Welcome to the Auburn University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry!

Vince Ortiz, Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry

My colleagues and I appreciate your interest in Auburn University's programs in the fascinating fields of chemistry and biochemistry. Our Department offers Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in chemistry and biochemistry that are certified by the American Chemical Society, a Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) degree in chemistry and, at the graduate level, the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. We hope that your interest in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will be enhanced by your visit to our web site and that you will contact us if you want more information or if you would like to visit our laboratories.


The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has 29 faculty members, approximately 60 graduate students and 10 postdoctoral fellows who investigate the frontiers of molecular biology, synthetic methodology, molecular recognition and detection, enzymology, environmental chemistry, material synthesis and characterization, and computational chemistry, as well as those of the traditional areas of biochemistry and analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.

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The Chemistry Building (find campus location here: Auburn Map), where our research laboratories are housed, has a state-of-the-art system for air handling. Standards of environmental responsibility are scrupulously observed. A typical laboratory has four desks in addition to hoods and bench space. Each floor has a lounge area that facilitates interactions among researchers and students. Large lecture rooms equipped with the latest audio-visual aids are located on the first floor. On Thursday afternoons, students and faculty gather in the adjacent lobby for refreshments and conversation before departmental colloquia, which feature visitors with international reputations and interests that complement those of our faculty.

Across the COSAM quadrangle from the Chemistry Building, undergraduate laboratory classes are conducted in the new Science Center Laboratory Building, a facility that ranks among the best in the world. Our permanent teaching staff comprises experienced professionals who, in collaboration with the faculty, design, maintain and update the laboratory curriculum from the freshman level to advanced undergraduate courses. Access to specialized equipment provides our majors with valuable experience that is immediately applicable in a variety of professions. Undergraduates are highly encouraged to enhance their education by undertaking research projects in collaboration with the faculty.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is well equipped to do research. Its Mass Spectrometry Center offers a variety of techniques and specialized expertise.   Multinuclear, multidimensional and variable-temperature experiments may be performed at our Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center on 600, 400 and 250 MHz instruments. The Center for Confocal Raman Microscopy is housed in the Chemistry Building. An Electron Spin Resonance instrument, state-of the-art single crystal and powder x-ray facilities also are available. Scanning-probe microscopy and a variety of sophisticated surface analysis techniques can be utilized. Fluorescence, CD, infrared, Raman, ultraviolet, and visible spectrophotometers are available, as are gas and high performance liquid chromatographs. Our computational facilities are excellent and include ample access over high-speed connections to the Alabama Supercomputing Center. The department has full-time glass blowers with a well-equipped glass shop and access to a superb machine shop in the Department of Physics.

The university library contains all major and most minor chemical journals. Many of these journals are available electronically and can be accessed through computers located in the department. The library contains more than 2.5 million hardbound volumes, 2.1 million volumes in micro format, and 375,000 items in the government documents collection. Scarce and out-of-print materials may be obtained through interlibrary loans from across the nation. Computer-based searches of the chemical literature are available to students and faculty using Chemical Abstracts On Line in the Chemistry Building and the main library. The library holdings catalog also is accessible from our laboratories.

Auburn University is a dynamic, comprehensive university with 21,000 undergraduates and about 4000 graduate students. The student population comes from all fifty states, four US territories and the District of Columbia as well as over 100 foreign countries. The university is located in Auburn, Alabama, a city of 45,000 people that is located 110 miles southwest of Atlanta via interstate highway 85. The area is a wonderful place to live and study. Auburn has a moderate climate throughout the year and is surrounded by wooded countryside that is especially attractive in the late fall. A state park is located a few miles from the campus and the beautiful gulf coast beaches are about four hours away. The university, with its celebrated sports facilities and teams, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art, the Auburn University Theatre and its many concert and lecture series, provides a rich cultural and recreational environment. To appreciate what graduate study at Auburn really is, we hope that you will visit. Please call us at 334-844-4043 to arrange a visit. The Internet contains more information on The College of Sciences and Mathematics, Auburn University and the City of Auburn.

Dr. Curtis Shannon
Andrew T. Hunt Professor and Chairman
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Last updated: 09/20/2014