Chemistry Graduate Student Handbook

The Department of Chemistry has as its basic goal the development of professional chemists. Students acquire the specific skills required for careers in industry, government and academia through a program which includes research, course work and oral presentation combined with close interaction with members of the faculty, especially the student’s research supervisor. The Department of Chemistry Graduate Program offers programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and the Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in the areas of analytical, organic, inorganic and physical chemistry as well as interdisciplinary areas. The department also offers a Doctoral Degree in Chemistry Education.

The Chemistry Graduate Student Handbook provides information specific to the Chemistry Department.  A UNH Graduate Student Handbook  is an additional resource that covers topics such as financial and tax questions, professional development opportunities, and research and communication guidelines.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees is based upon a strong undergraduate record, which requires satisfactory work in the usual undergraduate courses in analytical, organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. In addition, satisfactory completion of the normal support courses of mathematics and physics are required.

Entering graduate students are expected to take placement examinations in chemistry to assist in starting each new graduate student at the appropriate level. These examinations will be offered during the orientation period of the semester; the dates are to be announced in the departmental graduate calendar.
 
Students with strong backgrounds in other areas may be accepted as “provisional”, and are expected to complete the normal undergraduate degree requirements in chemistry before entering the graduate program

Basic Criteria

M.S. Requirements

  • Coursework totals 30 credits; 20 of those credits are coursework with 8 credits being from a 900 level course. 6-10 of the credits will come from research, Chem 899.
  • Research Progress Report is comprised of written material and a discussion with your committee of faculty members
  • Mandatory attendance at your divisional seminar (I/O or A/P/E) and divisional lunch talks (I/O or A/P/E).
  • A thesis based on the student's research (oral presentation to thesis committee and written thesis).

Ph.D. Requirements

  • Coursework
  • Presentation of a seminar (1 credit course 997/998)
  • Cumulative Examinations to assess student's level of understanding and progress
  • Research Progress Report is comprised of written material and a discussion with your committee of faculty members
  • Mandatory attendance at your divisional seminar (I/O or A/P/E) and divisional lunch talks (I/O or A/P/E)
  • Research Proposal Defense is an oral examination to assess the student's proposal.  The purpose of the research proposal is to demonstrate the student's ability to conceive and execute a piece of original research.  This is required in the third year and moves the student into the Ph.D. candidacy
  • A dissertation based on the student's research (oral presentation to the dissertation committee and a written dissertation).

Research Projects

Original research is an integral part of both the M.S. and Ph.D. programs. This is conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor (Research Director). The student's progress is monitored by the student's committee, which is chaired by the Research Director.

The choice of a research project is an important matter and should be made only after serious consideration. At the beginning of the first semester, the student should consult the department web page for information on the current research of faculty members. Faculty research presentations will be set up in the Fall semester; attendance is mandatory for first year graduate students at the faculty research presentations. In addition to attendance at the faculty research presentations, the student must interview at least three (3) faculty members to discuss potential projects. The Organic Division requests that students interested in organic interview all six of the organic faculty. The student is given instructions and a form for the faculty member to sign upon completion of the interview. A deadline for completion of this process is noted on the instructional form and the student will submit her/his first three choices of preference for a Research Director to the Graduate Coordinator. The Graduate Coordinator finalizes the assignments of students to Research Directors, with the concurrence of the Research Directors. Although every attempt is made to grant students their first choices, departmental need, current work loads of Research Directors, and other factors may not make this possible in all cases.

Committees

Upon arrival in the department, students receive initial guidance on their course program from the Registration Committee, which is comprised of a representative from each of the four divisions (analytical, inorganic, organic and physical). After selection of the research project, each graduate student will be assigned a committee with the Research Director as the chair of that committee. Master’s students will have two additional Chemistry faculty members assigned to form their committee. Doctoral students will have three additional Chemistry Faculty members and a faculty member from another University department to form their committee. The Option in Atmospheric Chemistry will have a co-chair committee whose area of specialization is in the area of Atmospheric or Earth Science

Evaluation

The performance of each M.S. and Ph.D. student will be reviewed periodically and, recommendations will be made to the student concerning the subsequent program.  A review by the entire faculty will occur at the end of the first and second years.   At these times, course and teaching performance, seminar participation, research progress, and, in the case of the Ph.D. program, performance on cumulative exams will be considered.   The student will be informed whether continuing in the program is advisable and will be apprised of any weaknesses.  Students whose performance is inadequate, or who show they may not be able to successfully complete the program will be asked to withdraw at this point or, in the case of Ph.D. students, possibly to switch to the M.S. degree program.

Seminar

The Graduate Seminar is a one-credit course required for all graduate students.  Seminars are held in Parsons L103 from 11:10 am until 12 noon on Tuesdays for the Inorganic and Organic (IO) divisions, and Thursdays for the Analytical, Physical and Chemical Education (AP/ED) divisions.

