2012 - 2013 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Chemistry, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15; January 1 international

Spring: September 15; August 1 international

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

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

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 hold 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:

The GRE is required. 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:  88 iBT or 575 PBT. Regardless of score, all international students 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 Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 18

Required Courses:

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:

Literature Seminar:

The Ph.D. student makes the presentation of one departmental seminar on a current literature topic or her/his research, as approved by the seminar professor. The seminar is 30 minutes in length and should include any background material needed to allow the audience to appreciate the topic(s) discussed.


Cumulative Examinations:

Cumulative examinations are a major part of the preliminary examinations. Written by the Graduate Faculty, they are offered seven times a year. Each cumulative examination is evaluated by at least two Graduate Faculty members. Students entering the program in Fall 2012 or later must pass a total of five "cumes" within the first two years of matriculation. Note that students who began their program of study prior to Fall 2012 must pass six cumes in three years.

Original Research Proposal:

To obtain Ph.D. candidacy, the student is required to write, present, and defend an Original Research Proposal (ORP). The topic of the ORP can be related to the student’s research, but must still be original. The proposal is an opportunity for the student to use her/his scientific knowledge to demonstrate her/his ability to formulate experiments, calculations, theory, etc. to address an important scientific problem. The ORP should also contain a description of the actual research that the student will pursue for her/his Ph.D.

The student must consult with her/his research advisor for guidance prior to writing the ORP. It is understood by 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. The ORP needs to be defended within 30 months of matriculation for students entering the program in Fall 2012 or later. Note that students who started prior to this date must defend the document 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 time, date, and room have been arranged for the defense, the student is required to send the Graduate School a completed Announcement of Oral Defense form at least 10 days before the defense. The student 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 is 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 Chemistry graduate degree program is 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-Matriculated 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 11.20.12