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.

USA Team won four gold medals at the 49th International Chemistry Olympiad for the first time in history.

U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad program proudly announce the extraordinary performance of the Alpha Kappa Team at the 49th International Chemistry Olympiad competition, which concluded July 15, 2017, in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.

Harrison Wang of The Hinsdale Central High School, IL, won the fifth highest ranking gold medal;  Steven Liu of Monta Vista High School, CA, Joshua Park of Lexington High School, MA and Brendan Yap, from Carmel High School, IN also earned gold medals.

The USA Team competed against 293 students from 75 countries.

Congratulations Team USA for this great achievement!

L to R: Brendan Yap, Steven Liu, Joshua Park, Harrison Wang
C. Hernandez

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

2018 USNCO Schedule

  • March 1-31 Local Competitions
  • April 17-23 National Exam
  • June 5-20 Study Camp
  • July 19-29 50th IChO Bratislava, Slovakia and Prague, Czech Republic