UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences
Building 232
Telephone (805) 893-5675
Undergraduate e-mail: ugrads@chem.ucsb.edu
Graduate e-mail: gradprog@chem.ucsb.edu
Website: www.chem.ucsb.edu  

Department Chair: Steven K. Buratto


About the Department

Sitting directly on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, with views of the Channel Islands to the south and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the north, UCSB’s department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers a uniquely attractive combination: cutting-edge, world-class research in an unparalleled physical setting.

Our department consists of 37 faculty, 165 graduate students, 26 postdoctoral researchers, and 30 staff members, all dedicated to exploring the frontiers of chemical science. All branches of chemistry are well represented, including materials, inorganic, organic, physical, theoretical, analytical, and biochemical. We also feature a strong collaborative research environment, an ethos which is fostered by the creation of many interdisciplinary research units, including the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL), the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI), the Center for Bioengineering, the Center for Polymers and Organic Solids (CPOS)Center for Energy Efficient Materials (CEEM), Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB) and the Institute for Energy Efficiency. In support of these activities, the department features a full complement of state-of-the-art research instrumentation, including a large fleet of NMR spectrometers, an X-ray crystallographic facility, and a materials characterization facility. The department also maintains a machine shop, a glass shop, a mass spectrometer facility, and two stockrooms.

By any metric UCSB Chemistry and Biochemistry is one of the top programs in the country. Over the period 1997-2007 UCSB ranked 8th in the world in its citation impact in chemistry and the department ranked 22nd in the National Research Council rankings. The faculty includes two Nobel Chemistry prize winners (Walter Kohn, 1998, and Alan Heeger, 2000) and a half dozen members of the National Academy or Royal Society. Overall the UCSB campus ranked 4th in the US in terms of total number of citations 2005-09 in the US, and was ranked 2nd in the world in 2013 by the Centre for Science and Technologies Studies at Leiden University and 11th in the US in 2010 by Washington Monthly.

Mission Statement

The department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSB is dedicated to performing cutting edge chemical and biochemical research in an environmentally and ethically sound manner, in service to the county of Santa Barbara, the state of California, and the world. We are committed to addressing the grand challenges that humanity faces in the 21st century and believe that chemistry and biochemistry are at the forefront of this endeavor. In accord with this mission we strive towards excellence in undergraduate, graduate, and outreach education, and we will instill in our graduates the skills and drive necessary to meet these challenges.

Prizes and Honors

The Willard L. McRary Prize in Chemistry is given to a graduating senior whose work in chemistry reflects the promise of outstanding scientific achievement, such as that which characterized the career of Professor McRary. The B. R. Baker Memorial Fellowship in Chemistry is awarded to graduate students who have given strong indication, by their graduate or undergraduate record, that they will make continued and substantial contributions to the progress of organic, medicinal, or biological chemistry. The Robert H. DeWolfe Teaching Fellowship is awarded to a graduate student in organic chemistry who has demonstrated excellence in undergraduate instruction. The Robert H. DeWolfe Undergraduate Research award supports students who are preparing for a future career in organic chemistry that plan to enter graduate school or industry upon graduation. The Jarrod Davidson Award is given to a graduate student facing special challenges raising a family in memory of Jarrod Davidson. The Lucas Ransom Memorial Scholarship is given to an undergraduate Chemistry major, based upon financial need and academic achievement, in memory of Lucas Ransom. The ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Award is a subscription to the journal of Analytical Chemistry and an honorary membership given to an outstanding student in Analytical Chemistry who has finished their junior year by August. The American Institute of Chemists Award is given to an outstanding undergraduate senior majoring in Chemistry.