To the Potential Graduate Student,
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Idaho. We are a mid-sized chemistry department with 16 faculty members, between 25 and 40 graduate students, and over a dozen postdoctoral scientists. The ratio of graduate students to faculty is small enough that each student receives individual attention, but there are still enough students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientists in each lab to allow for lively discussions.
Renfrew Hall, where the Department of Chemistry is located, is a four-story building with 95,000 square feet of floor space. The building is air-conditioned and well equipped with modern facilities for chemical research. Graduate students have access to major instruments including 300 and 500 MHz NMR spectrometers, a high resolution GC/MS, and a single crystal X-ray diffractometer. The department also has several nanosecond lasers, a dozen Fourier transform infrared spectrometers, three Raman spectrometers, a photon correlation spectrometer, two atomic absorption spectrometers, various chromatographs (SFC, GC, and HPLC), and facilities for neutron activation analysis. We have world-renowned research laboratories in fluorine chemistry and supercritical fluids.
Our department offers research programs in many branches of chemistry, including biological applications of nano-technology, catalyst design, development of Instrumental methods, drug synthesis, environmental chemistry, explosives synthesis and detection, fluorine chemistry, nucleic acid therapeutics and diagnostics, and theoretical organic chemistry. Our department also has strong interactions with two national laboratories, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Our graduate students often have the opportunity to perform experiments in collaboration with scientists at these national laboratories.
We have high expectations for our graduate students in research, but we do not expect our students to spend all their time in one research laboratory. We encourage our graduate students to participate in chemical demonstrations and lectures given regularly at local schools and in area communities. We take teaching seriously, and all our incoming graduate students participate in a short course that covers many of the less-obvious skills required of university-level teachers.
Our strength lies in our surroundings as well as in our department. Moscow, our hometown, is located in the heart of the rolling Palouse hills, described in the National Geographic Magazine article, “A Paradise Called the Palouse”. Washington State University is only 8 miles away, adding to the intellectual and cultural opportunities in the region. To the east are the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and to the west is the Columbia River Basin. We are just a few hours' drive from some of Idaho’s renowned wilderness areas.
If you would like to attend a university that has high standards and is small enough for you to get to know students and faculty in other research groups, the University of Idaho is a great choice. Our students have the opportunity to interact with talented members of the faculty every day. I invite you to learn about the scientific endeavors underway in this department in the rest of this web site and, when you are choosing a graduate school, to consider the advantages of the University of Idaho.
Ray von Wandruszka, Chair
Department of Chemistry