PhD in Chemistry/Biotechnology

The Department of Chemistry, jointly with the Biotechnology Center, offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Chemistry/Biotechnology. This degree is ideal for those preparing for careers in research which span both chemical science and biotechnology.

Course Requirements and Policies

  • PhD candidates must complete a total of seven graduate level courses (course numbered between 100 and 294, inclusive, but not including 191, 192, and 293: Professional Skills in Chemical Research) with a grade of B- or better.
  • The seven courses include those taken to fulfill the core distribution requirement plus two additional graduate-level courses in chemistry or biotechnology. The course requirement must be fulfilled by the end of the fourth academic semester. 
  • Graduate courses taken in related fields outside the Chemistry Department or Biotechnology Center must first be approved by the research advisor.
  • Full-time PhD students should register for Chem 502: Doctoral Continuation, Full-time. Part-time Ph.D. students should register for Chem 501: Doctoral Continuation, Part-time. Every semester after the student joins a research group, the research advisor will formally evaluate the student's progress toward the degree as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. At the end of their first summer, students are required to submit to the joint graduate committee a 1-2 page research report that must be signed by student's research advisor.
  • First-year students are required to take year-long course Chem 291 (Fall) and Chem 292 (Spring): Professional Skills in Chemical Research.
  • First-year students are required to register for Chem 191 (Fall) and Chem 192 (Spring): Seminars in Chemistry. All PhD students are required to attend the departmental seminar series to broaden their exposure to many of the current areas of research activity. Attendance is noted, and demonstrates to the faculty that a student is genuinely interested in all aspects of chemistry.
  • All graduate PhD students are required to serve in a teaching capacity for a minimum of one semester. Two semesters are strongly recommended. Students serving as teaching assistants should register for Chem 405: Grad Teaching Assistant. TA support is contingent upon adequate performance and full cooperation with the instructor of the course and the Manager of Chemical Labs