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Ph.D. in Chemistry

Graduate students earn a Ph.D. through independent research in collaboration with one or more faculty members . A modest amount of graded coursework ensures a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of the chosen field, as well as breadth of knowledge in the chemical sciences. The median time to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. is about five years. Students are required to pass oral examinations in their area of specialization. There are no pre-entrance or qualifying exams.

For complete details about our doctoral program, see the pages below:

  • First Year of Study
  • Ph.D. Degree Requirements
  • Ph.D. Degree Timeline
  • 2nd Year Exam Guidelines (pdf)
  • General Exam Instructions (pdf)
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Chemistry, PhD

Zanvyl krieger school of arts and sciences.

Johns Hopkins University was the first American institution to emphasize graduate education and to establish a PhD program in chemistry. Founding Chair Ira Remsen initiated a tradition of excellence in research and education that has continued until this day. The Hopkins graduate program is designed for students who desire a PhD in chemistry while advancing scientific knowledge for humankind.

The graduate program provides students with the background and technical expertise required to be leaders in their field and to pursue independent research.

Graduate students’ advancement is marked by entrance exams, coursework, teaching, seminars, oral examinations, and an individual research project that culminates in a thesis dissertation. The thesis research project represents an opportunity for graduate students to make a mark on the world. Working in conjunction with a faculty member or team, individually tailored thesis projects enable students to think independently about cutting-edge research areas that are of critical importance. Thesis research is the most important step toward becoming a PhD scientist, and our program provides an outstanding base with a proven track record of success.

Graduate students make up the heart of the Chemistry Department, and the department strives to support students’ individual needs. Each student is carefully advised and classes are traditionally quite small. Multidisciplinary research and course offerings that increase scientific breadth and innovation are hallmarks of the program.  In addition to academic and technical development, our department also offers several outlets for professional and social development.

Admission Requirements

Application materials include:

  • Academic transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • The GRE General Test is required.  However, this requirement can be waived for individuals for whom personal circumstances make it difficult or impossible to access the GRE General Test at this present time.  If so, please let the Academic Affairs Administrator (information below) be aware of these circumstances, and the application will be given full consideration.
  • The GRE Chemistry Subject is Test is recommended, but not required.
  • The application fee is $75. However, fee waivers may be requested for applicants that have documentation showing they are a part of SACNAS, MARCC, oSTEM and many other organizations. To access the full list to see if you qualify, go to the  Krieger Graduate Admission and Enrollment  page.

Assistance with the application process is available. Candidates with questions about the application process, or requests for a GRE General Test waiver (or on other matters related to the application) should contact the Admissions Committee’s Academic Affairs Administrator ( [email protected] ).

There are no fixed requirements for admission. Undergraduate majors in chemistry, biology, earth sciences, mathematics, or physics may apply as well as all well-qualified individuals who will have received a BA degree before matriculation. A select number of applicants will be invited to visit campus to tour our facilities and interact with our faculty members and their lab members over a weekend in March.

For further information about graduate study in chemistry visit the Chemistry Department website . 

Program Requirements

Normally, the minimum course requirement for both the M.A. and the Ph.D. degrees is six one-semester graduate courses in chemistry and related sciences. Exceptionally well-prepared students may ask for a reduction of these requirements.

Requirements for the Ph.D. degree include a research dissertation worthy of publication, and a knowledge of chemistry and related material as demonstrated in an oral examination. Each student must teach for at least one year.

Below is a list of the core Chemistry courses for graduate level students.

Course List
Code Title Credits
Organometallic Chemistry3
Chemistry of Inorganic Compounds3
Materials & Surface3
Intermediate Quantum Chemistry3
Statistical Mechanics3
Chemical Kinetics3
Chemical Biology I3
Advanced Mechanistic Organic Chemistry I3
Advanced Mechanistic Organic Chemistry II3
Advanced Organic Synthesis I3

About the Chemistry Ph.D. Program

Ph.d. in chemistry faq's.

Trevor Lohrey, Arnold Research Group

The Chemistry PhD program is designed towards developing within each student the ability to do creative scientific research. Accordingly, the single most important facet of the curriculum for an individual is their own research project. In keeping with the goal of fostering an atmosphere of scholarly, independent study, formal course requirements are minimal and vary among disciplines; advisor's tailor course requirements to best prepare the student for the chosen research field.

The Doctoral program includes the following concentrations, each of which has specific degree requirements:

  • Physical Chemistry : In general, the Physical Chemistry Graduate Program encompasses analytical, nuclear, biophysical, and theoretical chemistry.
  • Synthetic Chemistry : The Synthetic Chemistry Graduate Program includes emphases in either organic or inorganic chemistry
  • Chemical Biology : The Chemical Biology Graduate Program covers a range of research areas at the interface of Chemistry and Biology.

Research. A graduate student spends a good deal of time during the first week of the first semester at Berkeley talking to various faculty members about possible research projects, studying pertinent literature references, and choosing an individual project. New graduate students meet shortly after their arrival with a faculty adviser. From the faculty adviser the student obtains a list of faculty members whose research may interest the student. After visiting these and additional faculty, if necessary, the student chooses a research director, with the consent of the faculty member and the graduate adviser. By the end of the first semester most students have made a choice and are full-fledged members of research group. Students in the Chemical Biology Graduate Program will select their thesis advisor after completion of three-ten week rotations. Thereafter, all students become involved in library research on their projects and many begin actual experimental or theoretical work.

Independent Study. A student who chooses to specialize in physical chemistry is normally expected to take two courses per semester during the first year and one or two additional semesters of coursework sometimes during the second year. These may include topics such Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Group Theory, Interactions of Radiation with Matter, and many more. At the other extreme, a student specializing in inorganic chemistry will concentrate more heavily on special topics seminars and take fewer courses. The course offerings in the University are varied so that individual students have the opportunity to take other courses which serve their own needs. Such as, a student working on nuclear chemistry will probably elect additional graduate physics courses, while a student working on biophysical or bio-organic problems may take courses offered by the Biochemistry Department. Students in the Chemical Biology program will take courses from both Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology departments.

Seminars. Because of the size and diversity of the Berkeley faculty, there are many seminars on a variety of topics which students may choose to attend. There are regular weekly seminars in several major areas, including biophysical, physical, nuclear, organic, theoretical, solid state, and inorganic chemistry. These seminars are presented by members of the Berkeley faculty, as well as distinguished visitors to the campus. These seminars allow the students to become aware of the most important current research going on in the field. In addition to these regular seminars, there are several regular department seminars devoted to presentations by graduate students. One of the doctoral program requirements is that each student delivers a departmental seminar known as a graduate research conference during the second year. Individual research groups also hold regular research seminars. The format of these small, informal seminars varies. In some cases, graduate students discuss their own current research before the other members of the research group. On other occasions, the group seminars may be devoted to group discussions of recent papers which are of interest to the particular research group. In any event, small group seminars are one of the most important ways in which students learn by organizing and interpreting their own results before their peers.

Qualifying Exam. Sometime during the second year of graduate work at Berkeley, each student takes a qualifying examination. The examining board, a committee of four faculty members, is appointed to examine the student for general competence in the area of interest. The qualifying examination is centered around the defense of the individual research project. Upon satisfactory completion of the oral qualifying examination, the student is advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. After advancement, the student completes an original, scholarly contribution to science and writes a dissertation on the subject. Most students complete their work and received their degree within five years.

Teaching. An integral part of the graduate education at Berkeley is teaching. The department requires that each doctoral candidate assist in the instructional program of the department as a teaching assistant for two semesters during their graduate careers. The faculty regard the teaching experience as highly valuable for all graduate students, especially those who plan to teach as a career.

Financial Aid. All students admitted to our graduate program receive a stipend for the duration of study in the form of teaching and research assistantships as long as they are in residence and demonstrate good progress toward the degree. Students also receive full tution, health, dental and vision insurance. Most funds for this support derive from research contracts and grants.

For more information see the Berkeley Bulletin

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PhD Program Requirements

The Chemistry Department offers a flexible program that allows students to select courses tailored to their individual background and research interests. Students also teach for two semesters.

As part of the requirement for a PhD degree, MIT requires a General Examination, with both an oral and written part. The Oral Examination for the PhD in Chemistry must be passed by the end of the fourth semester of graduate study. No other general written examinations are required. In particular, no qualifying (or entrance) examinations are given.

A final oral presentation of doctoral research is scheduled after the thesis has been submitted and evaluated by a committee of faculty.

Program Requirements

Coursework and teaching.

All chemistry graduate students are required to register for the appropriate chemistry seminar subject (5.913, 5.921, 5.931, or 5.941 depending on research area) each term. This registration carries with it the expectation of seminar attendance whenever possible. These seminars provide an important component to your graduate education and professional development

All students are required to teach for two semesters in their first year. During those semesters, students are required to enroll in a class to support their teaching (5.91 Teaching Experience in the Chemical Sciences).  

2nd Year Oral & Written Exams

MIT requires that all Ph.D. candidates pass general oral and written examinations in their field of study. For chemistry students, these exams occur in the spring of the second year. The faculty committee will (i) assess whether the student has progressed sufficiently to be on-track for obtaining a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry and (ii) provide constructive feedback to help the student reach their full potential during the period of study at MIT. Thus, the overarching purpose of the examination includes fulfilling Institutional requirements for Ph.D. students and evaluating:

1. Progress towards the PhD degree (coursework, research) indicating that the student is on track to receive a doctoral degree in Chemistry 2. General knowledge and understanding in the broad field of study and specific sub-area 3. Critical thinking, including the ability to use core principles to think through unfamiliar topics 4. Ability to communicate effectively in oral and written forms, think logically and independently, and defend a point of view 5. Ability to formulate upcoming research plans and present a feasible timeline for progress towards completion of research goals 6. Overall scholarship

Thesis Committees

As the first step, second-year students meet with their research advisors to discuss which faculty might be appropriate as members of their Thesis Committee.  Thesis Committees must be composed of at least two other MIT faculty besides your advisor. Your Thesis Committee chair must be from the department of chemistry and in your area of chemistry (chemical biology, inorganic, organic, or physical). Please see the notes below if you are working in a research group outside the department and/or are co-advised. You are required to propose at least four faculty members as candidates for your committee in addition to your advisor, though you may propose up to six faculty members.  Students should fill out the online Thesis Committee Nomination Form by Friday, September 15, 2023 . Submitted forms are then reviewed by the Graduate Officer and a faculty advisory group who assign final Thesis Committees.  They will also choose one of these faculty members to be your Thesis Committee Chair.  This process is necessary to avoid the past problem of some faculty being assigned to an inordinately large number of committees. If you are listing any faculty outside the department, please contact them before submitting your form to confirm that they are willing to serve on your Thesis Committee and attend all relevant examinations and meetings. You do not need to reach out to any faculty within the department about serving on your thesis committee.