PH.D. & M.S. Graduate student should register for one credit of seminar [AP students register for either CHEM 997A (fall) or CHEM 998A (spring); IO students register for either CHEM 997B (fall) or CHEM 998B (spring)] in their 3rd semester of graduate study (typically a fall semester). Interdisciplinary or Chemical Education students should register and participate in either the AP or IO seminar program as advised by their research mentor(s).  Students are required to attend all seminars within their division as well as all department-wide seminars.  These include instructional seminar sessions to be scheduled by the respective Seminar Coordinator or designate. PhD students are further required to present a satisfactory seminar based on recent literature in their 5th semester of study (typically a fall semester).

For detailed information about this seminar requirement, Ph.D. students should consult the Students' Guide to Seminar.

Financial Support

Most chemistry graduate students are supported by teaching assistantships (TA's) or research assistantships (RA's) during the academic year.  Students receiving such support are considered employees of the University.  The Graduate Catalog should be consulted for details on conditions of employment.  Departmental support is normally available to students in good standing for five years (Ph.D.) or three years (M.S.). 

Summer stipends are provided for first year graduate students from the Dean’s Office, but students are required to TA summer courses during that period. After the first year, summer stipends may be available through grant funding from your research director, Chemistry department summer scholarships, and potential summer teaching opportunities. There are also several sources of funding available from the Graduate School, such as Academic Year Fellowships and Summer Research Fellowships. Although they are extremely competitive, we encourage students to apply as such fellowships enable you to focus on your research by exempting you from teaching assistant duties. For further details, visit the Graduate School’s Homepage at www.gradschool.unh.edu.

The "COURSEGAME"

During one’s career as a graduate student, it becomes confusing to choose the right selection of credits after you have fullfilled all of your course requirements. Therefore, the “course game” was developed to assist you and your research mentor in choosing the correct option for continued registration.

Credits, credits, credits….

  • Students on RA’s and TA’s must take 6 credits per semester to remain eligible for an assistantship. Please note: This puts you as a “part-time” student for billing purposes which means your mandatory student fees are at the “part-time” rate. You are technically considered full-time by the graduate school and the department, but the Billing office charges the part-time rate.
  • Students NOT on an RA or TA must take 9 credits to be considered full time.
  • Students who take 9 credits up or more are considered to be “full time” by the Billing office which means you are billed full-time mandatory student fees. This is normally double the part-time rate. Please be advised: if you AUDIT a course, then the CREDITS of that course are “added” to your credit total for billing purposes which increases your mandatory student fees. For example, you have 6 credits and then audit a 3 credit course. Those credits are added to your total credit number giving you a total of 9 credits and thereby moving you into the “full-time” category. This will then increase your mandatory student fees from the part-time fee to full time fees.
  • Ph.D. Students who take Chem 999 at any point in their program are automatically moved to a “full-time” category and therefore charged full time mandatory fees.
  • MS students who take Grad 900 (after completing Chem 899) are automatically moved to a “full-time” category and therefore charged full-time mandatory fees.

When you have completed your coursework, you can sign up for these courses to maintain your enrollment:

  • Chem 899 – Thesis Problems in Chemistry (1-10 credits), for MS students only. You may take a minimum of 6 credits and not exceed 10 credits for your MS degree. Part-time mandatory student fees apply when taking Chem 899.
  • Chem 999 – Doctoral Research (0 credits) – for PhD students only. Full-time madatory fees apply whenever you take Chem 999.
  • GRAD 900 - Master's Continuing Research Credits:
    Master's students who have completed all course requirements, registered for the maximum number of thesis or project credits, and are in residence completing their master's program must register for Master's Continuing Research. Students registered for GRAD 900 are considered full-time. Not graded.
  • GRAD 800 - Continuing Enrollment Credits:
    All continuing graduate students who are not enrolled for course credits, thesis credits, Doctoral Research (999) or Master's Continuing Research (GRAD 900), and are not in residence, are required to register for GRAD 800 each semester of the academic year (or each summer for students in MATH M.S.T., and English M.S.T. and College Teaching M.S.T. programs). Students registered for GRAD 800 are considered part-time. Not graded.

Important Points:

  • Chem 899 is NOT to be taken by PhD students; Chem 999 is NOT to be taken by MS students.
  • If a student changes programs, then the student must submit a petition for exception to request to retroactively withdraw from any Chem 899 courses (if you changed from a MS to a PhD program) or from any Chem 999 courses (if you changed from a PhD to a MS prorgram). This must be signed by your advisor and Graduate Coordinator. Please see the Administrative Manager for a breakdown of your registration.
  • It is important to note that you should not register for Grad 900 UNTIL you have taken 6-10 credits of CHEM 899. Normally students in their third and final semester of the MS program take GRAD 900 because they have completed the credits allotted to Chem 899.
  • You should not register via telephone, on-line or walk-in without first confirming if using Chem 899 is appropriate and/or to see how many credits you have available. Check this with the Administrative Manager.
  • If a PhD student supported on an RA or TA is taking less than 6 credits, she/he can be considered full time by adding Chem 999 to their schedule.

