Chemistry (PhD)

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Ph.D. Requirements

Credit Hours
A minimum total 30 semester hours with at least 15 semester hours in chemistry courses. An overall GPA of 3.0 must be maintained.

Students must pass at least 6 graduate lecture courses from at least 3 of 6 divisions with a minimum grade of 'C' in any one course during the first 4 semesters (excluding summers). Up to 2 courses may be waived for students entering with a M.S. degree in chemistry (or a closely related field with consent of the Chemistry Director of Graduate Studies).

The research mentor should be selected during the first semester. Students are required to interview a minimum of 5 chemistry faculty, including members of at least 2 divisions.

The student will select his/her Dissertation Committee in consultation with the research mentor during the first 4 semesters of study. The committee consists of the mentor, a chemistry faculty in the same division, a chemistry faculty in a different division, an additional chemistry faculty, and a faculty member from a different department.

Cumulative Exams
Students must complete a series of written cumulative examinations designed to show in-depth knowledge in the chosen area of concentration. Cumulative exams begin in the second semester and are given the third Saturday of January, March, May, September, and November.

Literature Seminar
Students must enroll in seminar (Chem 695) each of their first 4 semesters (excluding summers) and attend departmental seminars. Students must make a presentation based on a topic under active discussion in the recent literature during their second or third semester. The remaining seminar attendance requirement may be waived after all other Master's candidacy requirements have been achieved.

Research Proposal
Students must develop, explain, and defend a research proposal prior to the beginning of the 7th semester (excluding summers). The proposal may include preliminary results from the student's research and describe possible future directions.

It is expected that prior to the Research Seminar, at least one manuscript based on the student's research would have been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Before completion of the Ph.D. program, at least one published article and at least one additional manuscript submitted to peer-reviewed journals is expected.

Research Seminar
A one-hour seminar on the student's dissertation research project is to be given before the end of the 8th semester (excluding summers). This seminar must be completed at least 9 months prior to graduation. The MS degree will be awarded upon successful completion of the research seminar.

A written dissertation describing the research program is submitted a minimum of 14 days before the defense. The defense consists of a one-hour seminar followed by an oral examination with the Faculty Reading committee.

Ph.D. Milestones

First Year
Attend Seminars
Select a Mentor
Begin Research
Begin Cumulative Exams (2nd semester)
Literature Seminar (early)

Second Year
Continue/Finish Coursework
Continue/Finish Cumulative Exams
Literature Seminar (deadline 3rd semester)
Attend Seminars
Organize Dissertation Committee

Third Year
Finish Cumulative Exams
Research Proposal

Fourth Year
Research Seminar*
*M.S. degree awarded

Fifth Year
Finish Research
Write and defend Dissertation*
*Ph.D. awarded