Chemistry & Biochemistry Scholars Program

Research is at the heart of the study of chemistry and biochemistry. That's why it's surprising that most undergraduate chemistry curricula have only a small research component, mainly reserved for seniors. What is not surprising is that WPI, one of the most innovative universities in the nation, has changed the way students learn by creating the Chemistry and Biochemistry Scholars Program (CBSP).

Students selected for the CBSP will receive:

  • special academic advising.
  • early research opportunities.
  • opportunities to attend on-campus chemistry colloquia and special meetings with the guest lecturers.  
  • a CBSP scholarship, which will vary in amounts, but typically ranges between $10,000 and $25,000, and are renewable for four years.

WPI's Chemistry and Biochemistry Department exposes all of its students to original research. Our course and project offerings help students become acquainted with modern experimental techniques and sophisticated equipment. And now with the creation of the CBSP, students may begin working in faculty-directed research labs well before their senior year. They will be assisting researchers in their attempt to solve some very real problems facing our society, creating new molecules as potential treatments for Alzheimer's Disease, for instance, or discovering the mechanisms by which pathogens harvest essential minerals from their hosts.


Applicants indicating chemistry or biochemistry as their intended area of study will automatically be considered for the program. Selection by the Scholarship Committee will be based upon the applicant's academic performance in high school, leadership, extracurricular involvement and community service. In addition to the scholars program, each CBSP Scholar receives an academic merit-based scholarship. Scholarship amounts will vary, but typically range between $10,000 and $25,000, and are renewable for four years.

Academic Scholarship

Regardless of financial circumstances, each CBSP participant will be guaranteed a CBSP scholarship, which will vary in amounts, but typically ranges between $10,000 and $25,000, and are renewable for four years. Families may be eligible for much more aid, based on financial need. To be considered for the scholarship, simply apply as a chemistry or biochemistry major. No special application is required. To apply for need-based aid, please file the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE. See your guidance counselor or check in with Financial Aid at WPI ( for details).

The Best Speakers

We think it's important for students to have exposure to leaders in the field. That's why the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department enhances its curriculum by sponsoring many lectures on timely chemistry topics given by reputable professionals and researchers. We'll invite speakers of particular interest to Chemistry and Biochemistry Scholars and provide opportunities to meet with these speakers to discuss issues and research opportunities.

Here is just a small listing of recent colloquia held at WPI:

  • "Cleaning Up: Uptake of Xenobiotics as the First Step in Biodegradation"

    Dr. Bert van den Berg, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Program in Molecular Medicine

  • "Molecules and Molecular Mimetics"

    Dr. Thomas D. Clark, Research Chemist, Division of Chemistry, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC

  • "A Chemist's Approach to High-Aspect Ratio Nanowires "

    Prof. Byron D. Gates, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada

  • "Superoxide Dismutase and ALS: How do mutations alter the folding energy surface?"

    C. Robert Matthews, Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, UMass Medical School

  • "Design, Synthesis and Properties of Low-Dimensional Antiferromagnets"

    Prof. Mark M. Turnbull Chairman, Carlson School of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Clark University

  • Forensic Science Colloquium "Crime Scene Photography"

    Det. Lt. Richard D. Lauria, Division of Standards and Training, Massachusetts State Police Headquarters

  • "System Structure-Function Analysis. An Approach for Linking Structure and Effects of Medicine"

    Dr. Robert A. Volkmann, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Pfizer Inc.

Research From Day One


All CBSP research is conducted on campus. We provide our students with easy access to our laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment. As a Chemistry or Biochemistry Scholar, you may find yourself using the following instrumentation in one or more of our many new or newly renovated laboratories:

  • Fluorescence lifetime spectrometer

  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometers

  • Capillary Electrophoresis

  • High-field NMR spectrometer

  • High pressure liquid chromatography

  • DNA Thermocyclers (PCR)

  • UV/Visible Spectrophotometers

  • Gas chromatographs