Ph.D. Coursework

The Graduate Faculty of Chemistry requires each graduate student to take a minimum of 30 course credits of graduate work beyond the Bachelor’s degree, in addition to 15 credits of GRAD 6950, as required by the Graduate School. The Department does encourage extensive work in the major area and at least nine credits in a non-major area (usually chemistry but also areas such as biochemistry, chemical engineering, pharmacy, physics, and mathematics). It is most common for 21-27 course credits to be required beyond the Master’s degree, unless a student earns a Master’s degree in this Department as a step toward the Ph.D. In the latter case, all graduate credits may count toward the minimum of 30 course credits for the Ph.D., if approved by the advisory committee and the Graduate Records Office.

General Examination

After qualification, the student must pass the General Examination, consisting of a written and an oral portion as determined by his or her selected division (Analytical, Biological, Environmental, Inorganic, Organic, Physical, or Polymer). The General Examination, is generally completed during the second or third year of graduate work.

Dissertation Prospectus

A Dissertation Prospectus must be filed with the Graduate School at least six months before submission of the dissertation, but preferably much earlier. If you do not meet the six-month requirement, you will not graduate until six-months after submitting your Prospectus.

The primary requirement for the Ph.D. degree is submission of a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to the candidate’s field of specialization. Specific requirements for submission of the Ph.D. dissertation are provided on the Graduate School’s website.

More Information

For more Ph.D. program information and guidelines, consult Chemistry's Graduate Student Handbook.