PhD Program

the phd in chemistry

Professor Wender discusses chemistry with his graduate students.

Doctoral study in chemistry at Stanford University prepares students for research and teaching careers with diverse emphases in basic, life, medical, physical, energy, materials, and environmental sciences.

The Department of Chemistry offers opportunities for graduate study spanning contemporary subfields, including theoretical, organic, inorganic, physical, biophysical and biomedical chemistry and more. Much of the research defies easy classification along traditional divisions; cross-disciplinary collaborations with Stanford's many vibrant research departments and institutes is among factors distinguishing this world-class graduate program.

The Department of Chemistry is committed to providing academic advising in support of graduate student scholarly and professional development.  This advising relationship entails collaborative and sustained engagement with mutual respect by both the adviser and advisee.

  • The adviser is expected to meet at least monthly with the graduate student to discuss on-going research.
  • There should be a yearly independent development plan (IDP) meeting between the graduate student and adviser. Topics include research progress, expectations for completion of PhD, areas for both the student and adviser to improve in their joint research effort.
  • A research adviser should provide timely feedback on manuscripts and thesis chapters.
  • Graduate students are active contributors to the advising relationship, proactively seeking academic and professional guidance and taking responsibility for informing themselves of policies and degree requirements for their graduate program.
  • If there is a significant issue concerning the graduate student’s progress in research, the adviser must communicate this to the student and to the Graduate Studies Committee in writing.  This feedback should include the issues, what needs to be done to overcome these issues and by when.

Academic advising by Stanford faculty is a critical component of all graduate students' education and additional resources can be found in the  Policies and Best Practices for Advising Relationships at Stanford  and the  Guidelines for Faculty-Student Advising at Stanford .

Learn more about the program through the links below, and by exploring the research interests of the  Chemistry Faculty  and  Courtesy Faculty .

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Survey of Ph.D. Programs in Chemistry

By Joel Shulman

How does your chemistry Ph.D. program compare to others in terms of department size and student demographics? Requirements for the degree? Graduate student progression and support? Developing skills that go beyond knowledge of chemistry? Answers to these questions and many others can be gleaned from the Survey of Ph.D. Programs in Chemistry recently reported by the ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT) . Highlights of the survey are given here.

View the full report

The primary objective of the CPT is to facilitate the maintenance and improvement of the quality of chemical education at the postsecondary level. Not only does the Committee develop and administer the guidelines that define high-quality undergraduate education, but it also produces resources such as the ACS Directory of Graduate Education and publishes data on undergraduate and graduate education. Approximately every ten years, CPT fields a survey of Ph.D. programs. The latest survey solicited data from all 196 Ph.D. programs in chemistry and received usable information (base year, 2007) from 139 of these programs.

Figure 1. Size Distribution of Ph.D. Programs

the phd in chemistry

Program size and demographics of students

The 139 reporting Ph.D. programs are divided for purposes of comparison into three groups of approximately equal size according to the total number of graduate students in the program: 44 small (defined as 0 to 40 total graduate students), 46 medium (41 to 105 graduate students), and 49 large programs (106+ graduate students). The number of students in Ph.D. programs ranges from 0 to 394 (see Figure 1) with a total of 13,280 students. Eighteen departments have more than 200 students, accounting for more than one-third (4,460) of the total graduate students in chemistry. The 30 largest programs account for almost 50% of graduate students. The average program size is 96 students (and 23 faculty), while the median program size is 67 students.

Of the doctoral students in responding programs, 27.4% are women, 5.2% are underrepresented minorities, and 42.3% are international students (Table 1). Small programs tend to have a higher percentage of underrepresented minority students (averaging 7.8%), while large programs have a higher percentage of women (28.5%) and a lower percentage of international students (37.3%).

Table 1. Demographics of Graduate Students by Program Size

Requirements for degree (table 2).

Of course, a doctoral dissertation is required by all Ph.D. programs. Most (71%) graduate programs require entering graduate students to take placement exams, although this requirement tends to be less prevalent as program size increases. The average program requires a minimum of 20 credits (semester hours, corrected for programs on the quarter system) of coursework, a number that does not vary significantly by program size. In addition to course work and dissertation, 96% of programs require at least one of the following: cumulative examinations (58%), an oral preliminary exam (54%), a comprehensive oral exam (50%), and/or a comprehensive written exam (31%). All four of these exams are required by 7% of programs; 17% of programs require three; 43% of programs require two; and 28% require only one. Large programs require cumulative exams less often and oral exams more often than small or medium programs. Only four programs (3%) require students to pass a language exam for the Ph.D.

Table 2. Requirement in Ph.D. Program

Graduate student progression and support (table 3).

The mean time to the Ph.D. is 5.1 years, a number that varies neither by program size nor by public vs. private institution (data not shown). Most programs place a limit on the amount of time allowed to achieve a Ph.D. (average of 7.8 years) as well as on the number of years of departmental support allowed a student (average of 5.9 years). More than 80% of students choose a research advisor within six months of entering graduate school. A significant number of programs either require or permit laboratory rotations before a final advisor is selected.

Monetary support for Ph.D. students comes from teaching assistantships more often than from research assistantships at small and medium programs, while the reverse is true in large programs. There is wide variation in TA stipends, depending on both program size and geographic location. Most programs have a range of stipends, which on average run from $18,000 to about $20,000 per year. Teaching assistants at larger programs are more likely to teach discussion (recitation) sections than those in small or medium programs.

Table 3. Student Progression and Support in Ph.D. Programs

Developing student skills.

In addition to chemistry knowledge and laboratory skills, it is important that all Ph.D. chemists develop skills in areas such as critical thinking, oral and written communication, and teamwork. Toward this end, 74% of all programs require students to create and defend an original research proposal (Table 2). All but six programs require students to make presentations (exclusive of the thesis defense) to audiences other than their research group; the average number of required presentations is 2.4, with little variation by program size. When asked whether any graduate students receive student-skills training outside of formal course work, 67% responded that at least some students receive specific training in communications; 59% in ethics/scientific integrity; 43% in grant writing; 37% in mentoring; 37% in intellectual property/patents; and 18% in business/economics. Students in large programs are more likely to receive some training in these skill areas than are students in other programs.

The data from this CPT survey provide a snapshot of graduate student demographics, requirements for the degree, and progression and support in chemistry Ph.D. programs. Survey results highlight similarities and differences among small, medium, and large programs across the country.

Dr. Joel I. Shulman retired as The Procter & Gamble Company's Manager of Doctoral Recruiting and University Relations in 2001 and is now an adjunct professor of chemistry at the University of Cincinnati. He serves the ACS as a consultant for the Office of Graduate Education and the Department of Career Management and Development and as a member of the Committee on Professional Training.

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About the Chemistry Ph.D. Program

Ph.d. in chemistry faq's.

Trevor Lohrey, Arnold Research Group

The Chemistry PhD program is designed towards developing within each student the ability to do creative scientific research. Accordingly, the single most important facet of the curriculum for an individual is their own research project. In keeping with the goal of fostering an atmosphere of scholarly, independent study, formal course requirements are minimal and vary among disciplines; advisor's tailor course requirements to best prepare the student for the chosen research field.

The Doctoral program includes the following concentrations, each of which has specific degree requirements:

  • Physical Chemistry : In general, the Physical Chemistry Graduate Program encompasses analytical, nuclear, biophysical, and theoretical chemistry.
  • Synthetic Chemistry : The Synthetic Chemistry Graduate Program includes emphases in either organic or inorganic chemistry
  • Chemical Biology : The Chemical Biology Graduate Program covers a range of research areas at the interface of Chemistry and Biology.

Research. A graduate student spends a good deal of time during the first week of the first semester at Berkeley talking to various faculty members about possible research projects, studying pertinent literature references, and choosing an individual project. New graduate students meet shortly after their arrival with a faculty adviser. From the faculty adviser the student obtains a list of faculty members whose research may interest the student. After visiting these and additional faculty, if necessary, the student chooses a research director, with the consent of the faculty member and the graduate adviser. By the end of the first semester most students have made a choice and are full-fledged members of research group. Students in the Chemical Biology Graduate Program will select their thesis advisor after completion of three-ten week rotations. Thereafter, all students become involved in library research on their projects and many begin actual experimental or theoretical work.

Independent Study. A student who chooses to specialize in physical chemistry is normally expected to take two courses per semester during the first year and one or two additional semesters of coursework sometimes during the second year. These may include topics such Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Group Theory, Interactions of Radiation with Matter, and many more. At the other extreme, a student specializing in inorganic chemistry will concentrate more heavily on special topics seminars and take fewer courses. The course offerings in the University are varied so that individual students have the opportunity to take other courses which serve their own needs. Such as, a student working on nuclear chemistry will probably elect additional graduate physics courses, while a student working on biophysical or bio-organic problems may take courses offered by the Biochemistry Department. Students in the Chemical Biology program will take courses from both Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology departments.

Seminars. Because of the size and diversity of the Berkeley faculty, there are many seminars on a variety of topics which students may choose to attend. There are regular weekly seminars in several major areas, including biophysical, physical, nuclear, organic, theoretical, solid state, and inorganic chemistry. These seminars are presented by members of the Berkeley faculty, as well as distinguished visitors to the campus. These seminars allow the students to become aware of the most important current research going on in the field. In addition to these regular seminars, there are several regular department seminars devoted to presentations by graduate students. One of the doctoral program requirements is that each student delivers a departmental seminar known as a graduate research conference during the second year. Individual research groups also hold regular research seminars. The format of these small, informal seminars varies. In some cases, graduate students discuss their own current research before the other members of the research group. On other occasions, the group seminars may be devoted to group discussions of recent papers which are of interest to the particular research group. In any event, small group seminars are one of the most important ways in which students learn by organizing and interpreting their own results before their peers.

Qualifying Exam. Sometime during the second year of graduate work at Berkeley, each student takes a qualifying examination. The examining board, a committee of four faculty members, is appointed to examine the student for general competence in the area of interest. The qualifying examination is centered around the defense of the individual research project. Upon satisfactory completion of the oral qualifying examination, the student is advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. After advancement, the student completes an original, scholarly contribution to science and writes a dissertation on the subject. Most students complete their work and received their degree within five years.

Teaching. An integral part of the graduate education at Berkeley is teaching. The department requires that each doctoral candidate assist in the instructional program of the department as a teaching assistant for two semesters during their graduate careers. The faculty regard the teaching experience as highly valuable for all graduate students, especially those who plan to teach as a career.

Financial Aid. All students admitted to our graduate program receive a stipend for the duration of study in the form of teaching and research assistantships as long as they are in residence and demonstrate good progress toward the degree. Students also receive full tution, health, dental and vision insurance. Most funds for this support derive from research contracts and grants.

For more information see the Berkeley Bulletin

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What does a Ph.D. in chemistry get you?

  • By Janet D. Stemwedel  on  April 18, 2012

A few weeks back, Chemjobber had an interesting post looking at the pros and cons of a PhD program in chemistry at a time when job prospects for PhD chemists are grim. The post was itself a response to a piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education by a neuroscience graduate student named Jon Bardin which advocated strongly that senior grad students look to non-traditional career pathways to have both their Ph.D.s and permanent jobs that might sustain them. Bardin also suggested that graduate students "learn to approach their education as a series of learning opportunities rather than a five-year-long job interview," recognizing the relative luxury of having a "safe environment" in which to learn skills that are reasonably portable and useful in a wide range of career trajectories -- all while taking home a salary (albeit a graduate-stipend sized one).

Chemjobber replied :

Here's what I think Mr. Bardin's essay elides: cost. His Ph.D. education (and mine) were paid for by the US taxpayer. Is this the best deal that the taxpayer can get? As I've said in the past , I think society gets a pretty good deal: they get 5+ years of cheap labor in science, (hopefully) contributions to greater knowledge and, at the end of the process, they get a trained scientist. Usually, that trained scientist can go on to generate new innovations in their independent career in industry or academia. It's long been my supposition that the latter will pay (directly and indirectly) for the former. If that's not the case, is this a bargain that society should continue to support? Mr. Bardin also shows a great deal of insouciance about the costs to himself: what else could he have done, if he hadn't gone to graduate school? When we talk about the costs of getting a Ph.D., I believe that we don't talk enough about the sheer length of time (5+ years) and what other training might have been taken during that time. Opportunity costs matter! An apprenticeship at a microbrewery (likely at a similar (if not higher) pay scale as a graduate student) or a 1 or 2 year teaching certification process easily fits in the half-decade that most of us seem to spend in graduate school. Are the communications skills and the problem-solving skills that he gained worth the time and the (opportunity) cost? Could he have obtained those skills somewhere else for a lower cost?

Chemjobber also note that while a Ph.D. in chemistry may provide tools for range of careers, actually having a Ph.D. in chemistry on your resume is not necessarily advantageous in securing a job in one of those career.

As you might imagine this is an issue to which I have given some thought. After all, I have a Ph.D. in chemistry and am not currently employed in a job that is at all traditional for a Ph.D. in chemistry. However, given that it has been nearly two decades since I last dipped a toe into the job market for chemistry Ph.D.s, my observations should be taken with a large grain of sodium chloride.

First off, how should one think of a Ph.D. program in chemistry? There are many reasons you might value a Ph.D. program. A Ph.D. program may be something you value primarily because it prepares you for a career of a certain sort. It may also be something you value for what it teaches you, whether about your own fortitude in facing challenges, or about how the knowledge is built. Indeed, it is possible --- maybe even common --- to value your Ph.D. program for more than one of these reasons at a time. And some weeks, you may value it primarily because it seemed like the path of least resistance compared to landing a "real job" right out of college.

I certainly don't think it's the case that valuing one of these aspects of a Ph.D. program over the others is right or wrong. But ...

Economic forces in the world beyond your graduate program might be such that there aren't as many jobs suited to your Ph.D. chemist skills as there are Ph.D. chemists competing for those jobs. Among other things, this means that earning a Ph.D. in chemistry does not guarantee you a job in chemistry on the other end.

To which, as the proud holder of a Ph.D. in philosophy, I am tempted to respond: join the club! Indeed, I daresay that recent college graduates in many, many majors have found themselves in a world where a bachelors degree guarantees little except that the student loans will still need to be repaid.

To be fair, my sense is that the mismatch between supply of Ph.D. chemists and demand for Ph.D. chemists in the workplace is not new. I have a vivid memory of being an undergraduate chemistry major, circa 1988 or 1989, and being told that the world needed more Ph.D. chemists. I have an equally vivid memory of being a first-year chemistry graduate student, in early 1990, and picking up a copy of Chemical & Engineering News in which I read that something like 30% too many Ph.D. chemists were being produced given the number of available jobs for Ph.D. chemists. Had the memo not reached my undergraduate chemistry professors? Or had I not understood the business model inherent in the production of new chemists?

Here, I'm not interested in putting forward a conspiracy theory about how this situation came to be. My point is that even back in the last millennium, those in the know had no reason to believe that making it through a Ph.D. program in chemistry would guarantee your employment as a chemist.

So, what should we say about this situation?

One response to this situation might be to throttle production of Ph.D. chemists.

This might result in a landscape where there is a better chance of getting a Ph.D. chemist job with your Ph.D. in chemistry. But, the market could shift suddenly (up or down). Were this to happen, it would take time to adjust the Ph.D. throughput in response. As well, current PIs would have to adjust to having fewer graduate students to crank out their data. Instead, they might have to pay more technicians and postdocs. Indeed, the number of available postdocs would likely drop once the number of Ph.D.s being produced more closely matched the number of permanent jobs for holders of those Ph.D.s.

