Chemistry Major (Ph.D.)


Students must pass a matriculation examination to qualify as matriculated doctoral students. To take this examination, the student must secure the permission of his or her mentor and have at least a “B” average in coursework. This examination is to be taken within 12 months of meeting the distribution requirement, unless an M.S. degree other than Plan B is first pursued. Should the examination not be passed, it may be repeated only once and within six months of the first examination.

The matriculation examination is oral and pertains to the proposed research problem. It is administered by a Matriculation Committee that comprises the mentor and four additional members of the faculty approved by the Graduate Advisory Committee. 

Students should register for CHEM 8701 Matriculation Exam in the semester they take the examination.

Cumulative Examinations

After matriculating for the doctoral degree, the student is required to demonstrate mastery of the current literature in the chosen area of study through a series of cumulative examinations.

Requirements for these examinations have been established by each division of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Students should register for CHEM 8702 Cumulative Examination for any semester when they are taking cumulative exams.

Seminar Requirements

As part of the annual seminar requirement, all doctoral candidates present a full seminar during their final year on the subject of their research contributions in addition to the formal seminar presented in their second year of study.

Students should register for CHEM 8704 Ph.D. Seminar in the semester when they are presenting the PhD seminar.

Additional Degree Requirements

To fulfill the requirements for the doctoral degree, in addition to seminar and cumulative examination requirements described previously, the student must:

  1. complete 70 credits distributed among research, course work and seminar. Students who enter the program with the M.S. degree shall be required to earn at least 40 additional credits before being granted the Ph.D. degree;
  2. complete nine consecutive months of full-time enrollment after matriculation. This time should be used primarily to perform research. Part-time students must secure the approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee before beginning residency;
  3. petition the Dissertation Committee, which is comprised of the mentor and two members of the Matriculation Committee approved by the Graduate Advisory Committee, for permission to write a dissertation. Details concerning the granting of this permission are available from the department, and students should register for CHEM 8703 Perm to Write Dissertation in the semester they make this petition; and
  4. present a dissertation based on the chosen research problem to the Dissertation Committee for its approval. For details, consult regulations available from the department

The time limit for completion of the doctorate in chemistry spans a minimum of three years after entry into the graduate program to a maximum of five years after matriculation for the degree.

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