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UC Berkeley College of Chemistry

Coordinates: 37°52′22.16″N 122°15′22.04″W / 37.8728222°N 122.2561222°W / 37.8728222; -122.2561222

University of California, Berkeley College of Chemistry
TypePublic Professional School
DeanDouglas S. Clark
Academic staff
89 [1]
Undergraduates760 (2018-19)[1]
Postgraduates523 (2018-19)[1]
Location, ,

The UC Berkeley College of Chemistry is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. It houses the departments of Chemistry, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Chemical Biology and occupies six buildings flanking a central plaza.[2][3]

UC Berkeley's College of Chemistry has been listed as the best global university for chemistry in the 2019 U.S. News and World Report Education rankings.[4] The college's Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering program was ranked number two in a tie with Caltech and Stanford among U.S. News best engineering schools in the United States in 2018.[5] Its faculty and graduates have won numerous awards, including the Wolf Prize, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as fourteen Nobel Prizes.[6] As of 2018-19, it has 760 undergraduates, 523 graduate students and 164 postdoctoral students.[7]

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most productive in the world, graduating about 80 doctoral students per year. The College hosts 10 recognized world-class researchers by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.[8] Scientists affiliated with the department and the nearby Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are responsible for the discovery of sixteen elements, including berkelium, named after the city, and seaborgium, named after Nobel laureate and former department chair Glenn Seaborg.[9]

First established in 1872, the college awarded its first Ph.D. in 1885 to John Stillman, who later founded the chemistry department at Stanford University. A Division of Chemical Engineering was established in 1946, becoming a department in 1957. The Department of Chemical Engineering changed its name to Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2010 to reflect the research focus of its faculty in the 21st century.[10]


The College offers three undergraduate degrees: chemical engineering, chemistry, and chemical biology.[1] Chemistry undergrads in the College of Chemistry also have the option to earn a B.A. in chemistry from the College of Letters and Science, or to specialize in a materials chemistry concentration. Two double major programs with the College of Engineering exist: chemical engineering and materials science and engineering, and chemical engineering and nuclear engineering.

Popular undergraduate courses such as Chem 4A (general chemistry) and Chem 12A (organic chemistry) are taught by College of Chemistry faculty.

Graduate programs include the M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering and Ph.D. in chemistry.[1]


As of 2015, the faculty at the College includes 11 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 28 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 35 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 11 members of the faculty have been awarded the National Medal of Science.[1]


The College of Chemistry is located on the east side of the UC Berkeley campus. It includes Gilman Hall, a National Historic Landmark, where plutonium was first identified in 1941. Pimentel Hall is one of the largest lecture halls on campus, and features a revolving stage to allow for setup of chemistry demos.[11] The buildings of the College are linked by a network of underground hallways and laboratories.

Notable facultyEdit

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f UC Berkeley College of Chemistry. "Facts". University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  2. ^ UC Berkeley, Department of Chemistry
  3. ^ UC Berkeley, Dept of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^
  9. ^ Chemical Elements Discovered at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  10. ^ UC Berkeley, Dept of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering - Graduate Program Info - Note from Chair
  11. ^ University of California, Berkeley. "Google map - UC Berkeley". Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Vale Jan Anderson (12 May 1932 – 28 August 2015)". Australian National University. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2016.

External linksEdit