Needless to say, this might be a move that the current generation of chemists with permanent positions at the research institutions that train new chemists would find unduly burdensome.

We might also worry about whether the thinning of the herd of chemists ought to happen on the basis of bachelors-level training. Being a successful chemistry major tends to reflect your ability to learn scientific knowledge, but it's not clear to me that this is a great predictor of how good you would be at the project of making new scientific knowledge.

In fact, the thinning of the herd wherever it happens seems to put a weird spin on the process of graduate-level education. Education , after all, tends to aim for something bigger, deeper, and broader than a particular set of job skills. This is not to say that developing skills is not an important part of an education --- it is! But in addition to these skills, one might want an understanding of the field in which one is being educated and its workings. I think this is connected to how being a chemist becomes linked to our identity, a matter of who we are rather than just of what we do.

Looked at this way, we might actually wonder about who could be harmed by throttling Ph.D. program enrollments.

Shouldn't someone who's up for the challenge have that experience open to her, even if there's no guarantee of a job at the other end? As long as people have accurate information with which to form reasonable expectations about their employment prospects, do we want to be paternalistic and tell them they can't?

(There are limits here, of course. There are not unlimited resources for the training of Ph.D. chemists, nor unlimited slots in graduate programs, nor in the academic labs where graduate students might participate meaningfully in research. The point is that maybe these limits are the ones that ought to determine how many people who want to learn how to be chemists get to do that.)

Believe it or not, we had a similar conversation in a graduate seminar filled with first and second year students in my philosophy Ph.D. program. Even philosophy graduate students have an interest in someday finding stable employment, the better to eat regularly and live indoors. Yet my sense was that even the best graduate students in my philosophy Ph.D. program recognized that employment in a job tailor-made for a philosophy Ph.D. was a chancy thing. Certainly, there were opportunity costs to being there. Certainly, there was a chance that one might end up trying to get hired to a job for which having a PhD would be viewed as a disadvantage to getting hired. But the graduate students in my philosophy program had, upon weighing the risks, decided to take the gamble.

How exactly are chemistry graduate students presumed to be different here? Maybe they are placing their bets at a table with higher payoffs, and where the game is more likely to pay off in the first place. But this is still not a situation in which one should expect that everyone is always going to win. Sometimes the house will win instead.

(Who's the house in this metaphor? Is it the PIs who depend on cheap grad-student labor? Universities with hordes of pre-meds who need chemistry TAs and lab instructors? The public that gets a screaming deal on knowledge production when you break it down in terms of price per publishable unit? A public that includes somewhat more members with a clearer idea of how scientific knowledge is built? Specifying the identity of the house is left as an exercise for the reader.)

Maybe the relevant difference between taking a gamble on a philosophy Ph.D. and taking a gamble on a chemistry Ph.D. is that the players in the latter have, purposely or accidentally, not been given accurate information about the odds of the game.

I think it's fair for chemistry graduate students to be angry and cynical about having been misled as far as likely prospects for employment. But given that it's been going on for at least a couple decades (and maybe more), how the hell is it that people in Ph.D. programs haven't already figured out the score? Is it that they expect that they will be the ones awesome enough to get those scarce jobs? Have they really not thought far enough ahead to seek information (maybe even from a disinterested source) about how plausible their life plans are before they turn up at grad school? Could it be that they have decided that they want to be chemists when they grow up without doing sensible things like reading the blogs of chemists at various stages of careers and training?

Presumably, prospective chemistry grad students might want to get ahold of the relevant facts and take account of them in their decision-making. Why this isn't happening is somewhat mysterious to me, but for those who regard their Ph.D. training in chemistry as a means to a career end, it's absolutely crucial -- and trusting the people who stand to benefit from your labors as a graduate student to hook you up with those facts seems not to be the best strategy ever.

And, as I noted in comments on Chemjobber's post , the whole discussion suggests to me that the very best reason to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry is because you want to learn what it is like to build new knowledge in chemistry, in an academic setting. Since being plugged into a particular kind of career (or even job) on the other end is a crap-shoot, if you don't want to learn about this knowledge-building process -- and want it enough to put up with long hours, crummy pay, unrewarding piles of grading, and the like -- then possibly a Ph.D. program is not the best way to spend 5+ years of your life.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.



Janet D. Stemwedel is a professor of philosophy at San José State University and an OpEd Project Public Voices Fellow. Follow her on Twitter @docfreeride

Recent Articles by Janet D. Stemwedel

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Graduate Programs

Chemistry phd.

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The goal of the Chemistry PhD is to prepare students for careers in science as researchers and educators by expanding their knowledge of chemistry while developing their ability for critical analysis, creativity, and independent study. A high graduation rate in an average of just over five years can be attributed to the quality of applicants admitted, the flexibility of our program of study, the opportunity for students to begin research in the first year, and the affordability of education made possible by our generous financial support policies.

Program Overview

Programs of study are tailored to the needs of individual students, based on their prior training and research interests. However, progress to a degree is generally similar for all students. During the first year, students take courses, begin their teaching apprenticeships, choose research advisors, and embark on their thesis research; students whose native language is not English must pass an English proficiency examination. Beginning the first summer, the emphasis is on research, although courses of special interest may be taken throughout a student's residency. In the second year, there is a departmental examination which includes a written research proposal and an oral defense of the research proposal. In the third year, students advance to candidacy for the doctorate by defending the topic, preliminary findings, and future research plans for their dissertation. Subsequent years focus on thesis research and writing the dissertation. Most students graduate during their fifth year.

Research Opportunities

Research opportunities for graduate students are comprehensive and interdisciplinary, spanning inorganic, organic, physical, analytical, computational, and theoretical chemistry; surface and materials chemistry; and atmospheric and environmental chemistry. Please refer to the faculty pages for full descriptions of the ongoing research in our department. State-of-the-art facilities and laboratories support these research programs.

At UCSD, chemists and biochemists are part of a thriving community that stretches across campus and out into research institutions throughout the La Jolla and San Diego area, uniting researchers in substantive interactions and collaborations.

Special Training Programs

Interdisciplinary research and collaboration at UCSD is enhanced through a variety of training grants. These programs provide financial support for exceptional graduate and postdoctoral scholars and also unite researchers from across campus and throughout the La Jolla research community in special seminars, retreats, and courses. Doctoral students are usually placed on training grants in their second year or later.

  • Molecular Biophysics Training Grant
  • Contemporary Approaches to Cancer Cell Signaling and CommunicationBiochemistry of Growth Regulation and Oncogenesis
  • Chemistry Biology Interfaces Training Grant
  • Contemporary Approaches to Cancer Cell Signaling and Communication
  • Interfaces Graduate Training Program
  • Molecular Pharmacology Training Program
  • Quantitative Biology (qBio) Specialization

Teaching apprenticeships are a vital and integral part of graduate student training, and four quarters of teaching are required. See the Teaching Assistants page to apply. Students can gain experience teaching both discussion and laboratory sections. Excellence in teaching is stressed, and the department provides a thorough training program covering both fundamentals and special techniques for effective instruction. Further training is provided by the Teaching and Learning Commons on campus. Performance is evaluated every quarter, and awards are bestowed quarterly for outstanding teaching performance.

  • Financial Support

Students in good academic standing receive a 12-month stipend; fees and tuition are also provided. Support packages come from a variety of sources, including teaching and research assistantships, training grants, fellowships, and awards. Special fellowships are awarded to outstanding students based on their admission files. See Ph.D. Program Support Policy for more information.

Health and Dental Plan

A primary health care program, major medical plan, and dental plan are among the benefits provided by the University's registration fee (see Graduate Student Health Insurance Program, GSHIP) . Minor illnesses and injuries can usually be treated at the Student Health Center . Counseling is provided free of charge through Counseling and Psychological Services .

Creative, bright, and motivated students from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We admit for the Fall quarter entrance only. See UCSD Ph.D. Admissions FAQ page for full information.

PostGraduate Placement

Graduates typically obtain jobs in academia or in the chemical industry. Many take postdoctoral research positions in academic institutions and national laboratories that lead to future academic or industrial careers at other prestigious institutions. Our faculty and Student Affairs staff provide career advising and job placement services. The department's Industrial Relations program assists students with placement in industrial positions. UCSD's Career Services Center provides many resources for students, including the chance to videotape yourself in a mock interview!

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Johns Hopkins University was the first American institution to emphasize graduate education and to establish a PhD program in chemistry. Founding Chair Ira Remsen initiated a tradition of excellence in research and education that has continued until this day. The Hopkins graduate program is designed for students who desire a PhD in chemistry while advancing scientific knowledge for humankind.

The graduate program provides students with the background and technical expertise required to be leaders in their field and to pursue independent research.

Graduate students’ advancement is marked by entrance exams, coursework, teaching, seminars, oral examinations, and an individual research project that culminates in a thesis dissertation. The thesis research project represents an opportunity for graduate students to make a mark on the world. Working in conjunction with a faculty member or team, individually tailored thesis projects enable students to think independently about cutting-edge research areas that are of critical importance. Thesis research is the most important step toward becoming a PhD scientist, and our program provides an outstanding base with a proven track record of success.

Graduate students make up the heart of the Chemistry Department, and the department strives to support students’ individual needs. Each student is carefully advised and classes are traditionally quite small. Multidisciplinary research and course offerings that increase scientific breadth and innovation are hallmarks of the program.  In addition to academic and technical development, our department also offers several outlets for professional and social development.

For more information, contact the Director of Graduate Studies. Dr. Art Bragg Office: Remsen 221 410-516-5616 [email protected]

PhD in Chemistry

The PhD in chemistry is primarily a research degree. It is awarded to students who have displayed competence in planning and conducting original research in the field of chemistry, demonstrated a broad familiarity with the science of chemistry, understanding in the application of the scientific method, and gained a thorough knowledge of their field of specialization.

Students build a solid foundation in all four core areas of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical), and a thorough knowledge of their chosen field of specialization. In the first part of the PhD program, students take at least one formal classroom course in each the core areas of chemistry as outlined in the course requirements below. The courses must be completed successfully (B- or better) by the end of the third semester.

Since original research is the primary requirement for the PhD degree, a student selects a research supervisor and begins research before the end the first year. The student and research supervisor then select two faculty members to serve as the student's Doctoral Research Committee. The Committee, in conjunction with the student's research adviser, take over the advisory function from the graduate committee and guides the student's work to promote development as an independent investigator.

Thus, in addition to research each student must complete the following requirements:

  • Service as a teaching assistant
  • Regular progress updates with a faculty Research Committee
  • A departmental seminar
  • Defense of an original research proposal.
  • Completion of a dissertation reporting significant work of publishable quality

Course Requirements

At least one of the following analytical chemistry courses:

  • Chem 141: Instrumental Analysis
  • Chem 142: Advanced Analytical Methods
  • Chem 144: Spectroscopic Methods of Analysis
  • Chem 145: Separation Science
  • Chem 146: Electroanalytical Chemistry

At least one of the following inorganic chemistry courses: 

  • Chem 161: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • Chem 162: Chemistry of Transition Elements
  • Chem 164: Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Chem 165: Physical Methods In Inorganic Chemistry

At least one of the following organic chemistry courses:

  • Chem 150: Intermediate Organic Chemistry
  • Chem 151: Physical Organic Chemistry
  • Chem 152: Advanced Organic Synthesis

At least one of the following physical chemistry courses: 

  • Chem 131: Statistical Thermodynamics
  • Chem 132: Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics
  • Chem 133: Quantum Mechanics
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  • PhD Program

Chemistry PhD Program

The University of Pennsylvania is an internationally renowned research institution that attracts the best students from the United States and around the globe. The Graduate Program is designed for students who wish to earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry while undertaking cutting edge research. The program provides students with the necessary theoretical background and hands-on training to become independent and highly successful scientists.  Graduate students achieve mastery of advanced chemistry topics through courses in different subdisciplines. Broad exposure to current research also occurs via four weekly departmental seminar programs and many interdisciplinary, university-wide lecture series.

Currently, faculty, students, and postdoctoral associates in Chemistry work in the fields of bioinorganic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, chemical biology, biophysical chemistry, bioinformatics, materials science, laser chemistry, health related chemistry, structural and dynamical studies of biological systems, X-ray scattering/diffraction, NMR spectroscopy, applications of computing and computer graphics, as well as investigations of chemical communication and hormone-receptor interactions. Many research groups combine different techniques to explore frontier areas, such as nanomaterials applied to biology, photoactive biomolecules, and single-molecule imaging. Novel synthetic procedures are under constant development for targets ranging from super-emissive nanoparticles to highly specialized drug molecules and giant dendrimers, which are being explored, for example, as drug-delivery systems. The Research Facilities in the Department of Chemistry provide a strong technology base to enable the highest level of innovation. Graduate students are a driving, integral force at Penn Chemistry.

Ph.D. in Chemistry

General info.

  • Faculty working with students: 30
  • Students: 130
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application Terms: Fall
  • Application Deadline: December 4

Kevin Welsher Director of Graduate Studies Department of Chemistry Duke University Box 90347 Durham, NC 27708-0347

Phone: (919) 660-1503

Email: [email protected]


Program Description

The following areas of specialization are available: analytical, biological, inorganic, physical, theoretical, and organic. A wide range of interdisciplinary research programs (e.g., toxicology, biological chemistry, cell and molecular biology) involve chemistry students with those in medical sciences, engineering, the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, and occasionally with local industry. The French Family Science Center, totaling over 275,000 square feet, is a shared research facility with groups from Biology, Physics, Mathematics and the Medical Center occupying space, with additional research space in the adjacent Levine Science Research Center. This well-equipped chemical laboratory provides conditions conducive to research in many areas of current interest. Major shared instruments, including those for nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry, are housed in the departmental instrumentation facility and a wide array of more specialized instrumentation is available in the various research laboratories.

The doctoral program in chemistry features research programs that span the “traditional” sub-disciplines of chemistry, including analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry. However, many, if not most of the research programs are interdisciplinary, either overlapping the traditional boundaries of chemistry or the boundaries between chemistry and the other sciences, for example biological, materials, and environmental sciences. Many chemistry faculty and students participate in university-wide interdisciplinary training programs and centers, including those in biological chemistry, toxicology, pharmacology, molecular biophysics, biologically inspired materials, and cellular and biosurface engineering. Research in all fields is supported by state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Competitive stipends are provided through research and teaching assistantships, and fellowships are available for outstanding candidates.

  • Chemistry: PhD Admissions and Enrollment Statistics
  • Chemistry: PhD Time to Degree Statistics
  • Chemistry: PhD Completion Rate Statistics
  • Chemistry: PhD Career Outcomes Statistics

Application Information

Application Terms Available:  Fall

Application Deadline:  December 4

Graduate School Application Requirements See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required (see departmental guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE General: Optional
  • GRE Subject - Chemistry: Optional
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Statement of Purpose Guidelines: This is one of the most important components of your application and is the key to helping the admissions committee determine if Duke Chemistry is a good fit for your Ph.D. studies. Your statement should be well-organized and concise. It should provide clear evidence of your maturity, persistence, resilience, and motivation for pursuing a chemistry Ph.D. It should also provide evidence of how you will contribute to a diverse and inclusive community of scholars. Most of all, it should clearly articulate your research interests and explain how they overlap with faculty in the department.

Writing Sample None required

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance

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PhD Program Requirements

The Chemistry Department offers a flexible program that allows students to select courses tailored to their individual background and research interests. Students also teach for two semesters.

