Feb 24, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Chemistry, Ph.D.

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Program Overview

The Ph.D. degree is offered in the areas of Analytical, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Medicinal, Materials, Organic, and Physical Chemistry. However, many members of the faculty have research interests that cross traditional boundaries to cover a range of interdisciplinary areas. The course of study leading to this degree is designed to provide students with a broad fundamental background in chemistry through a core course curriculum and rigorous experience in particular area of specialization.

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for PhD Chemistry


Students will demonstrate fundamental knowledge in the student’s field of research. 


Students will develop critical thinking skills in the chemical sciences. 


Students will be able to conduct independent research in a specific area of chemistry under the guidance of a faculty advisor and advisory committee. 


Students will be able to communicate chemical research information in written and oral form. 



Degree Requirements

  1. The minimum requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy degree is 60 graduate credit hours that includes 18 credit hours of graduate course work. At least nine hours must be concentrated in one of the divisions of chemistry. In addition, a minimum of six hours must be taken across two other chemical divisions. With the approval of the student’s dissertation committee and the department chair, the additional three credit may be taken in graduate level non-chemistry courses. Required reading courses (CHEM 6090, 6091, 6092, and 6093, one hour each) are not counted as part of the 18 hours. Six credits in CHEM 6095 (seminar) and at least 32 research credits in research/dissertation (CHEM 7050) go toward completion of the 60-semester hour minimum. Courses at the 5000-level can only be used for graduate credit with the approval of the student’s dissertation committee and the department chair. For graduate course work, the candidate must maintain an overall B (3.0) average, a B (3.0) average in the major area.
  2. To become an applicant for the doctorate, a student must pass the qualifying exam. This exam is administered through a cumulative exam system in which the student must pass three separate examinations from a total of eight attempts. All cumulative examinations must be passed within a two-year period following entrance into the program. Exams are offered eight times during each academic year.
  3. Each student is required to prepare and present one literature seminar, the subject of which is to be taken from the current research literature and is not to be directly related to the student’s present or previous research. A formal abstract, prepared and distributed prior to the date of the seminar presentation, is required. Each student must present the seminar no later than the fourth semester in the program (excluding summer semesters).
  4. Before attaining full candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree, a student must exhibit excellence, depth of understanding, and high professional attainment in the field by successful completion of the general examination for the doctorate. This examination takes place in the fifth semester of study and consists of a written report and oral presentation to the dissertation committee that summarizes the student’s research accomplishments and future studies.

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