Doctor of Philosophy in the Field of Chemistry

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

The requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Program.

72 credits in a program of study developed in consultation with the doctoral committee.

Students develop their program of studies in consultation with their doctoral committee, subject to the approval of the department’s Graduate Affairs Committee. The program of studies must include coursework in a minimum of five graduate-level courses; at least four of the courses must be core courses as defined in the department’s Guide for Graduate Students; at least three must be offered by the Chemistry Department. These course requirements cannot be fulfilled by achievement on placement exams. At least two graduate-level courses must be taken outside the student's subdiscipline and in at least two other subdisciplines/disciplines. Equivalent courses offered by another university may be substituted at the discretion of the Graduate Affairs Committee. Students must pass a cumulative examination system and an oral defense of the doctoral research plan.

Research fields

  • Analytical chemistry—analytical neuroscience, analytical spectroscopy, biomedical analysis, chemical imaging, chemical instrumentation, chemical separations, electrochemical analysis, electrospray ionization, lab-on-a-chip devices, high-performance liquid chromatography (LC), laser–material interactions, mass spectrometry, nanophotonic structures, nmr spectroscopy, post-translational modifications, proteomics and metabolomics, single cell analysis;
  • Biochemistry—biological sensing via nanoparticles, biomaterials, biomolecular analysis, biophysical topics, enzymology, lipids chemistry, proteomics and metabolomics, enzyme expression and inhibition, structural biology;
  • Inorganic (materials) chemistry—battery chemistry, coordination chemistry, f-element chemistry, green chemistry, hydrothermal chemistry, mineral surface geochemistry, magnetochemistry, molecular spintronics, nanoscale and nanostructured materials, organometallic chemistry, small-molecule crystallography, solid-state materials;
  • Organic chemistry—biomaterials and lipids, catalysis, computational docking and ligand design, green chemistry, heterocyclic chemistry, molecules of biological interest, synthesis;
  • Physical chemistry—CO2 removal, combustion chemistry, elemental and molecular spectroscopies, fuel cells, laser analytics, renewable energy conversion, solar chemical syntheses, surface chemistry, theoretical chemistry, thermochemical energy cycles.

Ph.D. students in chemistry may substitute up to 12 hours of Dissertation Research in the form of coursework jointly approved by the Chemistry Department and the Forensic Sciences Department, the Environmental Resource Policy Program, or the International Science and Technology Policy program. The 12 hours may be selected from specified courses offered by Forensic Sciences, Information Systems and Technology Management, Political Science, Public Policy and Public Administration, and the Elliott School of International Affairs.

Note: All entering students in graduate chemistry programs are required to take the American Chemical Society Graduate Level Placement Examinations, given by the Department of Chemistry, prior to matriculation. The four placement examinations (in the disciplines of analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry) are designed to cover the subject matter in the disciplines generally taught in undergraduate programs preparatory for graduate work in chemistry, and the results are used by the department to advise the individual student in planning a program of courses appropriate to the student’s background. All graduate students are required to participate in the seminar and colloquium programs. Upon consultation with course instructors, specific course prerequisites may be waived.

With permission, a limited number of upper-level undergraduate courses in the department may be taken for graduate credit; additional coursework is required. See the Undergraduate programs for course listings.