As part of the requirement for a PhD degree, MIT requires a General Examination, with both an oral and written part. The Oral Examination for the PhD in Chemistry must be passed by the end of the fourth semester of graduate study. No other general written examinations are required. In particular, no qualifying (or entrance) examinations are given.

A final oral presentation of doctoral research is scheduled after the thesis has been submitted and evaluated by a committee of faculty.

Program Requirements

Coursework and teaching, 2nd year oral & written exams.

MIT requires that all Ph.D. candidates pass general oral and written examinations in their field of study. For chemistry students, these exams occur in the spring of the second year. The faculty committee will (i) assess whether the student has progressed sufficiently to be on-track for obtaining a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry and (ii) provide constructive feedback to help the student reach their full potential during the period of study at MIT. Thus, the overarching purpose of the examination includes fulfilling Institutional requirements for Ph.D. students and evaluating:

1. Progress towards the PhD degree (coursework, research) indicating that the student is on track to receive a doctoral degree in Chemistry 2. General knowledge and understanding in the broad field of study and specific sub-area 3. Critical thinking, including the ability to use core principles to think through unfamiliar topics 4. Ability to communicate effectively in oral and written forms, think logically and independently, and defend a point of view 5. Ability to formulate upcoming research plans and present a feasible timeline for progress towards completion of research goals 6. Overall scholarship

Thesis Committees

As the first step, second-year students meet with their research advisors to discuss which faculty might be appropriate as members of their Thesis Committee.  Thesis Committees must be composed of at least two other MIT faculty besides your advisor. Your Thesis Committee chair must be from the department of chemistry and in your area of chemistry (chemical biology, inorganic, organic, or physical). Please see the notes below if you are working in a research group outside the department and/or are co-advised. You are required to propose at least four faculty members as candidates for your committee in addition to your advisor, though you may propose up to six faculty members.  Students should fill out the online Thesis Committee Nomination Form by Friday, September 15, 2023 . Submitted forms are then reviewed by the Graduate Officer and a faculty advisory group who assign final Thesis Committees.  They will also choose one of these faculty members to be your Thesis Committee Chair.  This process is necessary to avoid the past problem of some faculty being assigned to an inordinately large number of committees. If you are listing any faculty outside the department, please contact them before submitting your form to confirm that they are willing to serve on your Thesis Committee and attend all relevant examinations and meetings. You do not need to reach out to any faculty within the department about serving on your thesis committee.

Students wishing subsequently to change their Thesis Committee, for reasons including significant changes in the direction of their research topic, should email Jennifer Weisman with the reason for requesting a change. Students must receive a positive response from the Chemistry Education Office in order for the change in committee to take effect.  Since changes in Thesis Committee membership can only be granted in unusual circumstances, students should contact the members of their committee to schedule the date for their oral defense well in advance of when they expect to complete their dissertation.

In the second year, each student’s research progress and intellectual development is evaluated through the Oral Examination. If a division requires an examination after the second year, Thesis Committee members also meet then. The thesis committee also meets for the Plan to Finish Meeting described below. Students (and research advisors) may arrange an additional meeting of the Thesis Committee in special circumstances by contacting the chair of the committee. Additionally, beginning in the second year of graduate study, each student meets with the Chair of their Thesis Committee at least once during the fall semester.

*Please note that if you are conducting research outside the department your Thesis Committee must be composed of at least two other MIT faculty besides your advisor and both must be from the Department of Chemistry. As noted above, your Thesis Committee chair must be in your area of chemistry (chemical biology, inorganic, organic, or physical).

Annual Meeting with Research Advisor

Under this system, research advisors are required to meet with each graduate student in their group who is in their second or later year to discuss the student’s intellectual and professional development over the past year and progress toward the degree. Prior to this meeting, students should complete Parts I-II of the required form on their own. Send the file to your Advisor the night before the meeting . At the meeting, students discuss their progress, future plans, and concerns with their advisor. The completed Graduate Student Annual Research Advisor Meeting form must be signed by both the student and their research advisor. Note that this is only a suggested format for the meeting. You and your advisor may choose a different format for the discussion as long as there is some written summary.

Annual Meeting with Thesis Committee Chair

Beginning in the second year of graduate student, each student meets annually with the Chair of their Thesis Committee. At these meetings, students update the Thesis Committee (TC) Chair on their on their research progress and general intellectual development in an informal and relaxed setting. The time, place, and format for this discussion is arranged between the student and Thesis Committee Chair. These meetings aim to encourage productive and stimulating discussions of science and to facilitate the development of further interactions between students and other members of the faculty besides research advisors. Students should keep in mind that these meetings are intended to focus primarily on academic and scientific matters, and that Thesis Committee Chairs are not bound by the same obligations with respect to privacy as are the Chemistry Department Mediators.

Plan to Finish Meeting

Updated October 2022

By June 1 st (and preferably before April 15 th ) of the 4 th year , each PhD student will participate in the Plan to Finish (PTF) meeting with their thesis committee. The purpose of the PTF meeting is for the student to discuss their timeline and plans for finishing a PhD.

In the 5 th year and beyond, if the student is not defending the PhD thesis by August 31 st of the 5 th year, the student will have another PTF meeting before June 1 st (and preferably before April 15 th ) of that calendar year, and the PTF meeting will be repeated annually until the year the student defends their thesis. Thus, a student who graduates in year five will have one PTF meeting, one who graduates in year six will have two, and so forth.

Before the meeting:  The student will prepare and share slides containing a summary of their research progress and their plans for research and completing the PhD thesis.

  • Projects that will be wrapped up and/or relinquished
  • Papers that will be written and/or submitted
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Plans for after graduation
  • The presentation should be succinct, not more than 8–10 slides total. These slides should include: (1) 1–2 introductory slides, one of which must display a proposed table of contents for the PhD thesis. The TOC includes the title for each proposed chapter and state of each chapter (e.g. “Experiments complete and manuscript published”, “Experiments nearly completed and manuscript writing in progress”, “Experiments ongoing”). (2) 1–3 slides per thesis chapter and associated future work linked to each chapter. (3) 1 slide summarizing future plans with a realistic timeline for completion of all the proposed activities (the PTF timeline).  Be sure to include the status of plans for after graduation. The student should consult with their research advisor in preparing the PTF timeline.
  • The slides must be sent to the committee at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
  • Meetings will be scheduled at the student’s direction and be organized by the research supervisor’s administrative assistant. These meetings are intended to be in-person, but teleconference can be used in special circumstances.

During the meeting: The meeting will follow the format below.

First, the student will provide a short (10-20 minute) presentation of their research progress and future plans based on their slides. Faculty will participate in discussion of the research and plans during this presentation.

Next, the research supervisor will be asked to leave the room so that the thesis committee can confer privately with the student.

Subsequently, the student will be asked to leave the room for a short period so that the committee can confer privately with the research supervisor.

The thesis committee will offer constructive feedback during and after the presentation and following the private discussions. The committee may request changes and/or revisions to the PTF outline as part of the discussion.

The plan to finish meeting will last ~1 hour altogether.

After the meeting:  The student will write-up a brief summary of the meeting, and submit it along with the PTF timeline and a signed PTF Form to the Chemistry Education Office as proof of completion. These items can be submitted as hard copies to the Chemistry Education Office or emailed to Dr. Jennifer Weisman .

  • While the deadline to hold the PTF meeting is June 1 st , students are strongly encouraged to complete their PTF Meeting by April 15 th to avoid scheduling issues later in the spring. As a reminder, the research supervisor’s administrative assistant will schedule the meeting upon the student’s request.
  • There is no possibility of failing the PTF meeting. The purpose of the meeting is fulfilled by the process of having it.
  • Annual meetings with the research advisor are required every year, including the fourth year.

Graduate Student Exit Interviews

  • Graduating students will be sent a list of interview questions by the Chemistry Education Office when the student joins the degree list. Instructions about scheduling a time for the in-person or virtual discussion will be included with other informational correspondence from the Chemistry Education Office regarding degree completion. Graduating students will perform their exit interview after the thesis defense so as to avoid making the interview an additional burden.
  • For students departing the program without a degree, the interview questions and instructions for scheduling an in-person discussion will be sent by the Chemistry Education Office at the point in time that a date for termination of their appointment in Chemistry is determined.
  • For the majority of departing students, this interview coincides with the end of the semester, but a rolling schedule of surveys is anticipated.

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Ph.D. in Chemistry

Graduate students earn a Ph.D. through independent research in collaboration with one or more faculty members . A modest amount of graded coursework ensures a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of the chosen field, as well as breadth of knowledge in the chemical sciences. The median time to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. is about five years. Students are required to pass oral examinations in their area of specialization. There are no pre-entrance or qualifying exams.

For complete details about our doctoral program, see the pages below:

  • First Year of Study
  • Ph.D. Degree Requirements
  • Ph.D. Degree Timeline
  • 2nd Year Exam Guidelines (pdf)
  • General Exam Instructions (pdf)
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The PhD is offered by the Department of Chemistry as a full or part-time period of research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. 

Please note: part-time study may not always be viable and will be considered on a case-by-case basis, so please discuss this option with your proposed supervisor before making an application for this mode of study. There are attendance requirements and part-time students will need to live close enough to Cambridge to fulfil these.

Students are integrated into the research culture of the Department by joining a research group, supervised by one of our academic staff,  in one of the following areas of chemistry:

Biological Chemistry

Life is the chemistry that goes on inside every one of us. We seek to understand this chemistry, both the physical processes occurring at the molecular level and the chemical reactions, and we also seek to control the chemistry as a way to treat diseases. Biological Chemistry at Cambridge comprises several research groups with additional contributions from many more. The major themes are biological polymers, proteins and nucleic acids - how they interact with each other and with small molecules. How do proteins fold to a defined structure and why do they sometimes not fold properly but aggregate causing neurodegenerative diseases? How do proteins catalyse the reactions that they do and can we make small molecules that inhibit these processes? What structures can nucleic acids adopt? How can we detect and what is the role of modifications of individual nucleotides? How can we target medicinally active compounds to where they are needed in the body? By addressing these questions, we seek to improve human health and the treatment of diseases.

Materials Chemistry

The technological devices we depend on, from aeroplanes to mobile phones, rely upon ever-increasing structural complexity for their function. Designing complex materials for these devices through the art of chemical synthesis brings challenges and opportunities.

Members of the Materials RIG invent new materials in view of potential applications. Modern materials chemistry is a wide ranging topic and includes surfaces, interfaces, polymers, nanoparticles and nanoporous materials, self assembly, and biomaterials, with applications relevant to oil recovery and separation, catalysis, photovoltaics, fuel cells and batteries, crystallisation and pharmaceutical formulation, gas sorption, energy, functional materials, biocompatible materials, computer memory, and sensors. 

Physical and Atmospheric Chemistry

Physical Chemistry at Cambridge has two broad but overlapping aims. One is to understand the properties of molecular systems in terms of physical principles. This work underpins many developing technological applications that affect us all, such as nanotechnology, sensors and molecular medicine. The other is atmospheric chemistry where the interactions between chemical composition, climate and health are studied using a range of computer modelling and experiment-based approaches. Together these two areas form a richly interdisciplinary subject spanning the full range of scientific methodologies: experimental, theoretical and computational. It is a research area with something for everyone.

Synthetic Chemistry

Synthetic research at the University of Cambridge is focused on the development of innovative new methods to make and use molecules of function. Our interests range from the innovative catalytic strategies to make small molecules, to supramolecular assemblies or the total synthesis of biologically important compounds and natural products. Our research is diverse, pioneering and internationally leading. The dynamic environment created by the research groups working at the cutting edge of the field, makes postgraduate research at Cambridge the best place for outstanding and motivated students.

Theoretical Chemistry

Research in Theoretical Chemistry covers a wide range of lengths and timescales, including the active development of new theoretical and computational tools. The applications include high-resolution spectroscopy, atomic and molecular clusters, biophysics, surface science, and condensed matter, complementing experimental research in the Department.

We develop new tools for quantum and classical simulations, informatics, and investigate molecules using descriptions that range from atomic detail to coarse-grained models of mesoscopic matter. This work often begins with analytical theory, which is developed into new computer programs, applied to molecules and materials of contemporary interest, and ultimately compared with experiment.

Educational aims of the PhD programme:

  • give students with relevant experience at the master's level the opportunity to carry out focused research in the discipline under close supervision;
  • give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests;
  • provide all students with relevant and useful researcher development training opportunities to broaden their horizons and properly equip them for the opportunity which they seek following their PhD studies.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, students will have

  • a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
  • demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research, research techniques and methodologies;
  • demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research; and
  • taken up relevant and highly useful researcher development training opportunities to develop skills and attributes for their desired future career.

Students currently studying for a relevant Master's degree at the University of Cambridge will normally need to obtain a pass in order to be eligible to continue onto the PhD in Chemistry.

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the  Postgraduate Open Day  page for more details.

See further the  Postgraduate Admissions Events  pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

The Department of Chemistry hosts a virtual open day for prospective postgraduate students comprising online laboratory tours, a chance to meet with current students and academic staff, and an opportunity to talk to professional services staff about the application process. 

Key Information

3-4 years full-time, 4-7 years part-time, doctor of philosophy, department of chemistry, course - related enquiries, application - related enquiries, course on department website, dates and deadlines:, lent 2024 (closed).

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Easter 2024

Michaelmas 2024, easter 2025, funding deadlines.

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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the phd in chemistry

  • Doing a PhD in Chemistry

A PhD in Chemistry aims to prepare highly qualified researchers who are able to bring about new advances in the chemistry fields, including Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Nanoscience etc. In other words, the core objective of a Chemistry PhD is to train researchers to join or lead research groups in universities, independent R&D departments other public or private organisations to meet the growing demands of society.

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As a research student, your daily activities will largely depend on two factors: what your specific research project is and what training objectives your department sets.

In short, your daily activities will focus on advancing your project, such as designing and conducting experiments, preparing your thesis and attending conferences etc., all while achieving your training objectives. Although training objectives vary from department to department, you can expect them to include outcomes such as:

  • Ability to independently devise, plan and carry out scientific research projects.
  • Acquire the skills to integrate effectively into any R&D team in the chemical sciences and technologies fields.
  • The ability to advise public and private institutions from a scientific and technical perspective.
  • To contribute to the development of knowledge, the latest techniques and instrumentation in relation to your specific field of specialisation.
  • Ability to update their scientific and technical expertise autonomously and continuously.

Since almost all doctoral degrees in chemistry are highly laboratory-based, your research will likely see you using advanced and innovative equipment. Depending on your research topic and your universities facilities, you may have to opportunity to use, for example, a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (NMR), Electron Spin Resonance Spectrometer (EPR), Infrared-Raman Fourier Spectrophotometer (FT-IR), Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometer (ICP) as part of your research.

the phd in chemistry

Lines of Research

As with most STEM subject PhDs, the potential research themes encompassing Chemistry PhDs are numerous; a School of Chemistry may traditionally base their research around the areas of Physical and Theoretical, Organic and Biological and Materials and Inorganic Chemistry.

Academic staff at your particular institution will also have a broad range of research interests they want to pursue, and it’s common to find postgraduate research students involved in a range of projects that overlap with the other sciences.