M.S. Degree in Chemistry
 

The M.S. degree programs in Chemistry provide the student an opportunity to participate in graduate education without the longer academic and research commitment of doctoral study.  Students who wish to extend their training prior to entering a doctoral program can avail themselves of this intermediate stage of education.  Students who do not wish to commit the time necessary for a doctorate may find the shorter graduate period of the M.S. degree of value before they begin their professional career.  The M.S. degree program allows the student to participate in advanced course work and to develop a significant research program.

The rules and information, which follow, are intended to supplement those found in the Graduate School Catalog.  Students should become familiar with the rules found in this catalog as well as those listed below.  The M.S. program in Chemistry permits capable students to complete their work in two to three years.  Financial support for the academic year is normally available to third-year students in good standing. The student may elect to major in Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, or Physical Chemistry.

Courses

Students must demonstrate proficiency in each of the four major areas of chemistry: analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical.  Students satisfy this requirement by taking the appropriate 900 level courses in their area of specialization.  Outside their area, students satisfy the requirements by either passing the advanced placement exams given to entering students the week before classes begin or by passing the appropriate 800-level courses (Chem 862 for analytical chemistry, 874 for inorganic chemistry, 855 for organic chemistry, and 876 for physical chemistry) with a grade of at least B-.

Required Credit/Course Information

  • In accord with Graduate School requirements, the student must present 30 credits for completion of the M.S. program, with no more than 10 and no fewer than 6 of these in thesis research (Chem 899). 
  • Of the 20 course credits, at least 8 credits must be in courses numbered 800 or above.
  • In accord with Graduate School’s Academic Policy, the student must have an accumulated 3.0 GPA or higher to graduate.
  • All Graduate students who are or will be TA’s are required to take Chem 800 – 1 credit.
  • All MS students are required to take Chem 991 & Chem 992 – 1 credit each:
  • Chem 991 – Presentation Portfolio. Students will sign up in their third semester (usually fall semester, second year), maintain a presentation portfolio, and be awarded credit at the end of their fourth year semest4er by the Graduate Coordinator with input from their thesis committee.
  • Chem 992 – Professional Writing Portfolio – Students will sign up in their third semester (usually fall semester, second year), maintain a writing portfolio and be awarded credit at the end of their fourth semester by their research mentor with advice from the thesis committee.
  • Seminar – A seminar presentation is no longer required. However, students will sign up for and attend CHEM 997/998 beginning with their third semester in the program. Credit awarded by the Seminar Coordinator for satisfactory attendance at the end of the fourth semester.
  • Specific divisional requirements should also be fulfilled: 
  • Analytical -must complete three of the following courses: Chem 930, 933, 934,  or 935.
  • Inorganic - at least three courses of the following: Chem 903, 904, and 947. Students are recommended to take an Advanced proton NMR and carbon interpretation course which is currently offered as either 917 or 918, is recommended in addition to 808.
  • Organic - at least three courses of the following: Chem 808, 855, 902, or 911. Students are recommended to take an advanced proton and carbon NMR interpretation course, currently offered as either 917 or 918, is recommended in addition to 808. Note: All organic students are required to take Chem 855, even if they pass the placement exam.
  • Physical – at least three courses from the following: Chem 905, 926, 927, or 995D/996D. 
  • In certain cases, courses may be taken in areas outside of chemistry, provided such courses constitute an integral part of the overall program as approved by the Graduate Coordinator and thesis committee.

Research Progress Report (M.S.)

The Research Progress Report (RPR) will be scheduled late in the third semester for all MS students. All students in the M.S. program will submit an outline of a Research Progress report to their research advisor.  This outline is to be comprised of 2-3 pages of double-spaced typed text.   The advisor will return this with comments to the student within seven days.  The student will then prepare a final fuller version, which is to be distributed to the students’ committee two weeks prior to the report date. A research progress report meeting between the student and the committee will be scheduled by Cindi Rohwer, Manager to take place between the Thanksgiving Holiday and the end of the semester. The date, time and location will be emailed to the student and the committee.

This is an opportunity to talk with your committee about what has been accomplished in research up to this point.  The Research Report should include a review of the relevant literature.  It should summarize the student’s research progress to date, as well as the student’s plans and ideas for future work.  As a guideline, it is suggested that the report should comprise about ten pages of double-spaced typed text.  Any figures, references and tables incorporated should not be included in that total.

