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
How do you teach students to use scientific instrumentation when a pandemic forces classes online and the students have no access to the usual lab or analytic equipment? Adjunct Professor Bruce Kahn found a creative solution this spring while teaching an experimental techniques class.
It began in 2015 with a research grant, a team of undergraduates, and an outstanding mentor. Today these RIT alumni are developing new cancer therapies, celebrating a patent, writing in science journals, and teaching the next generation of scientists.
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.
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.
Alumnus Creates Mask that Provides Defense and Offense Against Coronavirus
Ken Reed ‘71 (chemistry)
Ken Reed ’71 partnered with his wife Shirley to develop a state-of-the-art face mask that protects against COVID-19, rapidly destroys pathogens on the surface of the mask, is reusable and comfortable...
First Collaborative Publication using New State-of-the-art Instruments
Charles Bopp '18 (materials science and engineering)
Charles Bopp '18 recently published work with Professor KSV Santhanam on corrosion protection of Monel alloy. This is the first collaborative publication utilizing new state-of-the-art instruments in...
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.
In RIT's chemistry degree, you'll search for and use new knowledge about chemicals to discover, develop, or improve synthetic fibers, paints, adhesives, drugs, cosmetics, electronic components, lubricants, and thousands of other products.
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.
A chemistry master's degree that prepares you for jobs in countless industries and for Ph.D. programs in chemistry. Maximize your career potential by gaining skills that are transferable to any field of interest.
A graduate certificate in materials science and engineering that develops a foundation of materials-oriented knowledge, conceptualization, product development, and production decisions needed to strive in engineering.
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.