Undergraduate Studies

Chemistry, the so-called central natural science, bridges physics and  biology. The atomistic and molecular structure and properties of matter are fundamental to the investigation of the physical world and to the understanding of living systems.  Nanotechnology and genomics are comparatively new sciences that owe their very existence to progress in chemical analysis and theory during the past generation.

The Department of Chemistry at New York University has a long and illustrious history, dating back to well before the founding of the American Chemical Society (ACS) at the University in 1876.  The Department has been designated by the ACS as a landmark in commemoration of this event.  Professor John W. Draper, chairman of the department and first president of the ACS, was an early pioneer in the development of photography, working with Professor Samuel F.B. Morse.  The late Gertrude B. Elion, co-recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology, earned a master's degree in chemistry in our department, and more recently, bachelors recipient Phil Baran added a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant to his growing list of accolades as a professor at Scripps Research Institute.

The department offers a major in chemistry and one in biochemistry, the details of which are set forth in the College of Arts and Science Bulletin. For highly motivated students, there are advanced courses that cover the general and organic chemistry required for several science majors and for the pre-health curriculum.  These courses form a core for either the chemistry or the biochemistry major.  Students in the advanced courses include potential chemistry, biology, and computer science majors. The classes themselves are small enough to enable students to interact closely with faculty.  A series of individualized laboratory experiments is offered.

There are several opportunities for NYU Chemistry undergraduates to engage in group activities.  Phi Lambda Upsilon, the national chemistry honor society, inducts members each year, based on academic performance.  NYU's Alpha Lambda Chapter of PLU hosts inclusive activities that tend to focus on academics and are a benefit to all students, including review sessions before major exams, and round table discussions with faculty members about research.  Read about their history and activities here.  The Draper Chemical Society is a CAS student club for those interested in chemistry, open to undergraduates at all levels and in any major.  Their activities are mainly community-based, such as participation in American Chemical Society's Chemistry Day and Earth Day celebrations.  Read about their history and activities here.  The NYU Chapter of the Chemists' Club is the first academic chapter to be established within an institution that is over 100 years old.  The Chemists' Club is comprised of chemists of every sort (industry, academia, science professionals, etc.) and their activities provide professional networking opportunities for all its members.  Read about their history and activities here.  Membership in all three of these organizations is free for NYU Chemistry students.