2021-2022 Graduate Course Catalog 
    May 30, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry, PhD

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Mathew M. Maye, 1-113 Center for Science and Technology, 315-443-2146, mmmaye@syr.edu


Carlos A. Castañeda, Joseph Chaiken, Arindam Chakraborty, John D. Chisholm, Robert P. Doyle, John M. Franck, Jonathan French, James L. Hougland, Ivan V. Korendovych, Timothy M. Korter, Yan-Yeung Luk, Olga V. Makhlynets, Mathew M. Maye, Davoud Mozhdehi, Karin Ruhlandt, James T. Spencer, Michael B. Sponsler, Rachel Steinhardt, Nancy I. Totah, Weiwei Zheng, Jon Zubieta

The Department of Chemistry is large enough to provide a broad range of graduate-level courses and research opportunities and yet small enough to foster close working relationships between students and professors. It includes 21 faculty, some 85 graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and technical and administrative staff. Programs of study include those for both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, with research offerings in the areas of biochemistry, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry, as well as those at the interface of these disciplines.

During the first year of graduate study, courses enable students to gain a sound theoretical foundation for their own research investigations. Students are encouraged to become actively involved in research projects as soon as possible.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Develop knowledge in a specialized area of chemistry

2. Develop broad overview of the current state of chemical knowledge outside one’s own area of specialization

3. Use instrumentation and techniques for problem solving in chemistry

4. Organize and interpret scientific data for written and oral presentation

5. Critically analyze and evaluate one’s own findings and those of others

6. Disseminate research findings

7. Develop creativity and independence in pursuing a scientific goal

8. Extend the state of scientific knowledge in one’s own area of specialization

Ph.D. in Chemistry

All students in the department must satisfy course requirements that may vary depending on a candidate’s background and areas of specialization; typically, six three-credit graduate level courses prove sufficient. A minimum of 48 graduate credits, is required for a Ph.D. degree in chemistry. Students must pass three of four qualifying breadth examinations given in biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry and maintain a GPA of 3.0 to progress as Ph.D. candidates. Doctoral students must pass an oral examination in April of their second year in order to advance to candidacy. This exam tests the students’ understanding of their research problem, their familiarity with the relevant literature, and their competence with the appropriate background material and research tools. Candidates must submit a satisfactory dissertation and pass an oral examination on the dissertation and related topics.


The Center for Science and Technology near the main quadrangle of the Syracuse University campus provides space and facilities for chemistry faculty and graduate student research: glassblowing and electronic shops; millions of dollars of specialized equipment, including spectrometers, lasers, and other chemical instrumentation; computers and high-speed networks; and an automated X-ray diffractometer for structure determinations.

The Life Sciences Complex, located adjacent to the department of chemistry, provides research and teaching space for the departments of chemistry and biology, and helps foster interactions between the two departments. This building opened in fall 2008.

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