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Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. students must complete a sequence of courses demonstrating both a breadth of knowledge in chemistry and a depth of focus in a specific area. This typically requires five to six courses, and is complete within the first two years of study, although this number can vary depending on the performance on placement exams and prior graduate coursework.

Bill Pennington in a lab with students

Candidates for a Ph.D. degree must also demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of their major area by satisfactory performance on a series of written cumulative examinations and an oral defense of a proposal. All degree candidates must present at least three research-based seminars to the department as part of their degree program, one of which is usually on a literature topic.

The final stage of the graduate degree program involves the writing and defense before the degree committee of dissertation describing the original research project that was completed by the student.

Please refer to the Graduate Handbook (PDF) for more detailed information regarding the PhD degree program.