Students wishing subsequently to change their Thesis Committee, for reasons including significant changes in the direction of their research topic, should email Jennifer Weisman with the reason for requesting a change. Students must receive a positive response from the Chemistry Education Office in order for the change in committee to take effect.  Since changes in Thesis Committee membership can only be granted in unusual circumstances, students should contact the members of their committee to schedule the date for their oral defense well in advance of when they expect to complete their dissertation.

In the second year, each student’s research progress and intellectual development is evaluated through the Oral Examination. If a division requires an examination after the second year, Thesis Committee members also meet then. The thesis committee also meets for the Plan to Finish Meeting described below. Students (and research advisors) may arrange an additional meeting of the Thesis Committee in special circumstances by contacting the chair of the committee. Additionally, beginning in the second year of graduate study, each student meets with the Chair of their Thesis Committee at least once during the fall semester.

*Please note that if you are conducting research outside the department your Thesis Committee must be composed of at least two other MIT faculty besides your advisor and both must be from the Department of Chemistry. As noted above, your Thesis Committee chair must be in your area of chemistry (chemical biology, inorganic, organic, or physical).

Annual Meeting with Research Advisor

Under this system, research advisors are required to meet with each graduate student in their group who is in their second or later year to discuss the student’s intellectual and professional development over the past year and progress toward the degree. Prior to this meeting, students should complete Parts I-II of the required form on their own. Send the file to your Advisor the night before the meeting . At the meeting, students discuss their progress, future plans, and concerns with their advisor. The completed Graduate Student Annual Research Advisor Meeting form must be signed by both the student and their research advisor. Note that this is only a suggested format for the meeting. You and your advisor may choose a different format for the discussion as long as there is some written summary.

Annual Meeting with Thesis Committee Chair

Beginning in the second year of graduate student, each student meets annually with the Chair of their Thesis Committee. At these meetings, students update the Thesis Committee (TC) Chair on their on their research progress and general intellectual development in an informal and relaxed setting. The time, place, and format for this discussion is arranged between the student and Thesis Committee Chair. These meetings aim to encourage productive and stimulating discussions of science and to facilitate the development of further interactions between students and other members of the faculty besides research advisors. Students should keep in mind that these meetings are intended to focus primarily on academic and scientific matters, and that Thesis Committee Chairs are not bound by the same obligations with respect to privacy as are the Chemistry Department Mediators.

Plan to Finish Meeting

Updated October 2022

By June 1 st (and preferably before April 15 th ) of the 4 th year , each PhD student will participate in the Plan to Finish (PTF) meeting with their thesis committee. The purpose of the PTF meeting is for the student to discuss their timeline and plans for finishing a PhD.

In the 5 th year and beyond, if the student is not defending the PhD thesis by August 31 st of the 5 th year, the student will have another PTF meeting before June 1 st (and preferably before April 15 th ) of that calendar year, and the PTF meeting will be repeated annually until the year the student defends their thesis. Thus, a student who graduates in year five will have one PTF meeting, one who graduates in year six will have two, and so forth.

Before the meeting:  The student will prepare and share slides containing a summary of their research progress and their plans for research and completing the PhD thesis.

  • Projects that will be wrapped up and/or relinquished
  • Papers that will be written and/or submitted
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Plans for after graduation
  • The presentation should be succinct, not more than 8–10 slides total. These slides should include: (1) 1–2 introductory slides, one of which must display a proposed table of contents for the PhD thesis. The TOC includes the title for each proposed chapter and state of each chapter (e.g. “Experiments complete and manuscript published”, “Experiments nearly completed and manuscript writing in progress”, “Experiments ongoing”). (2) 1–3 slides per thesis chapter and associated future work linked to each chapter. (3) 1 slide summarizing future plans with a realistic timeline for completion of all the proposed activities (the PTF timeline).  Be sure to include the status of plans for after graduation. The student should consult with their research advisor in preparing the PTF timeline.
  • The slides must be sent to the committee at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
  • Meetings will be scheduled at the student’s direction and be organized by the research supervisor’s administrative assistant. These meetings are intended to be in-person, but teleconference can be used in special circumstances.

During the meeting: The meeting will follow the format below.

First, the student will provide a short (10-20 minute) presentation of their research progress and future plans based on their slides. Faculty will participate in discussion of the research and plans during this presentation.

Next, the research supervisor will be asked to leave the room so that the thesis committee can confer privately with the student.

Subsequently, the student will be asked to leave the room for a short period so that the committee can confer privately with the research supervisor.

The thesis committee will offer constructive feedback during and after the presentation and following the private discussions. The committee may request changes and/or revisions to the PTF outline as part of the discussion.

The plan to finish meeting will last ~1 hour altogether.

After the meeting:  The student will write-up a brief summary of the meeting, and submit it along with the PTF timeline and a signed PTF Form to the Chemistry Education Office as proof of completion. These items can be submitted as hard copies to the Chemistry Education Office or emailed to Dr. Jennifer Weisman .

  • While the deadline to hold the PTF meeting is June 1 st , students are strongly encouraged to complete their PTF Meeting by April 15 th to avoid scheduling issues later in the spring. As a reminder, the research supervisor’s administrative assistant will schedule the meeting upon the student’s request.
  • There is no possibility of failing the PTF meeting. The purpose of the meeting is fulfilled by the process of having it.
  • Annual meetings with the research advisor are required every year, including the fourth year.

Graduate Student Exit Interviews

  • Graduating students will be sent a list of interview questions by the Chemistry Education Office when the student joins the degree list. Instructions about scheduling a time for the in-person or virtual discussion will be included with other informational correspondence from the Chemistry Education Office regarding degree completion. Graduating students will perform their exit interview after the thesis defense so as to avoid making the interview an additional burden.
  • For students departing the program without a degree, the interview questions and instructions for scheduling an in-person discussion will be sent by the Chemistry Education Office at the point in time that a date for termination of their appointment in Chemistry is determined.
  • For the majority of departing students, this interview coincides with the end of the semester, but a rolling schedule of surveys is anticipated.

Guide for Graduate Students

For md-phd students in the hst program.

Ph.D. in Chemistry

General info.

  • Faculty working with students: 30
  • Students: 130
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application Terms: Fall
  • Application Deadline: December 4

Kevin Welsher Director of Graduate Studies Department of Chemistry Duke University Box 90347 Durham, NC 27708-0347

Phone: (919) 660-1503

Email: [email protected]

Website:  http://www.chem.duke.edu

Program Description

The following areas of specialization are available: analytical, biological, inorganic, physical, theoretical, and organic. A wide range of interdisciplinary research programs (e.g., toxicology, biological chemistry, cell and molecular biology) involve chemistry students with those in medical sciences, engineering, the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, and occasionally with local industry. The French Family Science Center, totaling over 275,000 square feet, is a shared research facility with groups from Biology, Physics, Mathematics and the Medical Center occupying space, with additional research space in the adjacent Levine Science Research Center. This well-equipped chemical laboratory provides conditions conducive to research in many areas of current interest. Major shared instruments, including those for nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry, are housed in the departmental instrumentation facility and a wide array of more specialized instrumentation is available in the various research laboratories.

The doctoral program in chemistry features research programs that span the “traditional” sub-disciplines of chemistry, including analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry. However, many, if not most of the research programs are interdisciplinary, either overlapping the traditional boundaries of chemistry or the boundaries between chemistry and the other sciences, for example biological, materials, and environmental sciences. Many chemistry faculty and students participate in university-wide interdisciplinary training programs and centers, including those in biological chemistry, toxicology, pharmacology, molecular biophysics, biologically inspired materials, and cellular and biosurface engineering. Research in all fields is supported by state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Competitive stipends are provided through research and teaching assistantships, and fellowships are available for outstanding candidates.

  • Chemistry: PhD Admissions and Enrollment Statistics
  • Chemistry: PhD Time to Degree Statistics
  • Chemistry: PhD Completion Rate Statistics
  • Chemistry: PhD Career Outcomes Statistics

Application Information

Application Terms Available:  Fall

Application Deadline:  December 4

Graduate School Application Requirements See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required (see departmental guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE General: Optional
  • GRE Subject - Chemistry: Optional
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Statement of Purpose Guidelines: This is one of the most important components of your application and is the key to helping the admissions committee determine if Duke Chemistry is a good fit for your Ph.D. studies. Your statement should be well-organized and concise. It should provide clear evidence of your maturity, persistence, resilience, and motivation for pursuing a chemistry Ph.D. It should also provide evidence of how you will contribute to a diverse and inclusive community of scholars. Most of all, it should clearly articulate your research interests and explain how they overlap with faculty in the department.

Writing Sample None required

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance

List of Graduate School Programs and Degrees

Requirements

Graduate study in Chemistry at Stanford stresses the unique needs of the students; basic course and examination requirements are deliberately kept to a minimum to allow each candidate flexibility in fulfilling individual research interests. Graduate students are usually engaged in research by the second quarter of their first year. Many first-year students do two, five-week optional rotations during autumn quarter.  All students join labs by the end of February of their first year and only after meeting with at least six faculty members. Generally, University and Department requirements for the Ph.D. degree can be met in less than six years of residence.

The research groups in Chemistry range from small (only two to three students) to large (twenty or more), including postdoctoral research fellows. Much of the advanced instruction, little of which is formally listed in the course catalog, occurs in group seminars organized within the individual research groups. Distinguished visiting scientists often participate in such special seminars, while research seminars of broader interest are arranged through weekly Departmental seminar programs in all areas of chemistry.

Due to the confidence the Department has in its selection of candidates for admission to graduate study, no departmental or comprehensive examinations are required for the Ph.D. degree. Alternatively, scientific development in the second and third years is normally monitored through individual student discussions with the faculty advisor. The only formal test requirement comprises a set of entrance examinations, taken by the incoming class of graduate students before the autumn quarter to display proficiency and breadth in chemistry at the level of a traditional advanced undergraduate curriculum. Any deficiencies are identified and corrected by the student in conjunction with the appropriate faculty. Once the examinations are taken, possible research problems are discussed with individual faculty members. Subsequent coursework and other requirements are largely determined by the student and research advisor(s).

More detailed information concerning degree requirements and course offerings can be found in the Stanford University general catalog, Stanford Bulletin, under these headings:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
  • Explore Courses

See also the  Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures  for specifics on Stanford University admissions, doctoral program requirements, funding, student records, and more.

PhD Timeline

PhD Timeline

Schedule for Completion of PhD Degree Requirements

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  • PhD Program of Study

The PhD program requirements consist of a minimum of six credit units of lecture courses  of which are usually completed in the first academic year. In addition to the six required courses, students must also take the Chemical Information Course worth 0.5 credits. Frequently, students having interdisciplinary interests will take some courses in other departments in their second semester. Twenty units of combined course and research credit are required for the Ph.D. degree, after which students enter "dissertation" status until they graduate. Graduate Chemistry Courses are listed here : 400 level and above.

