Organic Chemistry

Graduate students in the organic chemistry path participate in one of the strongest organic programs in the world. As a graduate student in organic chemistry, you will learn:

  • the latest theoretical treatments of organic reactions;
  • the development of synthetic expertise;
  • the ability to analyze critically physical organic and reaction mechanism problems; and
  • the art of structure elucidation.

The organic chemistry path at UW-Madison includes a large selection of top research groups. Organic chemistry graduate students may study areas such as synthetic, mechanistic, bioorganic, organometallic, combinatorial, materials, catalytic, structural, and computational chemistry. The degree of interaction and collaboration among research groups is one distinguishing feature of the research environment at UW-Madison. The department also offers excellent instrumental and computational support and training for your research.

New students with strong science backgrounds can finish all course requirements during the first academic year. As few as six courses can satisfy all requirements. The details of a student's program depend on research area and career plans and are arranged through discussions with the student's adviser.

UW-Madison is among the largest and most respected sources of organic chemists for academic and industrial positions. Most major college chemistry departments have organic faculty members who have studied at UW-Madison, and dozens of companies visit campus each year to recruit chemistry graduate students.

View a list of current organic chemistry path faculty or organic chemistry path students.

Apply to the graduate program in chemistry.



  • Organic chemistry path chair: Professor Steve Burke
  • Organic chemistry path coordinator (for administrative questions about program requirements, admissions, seminars, room scheduling, etc.): Karen Stephens

Organic Chemistry Programs

Organic Chemistry Resources

View Professor Emeritus Hans Reich's organic chemistry resources pertaining to chemical reactions, chemical data, NMR spectroscopy, organometallic topics, nomenclature, organic compounds, and techniques.

Organic Chemistry Faculty by Research Area


Biopolymers & Biopolymer Mimics

Chemical Biology

Chemical Education


Mechanism & Theory

Organometallics & Catalysis