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New Fall 2018 Course – Environmental Biotechnology

Prof. Benoit Van Aken will teach a new course in our department, Environmental Biotechnology in Fall 2018

Biotechnology plays a central role in many environmental fields, including wastewater treatment, biodegradation, pathogen control, and biofuel production. The objective of the course is to provide environmental scientists and engineers with advanced concepts and quantitative tools necessary for understanding environmental processes and designing environmental control systems.

The course Environmental Biotechnology integrates biological and microbiological principles, which are often observational and qualitative, into engineering principles, which are essentially quantitative. These principles are then applied to the development of a scientific framework for understanding different environmental processes, including water and wastewater treatment, bioremediation, environmental genomics, biofuel production, and biosensors.

See the syllabus here.

Chemistry Alum teaching course in Fall 2018

Walter McLeod, who earned his MS in Chemistry from George Mason University, will be teaching a new course in Fall 2018. He served as President of the COS Alumni Association. The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students.

EVPP490/505: Energy and Innovation

Mentor with Green Energy Innovators! Students will receive interactive exposure to the business, technical, and policy principles driving the low-carbon energy economy, and the STEM implications of the transition. This course will highlight efforts of leading companies and organizations to deploy low-carbon business strategies and technologies while enhancing economic growth and profits.

See the announcement here

Congrats to our Prep Room student workers!

Several of our Prep Room student workers have made great accomplishments this year!

Marlon Young: Received a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) opportunity at Georgia Tech. He will research the synthesis of polyaldehydes and transient materials.
Erin Marcus: Received a summer internship with Pfizer performing data analysis.
Luc Tran: Recipient of GMU’s Undergraduate Research Dean’s Award, and recipient of GMU’s Outstanding Neuroscience Senior Award
Raymoni Howard: Accepted to two of GMU’s grad programs: Biology with a concentration in Microbiology and Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry
Chan Mi Lee: Accepted to the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
Farhana Sultana: Accepted to VCU’s School of Pharmacy

Lab Assistants gain valuable experience with preparing laboratory reagents, maintaining and troubleshooting lab equipment, and reinforcement of academic courses.  Positions are open to Chemistry/Biochemistry majors and minors who have completed CHEM 315/318. If you are interested in working in the Chemistry Prep Room, see Elizabeth Foy in Planetary 405.

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Department Overview

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry offers not only undergraduate programs leading to the BA and BS degree in Chemistry with optional concentrations in Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Environmental Chemistry, but also a five-year BS/Accelerated MS degree.

Our comprehensive undergraduate education in chemistry is designed to prepare students for professional careers in chemistry and for advanced studies in chemistry and chemistry-related areas such as environmental science, material science, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, geochemistry, chemical waste management, pharmacy, forensic chemistry, and chemical engineering.

Students planning medical, dental, or veterinary careers may meet the requirements of these professional schools by majoring in chemistry.

Graduate Programs

The department’s graduate programs provide advanced training for students who are recent college graduates, professionals in teaching, or technical workers in local research organizations. Students select a specialization from the fields of analytical, biological, environmental, inorganic, organic, physical, or computational chemistry.

The graduate chemistry courses for these programs are usually offered during the late afternoon or evening hours for the convenience of students who are employed full-time.

Graduate fellowships and teaching/research assistantships are available to the most qualified of students.


A minimum grade of C is required in all prerequisite chemistry courses. Students failing to meet a prerequisite will get a registration error message that reads “PREREQ and TEST SCORE-ERROR” when attempting to register for advanced courses.

Areas of Research

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Educational Chemistry
  • Electroanalytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Fuel Chemistry
  • Microemulsion Chemistry
  • Nonlinear Optical Chemistry
  • Organic and Polymer Synthesis
  • Solid-State Chemistry
  • Surface Chemistry
  • Theoretical Chemistry


Visitors are always welcome at the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry: Planetary Hall 303, Fairfax Campus.

Prospective students are especially encouraged to visit the campus; faculty members are happy to discuss academic and career opportunities in Chemistry.

Visit campus to experience the Mason Nation firsthand.

Arrange a department visit by calling the us at 703-993-1070, Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Driving Directions & Campus Maps

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