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February 8, 2019

Mason alumna publishes in Chemical Reviews

Triplet-Singlet spin statesFelisa Shai Conrad-Burton received her B.S. in Chemistry from George Mason University in 2016. She transitioned to the Columbia University, joined Professor Zhu’s group, and is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Chemical Physics. She studies singlet fission in molecular systems using a variety of ultrafast laser spectroscopic techniques. Felisa contributed to a paper, recently published in the prestigious ACS journal, Chemical Reviewsthat provides “an understanding of singlet fission, i.e., the photophysical process of a singlet state (S1) splitting into two triplet states (2 × T1) in molecular chromophores.”


November 2, 2018

OSCAR Student Mosufa Zainab Studies Novel Antibiotics in Couch Lab

Research has allowed me to experience science in its truest form – where facts are in the phase of discovery.

I am currently working in the Couch Lab at the Institute of Advanced Biomedical Research. My project focuses on the development of novel antibiotics targeting the non-mevalonate pathway (MEP). Given the rapid rise in antibiotic resistant pathogens, our work seeks to combat this growing threat.

Throughout my time spent in the Couch lab, I have learned a lot about the research process, including preserving in spite of setbacks, and savoring the accomplishment that comes from obtaining reproducible results. The effort to develop novel antibiotics is a daunting task, and yet is absolutely necessary to halt the growing threat of infection from antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Read her full story here.

July 20, 2018

Alumnus Paul Hackley wins Ralph Gray Award

Paul Hackley, who earned his Ph.D. from George Mason University, has won the the Ralph Gray Award from the Society for Organic Petrology for the best 2018 paper in Coal and Organic Petrology.

Paul’s paper was titled  Understanding and distinguishing eflectance measurements of solid bitumen and vitrinite using hydrous pyrolysis: Implications to petroleum assessment (American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 2017, Volume 102 (6), p. 1119–1140). Read his paper here.

CONGRATULATIONS!   This is an outstanding accomplishment when a scientist is recognized for the hard work and dedication to the profession.

Paul earned his Ph.D. in 2017 advised by Dr. Robert Honeychuck on “Using Hydrous Pyrolysis, Organic Petrography and Micro-Spectrometry to Understand Solid Bitumen and Kerogen Evolution in the Early Oil Window ”  He currently works as a research geologist at the U.S. Geological Society.


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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.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 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.

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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.

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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
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