Work shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best scientists in the country. Together you will push the boundaries of chemistry and biochemistry.

Chemists are in great demand today in industry, government, and university laboratories, as the salary structure makes clear: median salaries for Ph.D., MS, and BS degree holders were $100,600, $85,000, and $73,900 a year, respectively, in 2012.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina is one of the best in the Southeast, with world-class research programs in Biochemistry and in Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, and Physical Chemistry. The department was recently ranked in the Top 40 in the United States by Chemical and Engineering News and has been consistently listed by the American Chemical Society as one of the top 30 programs in the country, based on Ph.D. productivity.

Since 2000, we have been housed in a l58,000-square-foot, $36 million center that was designed to be a cutting-edge chemistry facility. Our talented faculty members are easily accessible and interested in the education of their students. Our professors have won numerous awards; eight, for example, have received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Science, presented annually to the top research scientist in the state of South Carolina.

Undergraduate students majoring in chemistry have dozens of courses to choose from in the areas of general, analytical, biological, inorganic, and physical chemistry, as well as interdivisional courses. Ours is one of three undergraduate Chemistry programs recognized for excellence by the State Commission on Higher Education.

The graduate program - designed to produce skilled, broadly educated, and creative scientists -leads to the Ph.D. with concentrations in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. The course and research requirements are flexible and can be tailored to the background and interests of each student. Please peruse our website for more details. We would like to hear from you.

Our Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry isn't just one of the best in the Southeast, it's one of the strongest in the country. We have world-class research programs in analytical, biochemistry and molecular biology, environmental, inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical, and polymer chemistry, with many highly successful interdisciplinary collaborations.

National Recognition

For disciplines as research-oriented as chemistry and biochemistry, one of the best measures of a department's strength is the quality of its graduate programs. Our department is consistently ranked in the top 30 nationally in Ph.D. productivity by the American Chemical Society. In the last National Research Council assessment of chemistry graduate programs, ours ranked 25th nationally based on a composite average of quality indicators calculated at Cornell University, including the number of publications per faculty member, the number of citations received per publication, the percentage of faculty with research funding and the number of times faculty have been recognized with significant awards. Among just public universities, that ranking is 13th nationally. The National Science Foundation ranked us 34th in the country in total spending for chemical research and development in 2011, far outperforming many institutions of comparable size.

Our undergraduate program received a Commendation for Excellence by The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education "... for the high quality of its program leading to the B.S. Chemistry." We have created a challenging curriculum that gives every student a solid foundation in the chemical sciences, but with a faculty that remains easily accessible and dedicated to helping all of our students succeed.

People and Facilities

Our department has 35 tenure-track faculty, 21 postdoctoral fellows and research staff, 159 graduate students, and 23 support staff. Since 2000, we have been housed in the John M. Palms Center for Graduate Science Research (GSRC). Several of our research groups occupy laboratory space in the nearby Horizon I (HZN1), Jones Physical Science Center (JONES), and Sumwalt College (SMWALT). A map of our university campus buildings is found on Our Locations page.

Going Places

Chemistry is a wonderful profession. Its diversity offers a challenge for everyone and provides unsurpassed opportunities to solve significant scientific problems and benefit society as a whole. Chemists are in demand in industry, government and academic labs. Median salaries for Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degree holders were $102,000, $85,000 and $72,000 per year in 2013.

Award Winning Faculty

The quality and promise of the department has been recognized outside the University, as well as within. Ten of our current faculty members are Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Since 1985, the Governor of South Carolina has honored top research scientists in the state annually. Sixteen faculty members from the department have received a Governor's Award- ten for Excellence in Science or Scientific Research, four for Young Scientist Awards for Excellence in Scientific Research, and two for Excellence in Scientific Awareness. Within the university, we are one of the top departments in receiving the university's highest awards. Twenty-four faculty have received the Russell Research Award and Educational Foundation Research Award for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering, five faculty members have won the University's highest honor for excellence in teaching, the Amoco Foundation Award; nine faculty members have received the Michael J. Mungo Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; and two have received the Michael J. Mungo Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching. Our faculty has also received national and international recognition by earning awards from the American Chemical Society (ACS) and by serving as editors and editorial advisory board members for numerous prestigious chemical journals.

Open a door to the world of science. A degree in chemistry or biochemistry gives you the tools to succeed wherever you want to go, from industry to medicine to government to academia.

The modern world is a technological marvel; progress depends on new ideas, new approaches, and new understanding. All those things depend on high-quality research.

At heart, chemistry and biochemistry degrees are research degrees, and a major research institution like the University of South Carolina is a great place to earn them. Our department will give you not only the academic and lab experience to succeed in interdisciplinary research here at the university, but also the tutelage, mentorship, and connections for a lifelong career of your choosing. All on one of the friendliest campuses in America.

Cost & Fees

Estimated Expenses S.C. Resident Nonresident
Tuition & Technology Fee $11,482 $30,298
Housing $6,832 $6,832
Meals $3,566 $3,566
Books & Supplies $1,016 $1,016
Total $22,896 $41,712
Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated January 3, 2019
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