The committee will meet by the start of the spring semester and review all aspects of student work (courses, TA efforts, research, etc.).  At that time a decision will be made regarding status in program or what further actions are necessary.  RPRs that were considered inadequate by the committee will not be “made up”, although subsequent progress reports might be recommended.

Evaluation

The performance of each M.S. student will be reviewed periodically and, recommendations will be made to the student concerning the subsequent program.   A written review by the research advisor and Graduate Coordinator will occur at the end of the first and second years.   At these times, course and teaching performance, seminar participation, and research progress will be considered.   The student will be informed whether continuing in the program is advisable and will be apprized of any weaknesses.  Students whose performance is inadequate, or who show they may not be able to successfully complete the program will be asked to withdraw at this point.

The Thesis

Format requirements are specified in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual available from the Graduate School  http://www.gradschool.unh.edu/pdf/td_manual.pdf. You will need to submit a copy for format review to the Academic Counselor of the Graduate School. Please note that you cannot submit a thesis for binding until review and approval of the format has been given by the Graduate School. It is recommended that you submit your thesis for review in advance of your defense.

Various drafts of the thesis should be proofread by several people (i.e. members of your research group or other graduate students) for content, clarity, grammar and style before giving it to the committee.   The candidate should consult with his/her research advisor regarding procedures to be followed in preparing the thesis.  The role of the student’s committee is to assess the science and not to serve as proof readers. The Graduate school offers workshops throughout the year that focuses on formatting once your thesis is complete.

  • Please see the Manager to schedule your room for your defense.
  • The Manager must be notified of the time, date and title of the defense at least two weeks prior to the defense date to issue a memo to the Graduate School.   At that time, the Manager will also issue a memo to the department inviting all to attend.  
  • Copies of the completed thesis must be distributed to the committee at least TWO WEEKS prior to the date of the public presentation; otherwise the final defense will AUTOMATICALLY be rescheduled to take place at least two weeks later to comply with graduate school regulations.   The candidate must also notify the Manager at the time the thesis has been distributed to the committee so that the defense can be rescheduled if necessary.
  • The public presentation will be in the form of a seminar lasting 40 - 50 minutes followed by questions and discussion from the audience. The committee will question the candidate further in a closed sessions immediately afterwards. The presentation of the thesis must take place at least two weeks before commencement.  

Binding Your Thesis

Once the defense has taken place and the final version of the thesis has been approved, please see the binding arrangements through an on-line process with the Graduate School.

  • Bound Copies: We request 1 for your advisor, 1 for the Chemistry Library and then there are your personal copies.
  • To submit your thesis for binding, the Graduate School has developed an on-line submission process.
  • Thesis/Dissertation Submission Checklist: http://www.gradschool.unh.edu/pdf/td_checklist.pdf 
  • Thesis Submission Instructions: http://www.gradschool.unh.edu/pdf/td_sub_instrc.pdf
  • The bound copies will be sent to the address you provide when submitting your thesis on-line. We request that you ask for them to be sent directly to the Chemistry Department at 23 Academic Way, Durham NH 03824. This will enable us to distribute one to your advisor, one to the Chemistry Library and then send you your personal copies.

Doctoral Program in Chemistry
 

The Ph.D. program in Chemistry is designed to train students as mature scientists capable of independent activity, i.e. capable of conceiving a research problem, planning and carrying out the necessary experimental work, properly interpreting the results, and advancing their knowledge by independent study.

Traditionally, the Ph.D. degree is the mark of scholarly attainments and connotes a high degree of proficiency in a specialized field in addition to a wide breadth of knowledge of other fields.  The program outlined below will assist the student in attaining the required scientific maturity, mastery of a chosen area of chemistry, and adequate proficiency in all other areas.  The program also provides a means of testing the progress of the student.  Capable students can complete the doctoral program in five years.  Financial support during the academic year is normally available to fifth-year students in good standing.

The rules and information which follow are intended to supplement those found in the Graduate School catalog. Each student is expected to become familiar with the rules found in the catalog as well as those of this program. The student may elect to major in Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, or Physical Chemistry.  Students interested in interdisciplinary areas should consult a separate document governing these areas.

Courses

Students must demonstrate proficiency in the four major areas of chemistry:  analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical.  Students satisfy this requirement by taking the appropriate 900-level courses in their area of specialization.  Outside their area, students can satisfy the requirements by either passing the advanced placement exams given to entering students the week before classes or by passing the appropriate 800-level courses (Chem 862 for analytical chemistry, 874 for inorganic chemistry, 855 for organic chemistry, and 876 for physical chemistry) with a grade of at least B-.

