The Chemistry and Chemical Biology Graduate Program (CCB) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) provides a chemical foundation for understanding complex biological processes at an atomic level. This interdisciplinary study of molecules in living systems in the setting of a health science campus helps to integrate the traditional disciplines of chemistry and biology. It is further distinguished by providing training in the sciences related to chemical biology—integrating both with respect to atomic, molecular, and cellular levels of structure. The program provides an exciting environment for learning modern chemical principles and techniques to study significant problems at the interface of chemistry and biology.

UCSF’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Graduate Program focuses on six research areas:

  1. Biological chemistry and synthetic biology
  2. Computational chemistry and biology
  3. Chemical synthesis and natural products
  4. Drug discovery and design
  5. Macromolecular structure and function
  6. Protein and cellular engineering

Within the curriculum, core courses provide training in macromolecular interactions, molecular thermodynamics, reaction mechanisms, and chemical biology.

The field is interdisciplinary by design, and our program faculty members come from a variety of fields from chemistry to genetics and from physics to molecular and cellular biology.

The Chemistry and Chemical Biology Graduate Program is one of 23 graduate programs at UCSF, 17 of which offer a PhD. It is set within the interdisciplinary education environment for which UCSF is so well known, and it is physically located on UCSF’s contemporary research campus in the Mission Bay district of San Francisco. The program ranks among the top in the nation according to a September 28, 2010 report by the National Research Council. Our alumni work primarily in industry and academia. The average time to degree is 5 years 6 months.