The supervisor selection process occurs during the first semester of study. The process is three stages: faculty interviews, faculty seminars, and rank-ordered choices.

Faculty Interviews

First year students must conduct a series of meetings with at least 6 faculty members as potential supervisors.  Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the professors’ research and the work of their groups.  Every student must conduct these “interviews” with faculty and turn in a form  to the Graduate Office.

Faculty Seminars

A weekly seminar series featuring current faculty members interested in recruiting students for their groups.  These are generally held every Wednesday evening from mid‐September through mid-November (5-6:30pm).  Attendance at these seminars is required and recorded for all first-year students, regardless of division interest.

Rank-Ordered Choices

Towards the end of the fall semester, all first‐year students must submit a rank-ordered list of top choices for research group assignments. Students are then matched with supervisors.

We require students to serve as Teaching Assistants for at least two semesters, usually during the first year. Teaching Assistants are responsible for supervising laboratory sections or conducting recitation classes under the guidance of a faculty member. New Teaching Assistants in Chemistry are prepared for their teaching responsibility through a special training program held for one week before the start of the fall semester.

A regular program of seminars, in which distinguished scientists visit the Chemistry Department, is an essential part of the curriculum. At Penn, there are weekly departmental research seminars in biological, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are strongly encouraged to participate. Additional interdisciplinary seminar series (Biochemistry/ Biophysics Minisymposium; Interface of Chemistry and Biology) and special sponsored lectures (Aldrich, Axalta Coatings, Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Edgar Fahs Smith, ACS Philadelphia Section Award, Philadelphia Organic Chemists' Club, etc.) also offer opportunities to hear from premier scientists.

A major portion of the work towards a Ph.D. degree is a research project leading to the thesis. This usually involves several years of research under the supervision of a particular faculty member. Increasingly, chemistry-based students are becoming involved in interdisciplinary areas of research involving collaborations with faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows from other departments or institutions.

Coursework for the Ph.D. Program

Registration.

Graduate students are expected to enroll in a minimum of 12 units per quarter. Per UC regulations, you may not enroll in more than 12 units of graduate coursework (200-level) or more than 16 units of combined upper division and graduate coursework per quarter (100-, 200- and 300-level). Please refer to the  Academic Calendar  for specific registration dates and deadlines.

Graduate students are not assigned appointment times; you may enroll in courses any time during registration operating hours.

You must enroll and participate in CHE 290 (Seminar) each quarter in residence until you Advance to Candidacy. You must also enroll and participate in CHE 294 (Presentation of Chemistry Research) each Winter and Spring quarter until you Advance to Candidacy.

CHE 262 (Introduction to Chemistry Research) is required only in your first quarter of the program.

The following are the courses required for the Ph.D. in Chemistry by research area. Students need to complete at least six graduate level courses comprised of research area core courses and elective courses. Descriptions of these course are available in the  General Catalog . You may enroll in elective courses outside of the Department with prior approval from your academic adviser. Also, you must consult with your academic adviser regarding any course substitutions and/or waivers.

Students are typically expected to complete their coursework prior to taking their  Qualifying Examination ; however, it is permissible for the QE to be scheduled during the quarter in which you are taking the final one or two courses in your area of study. All courses must be passed with a "B" grade or better.

Analytical Chemistry

  • CHE 205: Symmetry, Spectroscopy and Structure
  • CHE 240: Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • CHE 241A: Surface Analytical Chemistry
  • CHE 241B: Laser and X-ray Spectroscopy
  • CHE 241C: Mass Spectrometry
  • CHE 241D: Electroanalytical Chemistry
  • CHE 241E: Microscopy and Imaging Techniques
  • Two elective courses in areas outside of analytical chemistry 

Biological Chemistry and Chemical Biology

  • CHE 238: Introduction to Chemical Biology or BCB 211: Macromolecular Structure and Interactions
  • BCB 211: Macromolecular Structure and Interactions
  • CHE 210A: Quantum Chemistry: Introduction and Stationary - State Properties
  • CHE 210B: Quantum Chemistry: Time-Dependent Systems
  • CHE 211A: Advanced Physical Chemistry: Statistical Thermodynamics
  • CHE 211B: Statistical Mechanics
  • CHE 219 & 219L: Spectroscopy of Organic Compounds
  • CHE 233: Physical-Organic Chemistry 
  • CHE 238: Introduction to Chemical Biology
  • Three elective courses in areas outside of biological chemistry and chemical biology

Inorganic Chemistry

  • CHE 226: Principles of Transition Metal Chemistry
  • CHE228A: Bio-inorganic Chemistry
  • CHE228B: Main Group Chemistry
  • CHE228C: Solid-state Chemistry
  • CHE228D: Homogeneous Catalysis 
  • Two elective courses in areas outside of inorganic chemistry 

Organic Chemistry

  • CHE 231A: Organic Synthesis: Methods and Strategies
  • CHE 233: Physical-Organic Chemistry
  • Three elective courses in areas outside of organic chemistry

Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics

  • CHE 210A Quantum Chemistry: Introduction and Stationary-State Properties
  • CHE 210B Quantum Chemistry: Time-Dependent Systems
  • CHE 211A Advanced Physical Chemistry: Statistical Thermodynamics
  • Three elective courses in areas outside of physical chemistry and chemical physics

Elective Courses

  • Two to three courses depending on research area

Chemistry PhD Program Detailed Degree Requirements

Please visit the the ucla graduate division – chemistry phd page for the latest detailed degree requirements.

Department of Chemistry

Professor Rebekka Klausen in discussion with grad student at bench in her lab.

  • PhD Requirements
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Johns Hopkins University was the first American institution to emphasize graduate education and to establish a PhD program in chemistry. Founding Chair Ira Remsen initiated a tradition of excellence in research and education that has continued until this day. The Hopkins graduate program is designed for students who desire a PhD in chemistry while advancing scientific knowledge for humankind.

The graduate program provides students with the background and technical expertise required to be leaders in their field and to pursue independent research.

Graduate students’ advancement is marked by entrance exams, coursework, teaching, seminars, oral examinations, and an individual research project that culminates in a thesis dissertation. The thesis research project represents an opportunity for graduate students to make a mark on the world. Working in conjunction with a faculty member or team, individually tailored thesis projects enable students to think independently about cutting-edge research areas that are of critical importance. Thesis research is the most important step toward becoming a PhD scientist, and our program provides an outstanding base with a proven track record of success.

Graduate students make up the heart of the Chemistry Department, and the department strives to support students’ individual needs. Each student is carefully advised and classes are traditionally quite small. Multidisciplinary research and course offerings that increase scientific breadth and innovation are hallmarks of the program.  In addition to academic and technical development, our department also offers several outlets for professional and social development.

For more information, contact the Director of Graduate Studies. Dr. Art Bragg Office: Remsen 221 410-516-5616 [email protected]

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Chemistry PhD

  • Degree Requirements

Chemistry PhD Degree Requirements

Programs of study are tailored to the needs of individual students, based on their prior training and research interests. Progress to degree is generally similar for all students. During the first year, students take courses, begin their teaching apprenticeships, choose research advisors, and embark on their thesis research. Beginning the first summer, the emphasis is on research, although courses of special interest may be taken throughout a student's tenure. In the second year, there is a Departmental Examination, which includes a written research proposal and an oral defense of the research proposal. In the third year, students advance to candidacy for the doctorate by defending the topic, preliminary findings, and future research plans for their dissertation. Subsequent years focus on thesis research and writing the dissertation.

Definition of Good Academic Standing

Good department and academic standing is a requirement to remain eligible for financial support. Graduate students who are not in good standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or disqualification from further graduate study.

  • GPA of 3.0 or above (and no more than 8 units of “F” or “U” grades)
  • Must have an approved Thesis Advisor, no later than spring quarter of their first year
  • Satisfactory spring evaluation by Thesis Advisor
  • Fulfillment of all program requirements, according to department deadlines (i.e., coursework, research progress, Department Exam, Qualifying Exam)
  • Students may not exceed a maximum of three quarters of "U" grades in Chem 299. 

Time Limits

Campus policy has established maximum time limits for advancement to candidacy, for financial support, and for the total quarters registered. The UCSD Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs office enforces these limits. The Department  of Chemistry and Biochemistry has set earlier time limits for advancement to candidacy and financial support as outlined below.

Advancement to candidacy               3 years

Financial support                               4-5 years

An individualized course program is designed for each student in conjunction with the advisor. Course work may be prescribed by the First-Year or Thesis Advisor based on results of the Placement Examinations and the student's research concentration. All students will be required to TA for three quarters (usually during their first year).

  • See Coursework Map for PhD students planning to get an MS along the way
  • All students must enroll in a minimum of 12 units each quarter to qualify for financial support and to be in good academic standing. If courses or units are dropped, others must be added to maintain the minimum 12 units required to remain in good academic standing. Graduate courses (200 and 500 series) are usually taken. Upper-division courses (100 series) are often appropriate or necessary to remedy deficiencies noted on Placement Examinations. Lower-division courses (numbered 1-99) do NOT count toward the 12 unit minimum.
  • Students normally enroll for 4 courses of 4 units each in Fall quarter.
  • Chemistry 509 (Teaching Training Seminar, 2 units) counts towards the unit requirement
  • CHEM 250 / Responsible Conduct of Research training (RCR, 4 units). First year doctoral students are required to complete CHEM 250 in Spring quarter of Year 1. This seminar will cover RCR, and other valuable training on scientific communication and creating your Individual Development Plan. CHEM 250 will also fulfill the RCR training requirement from NSF and NIH funding agencies. [email protected] ) with your certificate of completion for your academic file. -->
  • Students are encouraged to enroll in the seminar courses (e.g., Chemistry 227, 251, 293, 294, 295, or 296). However, these courses do not count toward the 12-unit per quarter minimum in the first year.
  • All students should enroll in Chemistry 298 (Rotation) during Fall quarter (and Winter quarter for those students still participating in lab rotations). Students should not enroll in Chemistry 299 (Research) until a Thesis Advisor has been approved.
  • First Year Advisors must approve any changes to course enrollment, including adds, drops, unit changes, and grading option changes.
  • Courses from other departments (e.g., Biology, Physics, Mathematics, School of Medicine, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography) may be taken. This may be particularly valuable in making contacts with faculty outside the Department for the Doctoral Committee.

Graduate level courses at UCSD have two grading options: Letter (e.g., A, B, C, D, and F) and S/U (Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory). First year students must take all courses for a letter grade unless the course is offered S/U only. Students who have not advanced to candidacy for the doctorate must take all courses within the Department for a letter grade, with the exceptions of Chemistry 299 and courses that are offered S/U only.

