The Department of Chemistry was established in 1818, and the first Ph.D. degree was awarded in 1883. Since then, UNC has awarded more than 1250 Ph.D. degrees, and over 500 master's degrees.
Our large and diverse faculty includes five members of the National Academy of Sciences, one member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, two recipients of an NIH Director's Pioneer Award, several winners of American Chemical Society national awards, a Lemelson-MIT Prize winner, and numerous recipients of other prestigious national and local awards in chemistry and teaching.
We have outstanding research programs underway in all areas of modern Chemistry. Chemistry also is a focal point for interdisciplinary research efforts on campus in biological and materials sciences. Currently, our faculty includes close to 41 tenured and tenure-track faculty and 4 teaching faculty. We also have a dedicated technical and administrative support staff to support the research and teaching of 668 undergraduate majors, 232 graduate students, 5 MS students, and 56 postdoctoral research associates.
The Chemistry Department has 650 undergraduate majors distributed among four tracks of study: BS Chemistry, BS Chemistry (Biochemistry track), BS Chemistry (Polymer track) and BA Chemistry. Chemistry majors are challenged with a rigorous academic program that provides excellent preparation for post undergraduate opportunities in graduate school, dental school, medical school, pharmacy school, law school (patent law), education (teaching), and a wide variety of industrial settings. Students who choose the chemistry major have a wealth of opportunities to participate in cutting-edge undergraduate research, an encouraged component in the program.
Undergraduate students are an integral part of the Chemistry Department, and the department recognizes this annually with scholarships, fellowships, job fairs, a Junior/Senior Banquet, and a spring BBQ. Our students frequently receive national recognition for their achievements through scholarships and awards including the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship and Churchill Fellowship.