Chemistry (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. program prepares students for careers in science as researchers and educators by expanding their knowledge of chemistry while developing their ability for critical analysis, creativity, and independent study. Graduates are well placed for careers as professional chemists in industry, academia, government, and related areas. All students take coursework, carry out original research with a faculty mentor, and submit a dissertation. The program has a focus on developing strong writing and oral communication skills. Financial support is typically available through a teaching assistantship.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

  • Demonstration of a broad understanding of undergraduate chemistry by passing a series of basic examinations or satisfactory performance in approved courses.
  • Satisfactory performance in a path-specific (analytical, inorganic, organic, or physical) series of 4-6 courses
  • Attendance at Department seminars and research Lunch Talks.
  • Satisfactory presentation of a Research Progress Report in the second year of residence
  • Present a department seminar on a topic unrelated to dissertation research in the third year of residence.
  • 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.

THESIS Mentor and Committee

Students select a thesis mentor 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 this faculty member. In the second year of residence and before the Research Progress Report a committee is selected.  This committee evaluates the student's Research Progress Report, the Research Proposal Defense and the Dissertation Defense