Welcome to UW-Madison’s Department of Chemistry!

judith burstyn

Founded in 1880, the Department of Chemistry has continuously pushed the boundaries of modern-day science, and for decades, has attracted outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, postdoctoral associates, and visiting scholars. The department is constantly recognized for our award-winning program nationwide and for our renowned courses, seminars, research projects, and more. The Department of Chemistry is undergoing a construction project that will add a new tower to our facilities. This construction will enhance the program’s first-rate instrumentation, shops, and laboratories. These advancements will accommodate a growing student population and aid the department in developing new teaching methods. The Department of Chemistry’s reputation for excellence is not only nationally recognized by federal and nonprofit funding agencies, but also by every student, educator, researcher, and faculty member.

No matter your role, your interest in the Department of Chemistry makes the department what it is today.

Thank you for your support and On Wisconsin!

Judith Burstyn
Irving Shain Chair of Chemistry and Department Chair,

Judith Burstyn signature


The mission of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is to conduct world-class, groundbreaking research in the chemical sciences while offering the highest quality of education to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral associates. Our leadership in research includes the traditional areas of physical, analytical, inorganic, and organic chemistry, and has rapidly evolved to encompass environmental chemistry, chemical biology, biophysical chemistry, soft and hard materials chemistry, and nanotechnology. We pride ourselves on our highly interactive, diverse, and collegial scientific environment. Our emphasis on collaboration connects us to colleagues across campus, around the country, and throughout the world.

9th best
chemistry graduate program in the U.S.

UW-Madison Distinguished Teaching Award recipients

of students entering the graduate program successfully complete a Ph.D. or master’s degree

Academics and Research, Two Key Ingredients in our Unique Approach

In our department, academic and research experiences go hand-in-hand. Both graduate and undergraduate students have plenty of opportunities to engage in cross-cutting research. This emphasis on collaboration throughout our academic and research programs allows students to pursue their interests – wherever they may lead.


For decades, chemistry at Wisconsin has attracted outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, postdoctoral associates, and visiting scholars. This long and continuing tradition of excellence has many direct and indirect benefits for undergraduate and graduate students.

In addition to having a broad choice of high quality courses, seminars, and research projects, students at all levels benefit from informal interactions with exceptional research scientists.


Undergraduate class
Graduate Students in Weix Lab


The Department of Chemistry serves as a major research hub on campus. Our annual research expenditures total more than $16 million and include grants from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as other organizations. In recent years, catalysis, nanotechnology, and energy have emerged as important new research focus areas for the department.

The department also maintains a high-quality library, as well as first-rate instrumentation, shops, and laboratories. The department’s reputation for excellence is nationally recognized by federal and nonprofit funding agencies, as well as corporate research sponsors.