Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rensselaer

The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rensselaer has a long history of innovation in education and for excellence in laboratory instruction.

In addition to a strong focus in the traditional areas of chemistry — such as synthesis, molecular structure, cheminformatics, and chemical reactions — we offer courses and research programs in the rapidly developing frontiers of modern science, including biochemistry, biophysics and biotechnology, materials and polymer chemistry, and medicinal chemistry.


  • Program Spotlight

    B.S. in Chemistry

    At the forefront of research while being small enough for students to receive individual attention from faculty.

  • Program Spotlight

    Ph.D in Chemistry

    Research projects in emerging fields of science and technology that lie at the intersection between chemistry and biotechnology, energy sciences, physics, biochemistry, computational methods, material science and nanotechnology.

  • A number of awards are given to outstanding undergraduates to recognize exceptional performance.

  • The undergraduate laboratory program emphasizes the hands-on use of modern research-grade instruments that allow students to become familiar with real-world equipment and tecniques used in research and industry.

  • Student researchers play a critical role in the world-changing discovery, innovation, and breakthroughs taking place across campus.

  • So you’re interested in chemistry?

    Perhaps you’re pretty sure that chemistry is the subject you want to major in, or, perhaps, it is just one of several possibilities.

    Perhaps you’re not sure what a chemist really does after college.


Jacob Shelley earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ in 2005, and completed his Ph. D. at Indiana University under Prof. Gary Hieftje in 2011.

Fund for Undergraduate Summer Research established in memory of Professor James V. Crivello in recognition of his many years of service at both General Electric and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


To infect its victims, influenza A heads for the lungs, where it latches onto sialic acid on the surface of cells. So researchers created the perfect decoy: A carefully constructed spherical nanoparticle coated in sialic acid lures the influenza A virus to its doom. more

As signs of autumn such as falling leaves and cool weather days can be found across the Rensselaer campus, the university will be buzzing with activity as thousands of Rensselaer families are expected to visit Oct. 21-23 to celebrate Family Weekend. more

A $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will be sued to develop innovative ion conduction materials for next-generation renewable energy conversion and storage technology. more

A $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will support and expand the Biomolecular Sciences and Engineering Training Program at Rensselaer. more

The spotlight will be on the biotech industry at the Capital Region Biotechnology Innovation Day on Friday, September 16, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. more

Contact Information

Chemistry and Chemical Biology

120 Cogswell
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180

(518) 276-6456