Techniques of using size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) with on-line light-scattering, uv absorbance, and refractive index detectors to characterize the polypeptide molecular weights of simple proteins or glycoproteins or to determine the stoichiometry of protein complexes are described. Two unique advantages of this approach over conventional SEC are that the molecular weight measurement is independent of elution position and can exclude the contributions from carbohydrates. When a protein or complex contains no carbohydrates, a two-detector method, i.e., light scattering combined with refractive index, can be used to calculate the molecular weight. When a protein contains carbohydrates, a three-detector method is used to calculate the molecular weight of polypeptide alone. Finally, a self-consistent three-detector method is used to determine the stoichiometry of a protein complex containing carbohydrates. Example applications for all these methodologies are described.