Chemistry Doctoral Program
The Ph.D. in Chemistry requires six graduate level lecture courses during the first two years of full-time study. Of these courses, three must be one-semester introductory "core courses" selected from the four traditional areas of chemistry (see Graduate Course Offerings in Chemistry). In the second semester, three additional courses will be chosen in consultation with the student's research advisor. The student must demonstrate proficiency in analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry during their first three semesters. This is typically done by taking a "core" graduate course in the area or by passing the ACS Placement Exam in the area. A 3.00 grade point average in lecture courses is required.
During the fifth semester of graduate study, Ph.D. students are required to prepare a written Research Synopsis summarizing research progress to date and future research plans. An oral examination with the student's Ph.D. Committee is used to evaluate the student's research potential. To further stimulate the student's creativity, the student must also write and orally defend a Research Proposal. This proposal is not directly related to the student's thesis research but involves the identification of a problem from the chemical literature and a proposed solution to that problem.
During the fourth year of graduate study, Ph.D. students present a public lecture on their research progress. This provides the Ph.D. Committee with a chance to give the student feedback prior to finishing their written dissertation.
The majority of a Ph.D. student's time is spent on creative research. At the conclusion of the research work, a dissertation must be written and orally defended before the Ph.D. Committee and Department at large. The Department does not have a language requirement for the Ph.D.