The following list, whilst not exhaustive, should give you an idea of how many topics you could choose from as part of your doctorate:

  • Physical Chemistry,
  • Medicinal Chemistry,
  • Theoretical Chemistry,
  • Materials Chemistry,
  • Environmental Chemistry,
  • Structural Chemistry,
  • Biological Chemistry ,
  • Computational Chemistry,
  • Supramolecular Chemistry,
  • Organometallic Chemistry,
  • Atmospheric Chemistry.

phd in organic chemistry

Within these topics, there will be numerous specialist areas, one of which will form the central focus of your original research project. Examples of these specialist areas are:

  • Electrochemical Sensors and Biosensors,
  • Liquid chromatography and electrophoresis,
  • Basic and technological aspects of ceramic materials,
  • Organometallic chemistry and catalysis,
  • Asymmetric catalysis with metal complexes and organocatalysis,
  • Organic chemistry of metal compounds,
  • Synthesis of pharmacologically interesting compounds from chiral precursors,
  • Distereo- and enantioselective synthesis of biologically active natural products,
  • Photoactive molecules, macromolecules and nanoparticles.

How long does it take to get a PhD in Chemistry?

In the UK, a full-time doctoral student usually takes 3 years to complete their postgraduate study, while part-time study will usually take closer to 6 years.

Most Chemistry PhD students will first register as MPhil students , after which they will complete an upgrade viva after 18 months before they are officially registered as a PhD student. While your supervisor will provide mentorship, it’s ultimately the responsibility of postgraduate students to ensure their project and studies run on time and that they meet their agreed deadlines.

What are the typical entry requirements for a Chemistry PhD Programme?

Most UK universities require at least a 2:1 undergraduate masters degree or the equivalent grade from a university outside the UK. The degree must be in a field that is directly relevant or that can demonstrate your understanding of chemistry as a graduate student to the level expected of your prospective supervisor .

If English is not your first language, you will be expected to meet the English language requirements of the university where you applied to prove your proficiency. This usually means obtaining formal English language qualifications such as an IELTS, which, for research programmes, typically requires a minimum test score of 6.5 as part of your application.

How much does a Chemistry PhD cost?

As a postgraduate researcher in the UK, you should expect annual tuition fees of around £4,500 per academic year . Part-time students should expect approximately half this fee at £2,250 per academic year.

For international students, including now-EU students, the annual tuition fee is considerably higher; for example, the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham sets international fees at £23,580/year, equating to over £70,500 assuming your PhD project takes three years to complete.

As with every PhD degree, potential students will need to consider additional costs such as living costs and any bench fees that may be expected from their respective project or graduate school. It’s a good idea to discuss these with your potential supervisors before starting your postgraduate degree.

Funding opportunities

Several funding opportunities are available for a Chemistry PhD research project. The opportunities include:

  • Government funding eg. UKRI BBSRC , EPSRC, ESRC, GATEway for research degrees.
  • Industry funding eg. AstraZeneca, BP, NC3D, (UK) DSTL (USA), assuming the topic of your PhD study aligns with their research interests.
  • Independent funding eg. Grants or Specialist Institutes for research projects in Chemistry or other scientific fields supporting the PhD programme.
  • Research charities eg. Cancer Research, MacMillan.
  • University funding eg. Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) funding in the form of scholarships/studentships which cover tuition fees and, in some cases, also provide a living allowance.

Thesis grants may also be available to assist with the costs of writing and presenting your thesis at an overseas conference or workshop. These can be awarded directly by institutions or even employers as part of a career development scheme.

What can you do with a PhD in Chemistry?

A PhD degree in Chemistry opens up a wide range of career opportunities, both within academia and industry.

Many graduates follow a career path of becoming postdoctoral researchers, then lecturers and possibly a professor of Chemistry too. Others may see their PhD projects linking with industry partners of the university, naturally leading to opportunities there. This may see graduates going on to work within the chemical engineering field, becoming materials scientists or working within environmental sciences.

With this in mind, the most common career paths after a PhD in Chemistry are:

  • University Lecturer A university lecturer may teach and run courses but may also advise on undergraduate study or research, supervise students, and be involved in developing education programs.
  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Most chemistry PhDs go on to secure a post-doctoral position within an institution such as a university, governmental department, research charity or a Commercial Research Organisation (CRO).
  • Environmental Scientist An Environmental Scientist conducts research to assess and control the impact of human activity on the environment.
  • Patent Attorney A patent attorney is often employed by organisations that develop new technology. They are responsible for drafting the application for patents to protect a client’s intellectual property rights, focusing on chemical compounds, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products.

chemistry phd programs and jobs

  • Cosmetic Chemist The Personal Care industry employs over 500,000 people in the UK alone and is an expanding market in the UK and global economy. The ingredients used in these products are often chemical compounds with large molecular structure, which is why they are typically developed by a chemist or chemist-biologist.
  • Process Engineer (Chemical Industry) A Process Engineer works on designing chemical processes and equipment to increase efficiency and profitability for an organisation. The role requires extensive knowledge of chemical engineering practices, operating conditions, instrumentation and mathematical techniques.

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Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Program description.

The PhD in Chemistry degree program is designed to produce graduates with a focus on innovation and problem-solving in interdisciplinary cutting edge research areas such as organic and inorganic materials, nanotechnology, biotechnology and polymer chemistry. These graduates, with their broad course background, research skills and practical attitudes should find ready employment in industry or academic positions. A spectrum of courses provides the student with a broad knowledge of chemistry.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program seek positions such as: research scientist in public and private sector, academic and industrial scientist and professor.

Marketable Skills

Review the marketable skills for this academic program.

Application Requirements

Degree requirements: Undergraduate preparation equivalent to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry is required. The Chemistry program has no other requirements above the general admission requirements. However, admission is competitive and is decided case by case on the basis of the quality of previous relevant academic work, letters of reference, the student’s statement of academic interests and, for foreign students, evidence of fluency in English. Foreign students with TOEFL scores less than 600 (paper test), 250 (computer test), or 100 (internet test) are admitted only in special circumstances. A GRE score is not required.

Deadlines:  University  deadlines  apply.

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Dr. Steven Nielsen  Email: [email protected]

Betty Maldonado Email:  [email protected] Phone: 972-883-2909

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The doctoral program in chemistry prepares individuals for teaching and research in academic institutions and for research in industrial and governmental positions. To be eligible for admission, a student must possess a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a closely related discipline.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students are required to design, carry out, present, and defend an original work of research at the cutting edge of their discipline.
  • Students must demonstrate mastery of the subject material relevant to their graduate field of study and advance scholarship.
  • Students need to be able to identify areas where ethical issues may arise in their discipline, and articulate strategies for dealing with them.
  • Students are expected to be able to teach and promote their discipline at the undergraduate level.

Course Requirements

A doctoral student must accumulate 64 credits:

  • Four of these courses must be at or above the 600-level
  • Two courses acceptable for graduate credit in mathematics or natural sciences other than chemistry may be substituted for chemistry courses
  • The remaining credits should be PhD research courses (CH 901/902 PhD Research in Chemistry)

Courses completed with a grade lower than B– are not degree-eligible. The student’s major advisor or the Graduate Programs Committee may require that specific nonresearch courses be taken beyond the requirement. Of the nonresearch courses, appropriate courses will be dependent upon the student’s background and interests and will be determined in consultation with the major advisor. Students may petition to be excused from nonresearch courses on the basis of equivalent courses taken elsewhere.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.

Qualifying Examinations

A student who wishes to be promoted to PhD candidacy must successfully complete an oral qualifying examination by spring of their second academic year. The oral qualifying examination is intended to test the student’s background knowledge in the subject specialty and the ability to think critically, independently, and creatively. Each student is required to compose a written research proposal describing their dissertation research project, and to defend the proposal in an oral examination administered by members of the student’s Dissertation Advisory Committee. The written proposal should define the background, objectives, significance, and plan of study for the research problem; a bibliography must be included. Recommendations to the department for advancement to PhD candidacy will depend on the results from the oral qualifying examination and on performance in coursework and research.

Dissertation and Final Oral Examination

The candidate shall demonstrate their ability for independent study by composing a dissertation representing original research or creative scholarship. A prospectus for the dissertation must be completed and approved by the Readers, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the department Chair/Program Director. The candidate must undergo a final oral examination in which the original dissertation is defended as a valuable contribution to knowledge in the candidate’s field. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate expertise in their field of specialization in relation to the dissertation research. All portions of the dissertation and final oral examination must be completed as outlined in the GRS General Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree .

A PhD student who leaves the program with a master’s degree must accumulate 32 credits:

  • At least 20 credits of academic coursework (five 4-credit courses)
  • Four of these courses must be at or above the 600 level
  • At least 8 of the remaining credits should be research coursework (GRS CH 903/904 MA Research in Chemistry)

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PhD in Chemistry

If you are keen to explore the world of science that is central to the connection between natural sciences and physics, engage in extensive research and find out new avenues, then, PhD in Chemistry might suit your career aspirations. Having to engage in independent studies, broadening your skill base and engaging in experiments in the laboratory for long periods of time, in a PhD curriculum, you would study different principles of Thermodynamics, advanced levels of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Mathematics, etc. With the knowledge of these core areas of the subject, you would understand the application of these fundamental principles to real-life practical processes. Let us take a look at the scope of pursuing a PhD in Chemistry.

This Blog Includes:

About phd in chemistry , eligibility criteria , phd in chemistry: admission process, phd in chemistry top colleges in india 2022, phd in chemistry: entrance exams, phd in chemistry: entrance exams syllabus, ph.d. in chemistry: top universities, top universities for phd in chemistry , job prospects & salary, career prospects .

PhD in Chemistry is a doctoral degree in one of the branches of Science that span over a period of 3-6 years. It is a detailed academic study and research and completes with the submission of an academic thesis on the subject that you engaged in research with. Moreover, these days there are a large number of innovative research projects that have been adopted such as the interface of Chemistry with Biology and Medicinal Sciences, Sustainable Energy, and Catalysis, amongst many others.

Moreover, the popular subjects studied over the course of your program include Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, Biochemistry and Organic Synthesis, Magnetic Resonance and Structural Chemistry, Biochemistry , Bioinformatics , Nanoscience , Biotechnology , Molecular biology , Microbiology , Genetics , Gene Expression, etc.

A PhD in Chemistry requires one to be committed to research and development and sometimes spend days at a stretch in the laboratory. Being a rigorous curriculum taught over a period of 3-6 years, a doctorate degree involves fierce training and education. Apart from these, there are a few things that one needs to pay heed to while seeking admission to this course. Some of these are: 

  • Senior Secondary Certificate or its equivalent from a recognised education board. 
  • A bachelor’s degree in Chemistry/Biochemistry or a related field of your specialization from an accredited institution.
  • A master’s degree like MSc Chemistry , MSc Biochemistry from a recognised university.
  • English Language Proficiency Test: IELTS , TOEFL or PTE score
  • Proven evidence of work experience, if needed.

To get admitted into any top universities like IIsc Banglore, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Bombay, etc offering a Ph.D. chemistry, students need to sit for entrance exams. The admission process continues with a personal interview, and if they score well, they can also get a scholarship. Given below are the basic steps:

Step 1: Application – To get admission to any college for Ph.D. in Chemistry, students first have to fill out the form for the course through either online or offline mode. 

Step 2: Entrance Exams – If students are aiming to get to admission in top universities, the entrance exams are extremely necessary. 

Step 3: Results – Keep a thorough check on the exam results. After the results have been declared, the admission process will continue. 

Step 4: Interview and Enrollment – After qualifying for the exam, the university will take an interview either online or offline by calling the students to the university campus.

The table is given below listed the top-ranked colleges for Ph.D. in Chemistry in India with their NIRF rankings: 

Some universities have their own exams like Lovely Professional Universities has LPUNEST and the main national level exams conducted for this course are the UGC – NET, and GATE. There is also CUCET which is the common entrance for central universities.

the phd in chemistry

The syllabus of the entrance exam of this course depends upon three main topics: 

Enlisted are the best universities to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry with their corresponding areas of specialization: 

Access to the top of the range research equipment and facilities like X-ray diffractometers, scanning tunnelling microscopes, electron microscopes, mass spectrometers, and high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers, the best universities around the world have a lot to offer. Which is why we have curated a list of renowned universities around the world taking into consideration the t op 5 countries to study Chemistry that might be perfect for you.

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Princeton University
  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • University of Glasgow  
  • John Hopkins University  
  • University of Kent  
  • McGill University  
  • University of Cambridge  
  • University of California, Berkeley  
  • University of York  
  • University of Essex  
  • University of Montreal  
  • The University of Edinburgh  
  • The University of Manchester 
  • Cornell University  

Read on to find out the below-mentioned job options with the respective average salaries after pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry: 

  • Research Scientist – Ranges around INR 8.7 lakhs
  • Principal Scientist – Ranges around INR 20 lakhs
  • Assistant General Manager – Ranges around INR 20 lakhs
  • Business Consultant – Ranges around INR 30 lakhs
  • High School Principal – Ranges around INR 4.7 lakhs

Progressing into the branch of Chemistry would allow you to explore multifarious opportunities that would refine your skills and make a good living. Working with different chemical research centres, industries such as plastic and polymer factories, forensic labs, food packaging and processing firms along with the beverage and liquor industries hire chemists at a large scale. You may also make a career in Medicinal Chemistry and work towards finding new cures and medical testing and manufacturing. You can consider the following profiles after pursuing a PhD in Chemistry:

  • Scientist 
  • Medical Technologist 
  • Research Instructor 
  • Professor 
  • Material Science
  • Pharma Assistant
  • Agricultural Chemist
  • Clinical Research Specialist
  • Medical Technologist
  • Radiologist
  • Toxicologist 
  • Food and Flavor Chemist
  • Water Quality Chemist
  • Production Chemist
  • Product Officer
  • Research & Development Manager
  • Scientific Data Entry Specialist
  • Safety Health and Environment Specialist
  • Quality Controller

If you are doing this course from a reputed institute, Ph.D. can usually take up to 6 years to complete or even less than that, i.e, 3 years. 

Overall consideration takes place like, admission process, student’s score in the entrance exams, and the universities offering scholarships based on the student’s merit. 

There is no best in this case but yes IIT Guwahati has one of the best chemistry departments among the IITs. It has all the facilities and there are around 42 professors so you get many options to do research under them.

With a PhD in Chemistry, you can get a postdoctoral position where you continue to research. Many individuals decide that academia is not for them and use their teaching, financial sector, or trading skills. If you have any inhibitions in finding a path to your career aspirations, Leverage Edu can guide you towards it and boost your career. 

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Thanks for reading. Related topics: MSc Applied Chemistry MSc Organic Chemistry What is Analytical Chemistry?

PhD in computational and theoretical chemistry

Hi Isaboke! If you want to study PhD in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry in UK, Canada or USA then please connect with our experts on 1800 572 000!

Can I do PhD in physical chemistry

Hi Prabhat, Yes sure, you can do PhD in any discipline that excites you provided your portfolio and eligibility criteria matches for that particular discipline. You can get in touch with our counsellors at 1800572000 and they will help you out to kickstart your PhD journey in 20222!

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Chemistry

Graduate student works with laser table in lab

Graduate studies in Chemistry at KU are intended to prepare graduate students for any of the multitude of career pathways available to individuals who hold a doctorate in the Chemical Sciences. Graduate studies differ from the undergraduate experience in that each activity and requirement of the graduate program is designed to prepare students to become independent, creative practitioners of Chemistry.

The full list of courses required for a Chemistry Ph.D. at KU can be viewed on the KU Academic Catalog website .

