Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy


The Department of Chemistry offers programs of study leading to the MS and PhD degrees. Opportunities for study in courses and through research are available in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Research plays a major role in the graduate program. Since the number of graduate students is limited, the research program of the individual student is enhanced by close daily contact with the faculty.

All applicants for graduate work in the department are expected to offer as preparation college level fundamental courses in general, analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry; physics; and mathematics through one year of calculus. During registration all new graduate students take qualifier examinations covering the fields of analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Programs of study are in part determined by the results of these examinations, and deficiencies are to be remedied during the student’s first academic year.

For the MS degree, the student is expected to undertake a broad program of coursework at an advanced level and to complete successfully an original investigation. This investigation must be of the highest quality but necessarily limited in scope. Students who hold assistantships typically spend two years in residence for the completion of this degree.

For the PhD degree, individual programs are designed for each student under the guidance of the student’s faculty adviser and advisory committee and with the approval of the graduate committee.

The University preliminary examination requirement is satisfied by successful completion of a series of written cumulative examinations and by presentation of two research proposals, one of which is the dissertation research project. Each student is to present at least one departmental seminar on the results of his or her dissertation research. The student must present a dissertation and pass an examination on it as prescribed by the Graduate School, and other University requirements must be satisfied.

The chemistry program participates in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Track in Structural and Computational Biophysics. For more information, refer to the pages in this bulletin regarding the program.

The original graduate program, which led to the MS degree, was discontinued in 1949. The present MS program was begun in 1961, the PhD in 1972.

Graduate courses offered by the Department of Chemistry are from the following list. Not all courses are offered every year.