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

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]

University of California, Berkeley College of Chemistry
TypePublic professional school
DeanDouglas S. Clark
Academic staff
Undergraduates963 (2020-21)[1]
123 postdoctoral (2020-21)[1]
Location, ,
Berkeley College of Chemistry logo.svg

The College of Chemistry has been listed as the best global university for chemistry in the 2020 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 among U.S. News Best Chemical Engineering Graduate Programs in the United States in 2021.[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 fifteen Nobel Prizes.[6]

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most productive in the world, graduating an average of 80 doctoral students per year. As of July 2020, the College hosts 48 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. 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.[7]

First established in 1872, the college awarded its first Ph.D. in 1885 to John Maxson 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.[8] The College will turn 150 in 2022.[9]


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 2020, the faculty at the College includes twelve members of the National Academy of Engineering; 37 members of the National Academy of Sciences; 32 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Eleven members of the faculty have been awarded the National Medal of Science, and nine have been awarded the Wolf Prize.[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.[10] 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 9 Jul 2020.
  2. ^ "The Department of Chemistry | College of Chemistry". chemistry.berkeley.edu.
  3. ^ "The Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering | College of Chemistry". chemistry.berkeley.edu.
  4. ^ "Top Chemistry Schools in the World". US News Education. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  5. ^ "Best Chemical Engineering Programs - Top Engineering Schools - US News Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  6. ^ "Major Awards & Honors | College of Chemistry". chemistry.berkeley.edu.
  7. ^ "#16elements: Berkeley Lab and the Periodic Table". News Center. 2019-01-28. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  8. ^ University of California, Berkeley. "College of Chemistry history". Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  9. ^ University of California, Berkeley. "College of Chemistry history project". Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  10. ^ University of California, Berkeley. "Google map - UC Berkeley". Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Vale Jan Anderson (12 May 1932 – 28 August 2015)". Australian National University. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2016.

External linksEdit

  • Official website