Required Course/Course Information

Students are required to take courses in their field as required by the faculty in that area.  These obligatory courses are:  

  • Analytical – Chem 930, 933, 934, 935, and Math 835.
  • Inorganic - Chem 808 (Organic), Chem 903, 904, and 947. *In addition to the divisionally required courses, further courses that may be appropriate to the student's course of study include 917(2-4cr), 918(2-4cr), 926(3cr), 934(3cr) or other 800 and 900-level courses
  • Organic - Chem 808, 855, 902, 911, 917, 918. An advanced proton and carbon NMR interpretation course, currently offered as either 917 or 918, is strongly recommended in addition to 808.
  • Physical - Chem 905, 926, 927, 995D/996D 
  • In addition, all students must take at least two graduate chemistry courses outside their area of specialization, at least one of which must be at the 900-level. 
  • Students must present one satisfactory seminar (Chem 997 or Chem 998) in the student’s third year, first semester of that year.
  • Successfully defend an original research proposal which must be presented in the student’s third year, second semester of that year.
  • All Graduate students who are or will be TA’s are required to take Chem 800 – 1 credit.
  • Chem 992 – Professional Writing Portfolio – Students will sign up in their third semester (usually fall semester, second year), maintain a writing portfolio and be awarded credit at the end of their fourth semester by their research mentor with advice from the thesis committee.
  • Chemistry Education Option: Chem 971 is required and 3 courses at the 900 level in chemistry sub-discipline. Course requirements to include Grad 990, 3 courses Quant Stats and 1 course in Cognition; advisor will provide course options for selection.

Qualifying Examinations  - Comprehensive Exams

  • All students are required to take comprehensive examinations in their major field. 
  • Requirements for the examinations are set by each division. 
  • Examinations will be offered two times per year—September & May.  A pass is required before advanced (cumulative) examinations can be taken.
  • A student may repeat the examination, but only once, and when it is next offered. Should a student not pass the comprehensive exams, then the student will need to revise his/her program to a master’s degree program of study and complete the change of degree form.

Advanced Examinations (Cumulative)

The student will take a series of cumulative examinations in the major field after passing the preliminary examination.  Specific requirements of the various divisions follow:

  • Analytical Chemistry.  Doctoral students in analytical chemistry who have passed the preliminary examination must take eight advanced examinations.  Performance in the   eight examinations will be evaluated be the analytical chemistry faculty and will be a major factor in the evaluation of the student's overall performance at the end of the second year.  Advanced examinations are normally given once per month during the academic year.
  • Inorganic Chemistry.  Doctoral students in inorganic chemistry who have passed the preliminary examination must take the next ten advanced examinations. Performance in these examinations will be evaluated by the inorganic chemistry faculty and will be a major factor in the evaluation of the student's overall performance at the end of the second and third years.
  • Organic Chemistry.  Six advanced examinations are administered each academic year.  These are taken consecutively until a total of six is passed.
  • Physical Chemistry.  Doctoral students in physical chemistry who have passed  the preliminary examination must take the next six advanced examinations. Performance in the six examinations will be evaluated by the physical chemistry faculty and will be a major factor in the evaluation of the student's overall performance at the end of the second year.  Advanced examinations are normally given once per month during the academic year.
  • Chemistry Education Option: Cumulative Exams are split between education and chemistry cores.

Research Progress Report (Ph.D.)

All students in the Ph.D. program will submit an outline of a Research Progress report to their research advisor by January 15th of their second year.  This outline is to be comprised of 2-3 pages of double-spaced typed text.   The advisor will return this report with comments to the student within seven days.  The student will then prepare a final fuller version, which is to be distributed to the student’s committee by February 15th.  A meeting between the student and the committee will be scheduled by Cindi Rohwer, Manager, to take place prior to the end of April.   The committee will evaluate the document at this meeting.   The advisor will summarize orally the consensus of the committee to the student.   Written summary of the committee recommendations will be retained in the department files.  If the Committee’s consensus is that the student’s report or research progress is inadequate, a follow-up report and meeting with the committee will be required before the end of the semester.  The Committee may advise the student to either switch to the M.S. program or possibly withdraw from the graduate program if problems associated with the first progress report have not been adequately addressed during this second meeting.

The Research Report should include a review of the relevant literature.  It should summarize the student’s research progress to date, as well as the student’s plans and ideas for future work.  As a guideline, it is suggested that the report should comprise about ten pages of double-spaced typed text.  Any figures, references and tables incorporated should not be included in that total.

Seminar

Each student must present a satisfactory seminar based on the literature.  The seminar must be presented no later than the first semester of the student's third year.  The seminar topic cannot be directly related to the student's dissertation research at UNH.  The Students' Guide to Seminars should be reviewed by every student well in advance of choosing a seminar topic.  Attendance at the student's divisional and at departmental seminars is MANDATORY for all graduate students while in residence.

Research Proposal

Each doctoral student must present and satisfactorily defend a research proposal before a committee of four (4) faculty members consisting of the student's guidance committee.  The proposed research must be original from the student and must not be related to any research work being carried out in this department.  The proposal will be judged on the basis of its intrinsic scientific merit, feasibility of execution, and the student's ability to defend it in a logical and convincing manner. It is recommended that students read "Research Proposals: How to Choose and Defend Them."

