Chemistry and Biochemistry


​The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has several fundamental responsibilities. They are:

  1. to train students to understand, to criticize meaningfully, and to carry out scientific investigations,
  2. to provide instruction and laboratory experience for those who wish to make chemistry or biochemistry their livelihood and/or pursue advanced study in chemistry or biochemistry,
  3. to provide instruction and laboratory experience for those who wish to use chemistry or biochemistry as a background in an allied profession, and
  4. to provide students not majoring in chemistry or biochemistry with up-to-date instruction in the principles of chemistry or biochemistry and methods of scientific inquiry.

In meeting these responsibilities, the department offers two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in Chemistry and the other in Biochemistry, both of which are certified by the American Chemical Society, the department's accrediting body. The department also offers two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Chemistry and the other in Biochemistry. The BA options allow students to get a firm educational foundation in chemistry or biochemistry along with the ability to develop specialization in another field not necessarily related to chemistry or biochemistry.

In addition to its baccalaureate degrees, the department offers several combined degree programs. Students may pursue a degree in chemistry and chemical engineering through a joint program with the Illinois Institute of Technology. The department hosts its own combined BS/MS program. This option allows students to earn a BS and MS in chemistry.


Quinetta D. Shelby, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jurgis A. Anysas, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Illinois Institute of Technology

Gwendalyn C. Baumann, Ph.D.
Senior Professional Instructor
Johns Hopkins University

Timothy A. French, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Faculty Coordinator for General Chemistry
Yale University

Kyle A. Grice, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Communications
University of Washington

Graham B. Griffin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
University of California, Berkeley

Lisa Janes, Ph.D.
Professional Instructor
Michigan State University

​Lihua Jin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Princeton University

Caitlin E. Karver, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies
University of Southern California

Justin J. Maresh, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
The University of Chicago

Sara Steck Melford, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Emeritus
Northwestern University

Edwin F. Meyer, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Northwestern University

Thomas J. Murphy, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Iowa State University

Richard F. Niedziela, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Administration and Operations
The University of Chicago

Ruben D. Parra, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Charles Rubert-Perez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Faculty Coordinator for Organic Chemistry
Purdue University

Cathrine A. Southern, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies
The University of Chicago

Paul A. Vadola, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program
Columbia University

Wendy S. Wolbach, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
The University of Chicago