If you are interested in pursuing a degree or finding a job in the field of chemistry, everything you need is here. Find the best schools, career information, history of the discipline, influential people in the field, great books, and more.

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What Is the Chemistry Degree?

Chemistry is the scientific study of compounds and elements, including their molecular structure, properties, behavior, and reactions when coming into contact with other substances. Chemistry is a rigorous and research-intensive field that overlaps with a number other major disciplines including physics, biology, engineering, and more.
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The Best Colleges and Universities for Chemistry Degrees

Best Chemistry Major Research Universities

  1. Harvard University
  2. MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  3. Stanford University
  4. University of California, Berkeley
  5. CalTech – California Institute of Technology

Go to The Best Chemistry Research Universities

Best Chemistry Major Liberal Arts Colleges

  1. Pomona College
  2. Amherst College
  3. Wesleyan University
  4. Swarthmore College
  5. Bowdoin College

Go toThe Best Chemistry Liberal Arts Colleges

To view the entire list of top chemistry schools, including schools offering online degrees and a breakdown of the best chemistry colleges and universities in your state, visit our look at the Best Colleges and Universities for Chemistry Degrees.

For a dynamic, real-time listing of the most influential chemistry schools in the world, use our Custom College Ranking.

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Chemistry Degrees

What Will I Study in a Chemistry Major?

As a chemistry major, you’ll study foundational topics such as biochemistry, organic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry. You will likely also take courses in correlated areas like thermodynamics, physics, and materials sciences, as well as math-intensive courses like calculus and differential equations.

What Can I Do With a Degree in Chemistry?

Chemistry majors are employed in a huge range of industries and areas, including private sector corporations, research labs, universities, and the federal government. Fields of employment for chemistry majors may include engineering, medical science, pharmacology, environmental science, food science, and forensics, among many others. Students who earn a degree in chemistry will qualify to work in roles as chemical engineers, biophysicists, chemists, environmental scientists, food scientists, and much more.

How Can I Get a Degree in Chemistry?

Find out How to Major in Chemistry.

Find out what you can do with a Master’s Degree in Chemistry.

If you’re still unsure about a college major, our guide to college majors and programs can help you figure out what to study in college. This comprehensive guide is a central place to explore all college subjects.

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Controversial Topics in Chemistry

The chemistry discipline plays a direct role in many of the technological achievements and environmental conditions that shape the world around us. As a result, many of the mostly debated issues of our times involve this important scientific field. Below are some of the biggest controversies today relating to the chemistry discipline.

  1. Nuclear Energy
  2. Climate Change
  3. Vaccines
  4. COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates in Higher Education

For an ever-growing list of controversial topics, check out The Most Controversial Topics Today

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Feature Topics in Chemistry

Chemistry is a dynamic field where new findings, achievements and innovations continue to have a profound impact on the real world. Our features emphasize the individuals and innovations driving the chemistry discipline forward today.

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Who Are the Current Top Chemists?

The following are the top influencers in the chemistry discipline today according to our machine-powered Influence Rankings, which are drawn from a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia/data, Crossref, and an ever-growing body of data.

  • Carolyn Bertozzi is the founder of bioorthogonal chemistry, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
  • Eric Scerri is a Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Foundations of Chemistry.
  • Ada Yonath is a crystallographer and Director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
  • Jean-Pierre Sauvage is Director Emeritus of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Strasbourg, France and his work focuses on a subfield called “supramolecular chemistry.”
  • Fraser Stoddart is Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University in the United States, Head of the Stoddart Mechanostereochemistry Group in the Department of Chemistry, and a leading researcher in supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology.
  • Paul Anastas is Director of Yale University’s Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering and is known as the “Father of Green Chemistry.”
  • Omar M. Yaghi is the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and is widely considered the pioneer of reticular chemistry.
  • George C. Schatz is a theoretical chemist, editor-in-chief at the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and the Morrison Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University.
  • George M. Whitesides is Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University, focuses on organic chemistry, and has performed core research using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
  • Harry B. Gray is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry at California Institute of Technology and conducts research on topics in inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, and biophysics.

For a complete list, check out the Top Influential Chemists Today.

Interviews with Top Thinkers in Chemistry

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