Chemistry Olympiad

Every spring, high school students in the Georgia Local Section participate in the United States National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) competition. The program is intended to encourage American youth to achieve excellence in chemistry and is a multi-tiered process with competitions at the local, national and international level. More information is available at the USNCO website.

Registration for 2019 is now closed.

Registration opens online in early December each year. Please check with your high school chemistry teacher first to see if your school is participating. Students who are home schooled or whose high school is not participating are welcome to register as individuals. 

Student Eligibility

  • 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.

Questions or comments about this program, may be sent to our coordinator, Dr. Heather Abbott-Lyon (

  1. Local level: A sixty-question multiple choice exam is used to identify the top thirteen students (no more than two per high school). This exam can be administered on site at high schools or students can take the exam at Kennesaw State University.
  2. National level: Based on the local exam results, thirteen students are identified to take the national exam at Kennesaw State University. This national exam has three parts: a sixty-question multiple choice exam, an eight-question free response exam, and a laboratory practical exam.
  3. International level: Twenty students are selected based on their national exam scores to spend two weeks at a study camp demonstrating their ability. Four students are then chosen to represent the United States at the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO).

2019 Competition Structure

Download this information as a PDF file.