Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 36

Required Courses:

Core Courses
CHEM 5901Responsibility and Ethics in Chemical Research1
CHEM 8985Teaching in Higher Ed:Phys Sci 11
CHEM 9900Seminar2
CHEM 9901Original Research Proposal Preparation1
Core Courses by Area of Study 29
Chemistry Electives 39
Research Courses13
CHEM 9991
Graduate Research Projects
CHEM 9994
Preliminary Examination Preparation
CHEM 9998
Pre-Dissertation Research / Elevation to Candidacy
CHEM 9999
Dissertation Research 4
Total Credit Hours36

Students seeking a career in an academic setting are encouraged to take CHEM 8985 for 3 credits so they can earn the Teaching in Higher Education graduate certificate offered by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Temple University. Those who choose this option take two fewer credits of CHEM 9991 or CHEM 9994. Part-time students and students not on assistantship are exempted from the requirement to take CHEM 8985, and may instead take an additional credit of CHEM 9991 or CHEM 9994.


Areas of study include Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry. See the course grid below for the core courses offered in each area.


Chemistry electives may include any courses numbered CHEM 5001-9800 (excluding CHEM 5901 and CHEM 8985), and may include BCMS 5003 Fundamentals of Biochemistry or MEDS 5003 Fundamentals of Biochem, BMSC 8702 Enzymes and Proteins, EES 5625 Electron Optical Techniques, MEE 5205 Microscopy and Microanalysis of Materials, and/or PHYS 5000 Topical Seminar. Additional course substitutions may be made with approval of the Graduate Committee.  


Students must complete a minimum of 2 credits of CHEM 9999.

Core Courses by Area of Study

Analytical Chemistry9
CHEM 5305
Chemical Kinetics
Select two courses from the following:
CHEM 5201
Physical Methods in Organic Chemistry
CHEM 8310
Special Topics in Analytical Chemistry (Mass Spectroscopy)
CHEM 8601
Analytical Separations
EES 5625
Electron Optical Techniques
CHEM 5401
Biochemistry I
Select two courses from the following:
BCMS 5003
Fundamentals of Biochemistry
or MEDS 5003
Fundamentals of Biochem
BMSC 8702
Enzymes and Proteins
CHEM 8400
Special Topics in Biochemistry (Nucleic Acids)
CHEM 8401
Bioinorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry9
CHEM 5001
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry I
CHEM 5201
Physical Methods in Organic Chemistry
CHEM 8401
Bioinorganic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry9
CHEM 5201
Physical Methods in Organic Chemistry
CHEM 5202
Organic Reaction Mechanisms
CHEM 5205
Organic Syntheses
Physical Chemistry9
CHEM 5301
Quantum Chemistry
CHEM 5302
Statistical Thermodynamics
CHEM 5305
Chemical Kinetics

Culminating Events:
Literature Seminar:
The PhD student makes the presentation of one departmental seminar on a current literature topic or their 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, cumulative examinations are offered seven times a year. Each cumulative examination is evaluated by at least two Graduate Faculty members. Students must pass a total of five "cumes" within the first two years of matriculation.

Original Research Proposal:
To obtain PhD 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 their scientific knowledge to demonstrate their ability to formulate experiments, calculations, theory and the like to address an important scientific problem. The ORP should also contain a description of the actual research that the student will pursue for their PhD.

The student must consult with their 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.

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 their 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 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 their 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 academic term in which the student will defend the dissertation. The Dissertation Examining Committee evaluates the student's ability to express verbally their 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 department 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 department at least 15 days before the defense is to be scheduled. The time, date and room are arranged within two working days, and the appropriate forms are forwarded to the student. After the defense has been scheduled, the student is required to send the Graduate School a completed "Announcement of Dissertation Defense" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within “University Forms,” at least 10 days before the defense. The student posts flyers announcing the defense.