PhD in Chemistry

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. For questions regarding the application process, they are advised to contact the graduate coordinator ( Complete transcripts of all undergraduate and any graduate course work must be submitted. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field Chemistry or biochemistry. Other fields are considered on an individual basis.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 in mathematics and science courses (excluding independent study or research courses) and at least 2.75 for the final 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours if the university follows the quarter system) of undergraduate study.
  • Tests Required None.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (Revised Paper-Delivered Test); , OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four categories (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing), OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three letters are required.
  • Personal Statement Required as part of the Application for Graduate Appointment. The form is accessible online (click the down arrow in the top right corner to make it a fillable PDF). Statement should be submitted on a separate sheet. Research background and interests should be emphasized, and a discussion of the applicant's suitability to our graduate program should be provided.
  • Nondegree Applicants Nondegree applicants must submit a transcript from their baccalaureate institution and a statement regarding their future plans.

Degree Requirements

After admission, all entering students must take placement examinations. The placement examinations, which are at a level of typical terminal college courses, are offered in the areas of analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and biochemistry. All graduate students must show proficiency in three areas of their choice. A deficiency in an area must be remedied by taking an advanced undergraduate or a graduate-level course in the area.

Students seeking a PhD degree are encouraged to enter this program immediately after completion of their undergraduate studies. The MS degree is not a prerequisite to the PhD degree in Chemistry.

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 96 hours beyond the baccalaureate.
  • Course Work At least 9 hours must be in lecture courses at the 500-level in the student’s major area and 3 hours must be in a chemistry lecture course at the 500-level (or 6 hours in lecture courses at the 400-level in one field) outside the student’s major area. Students must meet the seminar requirements of their major concentration within the program. Students found to be deficient in specific areas of chemistry on the basis of placement examinations may have to complete additional courses.
  • Preliminary Examination Required. Candidates must pass the cumulative examination requirement and have a Research Committee Meeting by the end of the second year in the program. Advancing to candidacy is dependent on satisfactory completion of these requirements within the time limit set by the department.
  • Dissertation Required.

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental concentrations available for this degree include: