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About the UW Chemistry Graduate Program

  • aerial shot of South campus
  • Mount Rainier
  • cherry trees in blossom

Our Department

The UW Department of Chemistry is proud to be the leading producer in the nation of chemists and biochemists at the undergraduate level, and a major center for state-of-the-art graduate education and research. We have 40 nationally and internationally recognized faculty, with 200 graduate students and 50 postdoctoral fellows, whose research and educational efforts are supported by 65 staff members. The Department of Chemistry provides an outstanding and highly supportive environment in which to pursue a graduate degree. Our outstanding faculty conduct exciting, cutting-edge research programs in the traditional areas of chemistry (e.g., analytical, inorganic, organic, physical), as well as in interdisciplinary areas such as nanoscience, materials and polymer chemistry, chemical biology, synthesis and catalysis, theoretical and computational chemistry, and chemical physics. The degree programs offered in the Department of Chemistry prepare students for positions in industrial laboratories, research institutes, and governmental agencies, or for teaching, research, and administration in colleges and universities.

The University of Washington

The University of Washington, founded in 1861, is an internationally-renowned center of higher education, with world-class programs in science and engineering that favorably impact the Department of Chemistry's progressive research and graduate program. The main campus is located in Seattle, three miles north of downtown, on nearly 700 beautiful acres on the shores of Lake Washington and Portage Bay. Spectacular views of Mt. Rainier are among its many attractions. Take a virtual tour of the campus (including historical photos) for more information.

The Department of Chemistry coordinates campus interviews for graduates seeking permanent employment with local and national companies. Seminars and assistance in résumé writing, interviewing techniques, and job market research are also available.

Here are a few highlights from a comprehensive overview of student life at the UW:

  • The Intramural Activities (IMA) Building or the Waterfront Activities Center (WAC) offer a wide variety of exercise equipment and recreational sports. All registered students have access to these facilities.
  • Graduate student health insurance is provided without charge to Teaching and Research Assistants (50% for dependents) [full details].
  • One of the most comprehensive transportation management programs in the nation is in effect at the UW. U-PASS is designed to facilitate the coordinated use of public transit, carpools, vanpools, and bicycles in an effort to reduce congestion and surface parking lots and to maintain air quality. For a small quarterly charge, U-PASS provides unlimited bus riding to UW students, faculty, and staff, as well as access to a night shuttle program and merchant discounts.

Seattle and Environs

The city of Seattle is situated between Lake Washington and Puget Sound, an extensive arm of the Pacific Ocean. Both Lake Washington and Puget Sound are perfect for canoeing, sailing, and kayaking. Recent national surveys have listed Seattle as one of the most liveable cities in the country. Seattle has many cultural offerings, including myriad repertory theatres, the Seattle Opera, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, an extensive music scene with several annual marquee music festivals, the Seattle International Film Festival, a wide variety of museums, and a flourishing food scene. Seattle is also home to several professional sports teams, including the Mariners, the Seahawks, the Sounders, and the Storm, in addition to the University of Washington Husky teams. 

The variety of outdoor activities convenient to the city is unsurpassed. Hiking, skiing, and mountain or rock climbing are popular, with miles of trails and hundreds of peaks found in the nearby Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. Temperatures are moderate, seldom falling below freezing or rising above 90°F. Snow is infrequent and light in the city but the nearby mountains receive heavy snowfall, providing for great skiing at any of the eight major ski areas within easy driving distance from Seattle.

For a virtual tour of Seattle, current events around the region, and sports and recreation, see these websites: http://www.cityofseattle.net/tour/index.htm and http://www.cityofseattle.net/html/visitor/sports.htm#cityrec

The strong Seattle-area economy provides excellent opportunities for partners of students who seek employment in most fields, especially in the rapidly expanding tech industry (biotech, computers, telecommunications, aerospace), and there are always many employment opportunities at the University of Washington.

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