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 completing placement exams upon entry into the program. These are usually held during the Department Orientation Week.
  • Coursework: To be determined with the consent of the research advisor beyond the 1st. semester, a minimum of 6 courses is required including a minimum of 3 at the 900 level. 
  • Professional development courses required - 4 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.
  • Required 3.0 GPA or above to graduate.

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.

Professional Development Courses
CHEM 800Chemistry Teaching Seminar1
CHEM 802Critical and Creative Thinking for Chemists1
CHEM 992Graduate Writing Portfolio1
CHEM 997Seminar1
Program Courses
CHEM 808Spectroscopic Investigations of Organic Molecules3
CHEM 855Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 903Advanced Inorganic Chemistry I3
CHEM 902Theoretical Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 904Advanced Inorganic Chemistry II3
CHEM 905Advanced Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 911Synthetic Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 917Advanced Special Topics2-4
CHEM 918Advanced Special Topics2-4
CHEM 925Surface Chemistry3
CHEM #926Physical Chemistry of Condensed Phases3
CHEM 927Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Dynamics3
CHEM 930Advanced Optical Methods3
CHEM 933Chemical Separations3
CHEM 934Chemical Equilibria3
CHEM 935Advanced Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 995Colloquium1-4
MATH 835Statistical Methods for Research3
CHEM 999Doctoral Research0

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.
  • Conceive a research problem, plan and carry out the necessary experimental work, properly interpret the results, and advance their knowledge by independent study.
  • Have a high degree of proficiency in a specialized field in addition to a wide breadth of knowledge of other fields.