All incoming PhD students are required to complete three (3) quarters as a Teaching Assistant (TA) as part of the academic requirements of the PhD program. Three (3) quarters of teaching are usually completed in the first year. Students typically must TA at least two (1) lab as part of the 3 quarter teaching requirement. For more information regarding TA applications and responsibilities, please visit: https://www-chem.ucsd.edu/graduate-program/ta.html .

Master's Degree

The Comprehensive Exam (Coursework) M.S. in Chemistry is optional, and interested students must apply for it. Students who wish to pursue this degree normally take the bulk of the required coursework during their first year and receive the degree after passing the Departmental Examination in their second year. See  Coursework Map  for Plan II MS along the way.  Students will be given the needed paperwork and status report of M.S. units at the time of their Departmental Examination. The latest we recommend a student earn the Master's degree is the quarter in which they advance to candidacy for the Ph.D.

Students who already have a Master's degree from UCSD or who already have a Master's degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, or a related field from another institution are not eligible. Transfer units are acceptable as outlined in the UCSD General Catalog and as approved by the Graduate Affairs Committee.

Application to Candidacy for M.S.

The deadline to file the paperwork to Advance to Candidacy for an MS is the end of the third week of the same quarter of the MS degree conferral. The final units needed to advance may be in-progress while the paperwork is filed. These are the unit and grade requirements for advancing:

  • REQUIRED: Complete a minimum of 36 units.
  • REQUIRED: Achieve a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
  • REQUIRED: Successfully complete the Departmental Examination.
  • Lower-division (1-99) courses may not be applied towards the degree.
  • A maximum of 12 units of upper-division (100-199) coursework may be applied.
  • Complete a minimum of 24 units of graduate-level (200-298) coursework.
  • A minimum of 14 units of Chemistry graduate level courses required. Courses taken outside of the department must be approved by the Graduate Affairs Committee, contact the Student Affairs office for these requests.
  • A maximum of 8 units of non-thesis research (298) may be applied.
  • A maximum of 2 units of Teaching Training Seminar (Chem 509) may be applied.
  • Chem 250 is the ONLY seminar that may be applied. However, students are strongly encouraged to also enroll in seminars in their field. A maximum of 4 units of Chem 250 may be applied.
  • Chem 251 and Chem 299 may not be applied.
  • All courses must be taken for a letter grade unless offered S/U only.
  • Complete a minimum of 16 units of letter-graded (A, B, etc.) courses.

Placement Examinations

The purpose of the Placement Examinations is to assist with academic advising and to assure that students have the breadth and level of competence needed for graduate studies in the chemical and biochemical sciences. There will be two required examinations for incoming PhD students: one General Exam and one in the student’s area of research specialization (In-track exam). These examinations cover undergraduate course material—the In-track Exam will focus on your area of research and the General Exam will encompass topics from all of the different Chemistry & Biochemistry tracks: biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry,materials chemistry, and analytical/instrumental analysis. To meet the Placement Examination requirement, by the end of Spring quarter of your first year, you must show proficiency at the upper-division level on the topics covered in the General Exam and the In-track exam. You must prove proficiency by passing the two Placement Exams or by passing prescribed coursework with a grade of B or higher if you do not pass the examinations.

Incoming students are mailed information about what materials to review and the best strategies for studying for these tests. Students are required to take both examinations, which are administered at the beginning of the Orientation period. If a student does not pass the General Exam the first time, they will be able to self-study and re-take a different version of the General Exam. If a student does not pass the General Re-Exam and/or the In-track Exam, they must pass the coursework prescribed by their First-Year Advisor. The First-Year Advisors review the examination results and develop a prescribed course plan for each student who would benefit from additional training in one or more of the six areas. Students must pass their prescribed course(s) with grades of B or higher. It may take more than one quarter to become proficient in an area, depending on a student's educational background.

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Chemistry Doctoral Program

Program details.

Gain multidisciplinary chemistry expertise that’s highly valued by a wide range of industries with a Ph.D. from Stevens.

Here, you’ll enhance a solid foundation in core areas of chemistry with advanced courses in subjects like polymer and medicinal chemistry, drug discovery and cancer research. You’ll work with leading scholars in state-of-the-art research hubs like the Center for Health Care Innovation and the Center for Mass Spectrometry, considered one of the most well-equipped academic facilities in the United States. Our graduates go on to positions in hospitals and clinics, environmental control and criminology laboratories, quality control centers and many other institutions.

The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology offers dynamic opportunities to explore leading-edge research within a close community of faculty mentors. You'll be able to study under a faculty mentor in the area that you find most exciting:

Analytical Chemistry

Physical Chemistry

Computational Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

Medicinal Chemistry

Technical Writer

Chemical Biology

Hands-On Chemistry and Chemical Biology Research

At Stevens, you have the ability to join research groups with students at a variety of levels of experience, and outstanding faculty so you can learn cutting-edge technology as a team, just like in the real-world. In our state-of-the-art research labs and facilities, you'll have the opportunity to engage in experiential learning.

More opportunities for Stevens graduate students include:

Wide selection of Graduate Certificates

Student Organizations

Optional research or thesis

Credit for on-the-job projects with your current employer

Extensive hands-on laboratory experience

Find out more about life as a chemical biology graduate student at Stevens by visiting the links below.

The Stevens Advantage

In addition to a wealth of on-campus resources, Stevens’ proximity to both Manhattan and the New Jersey research corridor gives students unparalleled opportunities for networking, internships and employment opportunities.

More Advantages to Our Program

An independent research project spanning several years

Experience working in or with national research centers and other universities

Hands-on laboratory experience

Scientific research using real data sets

Research and collaboration with adjunct faculty who work in major pharmaceutical and chemical companies

Additional Information

Who should apply.

We welcome applicants who hold a master’s degree in chemistry, biology, chemical biology, chemical engineering or biomedical engineering (up to 30 credits may be transferred to Stevens’ Ph.D. program). Exceptionally well-qualified applicants holding only a bachelor’s degree in these areas will also be considered but may be admitted provisionally. Contact Graduate Admissions for details.

Program Admission Requirements

Bachelor’s degree, with a minimum GPA of 3.0, from an accredited institution

Official college transcripts

Two letters of recommendation

Resume or curriculum vitae

A statement of purpose

For international students: An excellent TOEFL/IELTS score

A competitive GRE or GMAT score (required for both part-time and full-time applicants)

Writing sample (such as journal or conference publication, thesis, or research reports)

View General Admissions Requirements >

For information about fellowships and assistantships, contact Graduate Admissions.  Contact >

Chemistry Doctoral Program Curriculum Overview

Stevens chemistry doctoral program provides advanced education in chemistry theory and experimental methods to students with undergraduate backgrounds in chemistry. The doctoral program connects students with distinguished faculty research, providing both theoretical instruction and experimental exposure throughout the course of study.

By the end of this program, students will be able to:

Write reviews of the scientific research on different topics

Write journal articles based on your research

Have a strong knowledge of all core disciplines in chemistry: analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry

Conduct independent research

Learn various research skills appropriate to your research which could include

Employ standard methods to synthesize organic and inorganic molecules and determine purity and yield

Identify and quantify chemical materials using instrumental analytical methods such as IR, UV, NMR, mass spectrometry, and chromatographic and electrochemical methods

Determine physical properties of molecules such as kinetic parameters, thermodynamic properties and molecular mass, explain properties and behavior.

Degree Requirements

A student enrolled in the master’s program in chemistry or chemical biology who is interested in a doctorate degree must apply formally for admission to the Doctoral program. Eighty-four credits are required for the doctoral degree. The Master’s degree is not a prerequisite for admission to the doctoral program but may be included in the 84 credits. The 84 credits should include a minimum of 30 credits of dissertation hours. For the Ph.D. degree, a prior Masters’ degree may be transferred for up to 30 credits. Up to one-third of additional course credits may be transferred with the approval of the Program Director and the Dean of the Graduate School provided they have not been used to obtain another degree. The preliminary requirements for the doctorate are regarded not as ends in themselves, but rather as preparation for the dissertation in which the student demonstrates ability. Continuation in the doctoral program is contingent on passing the qualifying examination and preliminary examination.

VIEW REQUIREMENTS >

Qualifying Examination

All doctoral students in chemistry must pass a qualifying examination. After successful completion of the qualifying examination, the next milestone is a preliminary examination. The preliminary examination is based on an original research proposal in an area of the student’s own choice, preferably in an area related to the pending dissertation area but with a topic significantly different from his or her thesis. It is submitted in written form and defended orally before the Thesis Committee.

Doctoral Dissertation and Advisory Committee

The final milestone is the doctoral dissertation and defense. Specifics on these degree requirements can be found in the Chemistry Program Graduate Student Handbook.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GENERAL REQUIREMENTS >

If you have existing graduate credits or experience in this area of study, contact  [email protected]  to discuss opportunities to include it in the curriculum.

A Techn Forward Education

Photo of James Liang

James Liang develops cutting-edge implantable devices and drug delivery systems for biomedical applications.

James Liang

Chemistry & Chemical Biology Faculty

Abhishek Sharma

Funded by the Komen Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health, Abhishek Sharma on Stevens’ chemistry and chemical biology faculty is developing next-generation anticancer agents to treat breast cancer and novel chemical tools to label and modulate the function of disease relevant proteins.

Abhishek Sharma

Professor Athula B. Attygalle

Athula Attygalle researches quantitative analysis by mass spectrometry. His work includes development of a technique to detect explosives.

Athula Attygalle

Yong Zhang

Funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, Yong Zhang’s computational research provides accurate structural and mechanistic information for molecules and biomolecules, particularly those of broad impact on biomedicine and sustainable chemistry.

Related Programs

Chemical engineering doctoral program.

Advance independent research that addresses some of society’s biggest challenges in the entrepreneurial environment of Stevens’ chemical engineering Ph.D. program.

Chemical Biology Doctoral Program

Develop the deep expertise you need to drive innovations in cancer biology, drug discovery and development, genetics and more with a Ph.D. in chemical biology.

Biomedical Engineering Doctoral Program

Gain the advanced research skills and hands-on experience you need to engineer innovative medical solutions in the biomedical engineering Ph.D. program.

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Chemistry Ph.D Program

Programs of study.

Graduate courses and research programs leading to the MS and PhD degrees in chemistry are offered in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry. These programs include photochemistry, stereochemistry, electrochemistry, kinetics (including nanosecond and crossed-molecular beam studies), theoretical structure and dynamics, statistical mechanics, organic synthesis, inorganic synthesis, carbohydrate chemistry, NMR, ESR, laser and vacuum UV spectroscopy, pulse radiolysis, X-ray structures, multi-enzyme complexes, catalysis, mechanisms of action of enzymes and coenzymes, molecular biology, biomembrane studies, surface chemistry and separations.

The first year is devoted mainly to advanced coursework with the opportunity to begin research in the latter part of the year. During the second and subsequent years, the major emphasis is given to research for both MS and PhD students. PhD students begin their examinations for admission to PhD candidacy in their second year. These examinations include both written and oral portions; they are designed to verify the student's competence as an independent scientist.

