The Ph.D. program in the Department of Chemistry offers wide opportunity and unusual flexibility for advanced study and research, and is designed to encourage individuality, independence, and excellence in students. Most students select their research advisor by winter quarter of their first year and are engaged in research by the spring quarter. The department has neither a system of cumulative examinations nor a written major examination. There are relatively few course requirements and great flexibility as to which courses may be taken.
In the Division of the Physical Sciences barriers between departments are low. Students in the Department of Chemistry often take courses in other departments and can even earn the degree in chemistry for research that has been done under the supervision of a member of another department. The newest interdisciplinary research opportunity that exists is with the Institute for Molecular Engineering. Students are encouraged to fashion special programs of study under the guidance of the faculty.
A well defined Master of Science program of appropriate rigor is maintained, but the Department of Chemistry does not offer financial support to students whose degree goal is the master's degree. This degree is neither a prerequisite for, nor a forerunner of, the Ph.D. degree, although it may be acquired along the way if a student so desires.
Undergraduate Majors in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry
See the most current Courses and Programs of Study Catalog for the requirements for the Chemistry and Biological Chemistry concentration programs and course listing.
The Faculty Advisor for Chemistry and Biological Chemistry majors is: Gregory L. Hillhouse
Typically by fall or winter quarter of your junior year, if you are considering graduate study in chemistry or a related field, you should seek out an opportunity to do research. You should do this even if you do not plan to do an honors thesis. Nearly every applicant to top Ph.D. programs in the country pursued research as an undergraduate. Typically you would start doing research at during the academic year (in your junior or sophomore years) on a volunteer basis, and then when you demonstrate your productivity ask your faculty mentor to hire you as a paid assistant over the summer or write you a letter of recommendation to do research at another institution over the summer.
For answers to the following and many more questions, visit the Undergraduate Information Kiosk.
- How do I learn about which faculty member's research might interest me?
- How do I approach a faculty member about doing research in their group?
- How do I secure a paid position in campus over the summer?
- What other summer research opportunities are there outside of the University?
- What are the requirements for an Honors Thesis in Chemistry?