Our Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers flexible and interdisciplinary coursework for majors within the foundational fields of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.



Teaching is serious business for our faculty, who treat students as individuals and use a variety of teaching techniques to help them think productively and critically—in the classroom and in the laboratory. Our faculty members are active in research and often include students in their work. They receive numerous grants that support their research and acquire modern instrumentation.

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Department Overview

Current. Foundational. Flexible. Interdisciplinary. Experiential. Rigorous. Collaborative.

These are a few of the strengths of Oberlin’s chemistry and biochemistry program, which is accredited by the American Chemical Society.

Our chemistry program offers flexible and interdisciplinary coursework within the foundational fields of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Our biochemistry program offers excellent training and coursework in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and bioorganic chemistry. In addition, in the course of fulfilling the biochemistry major, students simultaneously fulfill all of the science coursework required by medical schools.

The Oberlin College Science Center, a comprehensive state-of-the-art building, has classroom and instructional research facilities for up to 45 student researchers in biology, 30 in chemistry, and 15 in neuroscience. The space is ideal for faculty-student research, which ranges from bioorganic chemistry to atmospheric chemistry, photochemistry to catalysis research, materials chemistry to peptide structure, and cancer biochemistry to natural products research.

Chemistry and Biochemistry News

A college student plays a trumpet while a person on a computer screen facing him plays a trumpet.

The Business of Virtual Learning

January 21, 2021
Nearly a year ago many businesses and schools concerned about the spread of COVID-19 relocated onsite offices and classrooms to the internet. The transition to a virtual platform took some getting used to, but for Bryan Rubin ’18 and Benjamin Steger ’18 the future was finally here.
A camera is pointed at a lab experiment.

The Virtual Lab

January 19, 2021
Virtual learning has blended seamlessly into the physical classroom this academic year, as professors and instructors have found interesting ways to combine the two platforms. For Oberlin College students enrolled in the Chemistry Principles course this spring, recorded experiments will help them perform lab analysis from their residence halls.

Chemistry and Biochemistry Facilities

david love lounge, science center

David Love Lounge

Located on the second floor overlooking the Science Center Commons, the David Love Lounge is a prime spot for quiet studying.
NMR Spectrometer

NMR Spectrometers

This 600-MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer allows faculty members and students to study the composition and structure of organic compounds in both solution and the solid state.
exterior view of walkway and entrance to science center

Science Center

The Science Center houses the departments of biology, chemistry, neuroscience, physics, and the science library.