PhD Program

Because graduate education in chemistry and biochemistry is primarily research oriented, there are few formal departmental course requirements. However, graduate students are expected to take relevant graduate-level courses in chemistry and biochemistry, as well as seminar courses. Entering students who have deficiencies in specific areas (inorganic, organic, physical, or biochemistry), as revealed by qualifying examinations required for admission to the PhD program, will take appropriate courses to correct them.

Each student should select a research advisor by the end of the first term (seven weeks) of residence. Research should be started by the beginning of the second term.

For the PhD, at the end of the first semester of the second year of residence, the student must submit both a written and oral progress report on completed research to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. A committee of three faculty members, including the research advisor, will consider this progress report and the student’s course performance. The committee will recommend to the department whether or not the student should complete an MS degree or if the student should be allowed to continue toward a PhD.

For the final PhD degree requirement, the candidate must submit and defend a satisfactory dissertation to a committee of three or more, two of whom must be from the degree-granting program and one of whom must be from outside the program. The dissertation must include a significant proposal for future research in the student’s general focus area.