The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois
Graduate Studies in Organic Chemistry
On behalf of the organic chemistry faculty at Illinois, I welcome your interest in our area. The field of organic chemistry is dynamic and today seamlessly interfaced with biology, medicine, materials science, and a host of other fields. Although the field has indeed changed enormously in the past two decades, the core interest of the organic chemist remains unchanged. Thus, the efforts of students within the organic area are focused on the novel preparation and study of organic compounds, the understanding of structure and reactivity, and the development of entirely new reactions and processes.
The breadth of organic chemistry today has presented exciting new opportunities, but also a real challenge for graduate education. The organic faculty at Illinois have met this challenge by developing an innovative curriculum and program of study that is focused on fundamental disciplinary (core) knowledge, while providing the breadth of skills and a body of information required for effective interdisciplinary research. Thus, our students receive research training in an integrated program that exposes them to a wide range of critical techniques, concepts, and methods that they will need to drive future advances in chemistry.
It is not surprising that the American Chemical Society has called the Department of Chemistry at Illinois "a major force in chemical education" in the U.S. Indeed, the National Research Council and U.S. News and World Report consistently rank Illinois near the top and among the most elite chemistry departments in the United States.
What makes Illinois chemistry unique? The tradition grows out of the atmosphere found throughout the labs and offices of the organic students and faculty. The outstanding esprit de corps among the organic graduate students is reflected in a strong sense of cooperation both within and between research groups. The organic faculty foster an "open door" policy that leads to a free flow of ideas providing a stimulating and productive environment. Whether you come for a visit or choose to do your graduate work here you will immediately learn of our extraordinary service facilities, which include state-of-the-art NMR and MS instruments and an in-house, same-day elemental analysis service. Likewise, we are the only Chemistry Department located within a School of Chemical Sciences (SCS). The SCS is closely allied with other departments and interdisciplinary facilities such as the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science. It is for these reasons that our department has for years served as a "gateway" to students pursuing academic and industrial careers in organic chemistry.
I hope you will join us in Urbana!
Prof. Paul Hergenrother