Orange Alert

Ph.D. in Chemistry

Ph.D. students design curricula to address their particular interests. A wide variety of courses are offered, drawn from traditional chemical, as well as biochemical and other related fields. Each student groups courses into a core curriculum, in consultation with the department Graduate Advisor. Usually coursework is completed during the first year.

Graduate students pursue research in a broad range of disciplines: analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry, as well as biophysical, biochemical, bioorganic chemistry, and biophysics. Spectroscopy, computer analysis, and advanced structural and functional evaluation of biological materials are some areas available for concentration. Graduate students receive hands-on training in the use of state-of-the-art chemical instrumentation, and then use all equipment directly in their research.

The requirements for a Ph.D. in chemistry usually consist of a combination of coursework, examinations, and original research. Entering students must complete 48 semester hours of credit for a Ph.D., of which 18 must constitute traditional coursework. Courses are selected with the assistance of a faculty advisor, and are generally completed by the end of the third semester in residence. Students complete breadth examinations during their first year to demonstrate general proficiency in three areas of chemistry, and a Ph.D. qualifying examination before the end of their second year of graduate study.

Students select a research advisor at the end of their first semester of study, and intensive research generally begins in the summer of their first year. Research progress is monitored annually through a series of research reports submitted to the student's graduate committee. The Ph.D. program culminates in the preparation of a research dissertation and a final oral examination.