Chemists at KU still make new materials and find new and exciting applications for these compounds, and study how chemical reactions occur. We apply this knowledge to developing compounds that fight disease, to creating cleaner and more efficient chemical processes for industry and to applying chemistry in other manners that benefit society. Striving for a Ph.D. or M.S. degree is about creating and completing an independent, original research project in the chemical sciences. For KU students, this experience becomes the foundation for their future careers in the increasingly diverse scientific enterprise.

Research in Chemistry graduate programs used to take place exclusively in the laboratory. At KU, students apply a broader definition of the term laboratory to include many other types of research environments:

  • Medical facilities where researchers study the efficacy of therapeutic agents and analyze the results of clinical trials,
  • Computer laboratories where the modeling of molecular structure, chemical reactions and phase changes are contributing enormously to our understanding of the complex systems around us,
  • Fields and streams where environmental chemists strive to understand how chemicals derived from natural processes and human activity impact the quality and diversity of life, and
  • Classrooms where individuals study strategies for improving student learning of scientific concepts.

KU Chemistry: A Multidisciplinary Experience

Chemistry is an incredibly multidisciplinary science at KU. As the tools we have developed to study molecular processes have become ever more powerful, chemists have been able to study more and more complicated systems. In our department, graduate students participate in projects including the location and function of neurotransmitters in the brain, how supercritical fluids can enhance the activity and selectivity of catalysts for chemical transformations, the details of what happens at the solid/liquid interface as materials begin to melt, how nuclear pore membrane proteins open to allow access to the genetic material in the nucleus of the cell, and how the HIV virus does such an effective job of evading detection by the human immune system. Chemical Sciences research at KU is an extremely exciting collaborative experience.

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PhD in Chemistry

PhD in Chemistry

Known for Research

Chemistry is at the core of breakthroughs in disciplines as diverse as medicine, technology, nanomaterials and environmental science. PhD students in Clarkson University's chemistry program have the opportunity to participate in research and work alongside world-renowned faculty committed to sharing their knowledge.

Our faculty advisors educate you with the knowledge and skills you need to solve complex problems that impact society, ranging from smart materials to sensors, biotechnology and electronics. Graduate research is supported by federal agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DoD), as well as New York State and private industry.

Our small size encourages faculty to provide personalized training and exceptional mentoring focused on student success..

Why Earn a PhD in Chemistry From Clarkson?

We're driven by research at Clarkson. Our traditional strength is in areas such as colloids, surfaces, electrochemistry and analytical chemistry — topics underpinning much of the work done by our faculty.

Graduate students regularly publish their work in top scientific journals and have the opportunity to present research at national and international conferences. Professional organizations and student chapters are available on campus, including the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Electrochemical Society (ECS). Students have access to a variety of professional development opportunities focusing on areas like research mentoring, entrepreneurship and leadership.

In our small department, faculty share their knowledge with students while collaborating on joint projects. Graduate students conduct research on projects spanning traditional core areas in analytical, inorganic, organic, biochemistry and physical chemistry, as well as interdisciplinary fields like materials chemistry, bionanotechnology and environmental sustainability.

Get hands-on experience with state-of-the-art instrumentation, like nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

Other instruments available for teaching and research include electron microscopes, UV/visible, fluorescence and atomic absorption spectrometers, mass spectrometers, X-ray diffractometers, particle sizers and thermal and mechanical analyzers.

Outside the lab, seminars and lectures expose students to the groundbreaking research conducted here and around the world. Our Shipley Distinguished Lecture Series has brought nine Nobel laureates to campus.

Curriculum Overview

PhD candidates in chemistry select a concentration from the following:

  • Analytical chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloids and surface chemistry
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Materials chemistry
  • Organic and inorganic chemistry
  • Physical (theoretical) chemistry

Sample courses include:

  • Advanced Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry & Biotechnology Lab
  • Biomedical Analysis and Instrumentation
  • Bioelectronics & Bio-nanotechnology
  • Colloids and Surface Science
  • Implantable and Wearable Bioelectronics
  • Sustainable Nanotechnology
  • Thesis, Dissertation and Special Projects
  • Biomaterials
  • Manufacturing Implications/Advanced Materials
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Colloids and Interfaces
  • Physical Organic Chemistry
  • Polymer Science
  • Special Topics/Colloids and Surfaces

The PhD in Chemistry consists of 90 credit hours beyond a bachelor's degree. These credits are taken through coursework, seminars and project work to fulfill all PhD requirements.

Requirements include the following:

  • A minimum of 90 credit hours, including no less than 24 credit hours of coursework, a six credit-hour seminar and a maximum of 30 transferred credit hours from a Master of Science degree (B grade or better) applied toward PhD degree requirements.
  • A minimum of three academic years of full-time graduate study or the equivalent in part-time study.
  • Satisfactory completion of the PhD candidacy procedure within two years of full-time study after admission to the PhD program or, for part-time students, before completing 66 credit hours. If the comprehensive examination is failed twice, the student is required to leave the program.
  • A written dissertation must be submitted by each candidate and defended orally as part of the final examination. For the final oral examination, a committee is selected by the faculty advisor and approved by the department chair and dean of the respective school. The committee consists of a minimum of five members. The members should include at least four Clarkson faculty of assistant professor rank or higher who possess an earned doctoral degree. At least one of the faculty members must be from a department other than the candidate’s major department.
  • Time limit: After the comprehensive examination has been passed, all work fulfilled specifically for the doctorate is to be completed within a period of seven calendar years.
  • Grading system: The grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C and P are acceptable for credit toward the degree. For graduation, an average of B or better must be earned in non-dissertation courses and seminar work.
  • PhD candidates in chemistry must: (i) Complete a minimum of six credit hours of CM900 and (ii) present three seminars as part of their degree requirements.

Faculty members are associated with the New York State-funded Center for Advanced Materials Processing and several other interdisciplinary programs on campus. Their research is supported by sources including grants from the National Science Foundation, as well as New York State and private industry funding.

Current areas of research include:

  • Analytical, electrochemistry and sensors
  • Biochemistry and biotechnology
  • Inorganic and solid-state chemistry
  • Nanotechnology and nanomaterials
  • Organic, polymers and soft materials
  • Physical and computational chemistry

A complete application consists of the following:

  • Online Application Form
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • GRE Test Scores: the GRE requirement will be waived for spring and fall 2024 applicants.
  • For international applicants, an English proficiency test is required:
  • Minimum test score requirements: TOEFL (80) and TOEFL Essentials (8.5), IELTS (6.5), PTE (56) or Duolingo English Test (115).
  • The English language-testing requirement is not waived based on language of instruction, nor do we accept university certificates. English testing is waived if an applicant has a degree from a country where English is the Native Language. Click here to see the list of these countries.

PhD prerequisites: Applicants must possess a baccalaureate (BS) or a Master of Science (MS) degree in chemistry or a related major (e.g., materials science, biochemistry, biophysics, environmental science or a similar discipline).

Applicants must have also completed the following minimum college course preparation:

  • Introductory chemistry courses, including general chemistry.
  • Specialized classes, including:
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Physical chemistry.
  • Basic training in mathematics and physics.

Small Sensation

In many communities around the world, people have no way of knowing whether the water they rely on is safe. One Clarkson PhD student is working to build small, inexpensive sensors that can alert residents to hazards before it's too late.

Career Possibilities

Clarkson's emphasis on research allows you to focus on an area of chemistry where you want to make an immediate impact. After defending your dissertation, you can choose from career paths in:

  • Biotechnology
  • Forensic labs
  • Industry (e.g., electronics, environmental, healthcare, energy or law)
  • Research and development
  • State and federal agencies

Clarkson's faculty have extensive ties to the chemical and advanced materials industries. These relationships can result in opportunities for technology transfer and jobs. Some of the places our alumni work include:

  • Applied Materials
  • Abbott Diabetes Care
  • AireSun Global
  • CFD Research
  • Ferro Corporation
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Ichor Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Lydall Performance Materials
  • Saint-Gobain
  • Siemens Healthineers

Contact Us 

Graduate Admissions   Email: [email protected]   Phone: 518-631-9831

Interested in learning more about the PhD in Chemistry at Clarkson? Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions today with your questions.

Destination: Anywhere

Next-generation sensors. Biotech product development. Building biobatteries for the military. Students in Clarkson's PhD program in chemistry come from everywhere — and can go anywhere.

See Where our Alumni End Up

Explore Related Programs

Bioscience-Biotechnology at Clarkson

PhD in Bioscience and Biotechnology

Materials-Science Engineering at Clarkson

PhD in Materials Science and Engineering

Environmental-Science at Clarkson

PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering

Take the next step.

A PhD in Chemistry from Clarkson can lead to careers in fields as diverse as healthcare, biotech and pharmaceuticals. Ask us for more information today.

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PhD in Chemistry

Entry requirement:   2.1 Masters degree or equivalent . 

Please check international qualifications equivalence guidelines here .

Coming to Cambridge for a PhD in Chemistry means you will be joining a community of over 50 academics, 350 PhD students and more than 200 postdoctoral researchers. The research opportunities are vast and career development is second to none. 

The route to a PhD takes up to four years of full-time research, culminating in a substantial thesis of up to 60,000 words which is examined by viva. Along your journey to a PhD, you will be absorbed in the laboratory life of your chosen research group. The postgraduate chemistry lecture series we offer aims to bring everyone up to the same high-level of foundational knowledge; irrespective of prior educational background at Masters level. You will present your research at seminars and conferences as you progress. Most PhD students go to at least one international and national chemistry conference in the course of their studies.


We strongly recommend that you correspond with potential supervisors early and well in advance of submitting your application. This is also important for maintaining oversight of which project you could be working on. Prospective projects may not always reflect groups publications therefore, we encourage you to discuss this with your potential supervisors to avoid disappointment. 

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Ph.D. in Chemistry 2020 requirements

The department periodically makes changes to the doctoral program requirements. Students are instructed to follow the rules as they apply to their incoming class. This document is intended for the incoming class of fall 2020 and forward.

Table of contents

Ph.d. requirements, academic integrity, salary supplements, proficiency exams, selecting an advisor, responsible conduct of research, student evaluations, advancing to candidate status, preliminary written and oral examinations, recommendation for candidacy status, conflict of interest form, seminar requirement, annual committee meetings, dissertation, public lecture and final oral defense, time limitation, leaves of absence, fellowship competitions, exit procedures, definitions, committees and administrative personnel, the plan of work form, registration, priority registration, open registration, late registration, drop/add – changing the course schedule, payment of tuition, sevis fee reimbursement application.

Satisfactory academic progress is defined as meeting the degree requirements on schedule. Failure to reach any milestone may result in academic probation and loss of good academic standing. The consequences of failing to make satisfactory academic progress may include the loss of salary supplements, loss of graduate assistantship or termination from the program.

Requirement keys:

  • D = Department rule
  • GS = Graduate School requirement


Take five proficiency exams at the start of the program to prepare for initial academic advising. (D)

Complete five graduate classes during the first academic year with a satisfactory HPA. (D)

File a plan of work indicating how the 90-credit (including 18 to 21 credits of coursework, four credits of seminar, CHM 6740, CHM 7770, CHM 8850, GS 0900, 30 credits of CHM 9991 9992 9993 and 9994, and 33 to 36 credits of other work) requirement will be completed. (GS)

Complete responsible conduct of research training during the first year of study. (D, GS)

Written and oral qualifying examinations.

Academic services officer will appoint the Doctoral Committee before the start of the student’s second year.

Complete written examination requirement by attending and participating in a proposal writing workshop (CHM 7770) in their second year and subsequently completing a written proposal and research summary.

Pass preliminary oral examination by the end of the winter term in their second academic year. (D, GS).

Advance to candidacy.

Candidacy form: At completion of the preliminary written and oral examination, complete Recommendation for Candidacy Status Form and obtain approval of all four Dissertation Committee members, including the outside committee member. (D, GS)

Prospectus form: At completion of the preliminary written and oral examiination, complete a Prospectus and Record of Approval Form, complete a Conflict of Interest Form and obtain Dissertation Committee approval. (D, GS)

Students hold annual committee meetings with their dissertation committee. (D, GS)

Successfully present one public seminar by end of year four. (D)

Final committee meeting should be held within six months of defense. (D)

Complete the dissertation and obtain approvals of the Dissertation Committee and Graduate School. (GS)

Present public lecture on dissertation work and pass a final oral examination administered by the Dissertation Committee. (GS)

Departmental rules have been established by the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee and approved by the Chemistry Faculty. Graduate Studies Committee monitors student compliance with program requirements. Modifications of or exception to departmental rules are allowed only with permission of the Graduate Studies Committee.

Detailed Ph.D. requirements

Since a Ph.D. degree requires several years of full-time work and the demonstration of several skills and accomplishments, a student's graduate career is most easily described in two stages: 1) preliminary requirements - a variety of early requirements leading to candidacy; and 2) final requirements – the culmination of the research, writing the dissertation, presentation of a public lecture and passing the final oral examination.

Upon admission to the Ph.D. program, a student is assigned the status of Ph.D. applicant. It is in this status that a student takes their class work, submits the plan of work, takes the preliminary (qualifying) written and oral examinations and prepares for the dissertation research project.

The status of a Ph.D. candidate is conferred on students who, through the passing of written and oral preliminary examinations and the writing of a research prospectus and a dissertation outline, have demonstrated a broad knowledge of chemistry, an in-depth knowledge of the field of specialization and a coherent plan for the research project.

All forms mentioned are available from the graduate academic services officer and most are available by the Graduate School . The Graduate School has developed an online dashboard for many of the initial Ph.D. forms. You may be required to submit these forms electronically. Questions regarding policy and procedures should be addressed to the chemistry graduate academic services officer. All completed paper forms must be returned directly to this office.

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All forms of academic misbehavior are prohibited at Wayne State University and violation of the principles of academic integrity may lead directly to expulsion from the Ph.D. program regardless of the progress the student may have otherwise made. Examples of these include cheating on course exams, falsification of research data, or plagiarism. Any questions about these matters should be discussed with a faculty member or the graduate studies chair.

Students who are supported on GTA contracts may be granted supplemental salary in addition to the GTA stipend paid by the Graduate School. This supplemental salary is provided at the discretion of the Department of Chemistry. If supplementary salary is provided, the amount will be described in the letter of offer from the chair prior to the first year of study. This supplement may be renewed for up to three years based on departmental available funding.

Renewal of the salary supplement is contingent upon maintaining good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress toward your doctoral degree as determined by both your advisor and the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee. Failure to reach any milestone of the program on schedule will result in the termination of the salary supplement. If supplementary salary is terminated, that supplemental salary amount will not be reinstated upon regaining good academic standing such that the student will be compensated at the appropriate base GTA level henceforth.

Exams are given prior to the start the fall term at times announced by the Graduate Studies Committee. Students are required to take all of the proficiency exams. Exams, which take approximately two hours each, are designed to cover basic undergraduate topics and are frequently of the ACS type. The exam results are posted outside the office of the graduate academic services officer as soon as they are available. Students will meet with advisors within their chosen division in their first semester to select coursework that matches their career goals and research interests. Results of proficiency exams may be used by advisors to help students select courses that address deficiencies in areas of chemistry that are important to individual student training.

The selection of the research advisor is one of the important choices facing new students. The department wants to ensure that before the student selects an advisor s/he gathers sufficient information about the faculty members' interests, resources and current student roster to make an informed choice. The department would like every student to be associated with a research group of his/her choice as soon as possible, but definitely before the end of the student's first term except under special circumstances. In an attempt to achieve a fair distribution of students among the faculty and to accommodate the interests of the students, the department has adopted the following procedure for matching student and faculty interests in the advisor selection process.

