The Chemistry program at Yonsei University was officially opened in 1946, although the root of the Department traces back to 1917 to the Applied Chemistry Department of Yonhi College. Since then, the Department of Chemistry has been in the mainstay of tradition of chemistry research and education in Korea, producing 126 doctors, 784 masters and over 2,000 bachelors, who have made great contributions to the developments of chemical science and technology. Because of repeated mergers and rearrangements, it was only in 1950 that students first received their degrees officially in the Department of Chemistry. However, the education of chemistry had continued by offering chemistry lectures, and graduates in the chemistry major had been produced. In this regard, Yonsei’s Department of Chemistry is the oldest Chemistry Department in the country.
Yonsei's Department of Chemistry is among the best in the nation, offering students opportunities to study with the award-winning faculty in a variety of fields. The 21 outstanding faculty members and 5 emeritus professors are committed to excellence in education and research and have set up an ambitious goal to create internationally recognized research programs. Yonsei students and faculty are engaged in various research projects across the vital areas of chemistry. Research programs include not only traditional areas of inorganic, physical, analytical, and organic chemistry, but also such diverse areas as nanochemistry, biotechnology, polymer, theoretical, environmental, materials chemistry, and chemical biology.
Currently, over one 120 undergraduate students, and approximately 130 graduate students, are enrolled in the department. The department is well equipped with modern instruments including 500MHz FT NMR, scanning probe microscope(SPM), single crystal X-ray diffractometer, and state-of-the-art computing facilities. The department puts a particular emphasis on research of solid state chemistry, laser spectroscopy, theoretical chemistry, organotransition metal chemistry, synthesis of bioactive natural products, molecular recognition studies, electrochemistry, environmental chemistry and X-ray crystallography, etc.