Chemistry (Ph.D.)

Chemistry (Ph.D.)

Graduate student in lab for aesthetic purposes

What gEt a doctoral degree in chemistry? 

The Ph.D. program in chemistry is designed to train students as mature scientists capable of independent activity, i.e., conceiving a research problem, planning and carrying out the necessary experimental work, properly interpreting the results and advancing their knowledge by independent study. All students take coursework, carry out original research with a faculty mentor, have professional development opportunities and submit a dissertation.  

Why study chemistry at UNH? 

The Ph.D. program prepares students for careers in science as researchers and educators by expanding their knowledge of chemistry while developing their ability for critical analysis, creativity and independent study. You’ll find a program small enough to be personal but comprehensive enough to provide excellent opportunities for challenge and growth, like independent research, leadership, professional development and peer mentoring. You’ll engage in a program of study approved by the American Chemical Society that explores a dynamic, creative and practical discipline. You’ll have access to newly renovated laboratories, state-of-the-art equipment and faculty committed to transformative experiences for graduate students. Graduates are well placed for careers as professional chemists in industry, academia, government and related areas 

Potential career areas

  • Agricultural and food products
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical analysis and quality control
  • Chemical/pharmaceutical sales and marketing
  • Chemical research and development
  • Chemistry professor
  • Health professions
  • Patent law, intellectual property, and science policy
  • Pharmaceuticals and pharmacology
  • Toxicology and forensic science

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Curriculum & Requirements

The Ph.D. program prepares students for careers in science as researchers and educators by expanding their knowledge of chemistry while developing their ability for critical analysis, creativity, and independent study. Graduates are well placed for careers as professional chemists in industry, academia, government, and related areas. All students take coursework, carry out original research with a faculty mentor, and submit a dissertation. The program has a focus on developing strong writing and oral communication skills. Financial support is typically available through a teaching assistantship.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

  • Demonstration of a broad understanding of undergraduate chemistry by completing placement exams upon entry into the program. These are usually held during the Department Orientation Week.
  • Coursework: To be determined with the consent of the research advisor beyond the 1st. semester, a minimum of 6 courses is required including a minimum of 3 at the 900 level. 
  • Professional development courses required - 4 courses.
  • Attendance at Department Seminars and Research Lunch Talks.
  • Satisfactory presentation of a Research Progress Report in the second year of residence
  • Present a department seminar on a topic unrelated to dissertation research in the third year of residence.
  • Preparation and oral defense of an original research prospectus in the third year of residence. Successful completion of the research proposal defense enables the student to advance to candidacy.
  • Preparation, public presentation, and oral defense of a written dissertation.
  • Required 3.0 GPA or above to graduate.

Faculty Research Advisor and Dissertation Committee

Students select a research advisor during the first semester in the program after interviewing at least three faculty members. During each semester thereafter, students conduct independent research under the supervision of the Faculty Research Advisor. In the second year of residence and before the Research Progress Report, a dissertation committee is selected. This committee evaluates the student's Research Progress Report and the Research Proposal Defense. Once the Research Proposal Defense has been passed and the student advances to candidacy, a fifth committee member is selected and added to the Dissertation Committee to evaluate the Dissertation Defense.

Professional Development Courses
CHEM 800Chemistry Teaching Seminar1
CHEM 802Critical and Creative Thinking for Chemists1
CHEM 992Graduate Writing Portfolio1
CHEM 997Seminar1
Program Courses
CHEM 808Spectroscopic Investigations of Organic Molecules3
CHEM 855Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 903Advanced Inorganic Chemistry I3
CHEM 902Theoretical Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 904Advanced Inorganic Chemistry II3
CHEM 905Advanced Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 911Synthetic Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 917Advanced Special Topics2-4
CHEM 918Advanced Special Topics2-4
CHEM 925Surface Chemistry3
CHEM 926Physical Chemistry of Condensed Phases3
CHEM 927Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Dynamics3
CHEM 930Advanced Optical Methods3
CHEM 933Chemical Separations3
CHEM 934Chemical Equilibria3
CHEM 935Advanced Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 947Inorganic Biochemistry3
CHEM 995Colloquium1-4
MATH 835Statistical Methods for Research3
Research
CHEM 999Doctoral Research0

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Jan. 15 (for funding); April 1 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 1
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Test Scores: GRE Required

The GRE revised General Test is required; the GRE Chemistry Test is optional, but encouraged. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918.

For general information about test scores required for admission into our programs please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but carefully crafted statement that includes: 1) Research experience. State the goals of your previous research and accomplishments to date. Including a list of publications, presentations, and awards within the Experience and Background section of the application is encouraged; however, please do not send actual publications or presentations. 2) A clear indication of your area of research interest(s). You may choose from analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, or physical chemistry. Indicating more than one interest is perfectly acceptable. Provide a clear rationale as to why you wish to perform graduate work in these areas and include your immediate and long-range objectives. 3) Those UNH Chemistry faculty whose research interests you and why. 4) Additional information that will enhance the selection committee’s understanding of your personal background and life experiences, including educational (e.g. teaching and leadership experience), cultural, familial, or other opportunities or challenges.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are strongly encouraged to complete our international pre-application process and are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. Please note that English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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