In addition to fulfilling the general requirements of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, all graduate students in chemistry must give evidence of a satisfactory level of basic knowledge in four of the major subfields of chemistry by satisfactory performance in a specific course, or examination upon entrance. These exams stress fundamentals in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, and chemical physics. Course programs are developed for individual students that include further study in areas where additional background is necessary.
The total credit requirements are no fewer than 30 credits of graduate courses, no more than 6 of which may be Non-Topical Research if the degree involves a thesis, must be successfully completed while regularly enrolled as a graduate student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for the master’s degree, and 72 credits for the Ph.D. degree. In chemistry, these requirements are met by a combination of lecture courses, elective or special topics courses, and topical and non-topical research courses. The specific program depends upon the student’s area of interest. Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy must pass an advanced two-part examination involving (1) an overview of his/her current research problem, including a testable hypothesis, the relationship of the project to related work of others and a detailed summary of the progress to date and (2) a critique of an assigned journal article related to his/her area of research. Each part is followed by a twenty-five minutes question period. The final examination for both the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees is in the form of an oral defense of the thesis or dissertation.
A graduate degree candidate must participate in the teaching activities of the department as a graduate teaching assistant or instructor for at least one academic year. Knowledge of a foreign language is not required for a graduate degree in chemistry.
The Chemistry Building, an air-conditioned, four-story structure of 160,000 square feet, houses an auditorium seating 500, lecture and classrooms, administrative offices, and laboratories for undergraduate instruction on the upper two floors. On the lower two floors are located an excellent library, main stockroom, shops, research laboratories, and faculty offices. The building, completed in 1968, is located in the science complex in the western part of the University Grounds. It contains laboratories, equipment, and other facilities for research in many of the most active fields of chemistry. A new addition completed in 1995 houses 30,000 square feet of research space for biological chemistry including an entire floor dedicated to bioanalytical and biophysical research.
Seminars and Colloquia
Departmental seminars and colloquia are held on a regular basis with the presentations being given by visiting speakers and by graduate students, research staff, and faculty of the department. Specialized research seminars and discussion groups also meet regularly to examine topics of current interest. Most graduate students are scheduled to present a departmental poster in the third year of residence and a seminar at the completion of their research.
Distinguished visitors present lectures regularly on a wide variety of subjects in modern chemical research. The department sponsors the endowed Burger Lectureship in Medicinal Chemistry, the Lutz Lectureship, and the Pratt Lectureship.