All MS and PhD research is carried out under the direct supervision of a faculty adviser who serves as the student's preceptor. Many research groups are enriched by the presence of postdoctoral researchers and visiting professors. Graduates are employed by industrial and government laboratories and as research and teaching staff members at colleges and universities across the United States.

  • The Best Universities for PhDs in Chemistry in the USA (2024)

Written by FAU Bot

This article was written with the assistance of generative AI. All AI content on our site is guided and vetted for accuracy by humans, and data referenced is collected from reliable, authoritative sources.

Why Study Chemistry in the USA

There are many reasons why someone might want to study Chemistry at a university in the USA . Here are just a few:

  • The USA houses some of the world's most advanced research facilities and laboratories, offering PhD students the opportunity to engage in high-level studies and make significant contributions in diverse subfields of Chemistry.
  • Strong links between US institutions and chemical industries provide graduates with promising job outlooks in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, materials science etc., apart from having career potential in academia.
  • Studying under globally recognised experts provides an enriching environment for intellectual growth, with excellent mentorship opportunities that may influence your research direction.
  • Many U.S institutions offer a variety of financial aid options such as scholarships, fellowships or teaching assistantships specifically for PhD candidates facilitating a less financially burdened academic journey.

The Best Universities for Chemistry in the USA

The following tables give the 10 top universities in the USA for Chemistry , according to global and local university rankings. It can show you which American universities are amongst the best in the world - and help you compare institutions on an international level.

This information is based on the latest rankings tables, researched and published by Times Higher Education , QS and Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) .

Each ranking system uses its own methodology, with different factors having more or less influence on a university's result.

Our guide has more information on how to use international rankings to decide on the best research universities for PhD study .

Top 10 Universities in the USA for Chemistry (Times Higher Education)
University USA Rank Global Rank
Stanford University 1 3
Harvard University 2 2
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3 4
University of California, Berkeley =4 =6
Princeton University =4 =6
California Institute of Technology 6 1
Carnegie Mellon University 7 =56
Yale University 8 10
University of California, Santa Barbara 9 37
Columbia University 10 =12
. Visit their website for more information.

What should I know about the Times Higher Education rankings?

The Times Higher Education rankings are strong in academic focus and diverse teaching metrics, but do not include employer-specific metrics. Additionally, the rankings may not include all specialist institutions.

Top 10 Universities in the USA for Chemistry (QS)
University USA Rank Global Rank
Stanford University 1 2
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2 5
University of California, Berkeley 3 6
Northwestern University 4 8
Harvard University 5 9
California Institute of Technology 6 =10
University of Texas at Austin 7 13
The Scripps Research Institute 8 =15
University of California, Santa Barbara 9 17
Georgia Institute of Technology 10 18
. Visit their website for more information.

What should I know about the QS rankings?

The QS World University Rankings are designed to meet the needs of prospective students, with more weight given to student-centric metrics such as staff/student ratio, international recruitment and employer opinion. The rankings are balanced between qualitative and quantitative data, but give less weight to research than some other rankings.

Top 10 Universities in the USA for Chemistry (ARWU)
University USA Rank Global Rank
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1 1
Stanford University 2 2
Georgia Institute of Technology 3 17
Northwestern University 4 4
University of California, Berkeley 5 1
Harvard University 6 7
University of California, Los Angeles 7 30
Purdue University - West Lafayette 8 51-75
University of Texas at Austin 9 13
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 10 51-75
. Visit their website for more information.

What should I know about the ARWU rankings?

The ARWU rankings reflect the presence of elite academics and the future academic success of graduates. However, they do not directly assess the quality of education at a university or take into account other aspects of university performance.

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Chemistry Program

The department of chemistry and biochemistry supports active programs of basic research in chemistry and related fields.  faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students collaborate on projects in interdisciplinary fields such as nanofabrication, bioorganic chemistry, supramolecular synthesis, environmental and atmospheric chemistry and fuel cell research. these emerging areas are grounded in the traditional disciplines of physical, organic, inorganic, analytical and theoretical chemistry. browse the websites of  individual research groups  to learn more about these and other research opportunities., chemistry graduate students also benefit from interactions and collaborations with many other programs on campus, including  biophysics ,  chemical physics ,  atmospheric and oceanic science ,  chemical and biomolecular engineering  and  physics . many of our faculty have contacts and collaborations with government laboratories in the area, such as the  national institutes of health ,  national aeronautics and space administration , and the  national institute of standards and technology .  .

Chemistry Graduate Student Shweta Ganapti on molecular recognition and drug delivery.

  • FAQs for CHEM and BCHM graduate admissions

Masters of Science in Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry accepts Masters students only in rare cases. Students have a maximum of 5 years to complete this degree, but typically, are able to complete all requirements in 2.5 years. Financial assistance is not generally available to M.S. students.

Degree Requirements

Chemistry Masters students have two tracks that they can choose: Thesis or Non-Thesis.

Thesis Option

  • 24 credits of graduate coursework must be completed by the end of the fourth semester.
  • Out of the 30 total credits, 6 credits must be research (CHEM799)
  • Completion of a thesis based on the student's research
  • Presentation of one seminar, generally immediately before the final oral examination
  • A final oral examination by the student's advisory committee

Non-Thesis Option

  • Chemistry Core courses (CHEM 611 and 612) must be completed by the end of the fourth semester
  • Out of the 30 total credits, 6 credits must be research (CHEM699)
  • A 20 page original scholarly paper must be submitted and approved by three faculty members

Detailed Information about the MS degree requirements can be found  here .

PhD in Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry accepts PhD students each Fall. We do not offer Spring admissions. Students must advance to candidacy within 5 years of admission to the doctoral program. After advancing to candidacy, students have 4 years to complete and defend their dissertation. Admitted PhD students are offered a graduate assistantship in the form of a teaching assistantship during their first year of the program. After the first year, as long as students are in good standing, they will continue to receive funding from the department via a research or teaching assistantship.

The Ph.D. in Chemistry must include:

  • At least 21 credits of graduate coursework completed by the end of the fourth semester with an overall GPA ≥ 3.0
  • 12 credits of Ph.D. research (CHEM899)
  • 2 credits of seminar coursework (CHEM 889 series)
  • Presentation of a seminar based on the original scientific research conducted by the student
  • Oral defense of a written research proposal and demonstration of general knowledge of Chemistry as part of advancement to candidacy.
  • Preparation and oral defense of a publication-quality dissertation that advances the field. 

Detailed Information about the PhD requirements can be found  here .

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Chemistry—MS, PhD

It's elemental. Create the personalized environment necessary for you to tackle some of the toughest research questions. Develop biomolecular nanoparticles. Explore pathogen invasion. Understand the relationship between protein misfolding/aggregation and disease processes. Challenges equal to your dedication and enthusiasm are waiting. Are you ready?

Accelerated Master's Program is available for current Michigan Tech students.

Program Overview

From chemical catalysis and measurement, to structure, dynamics, and mechanisms, your research focus in the master's or doctorate in chemistry program can be boundless. Specialties include education, life processes, environmental, macromolecular, supramolecular, and nanochemistry as well as theory, models, and computational methods. Our focus is interdisciplinary and collaborative.

Delivery Options

  • Accelerated: MS
  • On-Campus: MS, PhD

Chemistry Program Details

Choose a specific degree option or delivery type to learn more about the chemistry program at Michigan Tech. For international students, Chemistry is a designated STEM program.

On-Campus Programs

To complete a doctoral degree, students must complete the following milestones:

  • Complete all coursework and research credits (see credit requirements below)
  • Pass Qualifying Examination
  • Pass Research Proposal Examination
  • Prepare and Submit Approved Dissertation
  • Pass Final Oral Defense

The minimum credit requirements are as follows:

Total Credit Requirements
Degrees Credits
MS-PhD (minimum) 30 Credits
BS-PhD (minimum) 60 Credits

Individual programs may have higher standards and students are expected to know their program's requirements. See the  Doctor of Philosophy Requirements  website for more information about PhD milestones and related timelines.

This option requires a research thesis prepared under the supervision of the advisor. The thesis describes a research investigation and its results. The scope of the research topic for the thesis should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in 12 months or three semesters following the completion of coursework by regularly scheduling graduate research credits.

The minimum requirements are as follows:

Total Credit Requirements
Option Parts Credits
Coursework (minimum) 20 Credits
Thesis research 6-10 Credits
Total (minimum) 30 Credits
Distribution of Coursework Credit
Distribution Credits
5000-6000 series (minimum) 12 Credits
3000-4000 (maximum) 12 Credits

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum number of credits listed here.

This option requires a minimum of 30 credits be earned through coursework. A limited number of research credits may be used with the approval of the advisor, department, and Graduate School. See degree requirements for more information.

A graduate program may require an oral or written examination before conferring the degree and may require more than the minimum credits listed here:

Distribution of Coursework Credit
Distribution Credits
5000-6000 series (minimum) 18 Credits
3000-4000 (maximum) 12 Credits

Bachelor's + 1 Year = Master's Degree

Our accelerated master's degree program is a faster, easier way for Michigan Tech students to earn a master's degree. Up to nine approved credits from your bachelor's degree can be applied towards your accelerated master's degree. Consult your graduate program director for your individualized plan. If you're thinking about pursuing a master's following your bachelor's this option may be the right choice for you. 

Additional Accelerated Master's Program Details

Additional Program Information

Want to learn more about chemistry at Michigan Tech? Visit the department for more information:

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  • Recent Publications
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Graduate Director

Marina Tanasova

Graduate Assistant

Shannon Meller

Sample Areas of Interest

Select areas of interest to help customize your Chemistry MS, PhD. Sample areas include:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemical Synthesis
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Nanotechnology

View full listing for this program

Application Process and Admissions Requirements

Applications are reviewed on an individual basis using a holistic approach. Fill out our free graduate application online to apply to any of our programs. Official transcripts and scores are not required for the initial application, although you will need to upload them later.

Applying to Graduate School is free  (no application fees) and  fast (no official transcripts or test scores are needed to start). The application process involves three easy steps. International applicants are required to pay a non-refundable $10 processing fee per application.

See Admissions Steps

Michigan Tech offers several admissions options in order to meet the educational needs of students from a variety of backgrounds. Students should review the options available to them and apply for the program that will best help them achieve their personal educational goals.

See Admissions Options

To be considered for admission to the Graduate School as a degree- or certificate-seeking student, you need to:

  • have a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution, and
  • be prepared for advanced study in your chosen field, as demonstrated by your previous degree and your scholastic record.

See additional application requirements , including required materials:

  • Student Statements
  • Official Transcripts

Program Specific

  • 3 Letters of Recommendation (only 1 required from Michigan Tech undergrads)
  • Résumé / Curriculum vitae
  • Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • No additional documents accepted
  • No GRE required

International Students

  • TOEFL: Recommended Score of at least 88 iBT
  • IELTS: Recommended Score of 6.5 overall

Michigan Tech requires a minimum 79 overall TOEFL or 6.5 overall IELTS score.

