Why Mac for Chemistry?

Supportive environment

Chemistry faculty and staff foster students’ intellectual development and professional involvement. With several entry levels to the major, depending on high school preparation, all students are challenged to mature as scientific thinkers and practitioners.


The chemistry major is designed, through both lecture and laboratory courses, to facilitate a fundamental understanding of the major areas of chemistry and biochemistry. Our curriculum emphasizes knowledge of current developments in chemistry and experience with modern instruments and contemporary laboratory techniques. Catalysts for learning, faculty members in Macalester’s Chemistry Department are committed to teaching and research in collaboration with students.

Cutting-edge research

In addition to excellence in teaching, a high level of professional involvement is expected of Macalester faculty. Students are often collaborators through independent study opportunities, summer research positions, and the college honors program. During the summer, research stipends are available to enable many students to work full time on their research. Faculty members in the Chemistry Department have recently obtained research grants from such sources as the National Science Foundation, Research Corporation, the Dreyfus Foundation, and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.

Currently we have active research programs in the following areas:

organometallic chemistry (Fischer)
computational chemistry (Kuwata)
synthetic organic chemistry (Brisbois, Hoye)
bioinorganic chemistry (Splan)
molecular spectroscopy (Varberg)

Excellent facilities

The teaching and research laboratories in the Olin-Rice Hall of Science provide ample space for modern teaching and learning. The state-of-the-art design affords an ideal housing for collaborative work and modern scientific equipment.


The cultural, intellectual and scientific resources of the Twin Cities greatly enrich the Macalester environment. Members of the Chemistry Department have collaborated on research with colleagues of the University of Minnesota and 3M. A number of students have been involved in these projects, and many others have participated in internships or part-time employment with local organizations. A weekly Chemistry Seminar series brings industrial and academic guests to the campus and provides a forum for students and faculty to present papers and exchange ideas.

Inside Track:
Reflections from Alumni in Biomedicine



Every year the Chemistry Department presents awards to outstanding chemistry students.See a list of recipients.

Chem Club

cup of teaThe Chem Club hosts ChemisTea (a weekly tea), Tuesdays at noon in Olin-Rice 372, as well as end-of-the-semester parties. Membership in Chem Club is open to all chemistry students.