Chemistry at MIT

The MIT Department of Chemistry is an inclusive, supportive, and innovative community whose common goal is to create new chemical knowledge and to mentor the next generation of the best and brightest students who will define the next frontiers of chemical science.

Recognized as one of the top chemistry departments in the world, paving the way in both education and research, the Department of Chemistry’s illustrious history shares the MIT tradition of excellence. The department’s strong record of achievement is based on its pioneering advances in chemical research and its success in incorporating these advances into our educational mission.

Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. MIT Chemistry is taking a leading role in experimentally and theoretically probing chemistry at its most fundamental level, discovering new chemical syntheses, creating sustainable energy, unraveling the biochemical complexities of natural systems, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, and developing materials with new properties. Fundamental discoveries made in our department have found their way into practical applications ranging from polymer synthesis to medical imaging.

Learn About Our Research

Our 30 + world-renowned faculty all participate in the undergraduate and graduate educational programs while directing active, cutting-edge research programs. This spectrum of research activity, combined with a variety of challenging graduate subjects and an extensive seminar program, provide our graduate students with the foundation needed for a meaningful professional career and a lifetime of independent learning. It is this combination that makes the MIT graduate in chemistry capable of adapting both to the changing demands of their profession and to the career opportunities encountered.

Get To Know Our Faculty

The Department of Chemistry’s program of teaching and research spans the breadth of chemistry, including chemical biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical (experimental and theoretical) chemistry. More specialized areas such as environmental and atmospheric chemistry, materials chemistry and nanoscience are also covered. We offer an educational and research experience in the chemical sciences that is rich with challenges and opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students.

Our department is comprised of:

  • Over 55 Undergraduate Chemistry Majors
  • Over 235 Graduate Students
  • Approximately 120 Postdoctoral Associates and Visiting Fellows

Our Mission

The Department of Chemistry aims to share in the tradition of MIT excellence by pioneering discoveries and advancements in chemical research, and to succeed in incorporating said advances into educational programs and practical applications ranging from polymer synthesis to medical imaging.

Our Commitment to Diversity

Our Community Outreach Efforts

Our Collaborators

Some of our research activities are carried out in association with interdisciplinary laboratories such as the MIT Energy Initiative, Center for Materials Science and Engineering, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Plasma Fusion Center, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Lincoln Laboratory, the Laser Biomedical Research Center, Broad Institute, Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology, Novartis Center for Continuous Manufacturing, Picower Institute, and the Whitehead Institute. These interdepartmental research laboratories provide stimulating interaction among the research programs at several MIT departments and give students the opportunity to become familiar with research work in disciplines other than chemistry. Some of our graduate students are also members of the Biophysics Certificate Program, Biotechnology Training Program, Microbiology Program, and Program in Polymer Science and Engineering. In addition, there are opportunities for research in cooperation with other departments such as Biology, Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

Our Community

The Department of Chemistry shares MIT’s well-established tradition of excellence on all fronts – in the laboratory, in the classroom, and in the community at large. Pioneering discoveries and advancements in chemistry and incorporation of them into our educational programs contribute to the betterment of the world. None of these contributions would be possible without our students, our postdocs, our faculty, and our staff, and thus the well being of all is critical to our mission.

We affirm that making a better MIT for every member of the community—students, postdocs, staff, and faculty—is a prerequisite to making a better world. We are committed to providing resources for the physical, emotional, and intellectual well-being of our community members, and believe that we have a shared responsibility to treat one another with respect and integrity and to create a safe and supportive environment.

We are committed to increasing the diversity and inclusiveness of the MIT community. There can be no barrier to talent at MIT: solving some of the world’s most challenging problems will require a rich variety of perspectives and abilities. We welcome and encourage talented individuals of all racial, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and disabilities to join us in our pursuit of a better world.