The Department of Chemistry was created in 1993 by Resolution 8/93 of the University of Beira Interior Senate, after the University statutes approval. However, Chemistry had already been taught in Covilhã, at the former Instituto Politécnico da Covilhã, in the Physics and Chemistry Education course, and, later, at the Instituto Universitário da Beira Interior, in Chemical Engineering preparatory, through which students concluded the first two years of the course, having then direct access to the third year of Chemical Engineering course, at Instituto Superior Técnico.
It should be noted that the Department of Chemistry was the first Department to publish the first two UBI publications reported on the bibliographic database of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Currently, thirty-three doctorate teachers, a secretary, a senior technician, a technician and three technical assistants integrate this Department.
Teachers and researchers from the Chemistry Department develop such important research work of recognized quality that this Department is considered one of the UBI Departments with higher scientific productivity per member (ETIs).
Scientific activity of the different projects of research and development (I&D), is developed in research units, such as the Fib.En.Tech - Fibrous Materials and Environmental Technologies and the Research Centre for Health Sciences (CICS), especially in the areas of the Environment, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Food Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Chemistry of Natural Products, Organic and Compound Synthesis and Chemistry of Carbohydrates.
In terms of education, this department is responsible for the first cycles in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Industrial Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry, 2nd cycles in Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Industrial Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry, as well as for the 3rd cycles in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Paper Engineering, according to the current legislation and under the so-called Treaty of Bologna. The Department is also responsible for the teaching of different curricular units (UCs) of degrees of other departments in other faculties. Finally, the Department is in charge of the technological specialization courses of level IV (CET) "Food Quality", "Quality, Environment and Safety" and "Water Treatment and Effluents".
In addition to the teaching and research components, the Department of Chemistry has been providing a range of services to the community in which it is inserted, seeking to respond, within possibilities and constraints, to the growing requests from different people and companies. It is responsible for, for example, chemical analyses procedures with special focus on water and effluents. The strong support and interaction with the different secondary schools should also be pointed out.