Prospective Students

Amani Lee putting liquid in a tube in the lab
“The biggest lesson I have learned is that it is always better to ask for help and assess an unsure situation earlier than later. If you let things accumulate, it makes it harder for others to help you or point you in the right direction. This is important, not only to your research, but also to your professional and personal success.”—Amani Lee, Ph.D.

Welcome to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota

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.

Degree program

We offer doctorate and master's degree programs. However, as a research institution, we primarily admit students to the doctorate program.

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.


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, including the:

  • Joint Safety Team, a national award-winning group led by graduate students and post-doctoral associates, including Laboratory Safety Officers and others who are interested in improving the culture of safety in chemical laboratories;
  • Community of Chemistry Graduate Students, fostering graduate students working together to support each other by offering workshops, programs, and social and athletic events;
  • Graduate Student Workshop Committee, organizing workshops on a variety of topics important to graduate students such as preparing for oral exams, writing fellowship proposals, and applying for jobs;
  • Graduate Student Seminar Committee, selecting, inviting and hosting seminar speakers;
  • Women in Science & Engineering (WISE), a networking resource for women students and post-doctoral researchers, working to increase the recruitment and retention of women, and improving the climate for all chemists; and
  • Outreach Activities, engaging future chemists via Cool Chemistry, Energy and U, Chemists-in-the Library, Chemists in the Classroom, SciMentors, Science for All, Minnesota State Fair, University on the Prairie, and more.
  • Diversity & Inclusion Committee, promotes collaboration among people of all cultures and backgrounds to enhance our experiences and contribute to excellence in teaching, learning, and research. The Department of Chemistry strives to promote a climate that celebrates our differences and strengthens our department by embracing and working to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion.

World-class faculty and researchers

Our 44 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, 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.

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.

Rebeca Rodriguez, scientist, in lab coat
"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
Kajari Bera working in the laser lab
“It is really important to be involved in something other than research because it gives you an opportunity to help and be involved with society. It also acts as an extra-curricular activity to keep yourself engaged, and helps you come back to research with a fresh mind.” —Kajari Bera, who was involved in the Community of Chemistry Graduate Students, the Bengali Student Society of Minnesota, and outreach activities with the Women in Science & Engineering, Energy & U, and others.—Kajari Bera, Ph.D.
Stephanie Mitchell holds outreach experiment
“What has made my time in graduate school more joyful is just being open to excitement. Sometimes research can get hard and slow, and you feel like you are stuck in the mud. So, when you (or friends and lab mates) overcome a challenge, be excited, and celebrate!"—Stephanie Mitchell
Kiall Francis Suazo's research uses chemical biology to involves look at proteins in Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, viral infection, and lung cancer.
“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


Contact Information
(612) 624-8008
Fax: 1-612-624-5724

Stephanie Stathopoulos
Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies
135 Smith Hall
(612) 624-8008

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


students + 54 post-docs


in research expenditures


outstanding teaching faculty


research centers/initiatives


articles published annually


science journal editors


in nation for high-powered chemistry programs (Natureindex)