About Chemistry at William & Mary

The study of chemistry has a long and rich history at William & Mary, with references dating back to Thomas Jefferson. Today the Chemistry Department offers one of the nation's premier undergraduate programs, typically producing more majors every year than any other predominantly undergraduate institution in the country. The department offers bachelor's degrees in chemistry, a minor in biochemistry, and several master’s degree tracks.

A public liberal arts institution, William and Mary offers both close personal interaction with faculty members and the research resources of a university. All courses in the Chemistry Department, including laboratories, are taught by faculty members. Facilities for teaching and laboratory work in the Integrated Science Center are excellent. All students have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art instrumentation as part of formal courses and faculty-directed research activities. Chemistry faculty members are actively engaged in research, and students may elect to join a faculty research lab as early as their freshman year. Most 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. Our graduates are welcomed by premier Ph.D. and professional programs and also enter the workforce directly in fields including education and healthcare.

Mission Statement

Our goal is to equip students to become successful scientists and engaged citizens. Here students learn to think broadly, deeply, and creatively about the atomic world and its effects on the macroscopic world. We accomplish this with innovative classroom instruction, engaging laboratory experiences, and high-impact, faculty-mentored research in a supportive and inclusive environment. Students and faculty members explore how chemistry connects to the broader world through a dynamic, engaging curriculum and interdisciplinary approach to research.

Cultivate a Holistic Learning Environment

  • Enhance classroom pedagogy by coupling it with contemporary research at the frontiers of chemistry
  • Prepare students for diverse opportunities, including direct entry into the workforce
  • Develop skills to interpret data and effectively communicate scientific knowledge to a variety of audiences
  • Encourage students to develop and test scientific hypotheses
  • Showcase how chemistry impacts health, the environment, and society
  • Stimulate excitement about chemistry and science
  • Offer synergistic B.S. and M.S. degree programs

Promote Research Opportunities

  • Support research programs and expand opportunities for students to engage in faculty-mentored projects
  • Maintain a vibrant summer program dedicated to full-time student research
  • Produce original scholarship and maintain a visible presence in the broader chemistry community
  • Ensure access to a wide variety of modern scientific instrumentation
  • Enhance the research experience of our B.S. and M.S. students through both faculty and peer mentorship

Build Relationships

  • Foster close professional relationships between students and faculty members in an open and inclusive environment
  • Interact with local communities and schools to promote chemical literacy
  • Engage alumni in sustaining and growing our program
  • Support campus initiatives and programs