Admissions Decisions

Fall Semester: Reviews will begin on December 1

Recommended Deadline

Fall Semester: February 1

Please contact the Graduate Program Director if you are interested in applying for the Spring Semester                               

International Students must apply and be accepted into a degree-granting program in order to earn a graduate certificate. A non-refundable $10 processing fee per application is required.

See International Applicants

Our Accelerated Master's Program is available for current Michigan Tech students.

  • 1 Letter of Recommendation from a prospective advisor
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or greater
  • Résumé/ Curriculum vitae

Eligible Undergraduate Majors

  • Cheminformatics
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Apply for Free
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  • For Prospective Students

Accredited by HLC

Michigan Tech has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1928. Our Graduate School offers over 125 certificates, master's, and PhD programs to provide our students and the world with what tomorrow needs.

Who You'll Work With

You'll work collaboratively with faculty who are tops in their fields, professors who will become mentors and partners in your exploration and education. Our graduate students interact closely with a faculty advisor in research groups of two to six people and you research will often be interdisciplinary in nature.

Where You'll Work

We maintain top-notch teaching and computer laboratories including studio, organic, analytical, instrumental, physical chemistry, inorganic, and biochemistry labs with a vast array of research equipment such as the MALDI-TOF Bruker Micro ex LRF mass spectrometer system, an ABI 394, 8-base/4-column DNA/RNA Synthesizer, and an LC-MS Thermo Finnigan LCQ Advantage Ion-Trap used to separate and identify molecules among many others.

Faculty Spotlight

Marina Tanasova

Marina Tanasova Associate Professor, Chemistry

" Working on the interface between chemistry and biology–our approach to solving challenging problems in health research. "

Tanasova develops molecular probes and biochemical assay for identifying and understanding links between impaired biological mechanisms and cancer. She relies on chemical biology to understand molecular interactions that control cellular equilibrium and uses synthetic organic chemistry to produce small molecules to monitor and adjust impaired biochemical processes.

Program Faculty

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Chemistry in United States

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Why Study Chemistry in United States

  • Studying Chemistry in United States is a great choice, as there are 104 universities that offer PhD degrees on our portal.
  • Over 957,000 international students choose United States for their studies, which suggests you’ll enjoy a vibrant and culturally diverse learning experience and make friends from all over the world.
  • We counted 119 affordable PhD degrees in United States , allowing you to access quality higher education without breaking the bank. Moreover, there are 302 available scholarships you can apply to.

127  Chemistry PhDs in United States

Kent State University

Study in United States

The United States is home to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world. With over 150 universities featured in international rankings, the U.S. has some of the best business schools, medical schools, and engineering schools. Universities and colleges in the U.S. are well known for academic flexibility and ways to customize your study experience with optional studies and extracurricular activities. Depending on where you will be studying, you will be able to visit iconic places like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Goldengate Bridge, The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Disney's Magic Kingdom Park, and much more.

Is United States the right place for you?

Take the test and find out which country is your best fit.

Explore your Chemistry degree

A Chemistry degree explores the world of matter, its properties, and reactions. Specialisations include Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, and Biochemistry. Courses cover topics like organic synthesis, thermodynamics, spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, and environmental chemistry. Skills gained are valuable in healthcare, environmental fields, and various industries. Curiosity, precision, and analytical thinking are essential. Career options include Analytical Chemist, Forensic Scientist, Pharmacologist, Toxicologist, and Research Scientist, with opportunities to make significant contributions to human progress. A Chemistry degree is a rewarding path for those passionate about continuous learning and discovery.

Is Chemistry the best for you?

Take the test and find out if Chemistry is the right path for you.

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Chemistry: Chemistry Education (Ph.D.)

Chemistry PhD photo

Why pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry education at UNH?

Our purpose is to prepare professionals who will change the field of teaching and learning in chemistry.This requires developing a deep knowledge of chemistry, fluency with the literature and methods of education,and skill with research tools from the cognitive and social sciences. You will be prepared for careers involving college-level chemistry teaching, STEM curriculum design, student assessment and STEM professional development. You will conduct original research leading to submission of a dissertation, and develop strong written and oral communication skills necessary for advanced work in education, research and academia.

Program highlights

UNH has one of the early national Ph.D. programs in chemistry education. You will engage with the program like all other chemistry graduate students—taking a small set of core advanced chemistry courses and participating in master’s-level chemistry research. Some students may enter the program with a master’s degree, courses, and research experience already in hand. Within the first year, you will begin to participate in chemistry education group meetings and to plan your pathway for study of human cognition, qualitative research methods, and quantitative statistical methods. Your research could involve interviews to understand how a few students conceive of molecules or solve chemistry problems. Or you might design and test a new learning approach within a chemistry course of hundreds. There is a variety of interesting research questions in this relatively new field of study. Financial support is typically available through teaching assistantships.

Potential career areas

  • Chemistry professor
  • College laboratory coordinator
  • Curriculum designer
  • Educational program assessment coordinator
  • Teaching and learning center professional development provider

Chris Bauer

Contact Information

Curriculum & Requirements

Program description.

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.

Requirements for the Program

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 (GRU) sessions and presentation once annually from year 2 onward.
  • Satisfactory presentation of a Thesis Research Proposal (TRP) in the second year of residence,
  • Preparation and oral defense of an Original Research Proposal (ORP) in the third year of residence. Successful completion of the Original Research Proposal (ORP) enables the student to advance to candidacy.
  • One oral presentation at a regional or technical conference, and one oral or poster presentation at the UNH Graduate Research Symposium.
  • 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 Thesis Research Proposal, a dissertation committee is selected. This committee evaluates the student's Thesis Research Proposal and the Original Research Proposal. Once the Original Research Proposal 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.

Course List
Code Title Credits
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
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
EDUC 904Qualitative Inquiry in Research4
EDUC 982Qualitative Fieldwork & Data Analysis4
SOC #904Sociological Methods IV: Qualitative and Historical Research Methods4
Cognition
PSYC #783Cognitive Development4
PSYC 710Visual Perception4
PSYC #712Psychology of Language4
PSYC #716Cognitive Neuroscience4
PSYC 731Brain and Behavior4
PSYC 914Advanced Seminar in Cognition4

Student Learning Outcomes

All Chemistry graduate students will be able to:

Display a comprehensive knowledge of chemistry, with greater depth demonstrated in at least one subdiscipline.

  • Chemistry students in the Ph.D. and the M.S. program should have a basic knowledge of the field, with that knowledge being at least the level of the material taught in first-year chemistry and the initial courses in undergraduate sub-disciplinary classes (analytical, inorganic, organic, physical chemistry, and biochemistry).

Ph.D. students should demonstrate focused and deep expertise in their area of scholarly exploration, including an understanding of the current status of the topic. M.S. students should also demonstrate clear focus in scholarly pursuits.

  • In the area of specialization, a Ph.D. student’s knowledge of the field should, at a minimum, be comparable to special topics classes at the graduate level.
  • Students should demonstrate capabilities of searching the literature to become familiar with the current state of the field.

Apply critical thinking skills in the evaluation of scientific work, by analyzing, organizing, and evaluating scientific data and knowledge.

  • Careful attention to and critical evaluation of material encountered in the literature, in seminars, and research activity is evidence of scientific maturation.

Generate hypotheses, design strategies, perform studies, and interpret results that lead to new knowledge in the field, including the

  • Application of central methods and techniques, including laboratory skills, statistical and computational methods, data gathering, and record-keeping to deliver detailed information and reproducible results.
  • Demonstration of an understanding of the scientific method through the Original Research Proposal and through laboratory research (dissertation).
  • Conduct of consequential scientific inquiry that advances a scientific field as required for a dissertation and peer-reviewed publications.

Communicate scientific information with effectiveness to both experts and novices in oral and written form, including methods, results, and conclusions.

  • Demonstration of the ability to engage in communication appropriate for the audience.
  • Present scientific material with clarity, accuracy, and precision.

Perform research in a professional, ethical, and safe manner.

  • Students must participate in and apply knowledge from required training in laboratory safety and the responsible conduct of research; additional specialized training in these areas is encouraged.
  • Students should develop skills in applicable professional areas, such as pedagogy, teamwork and team building, and leadership, through mentoring, instructional activity, and workshops.
  • Safety and ethical behavior should be demonstrated in all activities, including both instructional and research activity.

Application Requirements & Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall : Feb. 15 (for funding); April 1 (final)
  • Spring : Dec. 1
  • Summer : N/A
  • Special : N/A

Application fee : $65

Campus : Durham

New England Regional : No

Accelerated Masters Eligible : No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form . This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted , you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts : Please have your institution send the transcript directly to [email protected] . Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts : Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement

Prepare a brief but carefully crafted statement that includes: 1) Research experience. State the goals of your previous research and accomplishments to date. Including a list of publications, presentations, and awards within the Experience and Background section of the application is encouraged; however, please do not send actual publications or presentations. 2) Clear reasons why you wish to perform graduate work in chemistry education research. Include your immediate and long-range objectives. 3) Those UNH Chemistry faculty whose research interests you and why. If you do no yet hold a research-based M.S. degree, be sure to include those faculty whose laboratory-based research interests you. 4) Additional information that will enhance the selection committee’s understanding of your personal background and life experiences, including educational (e.g. teaching and leadership experience), cultural, familial, or other opportunities or challenges.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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Prerequisites and Requirements

Before applying to the Ph.D. Program at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, review our full list of prerequisite information and complete admission requirements. The admissions committee reviews all completed applications through a holistic review process to select candidates for interviews.

Prerequisites

Candidates for the Ph.D. Program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Completion of a bachelor's degree, preferably in the biological or physical sciences, from an accredited institution. 
  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 
  • Degree conferral before the program begins (program begins in July).

Suggested undergraduate coursework:

  • Applicants to our Ph.D. program are encouraged to have completed coursework with demonstrated proficiency (B average or above) in their math and science courses. Additionally, advanced courses in biology, chemistry, and physiology are encouraged.
  • Applicants interested in applying to the Biomedical Engineering and Physiology Track are advised to take courses in quantitative science and engineering, such as signal processing, computer science, and instrumentation.

Holistic review

Our Ph.D. program prepares students to translate scientific discoveries into applications that improve patient care. This requires a wide range of skills, aptitudes, and characteristics. Along with the basic set of prerequisites, the track admissions committees take a holistic approach to admissions; meaning, they take into consideration the many factors that make up an applicant. These acceptance factors include:

  • Academic performance
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Research experience

Transfer student policy

The only pathway to matriculation at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is through application during the annual application window, September 1 - December 4.

The Ph.D. program does not accept transfer students; however, transfer credits for graduate courses taken at another institution may be considered if appointed to our Ph.D. program.

