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Message from the Chair

PasqualiWelcome to the Rice University Department of Chemistry!  The department encompasses scientists and engineers who investigate the composition, properties, structure and reactivity of matter. Among us are organic, inorganic, physical, and biological chemists, both theorists and experimentalists. Bolstered by state-of-the-art instrumentation and close personal interactions, Rice is a terrific place to do chemical research. The department has developed two Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academy of Sciences; moreover, it hosts one of only six National Science Foundation funded centers for nanoscale science and engineering. 

For decades, the Rice culture has promoted interdisciplinary research.  Most Rice chemistry professors hold additional appointments elsewhere on campus, including most of the five science departments and half of the eight engineering departments. We have particularly strong programs in nanoscale science and inorganic materials, as well as theoretical, biological, supramolecular, environmental, and experimental physical chemistry. Rice University is a member of the Texas Medical Center (the largest in the world), and the Chemistry department is at the center of important breakthroughs in nanomedicine.  

Our graduate program is sharply focused on promoting the highest level of achievement for each Rice doctoral student. The program is highly selective, admitting only about 20 graduate students a year. These small numbers ensure that Rice graduate students have unusual access to faculty time, instrumentation, and other resources. As a consequence, our chemistry graduate students develop unusually strong publication records. Most of them take part in the Graduate Student Association, a university-wide body that holds social events and participates in university governance. To ensure that financial constraints are not an obstacle, we waive the application fee for domestic students and provide a generous stipend and full-tuition waivers for those who enter our doctoral program.

Rice undergraduate chemists are also among the best in the nation. The > 1:1 ratio of chemistry faculty members to majors gives our undergraduates unusually close working relationships with their professors.  All Rice chemistry majors participate in undergraduate research and commonly join a lab during their first year. As a result, they are positioned to take real intellectual control of their research, and many of them coauthor publications that describe their findings.

Matteo Pasquali, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Chemistry