Degree requirements

Outline of Degree Requirements

Diagnostic Exams
New graduate students take diagnostic exams in the areas of organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry. Following the exam, a meeting is scheduled with the Graduate Chair to determine course enrollment for the first semester. At that time, the student also must elect a division to join: Inorganic, Organic, or Physical Chemistry.

Selecting an Advisor
New graduate students must meet with at least four members of the Chemistry faculty to discuss potential research projects and interests. Students who enter in the fall semester must choose and be accepted by a research advisor no later than November 1st.

Forming a Thesis/Dissertation Committee
The student's thesis or dissertation committee is designated by the end of their fourth long semester (counting only fall and spring semesters as "long semesters"). The committee consists of five members: the student’s research advisor, two faculty in the student’s division, one faculty outside the student's division, and one member from outside the Department of Chemistry.

Course Requirements
Completion of a minimum of six (6) graduate-level lecture-based courses is required (course requirements vary by division, see details in the Student Handbook). A minimum of 54 total credit hours for the Ph.D. program and 30 total credit hours for the M.S. thesis program of graduate-level work, which may include lecture courses, lab courses, seminars, research, etc., are required for the completion of a graduate program of study.

Oral Research Progress (ORP) Exam
After the second but prior to the end of the fifth long semester, a student wishing to obtain a Ph.D. must undergo and complete an Oral Research Progress (ORP) exam administered by the student’s ORP committee. This exam consists of an oral presentation by the student on the research progress to date. All six courses must be completed before a student takes the ORP exam.

Dissertation or Thesis
A candidate for a Ph.D. or M.S. (Plan I) graduate degree conducts research under the direction of the research advisor. After a dissertation or thesis is written, the candidate must pass a final oral dissertation/thesis examination administered by the committee.

Details can be found in the complete Student Handbook (see link below).