The Department of Chemistry at MIT is recognized as one of the top chemistry departments in the world. The Department has an illustrious history in sharing the MIT tradition of excellence, and has provided national leadership in chemical education and research. The Department's strong record of achievement is based on its pioneering advances in chemical research, its success in incorporating these advances into teaching and research programs, and its close relationship to government and industry. Many fundamental discoveries made in our Department have found their way into practical applications ranging from polymer synthesis to medical imaging.
The Department presently has over 30 faculty members, all of whom participate in the graduate educational program and direct active research programs. There are currently about 100 undergraduate chemistry majors, nearly 250 graduate students, and about 100 post-doctoral associates and visiting fellows in the Department. In a recent year, the graduate population included students from 20 foreign countries and from more than 104 colleges and universities around the United States. Approximately 33% of our students are women. This representation of students from widely different backgrounds contributes to the enrichment of student life within the Department. In recent years, the Department has awarded from 25 to 45 doctoral degrees per year.
The Department's program of teaching and research spans the breadth of chemistry. General areas covered include biological chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. Specialized areas such as environmental chemistry, materials chemistry and nanoscience are also covered.
Some of the research activities of the Department are carried out in association with various interdisciplinary laboratories such as the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory, the Research Laboratory of Electronics, the Lincoln Laboratory, the GR Harrison Spectroscopy Laboratory, and the Whitehead Institute. These interdepartmental research laboratories provide stimulating interaction among the research programs at several MIT departments and give students the opportunity to become familiar with research work in disciplines other than chemistry. There are also opportunities for research in cooperation with other Departments such as Biology, Chemical Engineering, Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and Physics. A special training program in cancer research is administered with in the department, and many of our students are members of other training programs such as the biotech training program and the Merck Fellowship.
This spectrum of research activity, combined with a variety of challenging graduate subjects and an extensive seminar program, provide our graduate students with the foundation needed for a meaningful professional career and a lifetime of independent learning. It is this combination which makes the MIT graduate in chemistry capable of adapting both to the changing demands of his or her profession and to the career opportunities encountered.
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