First-year students must participate in the rotation and advisor selection process which is the only allowed procedure for matching students with advisors.

Students submit their preferences for laboratory rotation (4) prior to the first day of classes. The department will distribute a laboratory rotation schedule based on these requests. Rotations take place from September through November.

During the rotation period, students should have meetings with prospective advisors in which research projects, etc. are discussed.

When the student has completed his/her rotations, they must submit a Choice of Research Advisor Form by listing the faculty with whom s/he would like to work in order of preference. This form is usually distributed as an online survey that must be submitted on the appointed date. If the department chair feels that a student has a) overlooked a faculty member in his/her chosen research field, or b) has not listed at least three choices, s/he can require the student to interview one or more additional faculty.

The department chair will survey the forms and notify each faculty member of those students who have listed him/her as one of their choices.

From the list described in number four above, the faculty member will submit a ranked list of the students who s/he would like to have join his/her research group.

The departmental chair will, based on both student and faculty preference lists and other factors (such as the faculty member's current, desired and optimum group size, his/her grant funding, the status of students currently in the group, similar factors for the student's second choice, etc.), assign each student to one of his/her preferred faculty. In the past, almost all students have been assigned to their first choice, those assigned to their second choice had listed as their first choice a faculty member whose group was full and whose laboratory could not accommodate all the students who had selected him/her.

The department chair will notify the students and faculty members of group assignments by email. All questions and concerns should be politely directed to the department chair.

Students arriving on campus for the summer before the start of their first year of graduate school must go through the same laboratory selection process as everyone else. Before joining a laboratory for the summer, they must sign the “Summer Research Agreement for Pre-First Year Students” together with their summer advisor. While we recognize that many students may wish to remain in the lab in which they spent that initial summer, they are not officially members of any group until after the laboratory rotation and match process described above has occurred.

Graduate students take the graduate school training (GS 0900) in the fall term of their first year. They are also required to attend and participate in departmental training for responsible conduct of research in the fall term of their first year in the last seven weeks term. Students must write an essay to complete the requirement.

The Graduate School mandates that all graduate students receive regular evaluations regarding their progress toward a degree no less than once per year. The chemistry department has its own procedures which satisfy this requirement.

Student academic progress is reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee after every term. This evaluation takes into consideration course completion, G.P.A. and acceptance to a research laboratory.

After two semesters, The Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee judges a student to be in good academic standing if s/he:

  • Has satisfactorily completed five graduate-level courses with a grade of B or better with a GPA of 3.0 or above and;
  • Has joined a research group.

Failure to meet these criteria will result in the student being placed on a probationary status. This may cause an academic hold to be placed on their record and will affect their financial status. Students who fail to maintain good academic standing can be terminated from the Ph.D. program.

Continuing students

Each summer every doctoral student will meet with their research advisor to conduct a formal progress review. During this discussion, the student and advisor will talk about overall progress toward the degree, student development over the prior year and set research, performance and development goals for the next year. This process should be a two-way discussion resulting in the completion of the Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP form is an electronic form that must be signed by the student, the advisor and the director of graduate studies. This form is submitted to the Graduate School annually.

Ph.D. course requirement and the plan of work

For each graduate degree, there are specific and general course requirements. Some requirements specify only a particular number of credit hours, others specify credit hours plus the area in which the courses must be taken; a few requirements are for specific courses which are listed by course number, e.g., CHM 6740, CHM 7770, CHM 8850.

The classroom work required of Ph.D. students will be completed during the first or second years of study. The intent of the coursework requirement is to ensure that as students enter the research-intensive portion of their work they have an adequate background in the fundamentals of chemistry as well as a grasp of the state-of-the-art knowledge in their chosen specialty. The Ph.D. coursework requirement clearly promotes both goals by forcing an intensive study of one subject (the major field) and a breadth requirement by taking courses outside this major.

Each student must complete at least 90 graduate credits* distributed as follows:

  • 18 credits, or more, in coursework**
  • 4 credits of divisional seminar – CHM 8800, 8810, 8820, 8830 or 8840
  • 0 credit of GS 0900: Essential Research Practices: Responsible Conduct of Research
  • 1 credit of CHM 6740: Laboratory Safety
  • 2 credits of CHM 7770: Proposals in Chemical Research
  • 1 to 3 credits of CHM 8850: Frontiers in Chemistry
  • 30 credits of CHM 9991, 9992, 9993, 9994: Dissertation Research and Direction
  • At least 90-(a+b+c+d+e+f+g) additional graduate credits – usually CHM 8700

* May include up to 30 credits transferred from other institutions ( see transfer credit ).

** Coursework refers to regularly scheduled classes of lecture, laboratory, or directed study that have a final examination or project and are completed in one term.

The student notifies the department and the Graduate School of the sequence of courses that s/he wishes to use to satisfy the course requirement by filing a plan of work ( see Graduate School forms ). It is normally filed during the student's second year of studies; it may be filed earlier, but it must be filed before the preliminary examination. Appendix A lists the courses and credits that should be listed on the plan of work.

The plan of work is a document prepared by the student in consultation with their research advisor. This form must be approved and signed by both the advisor and the departmental graduate director. The plan of work is a listing of the credits already taken as well as those that the student will take in the future to complete the degree requirement.

The plan of work has six columns. Department and number, semester and course titles are the first three columns. Courses that already have been taken are listed as they appear on the student's transcript. Courses yet to be taken follow. Credits to be taken over several terms (i.e., CHM 8700 and seminars) should be listed only once with the semester column left blank. The doctoral candidate status courses (CHM 9991, 9992, 9993 and 9994) should be listed separately for 7.5 credits apiece. The credits for each course are listed in the major, minor or other column depending upon the appropriate designation.

Normally, a student will take four courses (12 credits) in a single subject area in what may be loosely defined as a major field of study. In a few fields (divisions) a student easily can accumulate the necessary credits from courses in one specific field within one or two academic years. In some fields there may not be a sufficient number of courses offered in the student's intended major during a reasonable time period or the student's research project may make courses in other divisions/departments appropriate. In such cases, the department recommends that the student complete the course requirement with relevant courses from other divisions or other science departments. Courses from divisions outside the Department of Chemistry must be at the 5000 level or above.

The credits are to be listed in the major column on the plan of work on the same line(s) as the major course number(s) and title(s).

During winter 2011, the graduate school voted to make minors optional for Ph.D. students. In fall 2011, the department followed suit, removing the requirement that a minor be completed. The completion of a minor and the listing of a minor on the plan of work, is optional. The information described below only applies to students who elect to declare a minor on their plan of work.

The department and the Graduate School allow for a minor field of study. The credits of the student's minor courses should be listed in the minor column of the plan of work on the same line(s) as the minor course number(s) and title(s). The minor may be satisfied in one of three ways, each of which requires the completion of six graduate credits (normally, two courses) in the minor area.

Chemistry (distributed) minor (the most common option) –  completion of six credits (usually two courses) taken in two fields (divisions) of chemistry or three credits in chemistry and three credits in some other related field. The chemistry credits must be at the 7000 level while the outside credits must be at the 5000 level or above.

Completion of a distributed minor will result in a member of a division represented in the student's minor courses being selected for the committee which administers the student's preliminary examination.

Chemistry (concentrated) minor – completion of six chemistry credits (usually two courses) at the 7000 or 8000 level in a single division outside the major division.

Selection of a concentrated minor in one of the chemistry divisions results in a member of that division being appointed to the committee that administers the student's preliminary examination.

Outside minor – Six credits from a single department. The outside department is usually in a science (e.g., biology, computer science, genetics, pharmacology, physics, etc.) or a science-related area (e.g., chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mathematics, etc.). The minor field must meet the approval of the advisor, the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee and the Graduate School. In most departments, the requirement can be satisfied by completing two courses at the 5000 level or above.

Completion of a minor in an outside department will result in a member from that department being appointed to the doctoral committee and participating in the student's preliminary examination, pre-oral examination and final dissertation defense.

All credits which are not classroom courses and/or are not assignable as Major or Minor should be placed in the "other" column. Thus, seminars (CHM 8800-8840), Frontiers in Chemistry (CHM 8850), Laboratory Safety (CHM 6740), Essential Research Practices: Responsible Conduct of Research (GS 0900), Research in Chemistry (CHM 8700), and Dissertation Research and Direction (CHM 9991, 9992, 9993, 9994) should have their credit hour totals listed in the "other" column.

Repeat courses

The department may allow a student to petition to repeat a graduate course in which a grade of B- or lower is received. No more than two graduate courses may be repeated. Permission to repeat a course must be obtained from the Chemistry Graduate Director. (See chemistry academic services officer to secure permission.) The original grade for the course will remain on the student's transcript, but only the final grade received in retaking of the course will be used in the computation of the student's grade point average. Students will not receive tuition assistance for repeated courses.

Transfer credit

Up to nine graduate course credits (coursework) earned at other accredited and recognized institutions can be transferred provided that a minimum grade of "B" (3.0) was earned in the course(s). Courses in which a grade of "B-" was earned are not acceptable for transfer, nor are courses in which grades of satisfactory-unsatisfactory, pass-fail, or pass-no pass were awarded.

Doctoral dissertation credits will not be transferred.

A student wishing to transfer graduate credit toward the Ph.D. degree must obtain a Transfer of Credit Form  from the Graduate School  and discuss their plans with the departmental academic services officer. This form, along with a transcript from the former institution, is submitted at the time the plan of work is filed. You must fill out a separate form for every previous institution you wish to transfer credit from.

Wayne State University allows no more than 30 graduate credits earned elsewhere to be counted toward a Ph.D. degree. Actually, the university requires that 60 graduate credits toward the Ph.D. be earned at Wayne State. So, transferring more than 30 credits is unnecessary.

From the foregoing one can see that the plan of work serves more than one function. It indicates to the Graduate School how the student will satisfy the Ph.D. course requirement. The Graduate School closely reviews the plan of work to ensure that the student's proposed courses will meet all degree requirements. When the Graduate School agrees that the plan of work (or a revision of the plan) satisfies the requirements, the form will be signed by the dean. Electronic copies are returned to the student and the department after approval. When the student applies for a degree, the Graduate School closely compares the student's transcript with the approved plan of work. Any discrepancies between the two will require some action on the part of the student and will delay the completion of the degree.

During the student's graduate career, changes to the plan of work may be proposed and an amendment may be submitted. Such changes must be approved by the thesis advisor and the chemistry graduate director.

Finishing the plan of work is a necessary but not sufficient condition for completion of the Ph.D. degree. Submitting an approved dissertation, presenting a public lecture on the dissertation and passing the final oral examination are additional requirements. The amount of time needed to complete the research leading to the dissertation is difficult to estimate with any exactness.

Formation of the examination committee

The student's qualifying examination committee normally will consist of three faculty: the dissertation advisor (or advisors), one member of the major division and one member from a division other than the major. If a student has elected to complete an “outside” minor, the committee will include a fourth faculty representative from that area.

The chemistry academic services officer will assign committees on behalf of the Graduate Studies Committee in the summer between the first and second years of study.

Arranging the preliminary examinations

When a suitable and agreed-upon time has been set, the student notifies the chemistry academic services officer. After arrangements for date and time of the meeting have been agreed upon and prior to the examination, the student and/or the advisor should notify the members of the committee, in writing, of the arrangements. Reminders to often-forgetful faculty members are also advised, including a phone call on the day before and/or the day of, the exam. Please note the reservation of a room in which to hold the exam is the responsibility of the student. Please contact  [email protected] if you wish to reserve a room within the chemistry building.

On the day of the exam, the student and advisor should arrive several minutes ahead of the arranged time to ensure that the assigned room is not occupied, that the boards are clean, writing instruments (chalk or markers) are available, needed projectors and screens are in place and sufficient chairs or desks are on hand. The preliminary examination is a closed session. No guests, except invited and/or interested faculty, may be present.

Students will prepare two written documents: A research document (prospectus) and an original research proposal. These documents will be due to their committee one week before the oral exam. The format of the documents must be as follows: Times New Roman 12 or Arial 11 font, 1-inch margins and 1.15 spaced.

The research document (prospectus) should be 6 to 10 pages long and must not exceed 10 pages, not counting references. This document should include preliminary results in addition to clearly stated hypotheses and goals, in addition to well-developed future directions. Detailed methods or experimental sections should not be included, brief summaries are acceptable if appropriate.

It is expected that the text and most of the figures will be prepared by the student as original work. Plagiarism will result in automatic failure of the exam.

The proposal should follow either NIH or NSF guidelines.

For NIH-style proposals, sections will include an abstract, specific aims, research strategy (significance, innovation, approach) and conclusion.

NSF-style proposals should include an abstract that summarizes intellectual merit and broader impacts. The proposal should include the following sections: introduction, research plan and broader impacts.

Oral exam format

Students will present their research progress first and their original research proposal second. The exam will take place over two hours with one hour for each section.


Students will prepare two PowerPoint presentations of ~15 minutes each excluding time for questions.

During exam

During the examination, members of the committee ask questions of the student; and each member must, based on the student's responses to his/her own questions and to those of others, determine if the student is adequately prepared to proceed to the next phase of graduate work. Each committee member may ask questions for a specified period of time or the committee members may ask single questions in turn. Questioning may proceed for an hour or more at which point the moderator may poll the committee to determine if additional questioning is needed or desired. If none is requested, the committee chair likely will excuse the student. During the student's absence, the committee will discuss the student's performance, knowledge and skills. The committee then will decide whether the student should pass or fail; or, if the exam should continue before a decision is made.

After the exam

At the conclusion of the exam, each committee member should fill out a department evaluation form. This form is available from the graduate academic services officer and available on the chemistry website. Forms should be returned either through email or on paper to the ASO’s office.

When the examination has ended, the committee must decide whether the student passes or fails, no other choice is allowed. (A student may be passed if there is not more than one negative vote.) If the committee decides to fail the student, the members will explain to the student the reasons for the decision. The student may be advised to review particular topics or to emphasize certain areas in his/her preparations for a second preliminary examination. At least four months must pass before a second and last, preliminary examination can be scheduled; and, the second examination must be held within one calendar year following the first examination. The student will be on academic probation for the period between the first and second attempts of the exam. The committee will be the same for the second exam as the first. The foregoing procedures pertain to the preparation for and conduct of the second exam. The outcome of the second examination is final.

A pass allows the student to continue toward completion of the candidacy requirements. A fail on the second exam automatically terminates the student's status as a Ph.D. applicant.

Immediately after the oral exam, regardless of the result, the graduate student needs to submit a Report on Oral Examination Form ( see Graduate School forms ). This form requires 1) the name of the student, 2) the date of the exam and 3) the names and AccessID’s of the committee members.

The preliminary exam is a time when the student needs to bring all his/her background and knowledge to the fore. The examination will more likely probe how well the student knows basic and essential matters rather than how much or how many things the student knows. The student should realize that the interactive nature of the examination allows continued questioning on one or more topics.

Following successful completion of the written and oral qualifying examinations, a student must file for Candidacy by filing a Recommendation for Candidacy Status Form ( see Graduate School forms ). This establishes the Dissertation Committee which is composed of four faculty members.

