U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad

Chemistry Olympiad

The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad is a multi-tiered chemistry competition. The top four students of the national competition represent the United States in the annual International Chemistry Olympiad.


2016 Study Camp and 48th International Chemistry Olympiad

Congratulations to 2016 USNCO Team Iota and 2016 High Honors and Honors students.
The 2016 Study Camp will be held at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA May 31-June 15, 2016.
The city of Tbilisi, Georgia, will be the new host of the 48th International Chemistry Olympiad.

How to Participate in the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad

The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) program is a chemistry competition for high school students. The purpose of the competition is to stimulate young people to achieve excellence in chemistry. The American Chemical Society has sponsored the program since 1984. 

Local Chemistry Olympiad Competition

The local competition is open to all high school students. ACS Local Sections choose nominees for the national exam. Students can review past Local Exams to study for their local competition.

National Chemistry Olympiad Exam

The national exam involves three parts administered to more than 1,000 students. Students can use past National Exams to prepare. The 20 top-scoring students are chosen to attend a study camp where students are selected for the International competition.

Study Camp

The 20 top scoring students from the National Exam spend two weeks at a study camp to undergo rigorous training. Based on their performance, four students are chosen to represent the U.S. at the International Chemistry Olympiad.


  • Students must be U.S. citizens or legal, permanent residents of the United States (green card holders) to take the U.S. national examination.
  • High school students who will graduate no earlier than Spring of the year that they participate in the competition are eligible.
  • Students must be under the 20 years of age on the first of July of the year of the competition.

    See Rules and Eligibility

USA Team Earns Top Practical Score, 1 Gold, and 3 Silver Medals at 47th International Chemistry Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan (2015)

2015 USA Chemistry Olympiad Team
Left to right: Bryce Cai (Silver), Janice Ong (Silver), David Wang (Gold), Soorajnath Boominathan (Silver).
Photo by K. Slunt