The University of Iowa

Graduate Program in Chemistry

A Chemistry graduate student working in a lab.

The Department of Chemistry offers a comprehensive Ph.D. program allowing students to specialize in a wide range of traditional and interdisciplinary areas of chemical research. Through a combination of placement exams and coursework, degree candidates need to demonstrate proficiency in the four traditional areas of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical). Students can choose a research project and a thesis advisor during the first semester in residence. Upon completion of the advanced course requirement of 11 semester hours, Ph.D. students will take an oral examination, generally by the end of the fourth semester. Success in the oral examination results in the student's admission to Ph.D. candidacy.

The remaining time in graduate school is devoted to research, independent study, and, if desired, further coursework. Five years is the average time to get a Ph.D. at Iowa. Three months prior to the estimated date for completion of the thesis, a research conference is held in which the student summarizes his or her work to a faculty committee. A final, formal presentation is made when the finished thesis is ready to be submitted to the committee.

More detailed information is contained in the Guidelines for Graduate Study in Chemistry.