Students are allowed to develop a proposal based on their literature seminar.  Students are encouraged to integrate the seminar and proposal requirements in this manner to expedite progress in the program.

Procedure for Submission and Defense of the Proposal

  1. An abstract of the proposal (1000 words or fewer) is presented to the committee.  Students  must do so by February 1st. of their third year if the Student entered the program in a Fall Semester or by October 15th. of their third year if the student entered the program in a Spring Semester.  Within one week of receipt of the proposal abstract, the committee will evaluate it and notify the student whether or not it is acceptable.
  2. Once the proposal abstract is judged acceptable by the committee, a detailed proposal must be prepared for the committee and one copy given to Cindi Rohwer, Manager, for your student file.  This should include a short abstract (less than 150 words), a statement of the problem and its significance, historical background, theoretical justification, anticipated experimental results, possible alternate outcomes, and conclusions.
  3. Cindi Rohwer, Manager, will assist to schedule your proposal defense date with your committee and reserve a room. Each committee member will score the oral defense, assigning either a pass or a fail.  At least three (3) passes are required to pass the defense.  The student will be informed by the committee chairperson whether the proposal has passed or failed. 
  4. In case of failure, the committee chairperson will discuss the reasons for failure with the student and prepare a written evaluation and make recommendations.

If the student fails a proposal defense, the committee will recommend one of the following:

  1. That the student successfully re-defend the proposal no later than the first month of the following semester.
  2. That the student successfully defend a new proposal, with an abstract judged acceptable no later than the first month of the following semester.

A second failure to defend a proposal satisfactorily will result in an automatic permanent denial of advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. At this point, completion of a M.S. degree is an option. After advancement to candidacy, completion of the doctoral dissertation and its oral defense are the only remaining requirements.

Evaluation

The performance of each Ph.D. student will be reviewed periodically and, recommendations will be made to the student concerning the subsequent program.   A written review by the research advisor and the Graduate Coordinator will occur at the end of the first and second years.   At these times, course and teaching performance, seminar participation, research progress, and performance on cumulative exams will be considered.   The student will be informed whether continuing in the program is advisable and will be apprised of any weaknesses.  Students whose performance is inadequate, or who show they may not be able to successfully complete the program will be asked to withdraw at this point or possibly to switch to the M.S. degree program.

Each student will be evaluated by the divisional staff at the end of each subsequent year.  By the end of the third year, the proposal presentation and the results of the advanced examinations will be considered in addition to the items mentioned previously.  At this time students will be informed of one of the options listed below:

  1. Student will be advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D.
  2. Student must complete specified requirements, for which a time limit may be set
  3. Student will be awarded the M.S. degree on completion of a satisfactory thesis
  4. Student will be required to withdraw from the graduate program.

Advancing to Candidacy

A student will advance to candidacy when he/she has completed all CUMES (Comprehensive Exams) and successfully completed his/her research proposal defense. The Manager will complete the Advancing to Candidacy form and submit to the Graduate School for Approval. Please email Cindi Rohwer your proposed dissertation title and your fifth committee (external) member. Your research advisor can assist you with both of those details.

Oral Defense of the Doctoral Dissertation

The culmination of the doctoral program is the presentation and defense of the doctoral dissertation before the Doctoral Committee and any other members of the University community who may wish to attend.  The doctoral dissertation embodies the results of the student's doctoral research program and is prepared under the supervision of the Research Director. 

The Dissertation

Format requirements are specified in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual available from the Graduate School http://www.gradschool.unh.edu/pdf/td_manual.pdf. You will need to submit a copy for format review to the Academic Counselor of the Graduate School. Please note that you cannot submit a dissertation for binding until review and approval of the format has been given by the Graduate School. It is recommended that you submit your thesis for review in advance of your defense.

  • Various drafts of the dissertation should be proofread by several people (i.e. members of your research group or other graduate students) for content, clarity, grammar and style before giving it to the committee.   The candidate should consult with his/her research advisor regarding procedures to be followed in preparing the dissertation.  The role of the student’s committee is to assess the science and not to serve as proofreaders. The Graduate school offers workshops throughout the year on formatting once the dissrtation is complete.
  • Please see the Manager to schedule your room for your defense.
  • The Manager must be notified of the time, date and title of the dissertation defense at least two weeks prior to the defense date to issue a memo to the department inviting all to attend.   At this time the Manager will enter your dissertation notice on-line to the Graduate School. Please email her an abstract of your dissertation to include in the announcement. 
  • Copies of the completed dissertation must be distributed to the committee at least TWO WEEKS prior to the date of the public presentation; otherwise the final defense will AUTOMATICALLY be rescheduled to take place at least two weeks later to comply with graduate school regulations.   The candidate must also notify the Manager at the time the thesis has been distributed to the committee so that the defense can be rescheduled if necessary.

