The department offers both Ph.D. and M.S. programs in Chemistry which cover the traditional sub-disciplines of analytical, biochemical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. Students with an interest in biochemistry also have the option of the inter-departmental programs in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology and toxicology.

Upon acceptance into a graduate program, students are assisted by the Graduate Committee in planning and implementation of the degree program until a major advisor is chosen. All students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Chemistry are required to complete four of the following five core courses: Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 405); Biochemistry (CHEM 437); Chemical and Statistical Thermodynamics (CHEM 401); Mechanisms of Organic Reactions (CHEM 451); and Advanced Instrumental Methods of Analysis (CHEM 461). This core can be completed during the first year of graduate school. In addition to the core program, Ph.D. candidates will be expected to enroll in other advanced courses in their area of specialization. Completion of a minimum of three additional structured courses (nine hours) at the 600 level or above and 12 hours of CHEM 899, Dissertation Research, will be required. For details of course requirements, comprehensive examinations and candidacy, students should refer to the Graduate Student Handbook available from the departmental office.

A candidate for the M.S. degree must complete the same core courses described above for Ph.D. students. A M.S. candidate must complete thirty credit hours of coursework (including the core program), of which 18 must be at the 600 level or above. The program is flexible enough to meet a wide range of student interests. Students electing to complete a M.S. thesis will complete six hours of Master's Thesis Research (CHEM 799). A non-thesis option, in which additional coursework is undertaken in lieu of the thesis, may also be selected. In this case, the student will obtain some experience in research by completing one credit of CHEM 600, Advanced Laboratory Projects. Graduate students in the M.S. program are required to pass a comprehensive examination in one of the five core program areas. The remaining courses and seminars may be taken in areas of interest to the student, including the biological sciences, physics or mathematics, as well as chemistry. Students should consult the Graduate Student Handbook for details about advisement, course requirements and examinations.

Beginning with the second year, students are required to participate in a research seminar (journal club) every semester and to take one credit of research seminar (journal club) each year (included in the 18 credits of 600/700 level courses)


  • 12 credits of research. At least one research credit each semester.
  • 3 Research Rotations.
  • One or two 700-level graduate seminars (included in the 18 credits of 600/700 level courses).
  • Two semesters service as a teaching assistant.
  • Original research directed by a research advisor and overseen by a committee knowledgeable in the student's area of specialization.


  • Thesis Option
    • 6 credits of research.
    • One 700 level (3 credit) graduate seminar.
    • Master's thesis written and defended.

  • Non-Thesis Option
    • One 700 level (3 credit) graduate seminar.
    • Literature research tutorial (3 credits).
    • Scholarly paper written and defended.