The Lord Lecture

The chemistry department has a stimulating seminar program that brings eight to ten outside speakers to campus each year. The annual Lord Lecture brings some of the nation’s most distinguished chemists to the College. Recent Lord Lecturers include Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize–winning chemist, poet, and playwright; Dudley Herschbach, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; and George Whitesides, Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University and winner of the 1998 National Medal of Science. Click here for more information.

Departmental Decision-Making

Student representatives regularly attend department faculty meetings. Students were instrumental in our recent curriculum revision and participate actively in the hiring of new faculty members.

Professional Conferences

Students and faculty regularly attend and make presentations at professional conferences, such as meetings of the American Chemical Society and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Honors & Prizes

Each year the department awards several prizes for outstanding achievement: special awards for first-year students, organic and analytical chemistry; the College Prize of the Society for Analytical Chemistry; the Richard I. Lee Prize to the most promising major; and the Outstanding Junior Major Prize.


The student-run Chemii (ACS Student Affiliates Chapter) organizes field trips, speakers, presentations in the local schools, and social events for chemistry students.

The College also has a chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon, the Chemistry Honorary Society.

Summer Research

Most chemistry students spend at least one summer as a research intern. Many Allegheny faculty have grant funds available to support summer work, and Allegheny students are also successful at obtaining internships at other institutions such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory and PPG Industries.

Special Student Achievements

  • In 2009, two students presented their senior research at the Sigma Xi Conference and one student won first place in the physical chemistry division for her talk entitled, “Temperature Dependence of DNA Duplex Formation Using Stopped-Flow Techniques.”
  • In 2005, five Allegheny chemistry majors presented posters or talks at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
  • A recent graduate was the first non-Ph.D. hired as a chemist at Magellan Labs.
  • An Allegheny chemistry major recently co-presented (with two faculty members) on peer-led team teaching at the 2004 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education in Ames, Iowa.
  • Every year students present their research at the RNA Rustbelt Conference.


  • Research programs in the summer and during the academic year help students to make informed decisions about whether graduate school is right for them.
  • A degree in chemistry provides a good background for many fields, including law, business, forensic science, teaching, environmental studies, pharmaceutical research, and science policy.