Best Chemistry Courses from the 10 Best Universities in 2021

Want to have a great career in chemistry and other natural sciences? You should apply for one of the best chemistry courses from the best universities in the world.

Chemistry is a vast subject that finds applications in a huge number of fields – everything from drug metabolism to cleaning detergents to rocket science. For centuries, it has given us many useful products for improving our life in countless ways. Even everyday items like toothpaste, mosquito repellents and antiseptic creams are the contributions of Chemistry. Our own bodies are composed of billions of biomolecules and biochemical reactions taking place every second.

Due to the subject’s wide scope, many students are interested in pursuing careers in Chemistry. Although most colleges and universities offer degrees in Chemistry, you must ensure that the college you choose to study in has a well-equipped Chemistry laboratory. In this article, I have listed the 10 best Chemistry courses from the top international universities. These courses have been appreciated by the top scholars worldwide. But do remember that depending on your country of origin, you may have to apply for different exams in order to get admission to these courses.

Without further ado, let’s look at the list of the best Chemistry courses from the 10 best universities and colleges globally.

Yale University, US

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Yale is the third oldest educational institute in the US, with an academic history spanning over 300 years. Its prestigious Department of Chemistry is associated with a number of big names associated with it. For example, Professor Thomas Steitz at the Department of Molecular Biophysics and BioChemistry received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ribosomes. Other famous alumni include Josiah Willard Gibbs – a world famous mathematician and chemist known for developing the concept of “Gibbs’ free energy”, and Francis S. Collins, the director of the Human Genome Project and science advisor to the Obama government.

As of now, Yale’s Department of Chemistry offers degrees in the following primary areas of study:

  • Biophysical Chemistry.
  • Chemical Biology.
  • Green Chemistry.
  • Inorganic Chemistry.
  • Materials Chemistry.
  • Organic Chemistry.
  • Physical Chemistry.
  • Synthetic Chemistry.

Their BioPhysical Chemistry courses are among the best in the world. If you are seeking to have a career in Chemistry, Yale should be your first choice — especially for these specializations.

It also offers Ph.D Chemistry programs in three interdisciplinary research groups – chemical biology, green Chemistry, and synthetic Chemistry.

Imperial College, London, UK

Best chemistry courses from imperial college

Established in 1907, the Imperial College is one of the oldest public research universities in the UK. Its Chemistry Department was originally known as the Royal College of Chemistry, and is associated with a number of renowned chemists, including two celebrated chemists. Dr. Anna Bernard recently won the Sir Henry Dale Fellowship for her work on bacteria. Professor James Durant received the Hughes Medal in 2018 for his work on solar energy.

The department has a large team of experienced faculty specializing in domains like drug discovery, biophysics, analytical Chemistry, and organic Chemistry. Every year, it admits 65 to 70 doctoral and 90 to 100 master’s students, and offers funding to many of them. It has well-equipped research facilities, such as:

  • Computational Chemistry Labs
  • The Center For Rapid Online Analysis of Reaction
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Crystallography

The department also offers language-based tracks for studying Chemistry in French, German or Spanish.

Here are the top courses provided by the Imperial College:

  • Biophysical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Crystallography
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Of these 7 popular specializations, Imperial College is best known for its courses on Mass Spectroscopy and Molecular Chemistry. Mass Spectroscopy is one of the trendiest Chemistry courses and if you are looking for a career with high acceptance, this is the course for you.

University of California, Los Angeles, US

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A hub for top-level chemistry research, UCLA is well-known for its chemistry courses, especially the ones specializing in spectroscopy and molecular chemistry. The university itself has incorporated transparent solar cells into its chemistry building, all as part of a research study by a team of researchers led by Dr. Paul Weiss. It offers excellent Chemistry programs for undergraduates and has top notch facilities, like:

  • The Materials Characterization Laboratory
  • The Mass Spectrometry Laboratory
  • The Magnetic Resonance Facility
  • The Molecular Instrumentation Center
  • The X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory

It also has other interdisciplinary research facilities associated with other departments, such as:

  • The Molecular Biology Institute
  • The Institute for Genomics and Proteomics
  • The Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • The Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research

UCLA has multiple flagship programs that students can explore. The course catalog includes the graduate and postgraduate courses in the likes of General Chemistry, Molecular Chemistry, Spectroscopy, Molecular Biology, Virology and Organic Chemistry. All these courses are now available both online and offline.

University of California, Riverside, USA

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A leader in both traditional and online courses in the US, the University of California Riverside, UCR’s Chemistry courses are powered by an exceptional staff, great course arrangements and even better infrastructure. Like UCLA, UCR is one of the 10 campuses of the University of California chain. It offers more or less the same courses as offered by the Los Angeles campus.

The top courses from the University of California, Riverside are the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in:

  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Chemical Engineering

Of these, UCR is best known for its courses on chemical engineering and molecular biology. Most of these courses are now available both online and offline. Especially if you are seeking a career in chemical engineering, UC-Riverside is the best place to start. Their Chemical Engineering Master’s Degree (Online) course is just a click away. This course is available offline as well. Details about other Chemistry courses are available at chem.ucr.edu.

California Institute of Technology, Riverside

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Informally called Caltech, this renowned institute’s Chemistry Phd. programs have given five Chemistry Nobel Prize winners – Ahmed H. Zewail, Robert H. Grubbs, Rudy A. Marcus, Linus Pauling, and Frances Arnold – the fifth woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2018). Graduates can pursue their dream courses in molecular biophysics and biochemistry through the institute’s Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. It also has several well-equipped research centers, such as:

  • The Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center
  • The Center for Science and Engineering of Materials
  • The Center for Catalysis and Chemical Synthesis
  • The Resnick Sustainability Institute
  • The Materials and Process Simulation Center
  • The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis

The top courses from the California Institute of Technology are the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in:

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Physical Chemistry
  • BioChemistry

CalTech has most focus on their courses in general Chemistry subjects like Inorganic, Physical and Organic Chemistry. You can learn more about the Chemistry courses offered by CalTech here. 