Application window

Apply between Sept. 1 and Dec. 4 for the following academic year.

To get in touch with the Ph.D. Program, fill out the form on the Contact Us page .


    University of Houston
   
  Jul 01, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog (Catalog goes into effect at the start of the Fall 2024 semester)    

2024-2025 Graduate Catalog (Catalog goes into effect at the start of the Fall 2024 semester)
|

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences    > Department of Political Science    > Political Science, PhD

The graduate program of the Department of Political Science provides advanced training in the discipline of political science to students whose career goals include college teaching and advanced research.

The department is organized into six major subfields: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, quantitative methods, and public policy. Students take comprehensive exams in a major and minor subfield of their choice.

Recent graduates of the PhD program have obtained teaching positions at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the college graduate admission requirements, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements for unconditional admission to the Ph.D. in Political Science program:

  • Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution by the date of enrollment with at least a 3.00 grade point average (A = 4.00) in the most recent 60 hours of undergraduate course work and at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for any graduate level courses.
  • International applicants have further documentation requirements, including proof of English language proficiency, which are described on the International Graduate Students website.
  • Applicants should prepare a one-to two-page statement of purpose.
  • Secure three letters of recommendation from professors directly familiar with the student’s work.
  • Application fee ($65 domestic applicants/$140 international applicants).

Political Science students are generally admitted only in the Fall semester. However, Spring admissions are decided on a space available basis.

Degree Requirements

Credit hours required for this degree: 57.0

A minimum of 45 hours of course work is required for a political science PhD, plus at least 12 hours of dissertation credit. Students must successfully complete oral and written comprehensive examinations.

Comprehensive examinations are normally given after two and a half years of coursework, or the equivalent in terms of credit hours for part-time students. Upon successfully completing exams, students are expected to be continuously enrolled in dissertation hours until the degree is completed. Students who are not on teaching fellowships may enroll for as little as 3 dissertation hours per semester (this includes the summer), but note that a student must enroll for a minimum of 12 dissertation hours prior to completion of the degree. Following the completion of a dissertation, students must participate in an oral dissertation defense. Students who enroll as doctoral candidates must complete their degree requirements within 10 years of the date of first enrollment with a doctoral degree objective. Failure to comply will result in the candidate being ineligible for the doctoral degree. Doctoral students who fail to complete the dissertation within 5 years after passing the comprehensive examination must retake the examination.

Core Courses

12.0 Credit Hours

All students intending to obtain a PhD must take the three required core courses in their first two years in the program, or, in the case of part-time students, as soon as practically possible. Students who are admitted to the PhD program with financial support must enroll in the department’s core courses during their first year in the program.

  • POLS 6380 - Quantitative Methods I Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 6381 - Quantitative Methods II Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 6382 - Quantitative Methods III: Maximum Likelihood Estimation Credit Hours: 3

The core curriculum is designed to provide beginning PhD students with a broad overview of important topics in Political Science. For the beginning student, the core should provide the necessary background to select areas for further concentrated study. The methodological component of the core (POLS 6480 and POLS 6481) is designed to provide the student with the appropriate statistical foundation to become an informed consumer of Political Science research and to set the stage for the student to perform research of his/her own.

Degree Plan

During the last term of core course work students should develop a degree plan in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and the student’s academic adviser. Students must select two areas of study in Political Science in which to concentrate. One of the chosen areas is designated a student’s major area, and a minimum of twelve credit hours (four courses) is required in this area. In the minor area of study, nine credit hours (three courses) are required as a minimum. Students will also have six hours (two courses) in elective courses which can be taken in any area chosen.

It is required that students with a major or minor in American Politics take at least one course from each of the following two subsets:

  • Elections, Public Opinion, Psychology and Politics
  • Legislative Process, The Presidency, Political Parties

Tools Requirement

The tools requirement exists for the purpose of assuring competence in the methods necessary for effective scholarship in the student’s chosen specialty. Each student must complete two relevant research courses (6 hours) beyond POLS 6480 and POLS 6481. Choice of possible tool offerings should in all cases should be guided by the question of appropriateness for the student’s academic interest. Students should consult with their advisor about the most appropriate courses for them. In all cases, the student’s choice of tool requirements must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Among the possible course offerings that may satisfy the requirement area:

A. Political methodology courses:

  • POLS 6480 - Quantitative Methods I Credit Hours: 4
  • POLS 6482 - Quantitative Methods III: Maximum Likelihood Estimation Credit Hours: 4

Plus one additional course (for instance,

  • POLS 6384 - Survey Research Methods Credit Hours: 3 ,
  • POLS 6385 - Time Series Methods Credit Hours: 3 , or
  • POLS 6386 - Measurement Theory for Political Science Credit Hours: 3

B. Computer Applications at a more advanced level than POLS 6480 and POLS 6481.

C. foreign language (in rare instances)., d. other research methods specifically relevant to the dissertation research of the student., degree path.

In most cases, the American politics core course and the first two courses in the methods sequence should be completed in the student’s first year. Progress toward degree will normally take a path similar to the following:

Year One: Year Two: Year Three:
1. Research Design (POLS 6302) 7. Tools (1) 13. Major (4)
2. Methods (POLS 6480) 8. Major (2) 14. Elective (2)
3. Elective (1) 9. Minor (2) 15. Prospectus seminar
4. Methods (POLS 6481) 10. Tools (2)   
5. Major (1) 11. Major (3)   
6. Minor (1) 12. Minor (3)  

Academic Policies

  • University of Houston Academic Policies    
  • Academic Policies: College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences    

Students must also successfully complete oral and written comprehensive exams. Upon successfully completing comprehensive exams, students are expected to be continuously enrolled in dissertation hours (a minimum of 12 dissertation hours must be completed prior to the completion of the degree). Upon completion of the dissertation, the student will participate in an oral dissertation defense.

SATISFACTORY PROGRESS TOWARD THE DEGREE

Every spring term the department’s faculty meets to review the progress of all students in the department’s PhD program. This review will usually involve consultation with all faculty members who have taught the student during the previous two semesters. The Director of Graduate Studies will refer to the Graduate Committee for review any students who do not seem to be making adequate progress toward the PhD degree.

Students are expected to meet the following minimum standards:

  • maintain a 3.0 grade point average,
  • receive one A or A- for every three courses completed, and
  • carry on their transcripts no more than two incompletes at any one time (except in cases of medical emergency, which must be documented to the satisfaction of the Director of Graduate Studies).

Students who have not met these minimal requirements will be deemed not to have made satisfactory progress. After having registered for 18 hours or more of course credit, students who have not made satisfactory progress will be counseled by the graduate committee and given the opportunity to explain what steps they will take to improve their performance in the future. Such students will be advised that they are in jeopardy of losing financial support or being expelled from the political science PhD program. A letter to that effect will be entered into each student’s file. These students will be given a probationary term to improve their grades and/or to remove incompletes from their records.

Students who have any incompletes or have not achieved grades of A or A- for one third of their graduate credit hours will not be permitted to take doctoral comprehensive exams. Full-time students will normally take their exams after their third year. Part-time students must complete a minimum of 48 hours of course credit before taking comprehensive exams.

Independent of the “progress review”, the Director of Graduate Studies is responsible each term for monitoring whether students are making satisfactory progress toward their degrees, discussing the situation with the student, and reporting and making recommendations to the Graduate Committee regarding any student failing to make satisfactory progress.

Students in the Political Science Graduate Program who are not doing satisfactory work may be advised to pursue the MA degree only and not go on for the PhD Depending on how many courses they have completed at the point such advice is given, these students may choose either the Plan I MA (which requires a thesis) or a Plan II MA (which requires more course work and a bibliographic essay). Students who are not doing satisfactory work will receive a letter from the department notifying them of this. Any student who fails to make satisfactory progress may be suspended from the Graduate Program by the Director of Graduate Studies. A student may appeal a suspension to the Graduate Committee.

Machine Learning & Data Science Foundations

Online Graduate Certificate

Cutting-Edge Curriculum

The power of data grounded in computer science .

Artificial intelligence is transforming how all industries and organizations operate. Now more than ever, there is an increasing demand for data scientists and engineers who can understand and implement machine learning technology. To gain insights from massive data sets, drive efficiency, create technological advancements, and win in the marketplace, organizations need data professionals who can develop powerful algorithms and intelligent machines. 

Offered by CMU’s School of Computer Science, one of the nation’s top universities for learning computational data science, this online certificate equips students with the requisite AI skills to solve real, large-scale data problems across various industries.

Curriculum Overview

After you enroll in the Machine Learning & Data Science Foundations program, you will take six graduate-level, credit-bearing courses. Each course will appear on your Carnegie Mellon transcript with the grade earned.

To earn the certificate, you must successfully complete all courses in the program. If you are only interested in one course, however, you may complete that course only and it will show on your transcript with the grade earned. 

Please note: the Python for Data Science and Foundations of Computational Data Science courses are delivered in two consecutive parts at 6 units each.

The certificate includes the following courses taught by CMU faculty:

Mathematical foundations of machine learning.

Course Number:  10-680

Units:  6 units

Practice the necessary mathematical background for further understanding in machine learning. You will study topics like probability (random variables, modeling with continuous and discrete distributions), linear algebra (inner product spaces, linear operators), and multivariate differential calculus (partial derivatives, matrix differentials). Some coding will be required; ultimately, you will learn how to translate these foundational math skills into concrete coding programs.

Computational Foundations for Machine Learning

Course Number:  10-681

Practice the necessary computational background for further understanding in machine learning. You will study topics like computational complexity, analysis of algorithms, proof techniques, optimization, dynamic programming, recursion, and data structures. Some coding will be required; ultimately, you will learn how to translate these computational concepts into concrete coding programs.

Python for Data Science

Course Numbers:  11-604 & 11-605

Units:  6 units each

Master the concepts, techniques, skills, and tools needed for developing programs in Python. You will study topics like types, variables, functions, iteration, conditionals, data structures, classes, objects, modules, and I/O operations while also receiving hands-on experience with development environments like Jupyter Notebook and software development practices like test-driven development, debugging, and style. Course projects include real-life applications on enterprise data and document manipulation, web scraping, and data analysis. These courses can be waived for computer science professionals already fluent in Python.

Foundations of Computational Data Science

Course Numbers:  11-671 & 11-672

Learn foundational concepts related to the three core areas of data science: computing systems, analytics, and human-centered data science. In this course, you will acquire skills in solution design (e.g. architecture, framework APIs, cloud computing), analytic algorithms (e.g., classification, clustering, ranking, prediction), interactive analysis (Jupyter Notebook), applications to data science domains (e.g. natural language processing, computer vision), and visualization techniques for data analysis, solution optimization, and performance measurement on real-world tasks.

