The Department of Chemistry was initially established in 1950 as a unit of the University College of Addis Ababa. It was subsequently organized into a full-fledged Department of Haile Selassie I University in 1967 offering a four-year degree (B.Sc.) program in Chemistry. In the year 1978 the Department launched graduate program leading to M.Sc. degree in four areas of specializations, i.e. analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. This was a turning point in the history of the Department and a significant step forward towards fulfilling the Country’s needs for high-level qualified chemists. The success of the MSc program encouraged the Department to launch the PhD program in 1985. The emergence of both MSc ad PhD programs produced a positive impact on the teaching and learning processes as well as the development and research activities of the Department.

The Department has now grown into being one of the largest Departments in the College of Natural and Computational Sciences, which renders significant contributions to the dissemination of knowledge and development of scientific manpower in the country. The members of the Department have been diligently working over the years to fulfill the expected aims and objectives of the country at large and those of the University in particular.


The Department of Chemistry serves the Country by advancing and disseminating knowledge, educating students, catalyzing economic development, and by providing scientific leadership in the chemical sciences. The Department strives to strengthen its capacity to teach and conduct research. It continues to employ experienced academic and technical staff and acquire modern instruments to nurture existing and emerging programs. This will not only greatly enhance its graduate training capacity but will also enable it to support the academic activities of the emerging universities in the Country.


The Department of Chemistry at Addis Ababa University (AAU) will continue directing its potential at promoting systematic and untiring efforts towards diverse, dynamic and innovative teaching, research and community service activities in order to achieve regional and global recognition as a premier institution of learning. Besides gaining preeminence in core areas (analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry), new multidisciplinary areas of opportunities (the chemistry of materials, computational chemistry, environmental, green and sustainable chemistry, food chemistry, etc.) will be launched and developed in line with the current trends in the science of chemistry.