The public presentation will be in the form of a seminar lasting 40 - 50 minutes followed by questions and discussion from the audience. The committee will question the candidate further in a closed sessions immediately afterwards.

Binding Your Dissertation

Once the defense has taken place and the final version of the dissertation has been approved, you can submit it for binding  through an on-line process with the Graduate School.

  • Bound Copies: We request 1 for your advisor, 1 for the Chemistry Library and then there are your personal copies.
  • To submit your dissertation for binding, the Graduate School has developed an on-line submission process. 
  • Thesis/Dissertation Submission Checklist: http://www.gradschool.unh.edu/pdf/td_checklist.pd.
  • Dissertation  Submission Instructions: http://www.gradschool.unh.edu/pdf/td_sub_instrc.pdf
  • The bound copies will be sent to the address you provide when submitting your dissertation on-line. We request that you ask for them to be sent directly to the Chemistry Department at 23 Academic Way, Durham NH 03824. This will enable us to distribute one to your advisor, one to the Chemistry Library and then send you your personal copies.

Interdiscipinary Programs in Chemistry
 

A student who is interested in the application of chemistry to another discipline may enter one of the approved Interdisciplinary Programs in Chemistry. In these programs the student chooses a research problem to be supervised by a participating faculty member who is not a member of the Chemistry Department.  A five-member faculty committee and the student will plan the program.  Since the degree to be granted is a Ph.D. in Chemistry, the committee will have at least three faculty members from the Chemistry Department.  The thesis supervisor will be the chairman of the student's doctoral committee.  The doctoral committee will advise the student, supervise the educational program and evaluate progress.  The doctoral committee must meet with the student at least once each semester.

Students participating in these programs must be graduate students in chemistry, and must meet the usual admission requirements of the Chemistry Department.  Since the student's interest will extend beyond the usual divisions of chemistry, certain variations in meeting the requirements of the Ph.D. will be allowed.  These are:

  • Courses - Normally the student in an interdisciplinary program will take five chemistry courses at the 900 level and four other courses selected jointly by the student and the student's doctoral committee.  The courses (including the chemistry courses) will be selected according to the individual student's needs and interests.
  • Cumulative Examination - After passing a preliminary cumulative examination, the student must either pass six written cumulative examinations which will be given monthly, or take a predetermined number of examinations given monthly with the total series to be considered in determining the student's standing in the program.  The Doctoral Committee will determine the specific nature of the examinations and, in consultation with the student, when the cumulative examinations will begin. 
  • All other requirements for the Ph.D., including proposals, seminars, demonstrations of computer knowledge, etc., remain the same as in the regular program.

Ph.D. Chemistry: Option in Chemistry Education
 

Research, coursework, and other activities will concentrate on chemistry pedagogic theory and practice, and human subject research methodologies.   Improvement in chemistry instruction across the K-graduate school continuum requires continuing development of a sound theoretical base for teaching and learning.  This base grows out of research in the cognitive sciences and is re-interpreted in terms of the unique models which chemists use to describe the world.  Research questions about fundamental cognition and about curriculum interventions may be pursued, but intellectual preparation is needed in both chemistry and cognitive science. 

Program Requirements that Differ

  • Student enters with Masters or other advanced standing (see admissions criteria below), or candidate can obtain MS at UNH on the way to the PhD with Option in Chemistry Education
  • Cumulative exams are split between education and chemistry cores
  • Professional presentation allowed in place of departmental seminar

Course Requirements

CHEM 971                       Teaching and Learning in Chemistry
GRAD 990                       College Teaching Praxis (2 cr only)
Chemistry core            Three courses at 900 level in chemistry subdiscipline
Quant Stats                   Two courses from (for example) PSYC 702, 705, 905, 906, 907; EDUC 981; MATH     835, 839, 842            
Qual Stats                       One course from (for example) PSYC 704; SOC 794/894; EDUC 982                      
Cognition                        One course from (for example) PSYC 783, 710, 711, 712, 731, 914, 917

Placement   

Students will be recognized as having advanced knowledge and experience in chemistry, advanced knowledge and experience in the study of student learning, and college level teaching experience beyond the traditional laboratory teaching assistantship.  Chemistry departments have been seeking faculty interested in pursuing research in chemistry education or prepared to take on college curriculum reform and oversight.   Other career paths are possible, such as Secondary School Department Chair, K-12 Curriculum Coordinator, University Teaching Excellence Program Coordinator, and Industrial Outreach Coordinator.

The Option complements the College Teaching (Preparing Future Faculty) programs.   The latter focus on pragmatic and philosophical preparation for teaching at the college level.   Students pursuing the Option can also matriculate in the College Teaching programs.

