Chemists are problem solvers. They think analytically and embrace equations and formulas. They study matter—and what they do matters. Advances in chemistry impact fields including medicine, environmental science, and nanotechnology.


Chemistry is an experimental discipline that uses applied principles and new skills to solve scientific problems. Through foundational courses and collaborative research with professors, students gain an understanding of chemical processes and acquire the tools to apply that knowledge in innovative ways.  Faculty-mentored student projects emphasize modern techniques and instrumentation and use Colby’s research-grade facilities and laboratories. Recent research has included the synthesis of supramolecular structures, the detection of superoxide in natural water sources, and the molecular basis of cancer therapy.

The department offers concentrations in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology/biochemistry, and environmental science, giving students the opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest.