U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad

The right challenge for your talent

The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) program is a multi-tiered chemistry competition for high school students. ACS has sponsored the program since 1984. 

Participate in USNCO

Participate in USNCO

Are you a high school student interested in participating in USNCO?  For more information, contact your ACS Local Section USNCO Coordinator.

2024 USNCO Student Registration was closed January 26, 2024. 

Find Your Coordinator

2024 Important Dates

Schedule is subject to change. All changes will be communicated to USNCO Coordinators and posted on the USNCO website.

January 26, 2024Student registration closes 
March 1-24, 2024Local Exam
April 13-21, 2024 National Exam
June 2-14, 2024     Study Camp
July 22-31, 2024International Chemistry Olympiad

The program has four tiers

The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) program is a chemistry competition for high school students. ACS has sponsored the program since 1984. The program has four tiers:

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Local Chemistry Olympiad Exams

The first step in USNCO, held each March. High school students can participate by registering with ACS. Registration does not guarantee participation. Students will be notified by their ACS Local Section Coordinator. Coordinators choose nominees for the National Exam based on results of the local competition. 

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National Chemistry Olympiad Exams

A three-part exam administered to more than 1,000 students each April. National Exams are often hosted by ACS Local Sections at local universities and colleges.

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Study Camp

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

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International Chemistry Olympiad Exams

The four international competitors are accompanied by mentors who translate the test, inspect laboratories and arbitrate the scoring of the exams. Students and mentors also have opportunities to interact with one another and experience the host country’s culture through planned educational and social events. 


    2023 USNCO Summary Report

    2023 USNCO Summary Report coverr

    348 students from 89 countries participated in the 55th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) . Team USA earned two gold and two silver medals. 

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    Contact Us

    U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad
    ACS Office of Science Outreach