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Message from the Department Head


The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at James Madison University is nationally recognized as one of the premier undergraduate departments in the United States.  Our graduates are highly recruited by the top doctoral programs in the country and the acceptance rate into medical and dental schools is close to 100%.

When you major in chemistry or biochemistry at JMU you will join a cohort of students who take science seriously and are committed to excelling in the classroom, in the laboratory, and in life.  Our modern curriculum provides ample opportunity to take advanced courses in medicinal chemistry, polymers, environmental chemistry and materials science, just to name a few.

JMU’s National Science Foundation funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program is in its 21st year, making it one of the longest-lived undergraduate research programs in the country.  The members of our faculty enjoy national reputations for excellence in teaching and scholarship, and publish regularly with undergraduate co-authors.  Our undergraduate research program was recently recognized by the Dreyfus Foundation in the form of a Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Undergraduate Scholarship for Excellence in Chemistry, and is the recipient of the prestigious Research Corporation for Science Advancement Department Development Grant. As a testimony to our program, James Madison ranks ninth, among all baccalaureate and master’s degree institutions, in the number of graduates earning PhDs in the physical sciences.


Our modern building houses over $7 million dollars of state-of-the-art instrumentation and is home to the Shenandoah Valley Regional NMR Facility, the JMU Regional Undergraduate Laser Facility, the Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry laboratory and the Center for Materials Science. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is a community of teacher/scholars where undergraduate students work hand-in-hand with nationally, and internationally, recognized scholars on cutting edge research projects where results often lead to peer-reviewed publications.

We invite you to take a moment to study our web site and learn about the JMU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and consider visiting campus to see our facilities first hand and meet the faculty and students.

Donna S. Amenta, Professor and Head
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry