University of California, Berkeley College of Chemistry
EstablishedMarch 12, 1872; 152 years ago (1872-03-12)[1]
DeanDouglas S. Clark
Academic staff
Undergraduates963 (2020-21)[2]
123 postdoctoral (2020-21)[2]
Location, ,

37°52′22.16″N 122°15′22.04″W / 37.8728222°N 122.2561222°W / 37.8728222; -122.2561222

The UC Berkeley College of Chemistry is one of the fifteen schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. It houses the department of chemistry and the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering,[3][4] both of which are ranked among the best in the world.[5] Its faculty and alumni have won 18 Nobel Prizes, 9 Wolf Prizes, and 11 National Medals of Science.[6]

The College offers bachelor of science degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, and chemical biology.[2] Chemistry undergraduates have the option to earn a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from the College of Letters and Science or to specialize in a materials chemistry concentration. With the College of Engineering, the College of Chemistry offers two joint majors: chemical engineering/materials science & engineering and chemical engineering/nuclear engineering. Its graduate programs confer M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering, a Ph.D. in chemistry, and three professional master's degrees.[2]


Although Berkeley began offering chemistry courses in 1869, the College was not officially established until 1872, awarding its first Ph.D. in 1885 to John Maxson Stillman, who later founded the chemistry department at Stanford University. A division of chemical engineering was formed in 1946, becoming a department in 1957. The department of chemical engineering changed its name to chemical and biomolecular engineering in 2010 to reflect the widening research interests of its faculty.[1]

Faculty and researchers at the College and affiliated with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are responsible for the discovery of sixteen elements, including berkelium, californium, and seaborgium, named after Nobel laureate, department chair, and alumnus Glenn Seaborg.[7]

Students and faculty

Today, the College comprises one of the largest chemistry programs in the nation, with a faculty of 96 professors, researchers, and lecturers and an enrollment of 963 undergraduate, 539 postgraduate, and 123 postdoctoral students. In the spring of 2021, the College conferred 187 bachelor's degrees and 93 graduate degrees.[2] The faculty includes a Nobel laureate, twelve members of the National Academy of Engineering; 37 members of the National Academy of Sciences; and 34 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The College has thirty endowed chairs and professorships.[2][8]


The College occupies a complex of six buildings on the northeastern corner of the Berkeley campus. Completed in 1917, Gilman Hall, where plutonium was identified in 1941, is the oldest of the buildings. Pimentel Hall, one of the largest lecture halls on campus, features a revolving stage that can accommodate chemistry demonstrations. The buildings are linked by a network of underground hallways and laboratories. The newest building, Tan Hall, was dedicated in 1997. A new building, Healthcock Hall, is scheduled to break ground in 2023-24. [9]

Notable faculty

Notable alumni

Centers and institutes


  1. ^ a b "A brief history of the University of California".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Berkeley College of Chemistry. "Facts". University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 9 Jul 2020.
  3. ^ "The Department of Chemistry | College of Chemistry".
  4. ^ "The Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering | College of Chemistry".
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Major Awards & Honors | College of Chemistry".
  7. ^ "#16elements: Berkeley Lab and the Periodic Table". News Center. 2019-01-28. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  8. ^ "Endowed Chairs and Professorships".
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Vale Jan Anderson (12 May 1932 – 28 August 2015)". Australian National University. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Centers & Institutes".