Research in the Chemical Sciences

The M.S. and Ph.D. programs allow a student to study a wide variety of research topics in the traditional areas of chemistry (Inorganic, Analytical, Organic, and Physical) and related disciplines of Biochemistry, Chemical Education, Environmental Chemistry, Biophysics, and Chemical Biology. The choice of basic and applied projects provides the flexibility to match the interests of virtually all students.

Among the areas of active research are: protein folding and intrinsically disordered proteins, metalloenzymes, supramolecular compounds, buckybowls, chemical sensors, scanning electrochemical microscopy, synthesis of oxygen heterocycles, catalysis, retrosynthesis of biologically active natural products, photochemistry and solar energy, next generation organometallic ligands, OLED compounds, nano-materials, computational chemistry of classic organic reactions, computation chemistry of enzymes, drug design and discovery, and higher order nucleic acid chemistry.

The mission of the Chemistry Graduate Student Association (CGSA) is to facilitate the academic and professional development of graduate students and promote peer to peer interaction among graduate students and professors in the Department of Chemistry at MSU. Click here to learn more about the CGSA.

Specific projects are described in more detail by the individual faculty members.


Chemistry Department faculty are listed by research interest as well as alphabetically. Members of the faculty have co-authored books, chapters in books, and review articles. Faculty members are co-editors and on the editorial boards of scientific journals. Many also routinely chair sessions at national and international meetings and symposia. Our faculty publishes an average of nearly sixty articles per year and receives in excess of two million dollars in research grants annually.


As part of their training, students participate in state and national meetings, and some students have been honored at these meetings on the basis of their research results. The graduates of our program have been successful in many different professions. A significant number of the Ph.D. graduates hold faculty positions at colleges and universities, while most of the others are involved in teaching, research and development in private industry or government laboratories.

Culture and Entertainment

The MSU campus boasts a very active theater and music schedule of its own. The Starkville-Mississippi State University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus present four to five concerts yearly. In addition to the locally produced events, Mississippi University for Women in nearby Columbus (25 miles from campus) and the Columbus Community Theater have active programs. The Lyceum (lecture) series at MSU brings in nationally known groups and speakers. Popular music stars are scheduled to perform in the MSU coliseum regularly. There is seldom a week there is not some cultural event taking place.

Art exhibitions are presented in Briscoe Hall gallery, the Union art lounge, and Mitchell Memorial Library. The surrounding area is a rich source of Southern and Appalachian craftsmen whose hand crafts are shown in numerous craft shows, workshops, and exhibitions. Memphis, Atlanta, Jackson, Birmingham, and New Orleans all have their own symphony orchestras as well as theater and opera productions. These cities are easily accessible for day or weekend excursions.

MSU is in the Southeastern Conference and has intercollegiate athletic events in baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track, and volleyball. Cross-country, bicycle, and canoe races are sponsored by student organizations.


MSU is located near the Tombigbee National Forest in Northeast Mississippi. The campus adjoins the town of Starkville (population is approximately 22,000) on the west and is surrounded on three sides by countryside. Starkville and MSU are served by the Golden Triangle Airport with multiple short flights to Atlanta daily. Ten miles south of the campus is the 43,000 acre Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. The friendly, small-town atmosphere and the uncrowded, pollution-free environment provide excellent opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, canoeing, and other forms of outdoor recreation. The climate is mild, and snow is uncommon. Memphis, TN, Birmingham, AL, and Jackson, MS are all two to three hours away by car. Atlanta and New Orleans are five to six hours away, making them all easily accessible for weekend trips.


University housing for married and single graduate students is available. Apartments and houses are available in Starkville and the surrounding area.

Financial Aid

Research and teaching assistantships are available as well as some fellowships, particularly for minority students. Stipends are competitive within the region, but since stipends and fees are subject to periodic adjustment, prospective graduate students should contact the department to obtain current rates. Graduate students receiving assistantships or fellowships also receive a waiver of tuition. The cost of living in this area is considerably lower than most other areas of the country.