Carnegie Mellon University
Illustration of research by Kris Matyjaszewski

Work with faculty on high-impact research.

The CMU faculty includes some of the most highly cited in chemistry. See recent news and awards for our latest achievements related to sustainability, human health and quality of life.

laser in laboratory

Begin research quickly.

Students can join a group immediately or spend a semester doing optional rotations to explore possible good fits. When joining a group immediately, it is sometimes possible to start research in the summer. Explore our research areas.

Graduate students collaborating in the CMA with mass spectrometer

Enjoy a highly interactive, collaborative environment.

Small to moderate size research groups let you easily get to know other group members and interact regularly with faculty. Through research centers and other collaborations, you can also interact with faculty across groups easily.

course schedule on computer monitor

Take advantage of flexible course requirements.

Students can take courses in related areas like biological science, physics and engineering to support interdisciplinary research. Students consult with advisors about courses to fit their research and career goals, making it possible for students from related fields to transition successfully into the Ph.D. in Chemistry. See how your background compares to our median admitted student.

Kevin Noonan and Yunyan Qiu in laboratory

Join a supportive community.

Students form strong relationships with advisors, and it's not unusual for advisory committee members to become collaborators or additional mentors. Supportive peer interactions develop in and out of the lab. Active student organizations help with the academic experience, work-life balance and enjoying Pittsburgh.

graduate student presenting research

Develop soft skills to complement technical expertise.

See CMU's excellent programs for future faculty and entrepreneurs. Student-led programs like Public Communication for Researchers support a wide range of career goals. Outreach programs like DNAZone provide opportunities for students to share their passion for science with the community.

grad placement pie chart

Expand your career options.

Ph.D. graduates from the Department of Chemistry are prepared for success in a wide range of careers in academic, industry, and national laboratories. Our alumni are found at excellent research universities as well as conducting medical research, growing start-up companies and developing policy at government agencies.