Chemistry has revolutionized modern society through synthesizing new materials and probing the fundamental processes of life. RIT offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs that prepare you for professional work in both research laboratory and industrial settings. The materials science graduate program seeks to provide solutions for a number of different fields including energy, medicine, clothing, and equipment production.
New or renovated labs for teaching research
Square feet of teaching, research laboratories, and support facilities
Of our graduates spent at least two semesters experiencing outside-of-classroom learning
Michael Heagy has been appointed the new head of RIT’s School of Chemistry and Materials Science. Heagy comes to RIT from the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology, where he began his academic career as an assistant professor in 1996 and has served as the chair of the Department of Chemistry since 2016.
The Globe and Mail features work by Christy Tyler, associate professor in the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences, and Nathan Eddingsaas, associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science.
Additive manufacturing is fabrication process whereby materials are deposited, rather than removed as in subtractive manufacturing, to create a functional part or device. Since parts are fabricated “bottom-up”, benefits include less material consumption and waste. Additive manufacturing requires precise coordination between material properties and the application process. The physical and chemical behaviors of ink materials and substrates must match process specifications in order to produce device or part functionality. Research efforts at RIT touch on the entire additive manufacturing workflow from functional material design and synthesis to ink formulation, deposition and energy curing. Particular emphasis is directed toward nano-material design and function.
Biochemists study fundamental life processes at the molecular level, exploring the chemistry, structure, and biological significance of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates, along with the small molecules (metabolites) that control their behaviors. Discoveries made using biochemical approaches can be used to identify new drug targets to prevent or cure diseases, to develop vaccines against emerging diseases, to design new drugs and therapeutics based on the structures of proteins or nucleic acids, to develop new molecular tools for evaluating and elucidating cellular function, and to better understand the biochemical roles that biomolecules play in health and disease.
Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) is a scholarly field that combines disciplinary expertise in a STEM field (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) with research methods from cognitive science, psychology and the learning sciences. Researchers in this field are interested in studying and transforming STEM Education through basic and applied research. Faculty in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science are (1) designing, implementing, and evaluating novel instructional methods for organic chemistry lab and biochemistry lab instruction, (2) Quantitatively evaluating the fidelity of implementing new teaching methods across a variety of institutions, (3) Exploiting the benefits of using our hands as models when learning abstract chemistry concepts, and (4) Evaluating the effectiveness of research mentoring techniques on student learning, motivation, and sense of belonging. DBER faculty in chemistry and biochemistry engage many undergraduate students on their research teams and actively disseminate their research at conferences and through peer-reviewed publications.
Materials Scientists use the principals of chemistry, physics and engineering to create and characterize new materials. They study the behavior of materials under stress, including physical strain and corrosion. They create new materials with unique properties, including renewable resources. They create new types of metals, ceramics, glass and polymers, including biomaterials and nanomaterials. Materials Scientists also build devices that contribute solutions to our energy challenges, such as organic photovoltaic solar cells.
Organic photovoltaic devices (OPV) provide an option for low cost, flexible, and non-toxic (no lead or cadmium) renewable energy. Organic materials can be modified to increase light absorption, energy transfer, conductivity and to reduce costs of manufacture. Molecular structure can be changed for aesthetically pleasing colors and artistic design, with devices being semitransparent or transparent, valuable for building integration or in applications such as smart windows. Furthermore, a growing number of exciting new polymer donors and non-fullerene molecular acceptors has spearheaded a major resurgence in OPV in recent years.
OPV research provides a wonderful intersection point between synthetic chemistry, predictive computational materials design, and the physical chemistry that is used to describe the mechanism of operation.
Taylor Wolf ’18 (biochemistry) conducted research with Professor Scott Williams to create a test that will identify substandard and counterfeit pharmaceuticals that could help reduce what has been a...
RIT’s chemistry and biochemistry programs feature rigorous, in-depth curricula that remain flexible enough to allow students to specialize in several other related fields. We offer robust undergraduate research and laboratory teaching experience opportunities, often as early as freshman year, with faculty mentorship and state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation.
Biochemistry majors often have an interest in combining the life and health sciences with a chemistry degree. Students take a year of general biology in addition to a typical chemistry curriculum. During the upper-level years, students take a substantial core of courses in biochemistry, physical chemistry, the liberal arts, and elective courses in life sciences. Students must take a minimum of two upper-division biology electives. The biochemistry program has been approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS).
The American Chemical Society (ACS)-approved chemistry major prepares students for positions in several fields of chemistry, including professional industrial work in processing and laboratory operations, research and experimental work, supervision of technical projects, and managerial positions. A substantial number of students continue their education and earn advanced degrees in chemistry or pursue careers in pharmacy, medicine, and dentistry.
Our chemistry and materials science and engineering graduate programs prepare professional scientists by offering curricula that allow students to specialize in their chosen fields while engaging in rigorous, meaningful research using state-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities, under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
The MS degree in chemistry is offered on a full- or part-time basis. The program is designed to fill the needs of the traditional student or the practicing chemist who is employed full time and wishes to pursue a graduate degree on a part-time basis.
The advanced certificate in materials science and engineering is specially designed to establish a common base of materials-oriented knowledge for students with baccalaureate degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, and related disciplines. The program provides a new intellectual identity to those interested in the study of advanced materials and offers a serious interdisciplinary learning experience in materials studies, crossing over the traditional boundaries of such classical disciplines as chemistry, physics, and electrical, mechanical, and microelectronic engineering.
The MS degree in materials science and engineering, offered jointly by the College of Science and the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, is designed with a variety of options to satisfy individual and industry needs in the rapidly growing field of materials.
Chemistry is intrinsically a part of our society from the fuels we use, the air we breathe, and the water we drink to the complex chemical behaviors of our own bodies. Chemistry is involved in the development of myriad materials such as computer chips, packaging materials, and alternative fuels. Increasing numbers of policy and ethical choices facing the global community involve issues where chemistry plays a pivotal role. This minor provides students with the opportunity to study chemistry in order to build a secondary area of expertise in support of their major or as an additional area of interest.