"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
This reflection of Aristotle, which captures our outlook on the endlessly fascinating world of research in chemistry and biochemistry, is inscribed on the cornerstone of the new, $35 million Chemistry and Biochemistry Research Building.
This new home reflects the emergence of our Department as a regional leader in scientific research. We continue to enjoy the greatest success in recruiting outstanding faculty and research professionals, in acquiring new research instrumentation, and in expanding the size and quality of our graduate program. Our growing prominence helped move MSU into the Carnegie Foundation's highest-tier of research universities with "very high research activity". MSU is one of only two universities in the Northwest to achieve this distinction.
As an integral part of our scientific lives, we are committed to excellence in the training the next generation of scientists. Our faculty, staff, and students share a common vision of maintaining a collegial environment in which the professional, intellectual, and personal growth of each individual is nurtured. We strive to stimulate all of our students to learn, to imagine, and to discover. We strive to equip them with every tool that they need to flourish in their own exciting and rewarding careers.And all of this is happens in "the last best place on earth"! Thank you for your interest in our department. I invite to browse our web pages, and to write, call, or -- best of all -visit us in Bozeman to learn more about us, our science, and opportunities for graduate studies in Big Sky country.
We are committed to excellence in training the next generation of scientists. Our faculty, staff, and students share a common vision of maintaining a collegial environment in which the professional, intellectual, and personal growth of each individual is nurtured. Careful attention is given to each student's preparation, interests, and goals in the design of graduate programs.
We strive to stimulate all of our students to learn, to imagine, to discover - and to equip them with every tool that they need to flourish in their own exciting and rewarding careers. Learning Chemistry and Biochemistry at Montana State is a unique experience. Not only do we have an excellent research facility, the new Chemistry and Biochemistry Building finished in 2007, we have a spectacular new building, Gaines Hall, that reflects the quality of education we provide our students.
Between the new cutting edge 300-seat lecture hall and instructional chemistry labs, Gaines Hall is an integral part of undergraduate studies in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "This building will be one of our premier instructional facilities," said Joe Fedock, former MSU Associate Provost. "We want our students to have a great place to study, meet and attend classes. This building is for them."
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers research-oriented programs culminating in the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The faculty in the department have expertise over a broad range of specialty areas including synthesis, structure, spectroscopy, and mechanism. In each of these fields, the strength of the department has been recognized at the international level.
MSU is a dynamic university of 12,000+ students with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry being the strongest and best-funded department. Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral students who emerge from our program have superb career opportunities.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry fosters a highly interdisciplinary environment for research toward investigating, dissecting, and understanding the mechanisms of biochemical, organic, organometallic, and inorganic transformation.
The foci of synthetic efforts within the Department is the generation of novel compounds, natural product synthesis, utilization of biochemical templates for producing material with unique properties, and synthesis of biomimetic and bioinspired nanomaterials.
Spectroscopy is the foundation of experimental chemistry, and is essential for the elucidation of chemical properties, structural features, and reactivity patterns of all chemical compounds.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has a broad reach on campus, administering a degree program as well as classes for students in nursing, engineering, physics, biology, pre-med, and other disciplines. At any given time, 500 to 1,000 undergraduates are enrolled in the various classes we offer, with about 90 of those students pursuing one of our three undergraduate majors:
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (teaching option)
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (Biochemistry option)
Science should be fun and is fun. Professor Trevor Douglas, an expert in viruses and extremely tiny protein cages, has always believed in the importance of play and a questioning mind. To develop those in children, Douglas came up with the idea for Science Saturdays. The unique aspect of Science Saturdays is that it provides a way for faculty to share their interest in science and their research with children in the community. Most children have never met a research scientist before.
"When you look at what's available fo kids in Bozeman, if you are good at sports, there are fantastic opportunities," Douglas said. "If you are good at music, there are fantastic programs. We want to offer more opportunities for kids that are interested in science and encourage all kids to come learn how to ask questions, play with science and learn about the exciting science that is happening at MSU directly from the person doing the work. We have incredible researchers in this town, and this is a way for them to connect with the next generation of learners."
In addition, the Chemistry and Biochemistry Outreach program has developed a list of over twenty scientific researchers and their areas of expertise for use by local schools in order to facilitate talks, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.