Chemistry is a basic science that studies the structure and properties of materials and the process of creating new materials through transformation. It serves as a critical basis for areas related to human welfare, such as pharmaceuticals, materials, and energy. If it were not for medicines, pesticides, fertilizers, synthetic resins, etc., modern human life would not have been free from disease or starvation. Advances in electronics, life sciences, and renewable energy is impossible without chemistry – new material development, chemical reactions, and analytical techniques. Only with the creative minds and the endless challenges of chemists for better understanding and application of chemistry could provide such a broad foundation in science and technology.
The curriculum of this department consists of the traditional four fields of organic, physical, analytical, and inorganic chemistry, as well as polymer chemistry and biochemistry in accordance with the trend in modern chemistry. In this department, 27 faculty members, 210 graduate students, 70 undergraduate students, and 30 researchers are currently devoted to education and research in the above mentioned branches including emerging fields such as nanochemistry, chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, and computational chemistry.
Since chemistry is a discipline that provides the basis for a wide range of applications directly related to human welfare, many career paths could be chosen after graduation. The Department of Chemistry strives for graduates to cultivate qualities that enable them to enter and contribute to a wide range of related fields as researchers with a strong foundation in chemistry. Researchers with a solid foundation in chemistry are in high demand in almost every applied science and technology fields such as pharmaceuticals, polymers, petrochemicals, and catalytic chemistry. Furthermore, the contribution of chemistry is greatly increasing in the electronics industry and biotechnology, as well as in environmental science which is related with pollution.
As the need for basic research is recently highlighted to enhance international competency, the demand for high-quality researcher is rapidly growing. In this regard, the Department of Chemistry at POSTECH encourages students to enter the graduate school after completing their undergraduate courses to become professionally trained researchers. All graduate students are provided with scholarships, as well as the best opportunities to become independent scientists by conducting a creative, self-driven research in the state-of-the-art laboratories in various chemistry fields.
This department has been selected as the 4th stage BK21 project (Director Sungjee Kim) and have been chosen four consecutive times for Science Research Centers (SRCs) designated by the Ministry of Science and ICT. Currently ongoing the multi-billion won-scale national research projects includes the Center for Complex System Self-Assembly Research (Director Kimoon Kim), Basic Research Lab Project (Professor Jaiwook Park), Creative Project Group (Professor In su Lee), Leader Research (Professor Young ho Rhee, Won jong Kim), Future Materials Discovery (Professor Wonjong Kim), Biomedical Technology Development Project (Professor Hyun-suk Lim), and Samsung Future Technology Development Project (Professors Sunmin Ryu, Moon jeong Park, Eunsung Lee, Jongcheol Seo, Seung Jun Hwang, Chang Hyuck Choi). Department of Chemistry at POSTECH has been established as the best chemistry department in Korea. However, we are still constantly striving for a higher standard to become one of the best institute with adequate international competency.