Chemistry: Chemistry Education (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. Option in Chemistry Education is designed for students who plan a career at the interface of Science and Education (e.g. discipline-based education research, educational program assessment, STEM curricular design, chemistry teaching, etc.). The rigorous program involves coursework in Chemistry, Psychology and Education and original research in Chemistry Education, leading to the submission of a dissertation. Students with a research-based MS (or equivalent) will be admitted directly to the program. Students with a BS (or equivalent) will first obtain an MS degree, carrying out original laboratory-based research with a faculty mentor, and submitting a thesis. The program has a focus on developing strong writing and oral communication skills. Financial support is typically available through a teaching assistantship.

Ph.D. Option in Chemistry Education

  • Demonstration of a broad understanding of undergraduate chemistry by passing a series of basic examinations or satisfactory performance in approved courses.
  • Demonstration of chemistry laboratory research proficiency by completing a thesis-based M.S. (or equivalent) either at UNH or another university.
  • Satisfactory performance in a series of courses in science education, cognition, and qualitative/quantitative research methods.
  • Attendance at Department seminars.
  • Attendance at Graduate Research Update sessions and presentation once annually from year 2 onward.
  • Satisfactory presentation of a Research Progress Report in the second year of residence,
  • One oral presentation at a regional or technical conference, and one oral or poster presentation at the UNH Graduate Research Symposium.
  • Preparation and oral defense of an original research prospectus in the third year of residence. Successful completion of the research proposal defense enables the student to advance to candidacy.
  • Preparation, public presentation, and oral defense of a written dissertation.
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher required to graduate.
  • Please contact the department for additional information on this option.

Faculty Research Advisor and Dissertation Committee

Students select a research advisor during the first semester in the program after interviewing at least three faculty members. During each semester thereafter, students conduct independent research under the supervision of the Faculty Research Advisor. In the second year of residence and before the Research Progress Report, a dissertation committee is selected. This committee evaluates the student's Research Progress Report and the Research Proposal Defense. Once the Research Proposal Defense has been passed and the student advances to candidacy, a fifth committee member is selected and added to the Dissertation Committee to evaluate the Dissertation Defense.

Required department courses
CHEM 800Introduction to Chemistry Teaching and Research Practices1
CHEM 801Modern Tools for Researchers in the Chemical Sciences1
CHEM 802Critical Thinking for Chemists1
CHEM 803Creative Thinking for Chemists1
Chemistry Courses
CHEM 995Colloquium (CHEM 995F Colloquium: Chemistry Education)1-4
CHEM 997Seminar1
CHEM 999Doctoral Research0
3 Chemistry CORE courses in a sub-discipline recommended by research advisor or MS degree
Quantitative Statistics
Choose 2 courses (see examples below)
PSYC 705Tests and Measurement4
PSYC 805Research Methodology and Statistics I4
PSYC 806Research Methodology and Statistics II4
PSYC 907Research Methods and Statistics III4
EDUC 978Applied Regression Analysis in Educational Research4
EDUC 979Applied Multilevel Modeling4
EDUC 981Quantitative Inquiry: Methods and Techniques of Educational Research4
MATH 835Statistical Methods for Research3
MATH 836Advanced Statistical Modeling3
MATH 839Applied Regression Analysis3
Qualitative Methods
Choose 1 course (example below)
EDUC 904Qualitative Inquiry in Research4
EDUC 982Qualitative Fieldwork & Data Analysis4
SOC 904Sociological Methods IV: Qualitative and Historical Research Methods4
Choose 1 course (examples below)
PSYC 783Cognitive Development4
PSYC 710Visual Perception4
PSYC 712Psychology of Language4
PSYC 716Cognitive Neuroscience4
PSYC 731Brain and Behavior4
PSYC 914Advanced Seminar in Cognition4
PSYC #917Advanced Seminar in Sensory and Perceptual Processes4

All graduates will be able to:

  • Comprehend, plan and conduct advanced research under the guidance of a research advisor while developing their intellectual independence that demonstrates scholarship.
  • Develop the ability to design and conduct experiments safely, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  • Develop and demonstrate oral and written communication skills to enable effective communication in all aspects of their professional career. This would include presentations, developing papers for published works and grant writing.
  • Develop and apply theories, methodologies, and knowledge to address questions and resolve problems in the field of chemistry and in associated interdisciplinary projects.
  • Develop the capacity of function and work effectively alone and in a team environment.
  • Develop professional and ethic responsibility and follow this throughout their careers in the field or in academia.
  • Investigate research ideas related to the content, context, and human experience of chemistry learning.
  • Understand and implement research methodologies from education, psychology, and sociology.