chemistry) are taught by College of Chemistry faculty.

Graduate programs include the M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering and Ph.D. in chemistry.[1]


The current faculty at the College includes 10 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 28 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 33 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 3 members of the faculty have been awarded the National Medal of Science.[1]


The College of Chemistry is located on the east side of the UC Berkeley campus. It includes Gilman Hall, a National Historic Landmark, where plutonium was first identified in 1941. Pimentel Hall is one of the largest lecture halls on campus, and features a revolving stage to allow for setup of chemistry demos.[8] The buildings of the College are linked by a network of underground hallways and laboratories.

Notable faculty

Notable alumni


External links