Course Waivers

Students who already have proficient skills in either math or programming may waive the following courses upon successful completion of an exemption exam(s):

  • Math Fundamentals of Machine Learning (10-680) and   Computational Fundamentals of Machine Learning (10-681)
  • Python for Data Science (11-604 & 11-605)

The exemption exam(s) will be administered to admitted students only. Students who are interested in taking the exam(s) should indicate their interest in the application when applying to the program. Once admitted, additional information about sitting for the exam(s) will be provided.  

Upon successful completion of one, or both, of the exemption exams, students will only complete the remaining courses to qualify for the certificate. No credit will be earned, nor tuition will be assessed, for the waived courses.  

Please note: Foundations of Computational Data Science is not eligible for a waiver.

For more information about course waivers, contact an admissions counselor today.

Application Deadlines

Priority*: July 9, 2024 Final: July 30, 2024

*All applicants who submit by the priority deadline will receive a partial scholarship award.

Request Info

Questions? There are two ways to contact us. Call 412-501-2686 or send an email to  [email protected] with your inquiries .

Meet Our World-Class Faculty

Dr. carolyn rosé.

Professor of Language Technologies and Human-Computer Interaction

Education:  Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University

Research Focus: to better understand the social and pragmatic nature of conversation and to build computational systems that improve the efficacy of conversation between people, and between people and computers by using approaches from computational discourse analysis and text mining, conversational agents, and computer-supported collaborative learning. 

Dr. Henry Chai

Assistant Teaching Professor of Machine Learning

Education:  Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis

Research Focus: topics at the intersection of Bayesian machine learning, probabilistic numerics and active learning that help address the following question: how can we efficiently and accurately reason about inherently intractable quantities? Dr. Chai is also passionate about pedagogical research and K-12 computer science education.

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The Graduate Certificate in Machine Learning & Data Science Foundations is offered by the Language Technologies Institute (LTI) at CMU, which is housed within the highly-ranked School of Computer Science (SCS). SCS faculty are esteemed in their field, and many of them have collaborated on critical projects that have paved the way for future discoveries in artificial intelligence. Check out some of their work below:

autonomous driving

Researchers from CMU’s Robotics Institute completed a long-distance autonomous driving test in 1995 called the No Hands Across America mission .

football field

In 2001, SCS Founders University Professor Takeo Kanade and his team created a video replay system called EyeVision  for Super Bowl XXXV.

Graphic of autonomous vehicle data

In 2007, Faculty Emeritus William “Red” Whittaker led CMU’s Tartan Racing team to victory in the DARPA’s Grand Challenge .

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Assistant Research Professor László Jeni used computer vision technology to create a facial recognition tool  that can help people with visual impairment.

The Building Blocks of Our Curriculum

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Industry Impact

In this program, everything you learn serves a greater purpose - to approach and solve large-scale, real-world data challenges in today’s world. After learning fundamental skills in math and computational data science, you’ll have a firm understanding of cloud-based technologies and the ability to solve problems across industries with innovative solutions.

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By completing practical, interactive, and collaborative coursework along with hands-on training exercises, you’ll be prepared to: define the analytical requirements of a data science problem, design a data gathering plan, build and deploy models using the right analytic algorithms, and improve models to achieve organizational objectives.

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Collaborative

Interdisciplinary work is a core value of Carnegie Mellon. As you complete the coursework for this program, you will explore computational data science from different perspectives, participate in powerful discussions, and gain insights from different departments within the School of Computer Science, including: the Language Technologies Institute, Computer Science Department, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, and Machine Learning Department.

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Class of 2026

Liana lanford, madaline meagher, morgan merrill, fabianna morell, kat sakdaauscoskul, kendal schreder, melinda thompson, sharon tran.

What Exactly Is the Science of Reading?

  • Posted June 25, 2024
  • By Elizabeth M. Ross
  • Language and Literacy Development

Teacher reading a book in front of classroom

Last summer Nonie Lesaux , a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education who leads a research program that seeks to improve literacy outcomes for children and youth, was approached with a problem. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) needed to help the 600-plus school districts that the state agency serves better understand what scientific research had to say about how children learn strong reading and writing skills. Their query came at a time when powerful public advocacy for bringing the science of reading to classrooms, which had been steadily gaining momentum, had reached a fever pitch.

Portrait of Nonie Lesaux

Over roughly the past decade, 38 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws or introduced policies that aim to bring literacy instruction in line with decades of interdisciplinary research on the science of reading. In New York, in fact, Governor Kathy Hochul introduced a plan earlier this year to have schools in the state adopt science-based methods to improve reading instruction by September 2025.

When they approached her last summer, administrators at NYSED told Lesaux that many school district leaders and educators across the state felt “angst, confusion, and worry about the science of reading.” They weren’t sure what the term meant exactly — they had lots of questions, and they needed clarity and resources, she says, to help them “cut through a lot of noise,” including some misconceptions. 

So Lesaux produced a series of seven briefs to help the educators better understand the research, as well as the work that is needed. The briefs explore key ideas and myths about the science of reading, and leadership strategies for those in New York’s preK–12 systems who are working to improve literacy and provide professional learning supports.

Lesaux recently discussed the briefs, as well as how they have been received.

You worked with NYSED on a series of literacy briefs back in 2017. How did you build on that previous work with this new set of briefs?

Literacy is still the multifaceted, complex construct that it always has been, and the demands on the learner and the citizen today, in this global knowledge-based economy, are significant. You have to develop literacy skills to a level that is much higher than might have been necessary even 25 years ago, for entry into the workforce and for a good wage and income and lifestyle — that hasn't changed. … There is some overlap [in the briefs] because the knowledge base didn't change much. I think what changed, which was super important for the field, is the public became much clearer that there are effective and ineffective ways to teach early word reading.

In your first brief, you say that the science of reading reflects more than 50 years of research across multiple disciplines about how children successfully learn to read and write. If there is so much research and evidence, why has there been so much confusion about effective literacy instruction?

I think what has created some of the confusion is that there are a couple curricula and approaches that took hold at large scale — this kind of “leveled reader” approach, “balanced literacy” —  and the field took that up and the research was not there. In fact, it's deleterious for some kids because it's not the right approach. It's true that phonics instruction should be very explicit and direct, and that is not the same as teaching language and comprehension. And we need the language and comprehension teaching, but we can't confuse the two. And I think for far too long there was sort of this text-based approach to teaching phonics that wasn't actually the explicit direct instruction that a very significant number of children both need and respond so well to. But I think the danger is that we then swing the pendulum and pit the two ideas against each other, ideologically, and create this thing called “the reading wars,” when in fact we know we need a strong plan for phonics, and we need a strong plan for language and comprehension. It sounds so basic, and yet the politics and some of the ideologies of what it feels like to educate in developmentally appropriate ways got in the way of all of this. You know, rote explicit phonics instruction only needs to be about 20 minutes a day, but if you overdo it and it becomes synonymous with your reading instruction, you don't have a very engaging academic environment. When you do it really well and in the short burst that every first and second grader needs, it becomes very reinforcing and exciting because kids see their growth.

In one of your briefs, you set out to debunk common myths about the science of reading and you point out that learning to read and reading to learn should not be two distinct stages. You say effective teaching aims to teach all skills simultaneously from the earliest years?

Yeah, we need to stop pitting the two and we need to do both really well…. [and be] honest about the fact that there are lots of kids who don't have a vulnerability in the phonics area and don’t need more than the standard foundational instruction in this area, but who have very underdeveloped vocabulary and comprehension skills, you know, à la achievement opportunity gaps, and need a lot of content building knowledge. So, if we turn around and only do structured rote phonics programs, ad nauseum, they’re no better off for the long run.

What you mentioned about building up students’ background knowledge, to assist with reading comprehension, makes me think about the work of HGSE’s Jimmy Kim , correct?

Definitely. Jimmy’s portfolio of research has shed light on the effective strategies and the complexity of building up knowledge and comprehension skills. The same is true for Meredith Rowe's vocabulary work . There are others at HGSE, like Nadine Gaab with her [dyslexia] screening work , whose research is equally important. We’re all in the same fight together, contributing in specific ways for the same outcomes, but we're all looking at different pieces.

Regardless of which pieces we’re each focused on, some of the feedback that I get repeatedly [from school districts] is that it's so helpful that we step back and look at the policy and practice landscape and look at what the research really tells us about where we are, and then craft guidance in the form of resources and tools.

Additional resources

  • American Public Radio's Sold a Story podcast

Separating Fact from Fiction About the Science of Reading

  • The Science of Reading Literacy Briefs, NYSED
  • Harvard Ed. magazine explores the next phase of the Reach Every Reader initiative
  • Professor Catherine Snow puts the "literacy crisis" in context on the Harvard EdCast

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In States That Won’t Pay for Obesity Drugs, ‘They May as Well Have Never Been Created’

Public employees in West Virginia who took the drugs lost weight and were healthier, and some are despondent that the state is canceling a program to help pay for them.

Dr. Joanna Bailey wears a red T-shirt and listens to the heart of a patient, who is also wearing red, with a stethoscope in an exam room of her clinic. Both of them wear surgical masks.

By Oliver Whang

Reporting from Pineville, Charleston and Morgantown W.Va.

Joanna Bailey, a family physician and obesity specialist, doesn’t want to tell her patients that they can’t take Wegovy, but she has gotten used to it.

Around a quarter of the people she sees in her small clinic in Wyoming County would benefit from the weight-loss medications, which also include Ozempic, Zepbound and Mounjaro, she says. The drugs have helped some of them lose 15 to 20 percent of their weight. But most people in the area she serves don’t have insurance that covers the cost, and virtually no one can afford sticker prices of $1,000 to $1,400 a month.

“Even my richest patients can’t afford it,” Dr. Bailey said. She then mentioned something that many doctors in West Virginia — among the poorest states in the country, with the highest prevalence of obesity, at 41 percent — say: “We’ve separated between the haves and the have-nots.”

Such disparities sharpened in March when West Virginia’s Public Employees Insurance Agency, which pays most of the cost of prescription drugs for more than 75,000 teachers, municipal workers and other public employees and their families, canceled a pilot program to cover weight-loss drugs.

Some private insurers help pay for medications to treat obesity, but most Medicaid programs do so only to manage diabetes, and Medicare covers Wegovy and Zepbound only when they are prescribed for heart problems.

Over the past year, states have been trying, amid rising demand, to determine how far to extend coverage for public employees. Connecticut is on track to spend more than $35 million this year through a limited weight-loss coverage initiative. In January, North Carolina announced that it would stop paying for weight-loss medications after forking out $100 million for them in 2023 — 10 percent of its spending on prescription drugs.

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  29. What Exactly Is the Science of Reading?

    Last summer Nonie Lesaux, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education who leads a research program that seeks to improve literacy outcomes for children and youth, was approached with a problem.The New York State Education Department (NYSED) needed to help the 600-plus school districts that the state agency serves better understand what scientific research had to say about how ...

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