The Department of Chemistry offers interdisciplinary programs and research opportunities in the areas of:

Atmospheric and Oceanic Science

The Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) at the University of Colorado Boulder provides a world-class, interdisciplinary research and educational environment to examine the dynamical, physical, and chemical processes that occur in the atmosphere and ocean. A major theme is the establishment of a physical basis for observing, modeling, and understanding climate and global change.

An interdisciplinary certificate program is available to Chemistry graduate students interested in a minor in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences & Chemistry. 

Biophysics Program

The Molecular Biophysics Program at the University of Colorado, jointly sponsored by NIH and CU, is a collaborative effort involving students, postdocs, and faculty from four departments on the Boulder campus. Participants share a common interest in biological systems and seek to understand these systems in terms of physical and chemical principles. The breadth of the program arises from over 30 affiliated laboratories in the Departments of:

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemical & Biological Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
  • Physics

Certificate Program on Science and Technology Policy

Administered by the CU Center for Science and Technology Policy Research

An interdisciplinary program on the broad societal context for science and technology as well as an introduction to methodologies of policy analysis that are used in decision settings related to science and technology.

*After 15 years, the Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology Policy will be terminated at the end of Spring 2019. Over these many years, we have very much enjoyed working with students from departments and programs across the University. 

Chemical Physics

Chemical physics is a discipline at the interface between chemistry and physics. Chemical physics apply physical methods and theory to study molecular and collective properties of matter.The focus is on understanding complex phenomena from gas phase molecular dynamics to the nanoscale, mesoscale, and biological phenomena, through model systems and fundamental physical principles. The Chemical Physics program allows students to strike a balance between core courses and courses that are better suited to address the student's specific research goals and interests.

Only students that are currently in the Chemistry department or the Physics department can apply to become part of the Chemical Physics program.  Note that this means that if you are applying to graduate school at CU, you must apply to either the Chemistry department or the Physics department; you cannot apply directly to Chemical Physics. Students must consult with the chemical physics graduate advisors in their parent departments, either Chemistry (Sharma) or Physics (Nesbitt), to plan their formal coursework.

After completing an approved curriculum of formal coursework, the student advances to candidacy in Chemical Physics by passing an oral exam.

The Chemical Physics Program has approved a set of rules and guidelines for graduate students. As part of the program, students must submit an annual progress report form to his/her committee members.

For participating faculty and potential research opportunities in the Chemical Physics Ph.D. program please see the Chemical Physics research page.

Graduate Teacher Program 

TThe Graduate Teacher Program is a division of the Graduate School at the University of Colorado Boulder that helps graduate students perform effectively as graduate teaching assistants (TAs) and graduate part-time instructors (GPTIs), while at the same time helping them develop skills to serve in the professoriate once they attain their graduate degrees. The program offers specialized workshops in grant proposal writing, resume/CV preparation, public speaking, job interview assistance, research misconduct, and professional career opportunities. We also help masters and doctoral students transition to careers in the business, government, and nonprofit sectors. Because teaching preparation is preparation for any career—organization, planning, presenting, evaluating, and working in teams are essential skills for managers in any setting—research assistants, students on fellowships, and self-supporting students are encouraged to participate in Graduate Teacher Program activities.

IQ Biology Program

The IQ Biology program seeks to attract talented, diverse and curious students eager to come together to form a cohort with sufficient biological, computational, and mathematical knowledge to fully assess modern scientific problems.

Participating students come from diverse educational backgrounds that include Biology, Bioinformatics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Computer and Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Industrial Biotechnology, Mathematics, and Physics. Many of our students have previously explored interdisciplinary learning through undergraduate minors, double majors, and Master's degree programs.

The diverse student backgrounds, unified by a common passion for quantitative biology, makes for a dynamic and collaborative learning environment.

Prospective graduate students may apply to our IQ Biology Ph.D. Certificate program, in tandem with their application to PhD programs in participating departments at CU-Boulder to complete their interdisciplinary biology education. If you are currently a PhD student at CU, you may also apply to the program.

Materials Science & Engineering Program

The Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Program is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. and M.S. program aimed at providing a rigorous education in materials science and engineering and the fundamental physics, engineering, chemistry and biology that underlie this discipline. Educational goals are achieved through both coursework and training in cross-disciplinary research supervised by one or more science and engineering faculty members.  The program offers six unique tracks of study: electronic, magnetic and photonics materials; soft materials; structural materials; materials for energy; biomaterials; and computational materials science.

The MSE program is directed by Professor Christopher Bowman of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Neuroscience Program

The Neuroscience Community at the University of Colorado at Boulder is made up of over 80 faculty and research associates rostered in 13 departments and institutes. Neuroscience activities on the campus are coordinated by the Center for Neuroscience. The University of Colorado at Boulder offers a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, as well as graduate and undergraduate Certificates in Neuroscience that can be combined with a variety of majors.