PhD Degree Requirements

Distribution Requirement

Each student must complete (with a B or higher) a distribution requirement consisting of two courses selected from the following list of introductory courses in the 5 major areas of study:

CHEM 720  Fundamentals and Methods of Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 730  Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry3
CHEM 740  Principles of Organic Reactions3
CHEM 750  Introduction to Quantum Mechanics3
CHEM 760  Introduction to Chemistry in Biology3
Advanced Courses

Complete with a B or higher 4 courses at the 700 level or above in chemistry or a related area.  The list of courses to be completed must be agreed upon by the student and the student’s research advisor and approved by the Graduate Affairs Committee before the beginning of the student’s second semester in the program.  [Changes to the list can only be made with the approval of the student, the research advisor, and the Graduate Affairs Committee.]

Note:  These 4 courses represent a minimal set and do not preclude the student, with consultation of the research advisor, from taking additional courses in support of the research effort.

Lab Safety & Responsible Scholarship

Complete CHEM 700 (Responsible Scholarship in the Chemical Sciences) and CHEM 701 (Laboratory Safety in the Chemical Sciences) with a B or higher.  CHEM 700 satisfies the university's Responsible Scholarship requirement for the chemistry Ph.D.


These courses must be satisfactorily completed before a student takes the comprehensive oral examination.

Oral Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive oral examination must be completed.  The student must prepare a written, original research proposal before the examination is scheduled. The proposal must be presented and defended orally at the examination; however, the examination is comprehensive in nature.  The student must be prepared for questions on a range of topics in the discipline.  It should be noted that all the above coursework requirements must be completed before the comprehensive oral examination can be taken.  Failure to pass the oral examination before the beginning of the fourth year of graduate study leads to ineligibility for support by departmental or research funds.

Dissertation & Final Defense

A dissertation based on original work of high quality in one of the principal fields of chemistry must be completed.  A final oral examination and defense of the dissertation must be completed.