The critical step in this process (i.e., the part that has caused the most confusion/problem) is in the formation of the four-person dissertation advisory committee. By the rules of the Graduate School, the committee that administers the preliminary examination is dismissed when its final pass/fail decision has been made and a new committee, the dissertation advisory committee is formed to oversee the latter portion of the student's Ph.D. work. Since the members of the examination committee are familiar with the student, know his/her abilities and have become somewhat conversant with the student's proposed research, it is most convenient for the department (and advantageous to the student) to retain the student's preliminary examination committee as the dissertation advisory committee. The department, in fact, assumes that the preliminary examination committee will become the dissertation advisory committee.

The rules of the Graduate School, however, require that, when possible and practical, one of the members of the dissertation advisory committee must be a graduate faculty member from a department other than chemistry. This committee member may also be from outside the university if approved by the Graduate Studies Committee and the Graduate School. This rule normally produces a committee of three chemistry faculty and one outside member. When such a member is difficult or impossible to find, the student's advisor and the chair of the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee can request that a fourth faculty member from chemistry serve instead. Such requests are rarely granted by the Graduate School.

Normally, for students with an outside minor, the minor representative becomes the non-chemistry member of the dissertation advisory committee. Such should be considered when the minor faculty member of the preliminary examination committee is selected.

This paperwork must be signed by 1) the advisor, 2) all members of the dissertation advisory committee, 3) chair of the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee and 4) dean of the Graduate School. Approval must be secured prior to obtaining permission to register for the initial block of dissertation credits (CHM 9991 which is usually taken in the fall semester of year three).

The Prospectus and Record of Approval Form is a simple form on which the student briefly describes some of the key aspects of his/her proposed research ( see Graduate School forms ). Submission also requires that the student present a prospectus, the written research document presented at the qualifying examination.

Specifically, the Prospectus and Record of Approval Form states:

The student should prepare a prospectus of the proposed dissertation research and submit it with this form.

Write a brief, typed statement for each of the following four sections:

  • Statement of the problem, its scope and rationale
  • Source of the materials, subjects, etc.
  • Method and design (statistical analysis where applicable)
  • Hypothesized results (where applicable)

The form is signed by 1) the student, 2) the advisor, 3) all members of the dissertation advisory committee, 4) the chair of the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee and 5) the dean of the Graduate School.

The dissertation outline is more than just a formal candidacy requirement. It is an agreement between the student and his/her dissertation advisory committee. By filing this form, 1) the student informs the committee that his/her dissertation will focus on the proposed topic; 2) the committee agrees that when the student reaches the appropriate stages in his/her research that they will participate in a final committee meeting within six months of the defense; and 3) that when the student completes his/her dissertation, the committee will read it and then participate in the public lecture and final oral examination.

All doctoral candidates will be required to submit a Conflict of Interest Form in concurrence with the Prospectus and Record of Approval Form. The candidate and each member of the dissertation committee must disclose any potential conflicts and sign the form. Given the length of time required in the dissertation process, students will be required to resubmit the Conflict of Interest Form prior to the dissertation defense ( see Graduate School forms ). If a real or perceived conflict of interest is declared or identified, the Graduate School has procedures in place to further review the situation and may propose changes to the membership of the dissertation advisory committee.

Students are required to complete a seminar requirement over the course of their Ph.D. work. Students will present one public seminar by the end of year four. The seminar will be 40 to 50 minutes long and will cover research with the option to emphasize literature. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss with their advisor the requirements and expectations for these seminar requirements.

Students should meet with their doctoral committee annually beginning in year three. If the student and advisor agree, they may opt out of meeting in years three and/or four. Students must have a final committee meeting within six months of their final defense. Students will prepare a brief presentation (15 minutes) to summarize their research progress and present it to their committee. Brief evaluation forms will be filled out by committee members to assess student progress. Students and Advisors can at any time call a committee meeting to discuss progress or resolve conflicts.

Dissertation and preparations for the final defense

Before writing the manuscript, students should review the WSU Theses and Dissertation Format Guidelines . This guide is updated on a regular basis.

After receiving approval from the dissertation advisory committee to write at the final annual committee meeting, the student should compose, assemble and edit the dissertation following the suggestions of his/her advisor and the guidelines published by the Graduate School. Students are urged to check with the Graduate School office (the final arbitrator if there are any questions regarding format, footnotes, reference lists, figures, figure captions, tables, table of contents, etc.).

Approximately four weeks prior to the defense, the student should secure a form entitled Final Report: Dissertation Public Lecture Presentation-Defense ( see Graduate School forms ) and should enter the requested information at the top of the form. Once the dissertation is complete, a copy should be delivered to each member of the dissertation advisory committee for evaluation. At this time, an electronic copy should be provided to the chemistry academic services officer as a pdf file. This electronic copy will be assessed for plagiarism using plagiarism detection software.

The student and his/her advisor should arrange with the dissertation advisory committee for a suitable time for the final public lecture defense. In part one of the form, the student should be careful to type committee names and their corresponding email addresses. The student must then obtain the signatures of all members of the dissertation advisory committee (indicating approval of the content of the dissertation) and of the chair of the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee on the form.

The Final Report: Dissertation Public Lecture Presentation-Defense Form completed through part one must be delivered at least two weeks prior to the final defense to the Graduate School for approval. The Conflict of Interest Form must also be signed by the committee and submitted to the Graduate School along with the Final Report Form. The format check must also be completed at this time electronically through the Graduate School website .

Any committee member, as well as the student, may request that an external graduate examiner be present at the final oral defense. To request an external graduate examiner, two weeks prior to the defense the student must submit the Final Defense form to the Ph.D. Office and request a graduate examiner.

Public lecture defense and approval of the dissertation

The final oral examination is conducted by the dissertation advisory committee and presided over by the graduate examiner. The role of the graduate examiner is usually filled by the faculty advisor. In the Ph.D. program, the final defense actually consists of three parts: 1) a public lecture on the dissertation, 2) a final dissertation defense and 3) an evaluation of the student's performance. A fourth part, the signing of the dissertation, may take place at the same time but can be handled later, if necessary.

The academic community is invited (an announcement of the public lecture, including time, place, topic and speaker, must be posted in the Chemistry building and be circulated via email and campus mail, throughout the university at least one week prior to the lecture date) and encouraged both to attend and to ask questions about the lecture topic and the dissertation research.

The public lecture is an approximately 45-minute presentation during which the student formally presents the methodology, research and results of the investigation. When the lecture is completed and the questions asked and answered, the public lecture ends. The audience members who are not part of the dissertation advisory committee are excused and the final oral examination is begun. The dissertation advisory committee may further examine the student on the dissertation.

When the examination is completed, the dissertation advisory committee evaluates the student's performance and decides whether the student passed or failed the public lecture defense. If the student has passed, the committee members and the graduate examiner sign the Final Report Form. The graduate examiner must also fill out Examiner’s Report Form which details the events that took place during the public lecture and final defense. Both of these forms need to be returned to the Graduate School within 48 hours of the Defense. If the student fails, another final public lecture defense must be scheduled for a later date.

If the dissertation is acceptable or needs only minor corrections, the committee signs several copies of the dissertation. The student then has up to two weeks to perfect the dissertation. If the dissertation is unsatisfactory, the student must revise it to the satisfaction of the committee. At least three members of the dissertation advisory committee, one of which must be the advisor, must sign the dissertation for it to be accepted by the Graduate School. The final copy must be submitted electronically through the online submission process followed for the format check, to the graduate school. The original signed title page must be delivered separately.

Students have a seven-year time limit to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree. The seven-year period begins at the end of the semester during which the student was admitted to the doctoral program. Students must be registered during each academic semester they are working toward the degree. Specific documentation is required to extend beyond seven years, up to a maximum of twelve years, but requires annual meetings of the dissertation advisory committee to ensure ongoing progress. Chemistry students typically should not require such extensions.

Students requiring a formal leave of absence for medical or other emergencies should request in writing such a leave to the Graduate Studies Committee, which will review the situation. Before requesting such leave, foreign students should consult with OISS regarding consequences and procedures associated with reinstatement of student status.

Several types of internal and external fellowship opportunities are available annually. Announcements for these competitions typically occur by email and students are advised to pay attention to these notices. Examples of these include meeting/travel awards, Rumble fellowships, Schaap fellowships, training grant appointments and others. Selection criteria vary from program to program but typically include classroom performance, research productivity (as evidenced by publications and conference presentations) and as well as letters of recommendation.

Fellowships for senior students from the Graduate School regularly require the submission of the prospectus as a pre-requisite. Additionally, fellowships from major granting agencies (NIH, NSF, etc.), have regular deadlines and eligible students are encouraged to speak with their advisor and the director of Graduate Studies to explore such opportunities.

Students who have completed their degree programs and others who leave the department for various reasons, must settle their accounts with the university and return items borrowed from various offices, libraries and storerooms. Failure to do so may delay the issuance of the diploma and/or the date on which the degree is awarded. The department ensures this account clearance and loaned item return by requiring each departing student to complete a Final Check-Out Sheet ( see chemistry graduate forms ).

The Final Check-Out Sheet has a list of locations where accounts must be cleared, items returned, or forms submitted. The exiting student must have a staff member at each location sign the check-out form indicating that, as far as that office is concerned, the account has been settled, all items returned or necessary forms submitted.

Please note: A final copy of the dissertation must be given to the graduate academic services officer for the departmental library. The student is required to pay the binding fee to the departmental business office.

For purposes of employment, a student who has completed all the degree requirements may request a document from the Graduate School certifying completion of degree requirements and the date of formal awarding of the degree.

Contract – Usually in the form of, or a document accompanied by, a letter which is signed by several university officials (e.g., department chair, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) and which offers a position having specific duties for a definite period of time. The offer becomes a contract when the student signs and returns the letter before a clearly specified deadline.

Degree applicant – A student who has been admitted to the degree program but has not yet advanced to candidate status.

Degree candidate – a student who has completed certain requirements and who has, largely, a research project and thesis to finish to earn a degree.

Directed study – An individualized course of study for one student under the guidance of one faculty member. The study is to be completed during a single term and a research paper, project report, or special examination is required. The directing faculty member must notify the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee that s/he is willing to supervise the directed study. Further, a form describing the nature of the project and the format of the directed study must be approved by the chair of the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee before the student can register. The Graduate School prohibits directed study coursework from being used toward the major requirements. Directed study, therefore, can be used only toward a minor, or as other credits toward the degree.

Final oral – After the public lecture but before the approval and signing of the dissertation, the committee questions the student about the research and the dissertation.

Full-time student – a legal definition that specifies the number of credit hours a student must be taking to satisfy the "full-time" student status required by SSS (Selective Service System), INS (Immigration & Naturalization Service) and student loan providers. At WSU full-time is eight credits/term at the graduate level. Students who have completed all of the credits specified on their plan of work will be considered full-time if they enroll for 7.5 credits of Dissertation credit [CHM 9991, 9992, 9993, 9994], during each academic term. If the Dissertation credits have been completed as well, a student enrolled in 0 credits of Maintenance [CHM 9995], will also be considered full-time by exception.

Graduate assistant – These positions are designed primarily to provide some economic support to graduate students.

Graduate research or teaching assistants are considered half-time employees and are appointed for a specific time period, usually for one term or an entire academic year (9-months). In addition to the salary, these assistants are eligible to participate in the University's health insurance program. Stipends are exempt from Social Security (F.I.C.A.) taxes but are subject to withholding for federal, state and city income taxes. GRAs and GTAs must be enrolled for a minimum of six graduate credits (which contribute toward the completion of the plan of work) and be in good academic standing (an HPA of 3.00 or higher).

Graduate research assistant – A graduate assistant who is paid to participate in a research project directly relevant to their own academic program of study. Such positions are usually funded from research grants or contracts and are arranged by individual faculty members for their own student advisees.

Graduate teaching assistant – A graduate student who is paid to assist in teaching. In the chemistry department, a teaching assistant's duties may involve leading a quiz/discussion class, directing a laboratory, grading, preparing classroom or laboratory materials, directly assisting students, keeping records, etc. They provide no more than 20 hours of service per week.

Graduate credit – A course is said to carry graduate credit if it is applicable to the coursework requirement for a graduate degree. In the chemistry Ph.D., M.A. and M.S. programs the following categories of courses carry graduate credit: chemistry courses numbered 6000 or higher; courses numbered 5000 or higher from all other departments and colleges within the university.

Graduate teaching assistant – See graduate assistant.

HPA or honor point average – The term used at Wayne State to summarize a student's academic record. HPA is calculated from the total number of honor points divided by the number of graded (A, B, C, or F) course credit hours. Each course carries a certain number of credit hours, usually the number of hours of lecture per week or the number of lecture hours plus a portion of the quiz hours and/or laboratory meetings per week. Honor points are associated with grades:

Example: A student takes three courses:

  • A 3-credit hour course in which s/he receives an "A"
  • A 3-credit hour course in which s/he receives a "B+"
  • A 1-credit hour course in which s/he receives a "B"

The grade point average would be calculated as (3 x 4 + 3 x 3.33 + 1 x 3)/(3 + 3 + 1) = 3.47.

In-state tuition – The amount charged per course, or per credit hour, to Michigan residents (see Resident).

Moderator (graduate examiner) – Faculty member selected to be the Graduate School representative at the Final Oral Examinations. This role is usually fulfilled by the advisor.

Non-resident tuition – The tuition rate charged to those who do not satisfy the residency criteria.

Part-time positions – No benefits, non-represented.

Instructional assistant (IA) – A person employed on a part-time basis to assist with classroom and laboratory instruction. One term, no benefits. A student who is supported through teaching in the Spring/Summer term is supported as an IA.

Part-time faculty – A person employed on a part-time basis to teach a class Student Assistant - a student employed part-time by the university.

Pre-dissertation research – Formally, the research done by a degree applicant. In reality, since CHM 9991 - 9995 is Dissertation Research, any other research, usually CHM 8700, is termed pre-dissertation research. The usual source of the additional credits, since coursework and dissertation research provide only 63 to 65 credits, to satisfy the Ph.D. credit hour requirement.

Preliminary Examination Committee – An ad-hoc group composed of the student's advisor, one faculty member from the major field, one other chemistry faculty from a field outside the student’s major. Administers preliminary examination.

Pre-master – A status assigned to students who are admitted to the Graduate School or to the graduate program of a college but have not been accepted into a specific degree program. Students may apply only 9 credits earned in the Pre-Master's status toward a degree; and thus, the university limits students to only one full-time term in this status. Pre-masters students are not eligible for GTA or GRA positions.

Public lecture – A 40 to 60-minute lecture on the thesis work presented by the student just prior to the final oral examination. The time, place and title of the lecture are publicized throughout the university community. The lecture (but not the subsequent examination) is open to the public.

Registration requirement – Students who are actively pursuing their research in the department are required to register for each academic term that they are present (fall and winter term). Students are to be registered during the term in which they defend the dissertation. If all doctoral research candidate credits are completed (CHM 9991 – CHM 9994), registration for candidate maintenance credit (CHM 9995) is required.

Research advisor – A faculty member who agrees, when selected by a student, to supervise that student's thesis/dissertation research. Provides laboratory, project, resources, advising and assistance in all aspects of degree work. May provide financial support from grant funds.

Research assistant – A person employed to assist with a research project generally for a specified period of time.

Residence/Residency/Resident – Terms that are used in several of the university's rules and which probably need to be defined for each case and/or context.

Resident (as regards tuition) – To be considered a resident, a student must have had his/her principal and permanent home in Michigan for at least six months prior to his/her first term as a full-time student. Time spent attending a Michigan school, college or university (such as Wayne State) cannot be used to establish residence. (See Graduate Bulletin under "Tuition and Fees": Residency.)

