Department of Chemistry


In our graduate program, Ph.D. candidates choose research groups and elective courses based on their individual goals and interests, graduating ready for successful careers in today's changing world.

Brown is committed to student-centered learning. Innovative research in our department laboratories seeks to answer critical questions in molecular behavior and reaction dynamics, the interface of chemistry and human health, and renewable energy and sustainability.

Why Chemistry at Brown?

  • Competitive stipend and university-paid health insurance benefits
  • Student: faculty ratio of 5 to 1
  • Average time to PhD completion: five years
  • Brown’s Open Graduate Education Program
  • No teaching responsibility for first-year students
  • Five-year guaranteed financial support and annual conference travel funding
  • Active departmental graduate student leadership

Explore our Research Areas

Ongoing research at the interface of chemistry and biology includes investigations of natural product biosynthesis, identification of biomarkers for autoimmune diseases, mechanisms of DNA damage and repair, biomimetic catalysis, synthesis of antibiotic building blocks, and mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.
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Inorganic chemistry at Brown focuses on organometallics including rare-earth metals, inorganic synthesis, catalysis, carbon dioxide reduction, green chemistry, synthesis of nanomaterials, and the role of inorganic compounds in biological systems. Research in this area reflects collaboration with engineers, organic chemists, and chemical biologists.
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Research and nano/materials chemistry focuses on nanoparticle synsthesis and characterization, magnetic materials, nanoclusters, quantum dots, nanomedicine and drug delivery, medical imaging, catalysis, and self-assembly.
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Research in organic chemistry includes organic synthesis, green chemistry, chemistry of nucleic acids and enzymes, spectroscopic characterization of reactive intermediates, analytical methods including x-ray diffraction and multi-nuclear NMR, and self-assembly.
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Research in theoretical and experimental physical chemistry includes ultrafast study of reaction dynamics, photoacoustics, applications of chemical physics to medical imaging, novel spectroscopic methods, computational chemistry, quantum chemistry, and molecular interaction in liquids. 
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If you are interested in applying please fill out this short questionnaire. We'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about our programs. We will get back to you within three days.

Our application deadline is December 15, 2023.  The applications will open September 1, 2023.

Apply to the Chemistry Ph.D. Program

Contact Us

We want to hear from you. For assistance with the application process and all other program questions, please contact Rose Barreira.​

Graduate Recruiting Committee

For questions about graduate study in Chemistry at Brown, please contact our graduate recruiting committee:

Graduate Resources and Information