Advanced Degree Requirements

Ph.D. in Chemistry or Biochemistry

Year 1

Proficiencies (Qualifying Exams)

  • Pass 3 proficiencies with a “full pass” status.  A “full pass” on any given standardized ACS exam is scoring in the 55 percentile or better.   ACS exams are offered in analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. A non-ACS exam in structural and molecular biology is offered as well.  Proficiencies are offered 4 times a year (August, November, February, April).
  • Complete a minimum of 2 rotations and select a research advisor by the second semester. Your research advisor and therefore ultimately chair of your Ph.D. committee must be a tenure track faculty member of the department.  Co-chairs are permitted.  
  • Take classes. You must have a minimum of 6 (3-credit) classes in which you earn a B or better to remain in good standing with the Graduate School.  You will need to consult with your research advisor on specific classes that are most helpful for you.    

Year 2

Establish a graduate committee and submit a Program of Study to the Graduate School by third semester. 

  • A minimum of 4 members are required for the committee including the chair.  A majority of faculty on your committee must be from the department.

Organic students have to pass 2 cumulative exams by the end of their 4th semester and prior to sitting for the oral comprehensive exam.

Pass your Comprehensive Exam (both written and oral components).

Finish the coursework requirement.

Fall organic cumulative schedule 2016 at 9 am in the conference room, October 15, 29, and Nov 19.
Spring organic cumulative schedule 2017 at 9 am in the conference room Jan 21, Feb 11 and Mar 4.

Year 3

Finish your coursework (if necessary) and continue with your research.

Organic students – pass two more cumulative exams for a total of 4.

Year 4

Complete your 4th year seminar requirement and have a committee meeting to get feedback on progress and time to graduation.

Year 5

Complete your doctoral research, write your dissertation and schedule your Ph.D. defense.

Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations

ETD form (certificate of approval for thesis or dissertation and Survey of Earned Doctorates must be completed to graduate.

Subsequent Years

If no defense is scheduled by the end of the 5th year (and any subsequent years after that), a student must have an annual committee meeting as required by The Graduate School.  Please read the student requirements document for the committee meeting.

The Graduate School-

Dates and Deadlines

Every student in our program is expected to become familiar with the Graduate School's website and the information and resources available to them.