Chemistry - Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. in chemistry is offered in the major emphasis areas of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry and biochemistry. The graduate program is designed to teach students modern approaches to chemistry and biochemistry (courses), experimental methods to problem–solving  (research), and communication skills in the discipline (seminars and colloquia). Ph.D. candidates are required to complete the courses below, pass a qualifying exam at the end of the first year, pass both a written and oral comprehensive exam before the fourth year, and prepare a written thesis and pass a final oral examination. 

Prefix Title Credits
CHEM 475Central Concepts in Chemistry - Safety1
CHEM 476Central Concepts in Chemistry - Research Ethics1
CHEM 477Central Concepts in Chemistry - ProfessionalDevelopment1
CHEM 501Central Concepts in Chemistry - Energy3
CHEM 502Central Concepts in Chemistry - Structure3
CHEM 503Central Concepts in Chemistry - Dynamics3
CHEM 504Central Concepts in Chemistry - Measurements3
Graduate student seminars6-12
Graduate Student Seminar 11
Comprehensive Literature Review Seminar for Graduate Students 21
Additional Required Courses 36-12
Research Credits 424-54
Total Credits51-93

Beginning in the second semester, all Ph.D. students must enroll in 1 credit of CHEM 510 Graduate Student Seminar, attending each semester. Students are required to prepare a formal presentation of their research work no fewer than twice during graduate study, typically in the 3rd and 4th years. Satisfactory performance in this course also requires attendance of all departmental seminars.


CHEM 520 Comprehensive Literature Review Seminar for Graduate Students is given on a topic of the student's choice as part of the Comprehensive Exam and will be assigned a letter grade. A grade of C+ or lower will require the student to repeat the course a maximum of once. 


Additional courses in subsequent years are chosen based on major emphasis area, through consultation with the thesis committee. 


At least 18 credits must be either  CHEM 700 Doctoral Dissertation or BCHE 700 Doctoral Dissertation. 700-level research credits are taken after the completion of the comprehensive exam. Remaining credits can be CHEM 600 Research or BCHE 600 Research

Information about additional course requirements: Through consultation with the thesis committee, students must complete 6-12 additional course credits. These courses can include BCHE 542 Biochemistry I , BCHE 545 Molecular and Biochemical GeneticsBCHE 546 Biochemistry IIBCHE 647 Physical Biochemistry, or BCHE 649 Topics in Biochemistry (Biochemistry); CHEM 507 Chemistry of the Elements (Inorganic); CHEM 514 Organic Structure DeterminationCHEM 515 Modern Organic ChemistryCHEM 516 Physical Organic ChemistryCHEM 517 Synthetic Organic Chemistry, or CHEM 619 Topics in Organic Chemistry (Organic); CHEM 521 Chemical Instrumentation CHEM 526 Advanced Analytical ChemistryCHEM 527 SeparationsCHEM 528 Electroanalytical TechniquesCHEM 529 Spectrochemical Analysis, or CHEM 629 Advanced Topics in Analytical Chemistry (Analytical); and CHEM 536 Chemical ThermodynamicsCHEM 537 Quantum ChemistryCHEM 538 Chemical KineticsCHEM 539 Spectroscopy, or CHEM 639 Topics in Physical Chemistry (Physical).