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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.


Emeriti: (Professors) Hans C. Andersen, John I. Brauman, James P. Collman, Carl Djerassi, Harden M. McConnell, Robert Pecora, John Ross

Chair: W. E. Moerner

Vice Chair: T. Daniel P. Stack

Professors: Steven G. Boxer, Hongjie Dai, Michael D. Fayer, Keith O. Hodgson, Wray H. Huestis, Chaitan Khosla, Eric T. Kool, Todd J. Martinez, W. E. Moerner, Vijay S. Pande, Edward I. Solomon, Barry M. Trost, Robert M. Waymouth, Paul A. Wender, Richard N. Zare

Associate Professors: Christopher E. D. Chidsey, Justin Du Bois, T. Daniel P. Stack

Assistant Professors: Lynette Cegelski, Bianxiao Cui, Matthew Kanan, Thomas E. Markland

Courtesy Professors: Stacey F. Bent, Curtis W. Frank, Daniel Herschlag

Courtesy Associate Professors: James K. Chen, Yi Cui, Karlene A. Cimprich, Jianghong Rao, Thomas J. Wandless

Lecturers: Megan Brennan, Charles Cox, Hillary Hua, Jennifer Schwartz

Director of Undergraduate Laboratories: Hillary Hua

* The curriculum leading to the B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering is described in the "School of Engineering" section of this bulletin.

Department Offices: 121 S. G. Mudd

Mail Code: 94305-5080

Phone: (650) 723-2501

Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of Chemistry are listed under the subject code CHEM on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

Chemistry is central to many scientific disciplines and plays an important role in the emerging areas of biotechnology, catalysis, health, and materials science. Developing new probes of biological molecules, modeling of protein folding and reactivity, manipulation of carbon nanotubes, development of new oxidation and polymerization catalysts, and synthesis of organic molecules for probing ion-channels are all research areas that are pursued actively in the Chemistry Department. The overarching theme of these pursuits is a focus at the atomic and molecular levels, whether this concerns probing the electronic structure and reactivity of molecules as small as dihydrogen or synthesizing large polymer assemblies. The ability to synthesize new molecules and materials and to modify existing biological structures allows the exploration of properties of well-defined systems.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Chemistry

The mission of the undergraduate program in Chemistry is to provide students with the fundamental concepts driving the molecular sciences. Students in the program acquire in-depth knowledge of the principles of chemistry, the methodologies necessary to solve problems in the subdisciplines through course work and laboratory experiences, and the ability to articulate their ideas effectively to the scientific community. The Chemistry program also has a long-standing tradition of encouraging undergraduate majors to become involved in research during the academic year and through a ten-week summer research program. The major is designed to provide students with excellent preparation for further study in graduate or professional schools as well as careers in chemistry.


The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. that they understand the mechanics of working problems by correctly solving basic problems using mathematical and theoretical tools.
  2. a conceptual understanding of the theory required to execute problems.
  3. that they are able to obtain chemical insight from working problems relevant to chemical questions.
  4. that they are able to make connections between their solutions to theoretical problems and the physical world.
  5. an understanding of the relationship between theory and experiment in order to use theory to determine chemically important information from experimental data.


The department recommends that students interested in a health profession take the following courses for a letter grade: 31A,B or 31X, 33, 35, 36, 130, 131, 135 or 171, and 181. Historically, these courses have fulfilled the chemistry requirements at most medical schools. For information on medical school advising and resources, please download the Undergraduate Advising and Research publication at


The University's basic requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are discussed in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.


Placement Examinations—Each new graduate student must take placement examinations upon entrance. These consist of three written examinations of two hours each in the fields of inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, and cover such material as ordinarily is given in a rigorous one-year undergraduate course in each of these subjects. Students majoring in biophysical chemistry or chemical physics must take examinations in biophysical or chemical physics, physical chemistry, and organic or inorganic chemistry. All placement examinations are given the week before instruction begins in Autumn Quarter, and must be taken at that time. Each new graduate student meets with a member of the graduate study committee to define a program of courses based on results of the placement examinations.

Candidates for advanced degrees must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for all Chemistry lecture courses as well as for all courses taken during graduate study. Required courses must be taken for a letter grade. Most course work ends in the second year of studies, and students will then focus on full-time dissertation research. During the period in which a dissertation is being read by members of the faculty, candidates must be available for personal consultation until the dissertation has received final department approval.


In addition to school fellowships and scholarships open to properly qualified students, there are several department fellowships in chemistry. Undergraduate scholarships are administered through the Financial Aid Office. Teaching assistantships and research assistantships are open to graduate students. Graduate fellowships, scholarships, and teaching assistantships are administered through the Department of Chemistry.

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