The Chemistry Department (CHEM) enjoys strong working relationships with other programs on campus, most notably Macromolecular Science and Engineering (MACR), which is a true interdisciplinary degree program. About 30 students in the MACR program work directly with CHEM professors.
Some CHEM graduate students choose Research Directors in other departments, and sometimes graduate students in other departments study under CHEM faculty members. These individual cross-disciplinary programs, which are designed by the student in consultation with an Advisory Committee, may offer interesting educational opportunities to well-prepared and highly motivated individuals.
Macromolecules Innovation Institute
While the Chemistry Department continues to enjoy an international reputation and "Top Five" ranking for research and education in polymer chemistry, some students are looking for a "Polymer Science" type of degree program that will combine the traditional core areas of synthesis and structure with the more engineering-oriented areas of mechanics and processing. The MACR program offers this balance within a modular, interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates graduate training closely with the student's independent research. (more)
Although the Chemical Engineering (CHE) Department is in a different college (Engineering) than the Chemistry Department (College of Science), strong interactions between the two departments were fostered over 30 years ago and continued to grow to the present day. These interactions are among those that have given Virginia Tech its reputation as a place where faculty members -- and students -- work together collaboratively across departmental and college boundaries. Presently (2009) there is one CHEM student working with a CHE faculty member, and one CHE student working with a CHEM faculty member! These arrangements are welcomed and can be supported with assistantship resources as appropriate to the needs of both departments. (more)
Biology and Biochemistry
With the increased emphasis on life sciences at Virginia Tech, naturally the Chemistry Department enjoys strong working relationships with its "sister department" (Biological Sciences) in the College of Science, and its "cousin" (Biochemistry) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. At present two CHEM students work with a Biological Sciences professor, and one Biochemistry student works with a CHEM professor. (more on Biochemistry) (more on Biological Sciences)
Wood Science and Forest Products
Because of Virginia Tech's strong, university-wide emphasis on polymer science, many professors in the Wood Science area have found opportunities to collaborate with chemists and chemical engineers. After all, many of the primary components of wood are (complex!) polymeric substances with their own interesting challenges. At present one CHEM student is pursuing a PhD with a professor in Wood Science. (more)