Ph.D. Chemistry Option in Chemistry Education Criteria for Acceptance into Program
 

Criterion
Acceptable means for fulfilling criterion
Purpose of criterion
Means of documentation

Research proficiency

MS research thesis in a chemistry discipline (chemistry, biochemistry).

Industrial laboratory research experience.

Credible and visible record of advanced research experience in the discipline.

Higher level laboratory sense and skills

Copy of thesis

Letters of reference

Copies of publications

Resume

Advanced content understanding

MS coursework or degree in a chemistry discipline.

MST that includes advanced coursework in chemistry.

BS degree with additional professional experience (graduate coursework, professional workshops in science, job experience)

Credible and visible record of advanced study in the discipline.

Advanced conceptual grounding for study of student learning.

Transcript

Resume

Letters of reference

Pedagogic experience

TA at graduate or undergraduate level.

School teaching experience.

Coursework in education.

Sufficient classroom contact to provide motivation and source of questions about teaching and learning.

Resume

Letters of reference

Commitment to program goals

Personal statement of goals consistent with the goals of the program.

Insight into motivation.

Evidence of intellectual maturity.

Personal statement in application

Letters of reference

Chemistry Department Facilities

University Instrumentation Center (UIC)

The University Instrumentation Center (UIC) is a core University wide facility dedicated to the advancement of the research and academic missions of UNH and is open and available to all Faculty, Staff, and Students. The UIC houses many of the major scientific instrumentation on campus and on a fee per use basis, a certified operator or UIC staff will perform the sample analysis on a specified instrument. Researchers who require frequent use of an instrument may become certified operators. To become a certified operator of an instrument, a professor, staff or a student must complete a training program specified by the UIC. A student must also have written authorization from a faculty member.

UIC instruments include the following:

  • Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer (FT-IR)
  • Fourier transform nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers (NMR)
  • UV visible near IR spectrophotometer
  • Energy Dispersive Analysis of x-rays on SEM
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
  • X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS)
  • Four-color Flow Cytometer
  • Confocal Micrscope

Further information about UIC facilities and policies may be obtained from http://www.unh.edu/uic

Chemistry Office Facilities

The Department of Chemistry Office is located in room W115, Parsons Hall. Regular hours are 8:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless otherwise noted. 

Graduate students may use the following facilities for research or teaching activities: the paper cutter, transparencies, copier and fax machine, which are located in the Chemistry Department Office, Room W115.  Personal use of the copier is acceptable, BUT the student is responsible for payment of personal copies and must log their use in the folder located in the mailroom; you will be billed accordingly and prompt payment is appreciated. Personal copies do NOT include any copies required for your research, seminar, etc.

Copy machine etiquette:

  1. Office staff have first priority use of the copy machine.
  2. Faculty and Lecturers have the next priority.
  3. Refill the paper tray after use, especially if you are doing numerous copies.

Chemistry Library

Parsons Hall is fortunate in having an on-site chemistry library, ideal for research projects and papers. Once you are in your third year of research, you may obtain a key to the Chemistry Library from the Chemistry Office. It is important that you understand that this is a privilege and all rules and regulations must be adhered to, or the key will be revoked.

Instrument Repair

The UIC makes electronic and mechanical repairs on various scientific instruments including oscilloscopes, pH meters, spectrophotometers, liquid scintillation counters, microscopes and balances. Please contact UIC at 862-2790.

Machine Shop

Machine shop service is available in Kingsbury Hall and Morse Hall. A purchase order from the department is required and can be obtained for the Business Service Center (BSC) via the department contact at 862-4670.

Hazardous Waste

Marty McCrone (862-3536) and/or Jeff Anderson (862-0683), Environmental Health & Safety, are the contact persons for Hazardous Waste Disposal. Please call to schedule a pick up from your lab area.

Jeff Anderson will coordinate on-line Hazardous Waste Safety Training. To coordinate please email him at jeff.anderson@unh.edu  For information on shipping chemicals and samples, please see the EH&S website or contact Andy Glode at andy.glode@unh.edu.

To locate more information on Environmental Health and Safety programs, CHEMS, etc. please visit their web site: http://www.unh.edu/research/environmental-health-and-safety.

**All chemical materials must be disposed of properly prior to leaving the department, or the department will bill you for disposal of unknowns**

Leaving the Chemistry Department

The Department Office requires the following criteria to be completed when exiting the department:

  1. Return all keys to either the Administrative Assistant or the Department Manager.
  2. It is important to note that your lab bench and office desk must be cleaned and all waste disposed of properly. The Department Manager will put an "Are you leaving form" in your mail slot. You will need to complete the form and have your Research Advisor sign off on it, verifying that your hazardous waste has been properly labeled and disposed. This form will also give the department your forwarding address and email, should we need to contact you.