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U.S. News & World Report ranks chemistry in top 50

May 3, 2010

U.S. News and World Report has named the graduate program in the Department of Chemistry at Colorado State University one of the top 50 programs in the country.

Students train with renowned scientists

The ranking was included in the 2011 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools, which was released in April.

The chemistry department is a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence at Colorado State. Research Ph.D. programs are available in the fields of:

Interdisciplinary programs of study that cross traditional boundaries are encouraged and many of the faculty have joint appointments in engineering and life sciences departments across campus. The department’s total grant expenditures exceed $7 million annually.

“We are very pleased our program was ranked so highly by U.S. News and World Report. Graduate students in chemistry at Colorado State University receive a world-class education and train with renowned scientists using state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation,” said Ellen Fisher, chair of the Department of Chemistry.

In 2009-2010, the average stipend plus fellowships for Colorado State chemistry graduate students was $23,750 for first-year students ($21,750 for graduate teaching assistantships plus an average of $2,000 in additional fellowships). The department also pays tuition for its Ph.D. students, which in 2009-2010 for first-year, out-of-state students was $18,116 ($6,464 for in-state students).

U.S. News surveyed more than 1,200 programs and some 12,400 academics and professionals in fall 2009 for the 2011 report.

Recent highlights in the department

  • The university recognized Professor Ellen R. Fisher, department chair, with the Scholarship Impact Award, a prestigious honor that comes with $10,000 in research support.
  • Professor Eugene Chen in chemistry and Xianghong Qian, an assistant professor in mechanical engineering, published results of a study in the April 15 issue of American Chemical Society’s journal, Energy & Fuels. The report said dissolving plant biomass in “green” solvent ionic liquids - salts that melt at low temperatures - converts more sugars needed for biofuel more quickly than traditional methods – an important step in the move toward the use of nonedible plant biomass as an alternative source for fuel.
  • Chemistry faculty members Debbie Crans, Charles Henry, Anthony Rappe and Matthew Shores were among the researchers receiving nearly $38,000 in seed grants from the university’s Clean Energy Supercluster. They’ll investigate technological advancements in the areas of solar energy and biofuel.
  • Brian McNaughton, assistant chemistry professor, received a $330,150 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense - a 2009 Prostate Cancer Research Program New Investigator Award - to identify novel molecules that deliver drugs to prostate cancer cells, but not healthy cells.
  • Amy Prieto received a prestigious NSF Career Award for more than $600,000 to explore energy storage and conversion as well as develop targeted outreach programs for elementary schools. Prieto hopes to use some of her NSF funds to focus on adding renewable energy topics (in the context of transportation) to the popular Harry Potter-based outreach shows the undergraduate Chemistry Club at CSU has already developed.

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Phone: (970) 491-2336