CCE at a Glance

Chemistry at Caltech is steeped in a tradition of excellence: alumnus Linus Pauling, awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954, revolutionized the field with his insights into the nature of the chemical bond; alumnus Edwin McMillan (MS '29; PhD '32, Princeton) shared the 1951 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the codiscovery of neptunium, the first known element heavier than uranium; and alumnus William Lipscomb (PhD '46) won the 1976 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for fundamental work on chemical bonding for his studies of the structure of boranes. Arnold Beckman (PhD '28) invented the pH meter and other revolutionary instruments that have led to new discoveries in biochemistry and medicine, founded Beckman Instruments and the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory—the first silicon transistor company, formed in 1955. Gordon Moore (PhD '54) founded the semiconductor chip-making company Intel and authored Moore's Law (which predicts that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years).

Academic Programs

Undergraduate Degrees
Graduate Degrees
MS*, PhD in Chemistry

*Awarded under special circumstances only

Current Rankings

For the last four years, CCE ranked number one in chemistry (2016, shared ranking, Best Graduate Schools) and number two in chemical engineering (2016, Best Engineering Schools) in the US News and World Report's most recent rankings.

Faculty Honors and Awards 

(Names in bold denote current members of the faculty)

4 Nobel Laureates
Robert H. Grubbs, 2005
Ahmed H. Zewail, 1999
Rudy A. Marcus, 1992
Linus Pauling (PhD '25), 1954
9 National Medal of Science Recipients
Jacqueline K. Barton, 2011
Peter B. Dervan, 2006
John D. Baldeschwieler, 2000
Jack D. Roberts, 1990
Arnold Beckman, 1989
Rudy A. Marcus, 1989
Harry B. Gray, 1986
Linus Pauling, 1974
Arie Haagen-Smit, 1973

2 National Medal of Technology and Innovation Recipients
Frances H. Arnold, 2011
Arnold Beckman, 1988
3 Wolf Prize in Chemistry Recipients
Rudolph A. Marcus, 1984
Ahmed H. Zewail, 1993
Harry B. Gray, 2004
2 Tyler Prize Recipients
(The Tyler Prize is the top honor for researchers in environmental science, environmental health, and energy)
John H. Seinfeld, 2012
Arie Haagen-Smit, 1974
20 National Academy of Science Members
Greg Fu, 2014
John H. Seinfeld, 2013
Dennis A. Dougherty, 2009
Frances H. Arnold, 2008
David A. Tirrell, 2008
Mark E. Davis, 2006
Stephen L. Mayo, 2004
Jacqueline K. Barton, 2002
Douglas C. Rees, 2000
John E. Bercaw, 1990
Robert H. Grubbs, 1989
Ahmed H. Zewail, 1989
Fred C. Anson, 1988
Peter B. Dervan, 1986
William A. Goddard, III, 1984
Jesse L. Beauchamp, 1981
Harry B. Gray, 1971
John D. Baldeschwieler, 1970
Rudolph A. Marcus, 1970
John D. Roberts, 1956
7 National Academy of Engineering Members
Robert H. Grubbs, 2015
Richard C. Flagan, 2010
David A. Tirrell, 2008
Frances H. Arnold, 2000
John F. Brady, 1999
Mark E. Davis, 1997
John H. Seinfeld, 1982
5 Institute of Medicine Members
Jacqueline K. Barton, 2012
David A. Tirrell, 2011
Mark E. Davis, 2011
Frances H. Arnold, 2004
Peter B. Dervan, 1997
3 members of all three branches of the National Academies (the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine), an honor that only 13 living individuals can claim:
Frances H. Arnold, 2008
Mark E. Davis, 2011
David A. Tirrell, 2011

Division Chairs

Jacqueline K. Barton2009-present
David A. Tirrell1999-2009
Peter B. Dervan1994-1999
Fred C. Anson1984-1994
Harry B. Gray1978-1984
John D. Baldeschwieler1973-1978
John D. Roberts1972-1973
George Hammond1968-1972
John D. Roberts1963-1968
Ernest Swift1958-1963
Linus Pauling1937-1958
Arthur Amos Noyes1927-1937