2009 - 2010 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Chemistry, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: February 15; December 15 international

Spring: September 15; August 1 international

Application review is semi-rolling: Initial selection for Fall admission is February 15, with a final review on March 30; initial selection for Spring admission is September 15, with a final review on October 30.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from faculty or people in industry who are familiar with the academic and/or research aptitude of the candidate.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

The vast majority of applicants have or will receive an undergraduate degree in Chemistry or a related field.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A master's degree is not required for admission into the Ph.D. program.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree is required. Typically, the undergraduate degree has been earned in Chemistry, Biochemistry, or a related field.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should include the following elements: your specific interest in Temple's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and research achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

If the applicant's GPA is below 3.25, s/he can be considered for appointment as a Teaching Assistant if her/his percentile scores on the Verbal and Quantitative portions of the GRE sum to at least 100%.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted:  575 paper-based, 230 computer-based, or 88 internet-based.  Regardless of their score, all applicants are required to take a SPEAK test upon arrival at Temple.


A resume is required.


Submission of research papers with the candidate as a co-author or any other material associated with the research aptitude of the candidate is also recommended.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 18

Required Courses:

Depending on the track, six graduate courses are required, of which three must be in the student's area of concentration.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examinations:

Preliminary examinations, including the presentation and defense of an original research proposal, as well as the presentation of one departmental seminar on a literature topic, involve the passing of six cumulative examinations. Students are evaluated on their mastery of the material under review. Preliminary examinations should be completed within 42 months of matriculation.

Cumulative examinations, which constitute a major part of the preliminary examinations, are written by the Graduate Faculty and offered three times a semester on a regular schedule in each of the different degree tracks. Each cumulative examination is evaluated by at least two Graduate Faculty members.


The dissertation proposal should contain a description of the research that the student will pursue for her/his Ph.D. Students must consult with their research advisor for guidance prior to writing this document. It is understood in writing this document that a general experience in research will help evolve new chemistry through observations made during the course of an ongoing research problem. This document needs to be approved within 42 months of matriculation.


The doctoral dissertation is an original study that makes a significant contribution to the field of Chemistry. It should expand the existing knowledge and demonstrate the student's knowledge of research methods and a mastery of her/his primary area of interest. The dissertation should be rigorously investigated; uphold the ethics and standard of the field of Chemistry; demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the primary area of interest and the broader field of Chemistry; and be prepared for publication in a professional journal.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee is formed to oversee the student's doctoral research and is comprised of at least three Graduate Faculty members. Two members, including the Chair, must be from the Chemistry Department. Committee compositions must be approved by the Department's Graduate Committee. The Chair is responsible for overseeing and guiding the student's progress, coordinating the responses of the Committee members, and informing the student of her/his academic progress.

The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's dissertation and oral defense. This committee is comprised of the Doctoral Advisory Committee and at least one additional Graduate Faculty member from outside the Chemistry Department. The Outside Examiner should be identified no later than the beginning of the semester in which the student will defend the dissertation. The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's ability to express verbally her/his research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications. The Committee votes to pass or fail the dissertation and the defense.

If a student needs to change a member of a Committee, the new member must be approved by the department's Graduate Committee and registered with the Graduate Secretary and the Graduate School.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation should confirm a time and date with their Dissertation Examining Committee and register with the Graduate Secretary at least 15 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The Graduate Secretary arranges the time, date, and room within two working days, and forwards to the student the appropriate forms.

After the Graduate Secretary has arranged the time, date, and room for the defense, the student must send the Graduate School a completed Announcement of Oral Defense form at least 10 days before the defense. The Department posts flyers announcing the defense.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Chemistry
130 Beury Hall

1901 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Graduate Secretary


Program Coordinator:

Dr. Frank Spano



Graduate Chairperson:

Dr. Frank Spano




Dr. Robert Levis


About the Program

The Chemistry graduate program has been designed to provide a solid background in the chosen area of specialization. It emphasizes the acquisition of skills that enable students to gain further knowledge in their research and professional careers. For this reason, the graduate degree programs are research oriented, and seminar attendance and familiarization with the chemical literature are considered integral. The course requirements are comparatively light, although a wide variety of intermediate and advanced courses in related areas are offered. Students are encouraged to take courses in related areas, such as Biology, Computer Science, and Physics, according to their research interests.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Chemistry
130 Beury Hall

1901 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

A Chemical Physics program is offered jointly with the Physics Department.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

The Department of Chemistry offers programs leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry. Areas of specialization include environmental chemistry, materials and polymers, medicinal, nanoscience, photonics, and surface science.

Job Placement:

The majority of students find employment in the chemical industry. A lesser fraction go on to academic positions as well as government laboratories.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are allowed to take up to 9 credit hours before admission into a degree program must be sought.

Financing Opportunities

The duties of a Teaching Assistant typically involve leading recitation sections and/or overseeing laboratories. The TA, in general, is also involved with the grading of lab assignments, tests, and quizzes, when applicable.

After their first year, most students are supported by a research assistantship.

Updated 5.20.10