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Chemistry opens the door to a variety of careers. From medical science to engineering, a background in chemistry can prepare you for success.

WVU chemistry wins national safety award       

Thanks to facility renovations, research innovations and in-class lessons, West Virginia University’s C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry has received the nation’s top undergraduate safety program award in chemistry – for a second time.

Learn more about the award

The American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Health and Safety’s SafetyStratus College and University Health and Safety Award recognizes an outstanding comprehensive laboratory safety program in higher education undergraduate study.

Jessica Hoover receives an award from the NSF to study copper catalysis 

Dr. Hoover and her research team are identifying new catalysts to tune and control oxidation and decarboxylation reactions of carboxylic acids. These activities include developing a fundamental understanding of how the catalysts work to carefully adapt their applications. This research program is further providing research experiences to future West Virginia teachers to support and enrich chemistry education in the state. 

Learn more about the award


First-Generation Initiatives

First-Generation Initiatives develops programs to help “FirstGen” students succeed. First-Generation is defined that neither parent or guardian has completed a four-year degree.

Peng Li receives a $1.7M grant from the NIH

The research supported by the R01 award aims at improving the efficiency of mass spectrometers for scientific research.

Read in E-news

Two Chemistry Professors receive CAREER Awards from the National Science Foundation

Professor Carsten Milsmann for Earth-Abundant Transition Metal Photosensitizers 

The goal of Professor Milsmann's research is to provide access to photoactive compounds based on readily-available, earth-abundant metals that can improve upon and/or replace currently available technology based on precious metals. This will further the development of more cost-efficient solar energy applications.
Professor Brian Popp for Reductive Carboxylation of Unsaturated Hydrocarbons
Brian Popp 

The project is focusing on reactions of CO2 to prepare important chemicals useful for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and materials.  Professor Popp's research is using both experimental and computational methods to better understand how these reactions work and how to improve them. 

Bacterial Analogs to Cholesterol Affect Dimerization of Proteorhodopsin and Modulates Preferred Dimer Interface

Blake Mertz
The group of Blake Mertz investigate the role that hopanoids may play in affecting the organization and behavior of bacterial membrane proteins. 
The found a direct relationship between hopanoid structure and lateral organization of proteorhodopsin, providing a first glimpse at how these bacterial analogues to eukaryotic sterols produce very similar biophysical effects within the cell membrane.

J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2021, 17, 4, 2502–2512

Read the article

Fabien Goulay receives an award from the NSF to study atmospheric heterogeneous chemistry 

The research will investigate the oxidation of atmospheric aerosols and in particular the reaction of dicarboxylic acids at the surface of particles with free radicals. It will also provide training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, including first generation college students and students from the Appalachian region, who have been traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. 

Sustainable and Affordable Chemistry

The group of Dr. Popp showed that catalytic additives, specifically triphenylphosphine or electron‐rich styrene, leads to improved catalyst efficiency and broadening of substrate scope. Popp pub

Delayed fluorescence from a zirconium(iv) photosensitizer

The Milman Group reports an air- and moisture-stable, visible light-absorbing Zr(iv) photosensitizer. The molecule has an exceptionally long-lived triplet LMCT excited state ( τ = 350 μs), featuring highly efficient photoluminescence emission ( Ф = 0.45) due to thermally activated delayed fluorescence emanating from the higher-lying singlet configuration with significant LMCT contributions.  
Nature Chemistry   

Read in Nature Chemistry

Novel route to benzene formation in gas phase environments

The group of Fabien Goulay investigated the CH + C5H5 reaction using laser spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and computational methods. They found that benzene is the main reaction product and propose new insights into the reaction mechanisms. 

West Virginia University selected to host Beckman Scholars Program, receiving $156,000 in funding for student research

Over the next three years, six WVU undergraduate student researchers will have the opportunity to conduct funded research thanks to the  Beckman Scholars Program, which will provide up to $156,000 in funding and leadership development. 

Qualified students will be freshmen, sophomores or juniors majoring in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, chemical or biomedical engineering or medical sciences with a 3.5 minimum GPA. Apply by March 2 at 11:59 p.m. 

Apply online 

Undergrad REsearch

Undergraduate Students

Chemistry is the science of the materials we use, the medicine we take, the environment we live in and the food we eat. Our department gives students the opportunity to learn the skills that will lead to tomorrow’s discoveries.

B.S. in Chemistry B.A. in Chemistry
B.S. in Biochemistry

Graduate Students

Chemistry graduate students look deeply into what makes our world work, on a chemical and molecular level.

M.S. in Chemistry Ph.D. in Chemistry New graduate student orientation 


The Department of Chemistry is committed to safety in the teaching and research laboratories. 

Safety Safety in the Laboratory


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