About the Chemistry Olympiad

The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad is a multi-tiered competition designed to stimulate and promote achievement in high school chemistry. It is sponsored by the American Chemical Society. Each year, four students are chosen to represent the USA in the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), which is hosted every year in July in one of the participating countries.

Learn about the U.S. involvement in IChO


Goals of the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad are set by a subcommittee of the Society Committee on Education. The Chemistry Olympiad program aims to:

  • Stimulate young people to achieve excellence in chemistry
  • Recognize outstanding chemistry students and, in doing so, encourage additional learning at a formative time in their intellectual development
  • Recognize the excellent achievement of teachers and the importance of the school environment
  • Provide contact between ACS local sections and area schools, and foster interest among professional chemists in teaching chemistry
  • Challenge the chemical knowledge and skills of young students in an international arena
  • Foster cross-cultural experiences and acquaint students with similarities and differences between themselves and their counterparts from other nations


Since 1984, the ACS Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Chemistry Olympiad Endowment has been the primary sponsor of the U.S. Chemistry Olympiad.

Additional support comes from the University of Maryland at College Park through the faculty and staff of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and in kind donations of laboratory and lecture space for the students and mentors at the study camp.

The following corporations and individuals have supported the program through major financial and/or in-kind donations in 2020:

Contact Us

  • Email usnco@acs.org
  • Call (202) 872-6328 or (800) 227-5558 ext. 6328