Chemistry and Biochemistry
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Department Information: 
C-100 BNSN, Provo, UT 84602-5700
(801) 422-4845

Chemistry and biochemistry are fundamental to our understanding of the physical and biological world. The principles and applications of chemistry and biochemistry are diverse, interesting, and challenging. The graduate programs in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are designed to develop well-educated, independent scientists who will contribute in diverse circumstances where chemical/biochemical knowledge and skills are needed.

Approximately thirty faculty are the foundation of our excellent graduate program. The department occupies the 190,000-square-foot Benson Science Building, which provides comfortable, modern laboratories. Extensive instrumentation is available and constantly being replaced or upgraded to support cutting-edge research.

Approximately 100 graduate students provide an essential and dynamic atmosphere for research progress and stimulating discussion. Our postdoctoral students and visiting scientists add depth and diversity to the intellectual atmosphere. Moreover, a strong population of undergraduate research assistants also brings significant strength and enthusiasm to research projects.

Additional information about faculty members and their research interests is available on the department website:

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers four degrees: Chemistry—MS, Biochemistry—MS, Chemistry—PhD, and Biochemistry—PhD.

Areas of emphasis include: Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, (Molecular Biology), Inorganic/Materials Chemistry, Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry.

The vast majority of our graduate students are in the PhD program, and they complete their work in approximately five and one-half years. MS program students complete their work in about two and one-half years.

Chair:  Gregory Burton
Graduate Coordinator:  Kenneth A. Christensen

Resources & Opportunity: 

Simmons Center for Cancer Research. The objective of the BYU Simmons Center for Cancer Research is to make significant scientific contributions toward the control and cure of cancer. Intense investigations of oncogenes and their relation to the development of cancer represents a major activity within the center. Faculty and students from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and from the College of Life Sciences contribute their expertise.

Detailed information about the department, our facilities, and programs is available on the department’s web site at www.chem.byu.eduThe cancer research center's site is at We encourage you to explore these sites and to contact the department office for answers to any questions that you may have (see the address information below).

Financial Assistance: 

All students in the department’s graduate programs who request financial aid are granted tuition for all required graduate courses and an annual assistantship of at least $25,000. These awards are granted on a continuing basis as long as satisfactory progress is being made toward the degree. This financial assistance allows students to be involved full-time in their graduate program, which includes research and course work and also include teaching and/or research assistant assignments.

Some highly-qualified applicants are offered additional funding through the HIDRA, college fellowships, or Nicholes Maw awards.  Other types of financial aid such as internships, scholarships, and student loans may also be available to students who qualify. More information may be obtained from the department office and from the Financial Aid Office.

The department relies on its graduate students to fill many assignments in laboratory and recitation instruction. Unless excused by the faculty, a graduate student would typically be a teaching assistant for at least two semesters for twenty hours a week during residency towards the degree.