Dec 01, 2021  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry and Biochemistry (PhD)

Degree Requirements:

A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level courses is required with an overall B average (3.00). The department course requirements are a minimum of eighteen credit hours in graduate level courses (600-level or higher) excluding research and dissertation (CHEM 868  and CHEM 969 ). At least six three-credit courses must be taken. Specific course requirements for each division are listed below. Scientific courses offered by other Departments may be counted towards the course requirements as courses outside the student’s division, if approved by the faculty in the student’s division and the Director of Graduate Studies. The student must achieve at least a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 in the courses that fulfill this requirement. The course requirements, including the division’s requirements, should be satisfied within four semesters of entering the program.

First year-graduate students are required to take a non-credit one-hour special seminar, CHEM 865 -010 (new student seminar). Graduate students must also register for one of the topical seminar series (CHEM 865 -XXX - Biochemistry Seminar, Organic/Inorganic Seminar, Physical/Analytical Seminar), as well as Colloquia (CHEM 865 -XXX). The PhD degree requires successful completion of a candidacy exam, which includes an oral and written proposal component. The PhD degree requires a thesis based on original research and a final public oral defense of the dissertation.

Specific course requirements by division are outlined below. If a student wishes to take courses other than those specified, then each of these courses must be approved in writing: (a) at the Fall and Spring advisements for first-year graduate students by the representative from the respective Division on the Graduate Curriculum Committee, and (b) at other times by the research advisor.

The remaining courses satisfying the departmental course requirement of 18 credits in graduate level coursework can be selected from offerings in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, or appropriate graduate level courses in other departments.

All students pursuing a degree program in Chemistry and Biochemistry need to secure the written permission from both their research advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies prior to enrolling in any course not bearing a CHEM6XX or CHEM8XX designation.


At least nine credits in graduate-level biochemistry courses. CHEM 641  must be taken as one of these courses unless this requirement is waived by the Biochemistry Division. The Division, or the student’s research advisor, must approve the courses used to satisfy the Departmental course requirement of 18 credits in graduate level courses. Biochemistry courses that can satisfy these requirements include

Inorganic Chemistry:

Inorganic students must take at least nine credits from courses with a CHEM65X or CHEM85X designation, or an equivalent graduate level inorganic course.

Organic Chemistry:

Students in the organic division are free to select coursework that best meets personal educational and professional goals. First year students in the division should consult with the division’s representative on the Graduate Curriculum Committee to tailor a course plan that best meets these needs. In general, it is recommended that all organic students take CHEM633 and CHEM634, and at least one additional course (3 credit hours) with a CHEM63X or CHEM83X designation.

Physical Chemistry:

A minimum of three courses from the list below. The student may substitute for one of these three courses from physical-chemistry related three-credit courses upon the approval of the research advisor. Students must take at least one core course in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry outside of the Division of Physical Chemistry.


One may substitute for one of these three courses from related three-credit courses outside physical chemistry upon the approval of the research advisor.

Last Revised for 2018-2019 Academic Year