Ph.D. residence requirement – Successful completion of the Ph.D. program requires lengthy periods in which the student can devote all of his/her time to study and/or research. To ensure this, the university requires that the student 1) be registered in no fewer than six credits of coursework for at least two consecutive terms, or 2) hold an assistantship for two academic terms while enrolled as a full-time student, or 3) actually spend full time in graduate work for one calendar year with certification of the same by the dissertation advisor.

Satisfactory academic progress – This terminology is on assistantship contracts. A student is making satisfactory academic progress when they are meeting all of the requirements of the program on the defined time schedule. Students must be in an assigned research group and making satisfactory progress toward their doctoral degree as determined by both the advisor and the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Seminar  – A class that meets regularly and whose agenda involves presentations, usually by several speakers, on recent research. In Chemistry, each division holds a weekly seminar where presentations are made by students, faculty and/or invited guests.

Student – One who is currently enrolled or, if not enrolled, has been enrolled and can register without applying for admission.

Teaching assistant – See graduate assistant.

Tuition – The amount of money the university charges on a per course, or per credit hour, basis for (e.g., registering for, attending and/or receiving a grade in) a course.

Administrative staff

  • Mishad Ahmed, accounting assistant
  • Erin Bachert, undergraduate student records, course scheduling, registration
  • Jackie Baldyga, facilities coordinator
  • Kellie Lauder, purchasing, accounting
  • Nawana Lawson, solutions room manager
  • Bernie Miesik, accounting assistant
  • Kim Miller, human resources and personnel issues
  • Melissa Rochon, graduate student records and admissions, teaching assistant information
  • Lisa Smith, grant accounting
  • Tenecia Smith, textbooks, copying, projector and room checkout

Chemistry faculty

The group composed of all assistant, associate and full professors. Meets regularly to conduct the department's business, hear reports, set policies. Each faculty member attending the meeting has one vote. Collectively with the department chair responsible for the programs, facilities and resources of the department.

Curriculum Committee

A committee of faculty, one from each division appointed by the chair, which sets policies and regulations regarding undergraduate courses and degree programs.

Department chair

Chief administrative officer of the department. Appointed by the dean of the college and provost at the recommendation of the department faculty. Represents the department in college and university matters, allocates resources, sets policies and procedures, selects committee chairs and members.

Dissertation Committee

Normally the same as the Preliminary Examination Committee with the addition of an outside member. Read, approve and sign the prospectus, participate in annual committee meeting, read dissertation, attend public lecture and administer final oral examination.

Group of faculty from a single discipline. Oversee and staff courses in the discipline, administer proficiency examinations in the area and organize a seminar for graduate students majoring in that field.

Division head

Administrative head of division, selected by the department chair.

General Chemistry Committee

Composed of all of the faculty directly responsible for and/or interested in general chemistry. The General Chemistry Coordinator chairs the committee. Decides general chemistry policies, involved in teaching assistant workload matters, assignments, etc.

Graduate Studies Committee

A committee of five faculty, one member from each division selected by the department chair, who also selects the committee chair. Establishes, reviews, revises and administers the graduate degree programs, mechanisms. Appoints examination and dissertation committees, adapts or defines rules and regulations, advises, keeps records, sets criteria for acceptable performance and renewals.

Personnel Committee

One faculty member from each division elected by the department faculty. Deals with faculty matters but does select some fellowship winners.

There are often questions about the plan of work form for the Ph.D. program. The major and minor titles should be filled out as shown below:

  • Major: Chemistry (division)
  • 1) Chemistry concentrated (division)
  • 2) Chemistry distributed
  • 3) Outside (department)

When listing courses, please note that your Major must consist of at least 4 courses for at least 12 credits. If a Minor is elected, it must consist of at least 2 courses for at least 6 credits. If a student has less than the requisite number of credits, an additional course is necessary to complete the major or minor.

All other credits fall under the “other” category on the plan of work. These should include:

  • 1 credit of CHM 8850: Frontiers
  • 1 credit of CHM 6740: Laboratory Safety
  • 0 credits of GS 0900: Responsible Conduct of Research
  • 4 credits of CHM 8800, 8810, 8820, 8830 or 8840: Dept. seminar according to major
  • 7.5 credits of CHM 9991: Doctoral Candidate Status 1
  • 7.5 credits of CHM 9992: Doctoral Candidate Status 2
  • 7.5 credits of CHM 9993: Doctoral Candidate Status 3
  • 7.5 credits of CHM 9994: Doctoral Candidate Status 4
  • # credits of CHM 8700: Research: Chemistry (number of credits for CHM 8700 will vary. Students should elect the appropriate number ensure their total credits on the plan of work equal 90 credits)

The plan of work defines the student's degree program. Completion of the plan of work means that the student has finished the number of credits required for the Ph.D. degree but not necessarily all of the requirements.

Those who hold assistantship contracts receive a tuition scholarship which will pay for up to 10 credit hours of graduate coursework for each term of the appointment during the academic year.

Teaching/research assistants must enroll for a minimum of 6 graduate credits during each term of the appointment. They may enroll for no more than 16 credits; however, if they enroll for 16 credits, they are responsible for payment for the six credits not covered by the assistantship. Teaching assistants who are on the payroll during the winter term frequently receive two or three additional graduate credits during the subsequent spring/summer term. Thus, a full-time student would normally accumulate from 16 to 22 (2 x 8 = 16; 2 x 10 + 2 = 22) credits per calendar year.

Registration is the process of officially enrolling in classes for a particular term. The Office of the Registrar provides a listing of classes ( ) available in advance of each term, lists the days, times and locations for registration and explains the registration process.

Each chemistry graduate student is to consult with his/her advisor prior to registering.

Wayne State uses an online registration and payment system, through . By using this system, a student can register/add/drop classes and review their course schedule. To make credit card payments for tuition and fees, or review tuition account balance and registration holds (if applicable), students must log into their account in Academica .

Once a student registers for courses, they can view their tuition bill and print their schedule online.

The academic calendar can be found at the Office of the Registrar . The academic calendar defines the dates for priority registration, as well as open and late registration. Students who do not register before the end of Priority Registration will be responsible for paying the additional fees.

Open registration is conducted during the week preceding the first day of classes for the term. Specific dates and times are listed on the registration calendar available on the registrar’s website. A $35.00 late registration fee is accessed during this time frame. Payment of this fee is the responsibility of the student.

Late Registration occurs during the first two weeks of classes. Anyone registering at this time will be assessed a $70 late fee. Payment of this fee is the responsibility of the student.

Students may drop and/or add classes on the date(s) published in the academic calendar.

Students who officially drop courses before the conclusion of the second week of classes (for the fall and winter terms) are entitled to 100% tuition cancellation. The courses do not appear on the student's academic record.

Students who do not officially drop a course within the first two weeks of classes (for the fall and winter terms) are not entitled to any tuition cancellation and are obligated to pay for the course -- even if they have not attended any class sessions. Also, the Graduate School will not pay for any course from which a student withdraws (i.e., if a graduate research/teaching assistant drops a course after the second week, s/he is responsible for the tuition payment for that particular course.)

First-year chemistry graduate students may not withdraw from any course without permission of the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee.

Full-time status requires that a graduate student be enrolled for a minimum of eight credits. Students who have graduate teaching or research assistantship appointments must register for between 6 and 16 credits each academic semester. However, the assistantship will only pay for up to 10 credits.

Students are not permitted to add courses after the first week of the term. Students are not permitted to drop courses after the date posted on the registrar’s website.

Grad assistants and fellows do not pay the registration fee.

The Graduate School is responsible for the payment of tuition for GTAs and Rumble Graduate Fellows. The chemistry department is responsible for the payment of tuition for GRAs. It is important that students notify the graduate academic services officer if any course schedule changes are made after classes begin.

Students whose tuition is paid through graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships or fellowships are responsible for paying the SEVIS fee (if international students) of $50.

It is important to pay this fee either online or at the cashier’s office as soon as possible after registering for every semester. This will prevent a student from being responsible for paying late or partial payment penalties.

International students on GTA or GRA support who have already paid their SEVIS fee for the semester may apply to be reimbursed by the Graduate School .

Frequently when a graduate student attempts to register s/he will be informed that s/he has an accounts receivable hold . This is most often the result of a student not paying their SEVIS fee for the previous term. However, this also results when the:

  • Graduate Teaching assistant or fellow did not give notification of their drop/add transaction to the Graduate School or;
  • Graduate research assistant did not give notification of their drop/add transaction to the departmental administrative assistant in charge of tuition payments

Please contact the chemistry academic services officer by email to notify of any problems. If a student has an academic hold, s/he should contact the chemistry academic services officer.

PhD student (f/m/d) | Physical organic chemistry

The Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr is a renowned research institution that is over 100 years old and has already received two Nobel Prizes in its history. The institute is engaged in basic research in the field of catalysis.

The new research program Fundamental Principles of Organic Reactivity founded by Dr. Guanqi Qiu invites applications for positions as PhD student (f/m/d) in physical organic chemistry .

Job description

The Qiu group is dedicated to conceptualizing new principles of organic reactivity and catalysis, both experimentally and computationally. We study unique aspects of organic chemistry, aiming to offer new perspectives to longstanding questions. Our main research themes are: 1. Systematically modulating intrinsic (i.e., thermodynamic-independent) reactivity; 2. Utilizing intrinsic reactivity to manipulate selectivity; and 3. Developing a new diagnostic method for quantum mechanical tunneling in organic reactions under ambient conditions.  Each project, while contributing to broader research goals, offers individual insight and discovery. Our research is conceptually cohesive yet encompasses a variety of organic reaction systems.  The choice of research topic is flexible, to best meet our new students’ interest and career ambition.


Ideal candidates need to have

  • a Masters degree in organic or physical chemistry broadly defined, with research experience
  • basic knowledge in organic and physical chemistry, and excellent understanding in organic or physical chemistry
  • an explorative mindset for conceptual challenges and dedication to deep thinking
  • excellent English language and communication skills

Excellent candidates who have less relevant experience will not be at a disadvantage if they demonstrate strong potential.

  • The funding for PhD positions is typically provided for 3 years with potential extension, subject to scientific progress and funding availability.
  • We offer comprehensive training in diverse facets of physical organic chemistry, aimed at fostering the development of problem-identifying, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
  • You will benefit from the institute’s access to excellent technical support and intellectual resources, along with personal and professional development.

The positions are immediately available, but the starting date is flexible. Current final-semester Masters students are encouraged to apply, and the positions would be reserved until completion of the Masters degree.  


Please send your letter of motivation, curriculum vitae and college record to Dr. Guanqi Qiu via email ( [email protected] ). Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide two letters of reference.

More information about the Qiu group can be found here: Guanqi Qiu | Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (

The Max Planck Society strives for gender equity and diversity. We welcome applications from all areas. Severely disabled applicants will be given preferential consideration if they are equally qualified. Information on the collection of personal data according to Art. 13 DSGVO can be found on our homepage under Data Protection . More information on support for working parents policy can be found on our homepage .

Other Interesting Articles

Research highlights 2023

Research highlights 2023

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2023 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 12 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year

Ceremonial setting: Ferenc Krausz receives the Nobel medal and certificate from the Swedish king Carl Gustaf.

Plenty of reasons to celebrate!

Ferenc Krausz was presented with the Nobel Prize in Physics in Stockholm on December 10

Trust is good, control is safer

Trust is good, control is safer

A sophisticated device uses radio waves to determine whether states are really complying with nuclear weapons treaties

The making of a quantum movie

The making of a quantum movie

Electrons hold the world together. When chemical reactions yield new substances, they play a leading role. And in electronics, too, they are the protagonists. Together with his colleagues, Ferenc Krausz, Director of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, photographs the rapid movements of electrons with attosecond flashes, creating the basis for new technological developments.

Nobel Prize in Physics 2023 for Ferenc Krausz

Nobel Prize in Physics 2023 for Ferenc Krausz

The scientist from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics is honoured for his contributions to attosecond physics

More memory on the hard disk: hit of the research world

More memory on the hard disk: hit of the research world

Stuart Parkin honoured as Clarivate Citation Laureate

brain illustration, next step to artificial intelligence

Efficient training for artificial intelligence

New physics-based self-learning machines could replace the current artificial neural networks and save energy

IT security in a comic

IT security in a comic

Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy participate in innovative science communication

3D printed pill

Pills from the 3D printer

Special shapes can release active substances in a controlled manner

shiny lump against a white-grey background

Creation in the laboratory

How iron in meteorites could have contributed to the origin of life

Program Vulnerabilities

Program Vulnerabilities

the phd in chemistry

Catalysts of the energy transition

The Max Planck-Cardiff Centre Funcat lays the foundations for the systematic development of chemical reaction accelerators

Notification Settings


Hi everyone, I am a fourth-year analytical chemistry PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill.

Posted: January 10, 2024 | Last updated: January 10, 2024

I'm seeking to offer tutoring services to students this upcoming fall semester, primarily for undergraduates and high school. My major and PhD are both in chemistry, so I can offer tutoring for general chemistry as well as analytical chemistry. I can also assist with intro and intermediate French. If you are interested in a tutor for the upcoming fall, let me know via email and we can discuss availability! My email is [email protected]

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  20. PhD in Chemistry

    PhD in Chemistry is a doctoral degree in one of the branches of Science that span over a period of 3-6 years. It is a detailed academic study and research and completes with the submission of an academic thesis on the subject that you engaged in research with.

  21. Chemistry PhD

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Chemistry. Graduate studies in Chemistry at KU are intended to prepare graduate students for any of the multitude of career pathways available to individuals who hold a doctorate in the Chemical Sciences. Graduate studies differ from the undergraduate experience in that each activity and requirement of the graduate ...

  22. PhD in Chemistry

    PhD candidates in chemistry must: (i) Complete a minimum of six credit hours of CM900 and (ii) present three seminars as part of their degree requirements. Research. Faculty members are associated with the New York State-funded Center for Advanced Materials Processing and several other interdisciplinary programs on campus. Their research is ...

  23. PhD in Chemistry

    Postgraduate Admissions. PhD in Chemistry. PhD Studentships. Entry requirement: 2.1 Masters degree or equivalent . Please check international qualifications equivalence guidelines here. Coming to Cambridge for a PhD in Chemistry means you will be joining a community of over 50 academics, 350 PhD students and more than 200 postdoctoral researchers.

  24. Ph.D. in Chemistry 2020 requirements

    Graduate credit - A course is said to carry graduate credit if it is applicable to the coursework requirement for a graduate degree. In the chemistry Ph.D., M.A. and M.S. programs the following categories of courses carry graduate credit: chemistry courses numbered 6000 or higher; courses numbered 5000 or higher from all other departments and ...

  25. PhD student (f/m/d)

    The funding for PhD positions is typically provided for 3 years with potential extension, subject to scientific progress and funding availability. We offer comprehensive training in diverse facets of physical organic chemistry, aimed at fostering the development of problem-identifying, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

  26. PDF Competency Requirements for a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences

    Competency Requirements for a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences - Medicinal Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy 8/9/2023 Page 1 of 6 Theme, Subject and Competency *Exempt if PharmD from an ACPE accredited University **A total of 4 credits is required . Required Core Courses . Required Courses for the MedChem track

  27. Hi everyone, I am a fourth-year analytical chemistry PhD student ...

    I'm seeking to offer tutoring services to students this upcoming fall semester, primarily for undergraduates and high school. My major and PhD are both in chemistry, so I can offer tutoring for ...