University of Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK

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The Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford was established back in 1860. It has been associated with 21 Nobel laureates since 1904, including Venkat Ramakrishnan in 2009 for his work on ribosomes and Michael Levitt in 2013 for developing multiscale models for complex chemical systems. The department’s research laboratory has facilities for nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry research and its courses include General and Specialized Chemistry.

Stanford University, Stanford, USA

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Stanford University’s Department of Chemistry is well known for laying emphasis on instrumentation for spectroscopy and analysis. Among other instruments, it has five Varian NMR spectrometers which have been equipped for various atomic nuclei. Other research facilities available at the department include:

  • Ion Cyclotron Resonance Facilities
  • Femtosecond and Picosecond Linear and Nonlinear Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemical Systems
  • Dynamic Light Scattering Spectroscopy
  • Biological Culture Facilities
  • Single-molecule Spectroscopy
  • Ultra-high Resolution Laser Spectroscopy
  • NMR Facility
  • Mass Spectroscopy Laboratory

For its doctoral programs, the university has more specialized instruments like a Vertex 70 FTIR, a Fluorolog 3 Fluorometer, and a Cary UV/Vis/NIR spectrophotometer. The department is also closely associated with the Center for Molecular Analysis and Design and the Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource.

Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

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Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology is famous for being associated with Professor Theodore William Richards – the first American winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on atomic weights. Four of the seven Nobel laureates associated with the university are presently members of the faculty as well. It has a number of research centers and laboratories for its Chemistry master’s programs, such as:

  • Magnetic Resonance Lab
  • FAS Small Molecule Mass Spectrometry Facility
  • X-Ray Laboratory

These laboratories are equipped with instruments like nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, a small molecule mass spectrometer, and X-ray diffractometers. The Chemistry department at Harvard has also been collaborating with the FAS Green Labs Program to encourage environment-friendly practices on the university campus.

Harvard is well-known for its Chemistry laboratories and post-graduate programs in Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, mass spectroscopy and molecular biology.

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, USA

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The Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge has renowned faculty members, including fellows of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the Royal Society. It is well known for promoting interdisciplinary work. There are five different research groups within the department:

  • Physical Chemistry Research
  • Synthetic Chemistry Research
  • Theory/Modeling and Informatics Research
  • Materials Chemistry Research
  • Biological Research

Apart from this, the university’s Chemistry graduate programs are associated with three more areas of integrated research:

  • The Chemistry of Health
  • Sustainable Energy, Environment, and Climate Studies
  • Innovative Molecular and Materials Design

These integrated programs are associated with the following research facilities and centers:

  • The Lennard-Jones Centre
  • The Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthetics
  • The Cambridge Centre for Climate Science
  • The Cambridge Graphene Centre
  • The International Centre for Advanced Materials
  • The BP Institute for Multiphase Flow

Cambridge has most of its focus on chemistry research as far as their courses are concerned. Synthetic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biological research are some of the most appreciated courses from Cambridge that you can opt for.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA

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MIT has been known for offering world class chemistry programs for undergraduates since 1865. It has been associated with historically important personalities like Arthur Amos Noyes, F. Albert Cotton, Arthur C. Cope, James Flack Norris, G.N. Lewis, and James Mason Crafts. Its Department of Chemistry has two service centers – the X-ray Diffraction Facility, and the Instrumentation Facility. The latter has a number of quality research tools used by the department.

The institute has the following research facilities:

  • The Whitehead Institute
  • The Research Laboratory of Electronics
  • The Plasma Fusion Center
  • The Novartis Center for Continuous Manufacturing
  • The Lincoln Laboratory
  • The Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology
  • The Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
  • The Center for Materials Science and Engineering

Having one of the best research facilities in the world, MIT offers more than just courses and programs. While their focus is mostly on graduate research and laboratories, you can begin with their undergraduate programs in General Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Then you can choose from various PhD programs that they offer.

University of California, Berkeley, USA

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Last but not the least, UC-Berkeley has been there in existence since 1868. Its College of Chemistry has been offering some of the world’s most excellent chemistry programs. It is associated with over a dozen Nobel laureates. The college features two main divisions – Chemistry, and chemical & biomolecular engineering. It has well-equipped laboratories and facilities which allow research in low-temperature, high-pressure, high-vacuum environments. It also has specialized equipment for gas chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance. Other research facilities are:

  • The Molecular Graphics and Computation Facility
  • The Microanalytical Facility
  • The Mass Spectrometry Facility
  • The X-ray Facility
  • The NMR Facility

There are a number of supplemental research institutes and centers at the university, such as:

  • The Stem Cell Center
  • The Nanotechnology Club
  • The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis
  • The Institute for Quantitative Biosciences
  • The Center for Green Chemistry
  • The Catalysis Center
  • The Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center

UC-Berkeley offers top Chemistry courses in chemical and biological engineering. If you have an interest both in Chemistry and biology, this is the college you must seek an admission to. The course catalog is available here.

All of these institutes offer excellent courses for students pursuing degrees in Chemistry. Of course, getting admission in them is tough due to the heavy amount of competition. But considering what you get in return, it is definitely worth the effort. I hope this list helps you select one of the best institutes and successfully shape your dream career.

Gaurav Tiwari

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