Ph.D. Requirements

Last updated 10/14/2016

View the Graduate School's general guidelines for completing your degree. The Chemistry Department's requirements for the Ph.D. are listed below.

First Year

  • TA Training: First week before the beginning of fall and spring semesters. 
  • Rotations: Three research group rotations, completed by early November.
  • Coursework: Required coursework varies by path (see below). All coursework is to be completed by the fall semster of the second year.

Second Year

  • Thesis background examination (TBE): The examination will consist of a written report and an oral defense.  The details about the exam are here and the evaluation form is here. The student brings the evaluation form to the oral exam.

Third Year

  • Original Research Proposal Examination (RP): The examination will consist of a written proposal and an oral defense. The details are the exam are here.
  • Successfully passing all program requirements through the third year will complete the requirement for admission to candidacy.
  • At least 3 weeks before oral defense, request warrant for Research Proposal here. The student brings the warrant and evaluation form to the oral exam.

Fourth Year

  • Fourth-year presentation or meeting: Students either give an open oral presentation of their dissertation research to their mentoring committee or meet with their mentoring committee and discuss work needed to complete their PhD.

Fifth Year

  • Dissertation defense: The examination will consist of a written dissertation and an oral defense. 
  • Students who have not set a date for their dissertation defense by the end of their fifth year will meet with their mentoring committee members at least once per year until completion of the degree.
  • At least 3 weeks before oral defense, request PhD Final Degree warrant here 
More details about each graduate path's requirements: