The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) integrates science and engineering to address global challenges from the molecular level up.

In the University of Chicago tradition of rigorous inquiry, we ask crucial scientific questions that have real-world implications. Our work applies molecular-level science to the design of advanced devices, processes, and technologies. Organized by interdisciplinary research themes, we aim to develop solutions to urgent societal problems, such as water and energy resources, information security, and human health.

Our program was established as the Institute for Molecular Engineering in 2011 by the University in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory. In 2019, in recognition of our success, impact and expansion, and the support of the Pritzker Foundation, the institute was elevated to the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering—the first school in the nation dedicated to this emerging field.

As we expand our efforts in research, education, and technological development, Pritzker Molecular Engineering will continue to address more world issues and promote new collaborations among leading researchers across disciplines


We offer a graduate program in molecular engineering for PhD students, as well as an undergraduate major and minor in molecular engineering through the College of the University of Chicago. Our curriculum provides broad exposure not only to science and engineering disciplines, but also to product design, entrepreneurship, and communication. PME empowers students from diverse backgrounds to collaborate with faculty in cutting-edge facilities. Through an interdisciplinary approach, students are encouraged to apply their scientific interests to real-world issues.

Partnership with Argonne National Laboratory

PME partners with Argonne National Laboratory to deliver unique opportunities for research and innovation. Argonne is known for its leading researchers and state-of-the-art facilities like the Advanced Photon Source, the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, the Materials Engineering Research Facility, and the Center for Nanoscale Materials. Our faculty—many with joint appointments at Argonne—work closely with the national lab’s scientists, strengthening both institutions as well as Chicago’s scientific community.

Educational outreach

At PME, our educational outreach initiatives begin with K-12 students. We offer youth-focused events, internships, and workshops throughout the year, from teaching molecular engineering fundamentals to extracting DNA from bananas. We also have a partnership with City Colleges of Chicago. The multi-year program connects city college students interested in STEM fields with our faculty and labs, with the goal of helping more students transfer into four-year STEM degree programs.

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