Graduate Program

First Year Graduate Student Cohort Fall 2017

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Ph.D. Program in Chemistry

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department offers three graduate degrees: the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.), a thesis master of science (M.S.), and a coursework M.S. The Ph.D. and thesis M.S.programs are designed to help students develop into independent scholars while pursuing the excitement of scientific research in a personal, supportive environment. Both the Ph.D. and the research M.S. programs prepare students for careers in academia, industry, government laboratories, and other settings requiring an advanced education in chemistry and related disciplines. The coursework M.S. does not require research and is suited to future teachers and others wishing to update or broaden their chemical expertise. Approximately 100 graduate students are currently enrolled in the graduate program. NoteApplications for the Research Thesis path Master's degree are not being accepted at this time.

Within the Ph.D. program students have the flexibility to design a course of study focused on personal research interests, and at the same time are expected to maintain the high intellectual standards associated with the doctoral degree. Research options include biochemistry, physical chemistry, biophysical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, materials chemistry, physical-organic chemistry, and bioorganic chemistry.

Collaborative research efforts are encouraged, both intra- and inter-departmentally. The interdisciplinary Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering emphasizes bioinformatics, nanotechnology, and computational approaches to chemistry. Biochemists join geneticists, computer scientists, and biologists in the Center for the Molecular Biology of RNA. The Program in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering fosters interdisciplinary research between the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Departments of Molecular, Cell and Development Biology; Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology; and Biomolecular Science and Engineering. Students interested in chemical biology and biophysical chemistry are encouraged to apply to the graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering.


 Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences & Engineering

 PBSE is an interdisciplinary and collaborative effort that brings together expertise from the departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry; Molecular, Cell & Developmental (MCD) Biology; Biomolecular Engineering (BME); and Microbiology & Environmental Toxicology (METX).  Highlights of PBSE include a broad choice of research laboratory rotations, journal clubs and a targeted seminar series--all in a collaborative environment.  Applicants to PBSE choose from three tracks:

  1. Biomedical Engineering and Bioinformatics - Multidisciplinary bioinformatics training and research in comparative and functional genomics, non-coding RNA discovery, protein bioinformatics and structure prediction.
  2. *Chemical Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics (CB3) - Exploration of biological systems at the molecular and mechanistic levels, using biophysical methods and the tools of synthetic organic chemistry to examine biomolecules and their functions.  Most PBSE participants with a background in chemistry will follow this track.  Also for those with an interest in environmental toxicology.
  3. Microbial Biology and Pathogenesis - Prepares students for careers in microbial biology research and teaching.  Approaches: biochemistry, genetics, genomics, ecology, imaging
  4. Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology - Cell biology, chromosome biology, developmental biology, genomics, microbiology, neurobiology and RNA molecular biology.

*Students in the CB3 track will be awarded a Ph.D degree in Chemistry from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

For more information, consult the PBSE website. To apply click here.

To learn more about degree requirements and the Chemistry graduate programs in general:

Chemistry Graduate Handbook

PBSE CB3 Graduate Handbook

Questions on the graduate program? Email



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