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The Ph.D. in chemistry is the primary graduate program offered by the Department of Chemistry. A minor is also available to students enrolled in other graduate programs.

Ph.D. Program


For the doctoral degree program, completion of a minimum of 72 credit hours is required, unless the student holds a prior master’s degree in chemistry, in which case a minimum of 54 hours are required.

Selection of first-semester courses will be made by the student in consultation with a temporary advisor, either the director of graduate programs (DGP) or a faculty member approved by the DGP. Subsequent to the first semester, students will develop course plans in consultation with their research advisers. No coursework registration changes are permitted without the DGP or research advisor’s approval. The minimum course requirements for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry are:

  • Formal Coursework. The Department of Chemistry requires 18 credit hours of 700-level coursework in chemistry or other relevant disciplines for the Ph.D. Additional courses can be taken as needed and are encouraged when beneficial to research progress and development. Students with a prior M.S. in chemistry or a related discipline can petition to take fewer courses. A signed plan of work from the student’s committee and the DGP shall constitute acceptance of any course plan.
  • Chemistry Seminar. Beginning in the first semester, research graduate students are required to register each semester for seminar (CH 801) and to attend departmental seminars. A minimum of two of the seminar credits must be formally listed on the plan of work and counted toward the total graduation credit-hour requirements imposed by the Graduate School. Students who register for CH 899 (Dissertation Preparation) during the latter stages of their graduate program are not allowed to register for the seminar course (or any other course) but are encouraged to attend.
  • Introduction to Graduate Studies. All graduate students entering for the fall semester are required to register for CH 610G (Introduction to Graduate Studies). Each research-active faculty member will have the opportunity to present an overview of his or her research program. These discussions will assist the students in choosing a research adviser and an Advisory Committee. Attendance at all sessions is required to receive a grade of Satisfactory. Each student is also required to take and pass a safety quiz.
  • Research Hours. Doctoral students register for CH 895 (Dissertation Research) under the unique section number for their adviser. Once courses are completed, most students will register for nine hours of research each semester.

Application Process

Application review begins in November and continues until we meet the admissions quota or early April, whichever comes first. Notices of admission or denial occur on a rolling basis throughout the application review season. View our application requirements.

Chemistry Minor

Graduate students in non-chemistry departments may elect to minor in chemistry. The requirements for a chemistry minor are a minimum of three 700-level chemistry graduate courses totaling a minimum of nine credit hours and representation on the student’s research advisory committee by a member of the graduate faculty of the Department of Chemistry.