Chemistry Olympiad

USNCO Logo

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. 

The USNCO is a multi-tiered chemistry competition. The top four students of the national competition represent the United States in the annual International Chemistry Olympiad. The competition tiers are as follows:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

If you are interested in participating as a student, teacher or coordinator, please fill out the form: