Degree Programs | Department of Chemistry

Degree Programs

Ph.D. Degree in Chemistry

The Ph.D. degree emphasizes independent research in an area of chemistry and equips you with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry related to that area at a professional level. Collaborations and interdisciplinary research projects are a growing feature of our program. A Ph.D. degree with a concentration in Chemistry Education is available

PhD Degree Plan:

  • A minimum of 42 hours of graduate credit beyond the Masters degree
  • A minimum of 72 hours of graduate credit beyond the Bachelors degree


In your first year as a graduate student, you must demonstrate proficiency in three out of five areas: analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and chemical biology. You may satisfy the proficiency requirements by either passing the ACS exam or passing the proficiency course. These courses will not count towards the 18 credit hours of lecture courses needed for graduation. One area must be Physical Chemistry and one must be your area of specialization.

BIOC 5540 - Chemical Biology Proficiency (Offered Fall Only)
CHEM 5200 - Physical Proficiency (Offered Fall only)
CHEM 5560 - Inorganic Proficiency (Offered Fall only)
CHEM 5380 - Organic Proficiency (Offered Spring only)
CHEM 5460 - Analytical Proficiency (Offered Spring only)


CHEM 5500 Physical Organic Chemistry (Fall only)
CHEM 5570 Advanced Analytical Chemistry (Fall only)
CHEM 5210 Advanced Physical Chemistry (Spring only)
CHEM 5710 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (Spring only)
CHEM 5880 Learning Theories in Chemistry Education (Offered Spring only)
CHEM 6540 Chemical Biology Design & Instrumentation (Offered Spring only)


  • A minimum of 18 hours of formal (lecture) courses are required above the proficiency level, which includes a minimum of two Core courses (one must be CHEM 5880 for the Concentration in Chemistry Education) and four additional advanced or special topics courses. Up to two of the advanced courses may be the third or fourth Core course. Up to two of the six advanced courses may be in another department if the student's Ph.D. advisor and advisory committee approve.
  • For the Concentation in Chemistry Education degree option, two courses must come from the list below:
    • EPSY 5210 Educational Statistics (if necessary)
      EPSY 6010 Statistics for Educational Research
      EPSY 6020 Research Methods in Education
      EPSY 6280 Qualitative Research in Education
      EPSY 6285 Qualitative Data Analysis in Education
      EDHE 5210 Student Demographics
      EDHE 5220 Cultural Pluralism in Higher Education

CHEM 5010 Introduction to Graduate Teaching & Research (Fall only)
CHEM 5940 Seminar in Current Chemistry
CHEM 6010 Seminar for Doctoral Candidates (Qualifying sequence)
CHEM 6940 Individual Research - varies according to degree
CHEM 6950 Dissertation

Ph.D. Dissertations must be of scientific significance and suitable for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. A final oral examination is required which will be primarily a defense of the thesis or dissertation. For a Ph.D. candidate, it is required that at least one paper will have been accepted in a peer-reviewed journal by the time of the oral defense.