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Chemistry is the science that studies matter, the stuff of which all things are made. Chemists study the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter on the molecular scale and larger. Chemists also discover and synthesize entirely new materials. Modern chemistry touches many other fields of science, engineering, and medicine. Chemistry will continue to provide critical solutions to intellectually exciting and societally important problems.


The Department of Chemistry runs the largest chemistry and biochemistry undergraduate degree program in the nation. The Department also offers a chemistry minor, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees, and beginning in autumn 2020, a master’s in applied chemical science & technology.

The Department serves many non-majors, with more than 3,000 undergraduates taking at least one introductory chemistry course annually. It has the largest undergraduate instructional laboratory program at the UW.

Many of our undergraduate majors enrich their educational experience through participation in undergraduate research with our faculty.


The Department of Chemistry has 45 faculty who have received numerous awards from a wide variety of organizations. Faculty honors include:

  • AAAS Fellows
  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • ACS National Awards
  • ACS Fellows
  • Beckman Young Investigator Award
  • Cottrell Scholars awards
  • Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards
  • Guggenheim Fellowships
  • Kavli Microbiome Award
  • Keck Distinguished Young Scholar
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • National Medal of Science
  • NSF CAREER Awards
  • NSF Special Creativity Awards
  • Packard Fellowships
  • Pauling Medal
  • PECASE Awards
  • Searle Scholar
  • Sloan Fellowships
  • UW Distinguished Teaching Awards
  • UW Faculty Lecture
  • UW Innovation Award
  • UW Presidential Entrepreneurial Fellow
  • Washington State Academy of Sciences

Students, as of Autumn, 2019

  • Undergraduate majors: 900
  • Graduate students: 230
  • Postdoctoral scholars: 55

Degrees awarded from September 2018 through August 2019

  • Bachelor’s degrees: 400
  • PhD degrees: 30

Major student awards since 2014

  • A&S Dean’s Medal in the Sciences
  • A&S Graduate Medal in the Natural Sciences
  • Amgen Scholar
  • Bonderman Travel Fellowship
  • DAAD German Graduate Study Scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service
  • Goldwater Scholarships
  • Husky 100
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowships
  • UW Excellence in Teaching Award
  • UW Gonfaloniere
  • UW Libraries Student Employee Scholarship
  • UW Junior Medal
  • UW President’s Medals
  • UWAA Homecoming Scholarship

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