Chemistry Program

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry supports active programs of basic research in chemistry and related fields.  Faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students collaborate on projects in interdisciplinary fields such as nanofabrication, bioorganic chemistry, supramolecular synthesis, environmental and atmospheric chemistry and fuel cell research. These emerging areas are grounded in the traditional disciplines of physical, organic, inorganic, analytical and theoretical chemistry. Browse the websites of individual research groups to learn more about these and other research opportunities.

Chemistry graduate students also benefit from interactions and collaborations with many other programs on campus, including BiophysicsChemical PhysicsAtmospheric and Oceanic ScienceChemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Physics. Many of our faculty have contacts and collaborations with government laboratories in the area, such as the National Institutes of HealthNational Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Chemistry Graduate Student Shweta Ganapti on molecular recognition and drug delivery.


FAQs for CHEM and BCHM graduate admissions

Masters of Science in Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry accepts Masters students only in rare cases. Students have a maximum of 5 years to complete this degree, but typically, are able to complete all requirements in 2.5 years. Financial assistance is not generally available to M.S. students.

Degree Requirements

Chemistry Masters students have two tracks that they can choose: Thesis or Non-Thesis.

Thesis Option

  • 30 credits of graduate coursework 
    • 24 credits of graduate coursework must be completed by the end of the fourth semester.
  • Out of the 30 total credits, 6 credits must be research (CHEM799)
  • Completion of a thesis based on the student's research
  • Presentation of one seminar, generally immediately before the final oral examination
  • A final oral examination by the student's advisory committee


Non-Thesis Option

  • 30 credits of graduate coursework
    • Chemistry Core courses (CHEM 611 and 612) must be completed by the end of the fourth semester
  • Out of the 30 total credits, 6 credits must be research (CHEM699)
  • A 20 page original scholarly paper must be submitted and approved by three faculty members

Detailed Information about the MS degree requirements can be found here.


PhD in Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry accepts PhD students each Fall. We do not offer Spring admissions. Students must advance to candidacy within 5 years of admission to the doctoral program. After advancing to candidacy, students have 4 years to complete and defend their dissertation. Admitted PhD students are offered a graduate assistantship in the form of a teaching assistantship during their first year of the program. After the first year, as long as students are in good standing, they will continue to receive funding from the department via a research or teaching assistantship.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in Chemistry must include:

  • At least 21 credits of graduate coursework completed by the end of the fourth semester with an overall GPA ≥ 3.0
  • 12 credits of Ph.D. research (CHEM899)
  • 2 credits of seminar coursework (CHEM 889 series)
  • Presentation of a seminar based on the original scientific research conducted by the student
  • Oral defense of a written research proposal and demonstration of general knowledge of Chemistry as part of advancement to candidacy.
  • Preparation and oral defense of a publication-quality dissertation that advances the field. 

Detailed Information about the PhD requirements can be found here.