Chemistry and Biochemistry

Welcome from Dr. Rita Mihailescu, Interim Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Welcome to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry! We invite you to take a virtual tour of our department and learn about the opportunities we have to offer our students. The size of our department is small enough to allow our undergraduate and graduate students to have a personalized experience, but at the same time we offer access to top-notch research opportunities and modern instrumentation typically available at larger universities.

We use the cohort model for our undergraduate programs, so our chemistry and biochemistry students take classes specific to their major with their peers (typically less than 25-30 students) from freshman through senior year. Furthermore, the lecture courses and most of the lab courses are taught directly by faculty members. Since our Ph.D. program is an integral part of the department, we offer our undergraduates access to research experiences much sooner than many other schools. As early as the second semester of their freshman year, our undergraduates can join a research lab working as part of a team alongside our faculty and graduate students.

These enhanced hands-on experiences, together with the excellent classroom education we offer at Duquesne, give our students the means and confidence to be successful in pursuing their career goals. Our recent undergraduate alumni have advanced to prestigious graduate schools (Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Duke, UPenn, Emory, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Penn State, UC Davis, UCLA, Michigan), medical and dental schools (Temple, Harvard, Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh, LECOM, Marshall, University of Vermont), and careers in industry (Covestro, PPG, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, L'Oréal).

The high quality of our Ph.D. program is validated by the ability of our graduates to secure jobs and advance in their fields. Our recent alumni have progressed in industry (PPG, Covestro, Outlook Therapeutics, Regeneron, Eurofins), post-doctoral positions (Cal Tech, Carnegie Mellon, Boston College, University of Pittsburgh, Michigan), academia (Rhodes College, Cabrini University, CMU, University of Pittsburgh, Grove City, Wesleyan of Ohio), and the government (NETL, CDC, NIST), serving as ambassadors of Duquesne's commitment to excellent education in chemistry and biochemistry.

Listen directly below to what our students have to say about their experience at Duquesne!

Dr. Rita Mihailescu

Interim Chair and Professor


Take a Virtual Tour of the Department with Dr. Ellen Gawalt, Dean of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences


Hear what drew Biochemistry student Sara K. to Duquesne University