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Graduate Course Catalog 2016-2017

Graduate School


Chemistry (CHEM)


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This program is offered in Durham.

Assistant Professor: Marc Andrew Boudreau , Christine A. Caputo, Leila Deravi


Degrees Offered: M.S., Ph.D.

The Department of Chemistry offers programs leading to the doctor of philosophy and the master of science degrees in the areas of organic, inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry. The department also offers a Ph.D. in Chemistry option in Chemistry Education.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the master of science and the doctor of philosophy degrees is based upon a strong undergraduate record and requires satisfactory work in the usual undergraduate courses in inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry, as well as the normal supporting courses in mathematics and physics. Applicants are to submit GRE scores as a part of their admission application. Entering graduate students are expected to take proficiency examinations in chemistry to ensure they begin their graduate work at the appropriate level. These examinations will be offered the week prior to the opening of the Fall semester during the Department of Chemistry's graduate student orientation week. 

M.S. Degree Requirements

The master's degree requires completion of coursework appropriate to the student's field of study and the completion of a research problem presented in the form of a 6-10 credit thesis (CHEM 899). A minimum of 30 credit hours is required to earn the degree. Of the 20+ course credits, at least 8 credit hours must be in courses numbered 900 or above.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

This degree requires completion of coursework appropriate to the student's field of study and the completion of a research problem presented in the form of a dissertation. Students will also demonstrate to the guidance committee that they have a broad basic knowledge of the field of chemistry by completing certain fundamental graduate courses; by means of a series of examinations in the major field; and by presenting and defending an original research proposal before the end of the third year. Students who successfully complete these requirements will be advanced to candidacy. The dissertation will be based upon original research. When the dissertation is complete, the candidate will submit it to his/her doctoral committee. A public presentation of the dissertation will be followed by an oral defense of the work to the student's committee.

The Ph.D. degree program includes an option in chemistry education. Please contact the department for more information.

Interdisciplinary Programs in Chemistry

Graduate students in chemistry may elect to enter one of the interdisciplinary programs offered jointly with the chemistry department and other departments. In these programs, the graduate student, with the advice of the guidance committee, elects courses in chemistry and in the related disciplines, and writes the dissertation on a research problem appropriate to the interdisciplinary research. Students interested in these programs should contact the Graduate Coordinator for further information.

Preparing Future Faculty (PFF)

Students who desire a career in college-level teaching will follow their regular degree program in addition to meeting the university's PFF requirements.  Please see the PFF website for more information:


Teaching Requirement

All chemistry PhD and Master of Science degree candidates will obtain some teaching experience during their tenure.