Chemistry PhD

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


The Chemistry Department’s graduate program is designed to lead to the PhD degree, and it is expected that all students who enroll are pursuing the doctorate. However, a student leaving the Doctoral Program is eligible to receive a terminal master’s degree provided appropriate requirements delineated in the Departmental Graduate Program Guide are met.

Coursework Requirements

  • Nine units of graduate-level coursework in chemistry are required.
  • Research Requirements: Sufficient research to complete master’s thesis is required prior to degree completion.


Total Units Required: 9

Coursework Requirements

Course Title
Required Courses
CHEM 519-0Responsible Conduct of Research Training
CHEM 570-0Chemistry Colloquium (taken for three quarters in the first year)
Additional Courses
Additional course requirments differ for each major field of study. 1

Each division within the chemistry program has its own set of additional course requirements. See the Graduate Program Guide for additional information.

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Examinations: qualifying exam consisting of written document and oral examination prior to end of seven quarters of graduate study
  • Original research proposal (ORP) has specific requirements in the third and fourth years of graduate study and at the dissertation defense. See the chemistry graduate program guide for further details. The ORP is not an extension of the dissertation topic.
  • PhD Dissertation: must describe original research
  • Final Evaluations: oral dissertation defense when all other requirements completed
  • Other: all full-time students are required to teach for four quarters in their first two years of study. In order to complete the teaching requirement, all International students must comply with English proficiency requirements.