Student working in a lab

Chemistry graduate program


We are committed to excellence in education, research, and public service. You will receive a world-class education in our classrooms and laboratories, engage in research aimed at solving some of society’s most important problems, and be empowered to lead and be involved.

Our graduate students are central to our educational and research missions and are our most valuable assets. We offer:

  • engaged faculty members who are leading researchers in their fields;
  • sophisticated state-of-the-art research equipment and facilities;
  • collaborative and interdisciplinary research opportunities; and 
  • unique environment of empowerment where you can contribute to and lead your own learning.

Our goal is to help you develop as chemists, teachers, scholars and leaders by providing a supportive and stimulating academic environment with world-class resources and outstanding training and leadership opportunities.


associated facilities and centers for specialized research


core faculty members with expertise spanning the spectrum of chemistry


student groups at UMN for community building and engagement
Student working in a lab

"My adviser has been completely supportive of my passion for science communication and community engagement. This has allowed me to learn how to communicate science across collaborations in the department and with industry as well as with those that have non-science backgrounds.” – Rebeca Rodriguez

World-class faculty and researchers

Our 46 faculty members and 15 affiliate graduate faculty members are excellent teachers, mentors, and advisers. More than a third have received some of the college’s and university’s highest teaching honors.

We mentor students interested in teaching through the Mentorship Program for Aspiring Chemistry Teachers (MPACT), offer experiences as teaching assistants and opportunities to mentor undergraduate student researchers, and offer a two-semester “Preparing for Future Faculty” course that includes in-class teaching experiences.

Meet the faculty

Learn more about MPACT

Research opportunities

Working with some of the top chemists in their fields, you will be actively engaged in research aimed at solving some of society’s most important environmental, health, and energy issues. 

Research in the our department is collaborative and interdisciplinary. Overarching goals of some of our ongoing research projects include improving human health and the environment, developing nanotechnology and novel advanced materials for a myriad of applications, and unraveling problems associated with devising new alternative sources of energy. This research covers the range of chemistry, from chemical biology to physical chemistry and polymer chemistry. Many of our students are co-advised by professors in other departments and are involved in collaborative research across the university and beyond.

There are opportunities to participate in multi-disciplinary, collaborative research centers and initiatives, including the Center for BioInorganic Chemistry, NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers, Chemical Biology Initiative, Chemical Biology Interface Training Grant, Chemical Theory Center, Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center, Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial & Materials Engineering, Masonic Cancer Center, NSF Materials Research Science & Engineering Center, Medical Devices Center, and Nanoporous Materials Genome Center.
As a researcher, you will:

  • conduct biomedical, medical, pharmaceutical, and materials research in collaboration with Minnesota’s world-class medical school, which is located across the street, and with the university’s top-ranked science and engineering programs. There are opportunities to work with hundreds of Minneapolis-area healthcare organizations and medical device companies, including several Fortune 500 companies.
  • have access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology needed for leading-edge chemistry research such as the department’s nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, and X-ray crystallographic laboratories, the University’s Characterization Facility, Institute of Therapeutics Discovery and Development, Minnesota Nano Center, Minnesota Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center, and the topnotch Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, to name a few. 
  • share your research as authors of papers published in prestigious scientific journals and at conferences and poster sessions.

Explore faculty research foci

Student working in a lab

“One of the best things the department offers is its diversity. I learn a lot about other cultures, and how other students value research, which is motivated by their backgrounds. The inclusivity the department promotes makes everyone feel like they belong here." – Kiall Francis Suazo

A sense of community

Our students gain experiences that extend beyond the classroom and the laboratory. We empower our students to create an environment where they can prosper and contribute to their own learning, and participate in a variety of leadership and outreach activities. We are home to a variety of student groups, professional societies, and departmental committees that offer opportunities for graduate students to engage in community and decision-making.

Explore Student Groups

Learn more about DEI in Chemistry

Meet some of the hUMNs of Chemistry

Our alumni

Our alumni are productive scientists, scholars, and teachers. They serve as university and college faculty members, in leadership positions at national laboratories, and as scientists at major chemical, pharmaceutical, and biomedical industries such as Boston Scientific, Cargill, Ecolab, General Mills, Dow, DuPont, HB Fuller, Phillips 66, and many others.

Prospective Graduate Students

Application information
(612) 624-8008
Fax: 1-612-624-5724

Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies

Stephanie Stathopoulos
135 Smith Hall
(612) 624-8008

Current Students

Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies

Nancy Thao
115 Smith Hall
(612) 624-0313

Director of Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Professor Aaron Massari
245 Smith Hall
612) 626-8416

Director of Graduate Studies in Chemical Physics

Professor Renee Frontiera
233 Smith Hall
(612) 624-2501