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 and understanding of chemistry.
Students must complete no fewer than 30 credits of graduate courses (including no more than six credits of Non-Topical Research if the degree involves a thesis), for the master’s degree, and no fewer than 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. Given that chemists are often engaged in multidisciplinary research, it is not unusual for graduate students to take some coursework outside of Chemistry. 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 minute question period from faculty. 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. Students are expected to complete all pre-dissertation requirements, including coursework, satisfactory research progress, and the PhD candidacy examination, by the conclusion of their fourth term of study.
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, research laboratories, faculty offices, and a covered walkway to a coffee shop. 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. An 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. A new multidisciplinary science building contiguous to Chemistry, completed in 2011, provides an additional 10,000 square feet of space dedicated to chemistry research.