menu
William and Mary
search

About Chemistry at William & Mary

The study of chemistry has a long and rich history at the College of William & Mary, with references dating back to Thomas Jefferson. Today the Chemistry Department offers one of the nation's premier undergraduate programs, ranking nationally amongst the top programs in the number of degrees certified by the American Chemical Society. In addition to certified and non-certified bachelor's degrees, the department also offers two masters' degrees and a biochemistry minor.

A public liberal arts institution, William and Mary offers both close personal interaction with faculty members and the research resources of a university. Roughly twenty percent of undergraduate students major in the physical sciences, with an unusually high proportion of female students. Historically, we have produced more Ph.D.-bound chemistry students than any other school in the country.

Chemistry faculty members are actively engaged in high-level research, and maintain a strong personal interest in students. Our Chemistry students are challenged to participate in research throughout their time at the College. Virtually all Chemistry students participate in at least one summer of paid research under faculty supervision, and many are engaged in summer research for two, or even all three, summers during their education. Students are routinely named as coauthors on publications in scientific journals. Teaching and research facilities are excellent. Students have the opportunity to use state of the art instrumentation as part of formal courses and faculty-directed research activities. Our graduates are sought by industry and welcomed by the premier Ph.D. and professional programs.

All courses in the Chemistry Department, including laboratories, are taught by faculty members. Qualified students may gain experience (and pay) by serving as a teaching assistant for laboratory courses. Teaching assistants help fellow students learn to conduct experiments properly, themselves learning a great deal in the process.

Since 1998 the Chemistry Department has been part of a multimillion dollar  grant awarded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to The College of William and Mary for the advancement of undergraduate education in biological sciences and other scientific disciplines as they relate to biology.  William and Mary is also an ongoing recipient of the prestigious Beckman Award program, which supports undergraduate education and research through awards to superior students in Chemistry and related fields.