Ph.D. in Chemistry

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About this Program

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Liberal Arts offers the Ph.D. in Chemistry. It is designed for those who intend to seek employment as a professional chemist in academia, industrial, or government research laboratories, or in other vocations where specialized knowledge in chemistry is desired or required.

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    Program Information

    Program Type

    Doctorate Program

    Area of Study

    Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology


    Ph.D. in Chemistry

    Program Location


    Required Credit Hours


    Program Details

    APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review begins December 1 and deadline on April 1

    The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry welcomes student applications with the following materials. Additional details are found on the department website.

    1. Complete the Graduate School’s Online Application.
    2. Pay the application fee ($50). 
    3. Submit official transcripts.
    4. International applicants whose first language is not English may be required to submit scores from an acceptable English language proficiency test.
    5. Upload Supplemental Application materials for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to the link provided on the application.
    • Statement of purpose.
    • Three letters of recommendation: provide contact information for three recommenders.

    To be admitted to a graduate degree program in full standing, a student must have completed a B.S. degree in chemistry with an average grade of B. Exceptionally qualified students who have not completed a B.S. degree in chemistry but have a degree in a related field (such as biology, engineering, physics, pharmacology, or pharmacy) may be admitted. However they should expect to present a clear case in their personal statement for admission. Additionally, they should expect to be provisionally admitted until specified conditions are satisfied such as prerequisite coursework or other expectations.

    Students in the Ph.D. in Chemistry complete 54 credit hours.

    • 18 credit hours of formal nonremedial lecture courses
    • Chem 700: Intro to Graduate Research
    • 1 hour Chem 750: Area Seminar
    • 1 hour Chem 759: Doctoral Seminar
    • 18 hours of Chem 797: Dissertation

    A minimum grade of B is required in each course in the student’s area of specialization.

    Students must take one core course from each of four of the five specialty areas with a cumulative average of not less than a B.   

    Analytical Chemistry

    • Chem 512 Adv Instrumental Analysis
    • Chem 514 Fundamentals of Electrochemistry
    • Chem 519 Chemical Separations


    • Chem 534 Physical Biochemistry
    • Chem 771 Biochemistry I

    Inorganic Chemistry

    • Chem 544 Chemical Applications of Group Theory
    • Chem 701 Adv Inorganic Chemistry I
    • Chem 702 Adv Inorganic Chemistry II

    Organic Chemistry

    • Chem 527 Adv Organic Chem, Structure Mechanism
    • Chem 528 Adv Organic Chem, Structure Synthesis

    Physical Chemistry

    • Chem 531 Adv Physical Chem, Quantum Chem
    • Chem 532 Chemical Thermodynamics
    • Chem 536 Adv Physical Chem, Reaction Dynamics


    Other requirements of the Ph.D. program include the following.

    Seminar Presentations: Students give three seminar presentations:

    • an initial oral presentation of either research or literature;
    • an oral or poster presentation describing their own research; and
    • a final seminar based on their dissertation.

    Cumulative Examinations: Students must pass a minimum of four cumulative examinations.  

    Research Proposal/Dissertation Prospectus: An original research proposal of 10-15 pages is prepared in a professional format on the subject of the student’s dissertation research. The proposal is defended in an oral examination administered by the student’s advisory committee.  

    Dissertation. A formal written account of the student's research is defended by the student in a final oral examination.  

    Teaching and research assistantships are available to qualified applicants. They are $25,000 per year minimum for 12 months. 

    Students with a graduate assistantship funded in the department receive a scholarship that covers some or all of the tuition and non-residency fee, if applicable, for regular semesters and subsidized health insurance.

    The Graduate School’s financial aid webpage lists a variety of funding possibilities, including summer support and a recruiting fellowship program that promotes academic excellence and access to graduate education to groups who are historically underrepresented.  

    The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is housed in Coulter Hall, which includes teaching and research laboratories and a machine shop including glass blowing equipment for use by researchers in the department. See the major research equipment located in the department.

    The Science Library, housed in the Thad Cochran Research Center adjacent to Coulter Hall, contains more than 20,000 chemistry books and journals and subscribes to more than 140 chemistry research journals. The facilities are available 24 hours a day to our faculty and students.

    The department also benefits from the presence of several other on-campus research programs and facilities, including the Mississippi Center for Supercomputing Research, the National Center for Physical Acoustics, the National Center for Natural Products Research, and the School of Engineering.

    Nano-Bio ImmunoEngineering Consortium (NIEC) has established two state-of-the-art research suites at the university. The research core facilities are intended to 1) give researchers access to high-dollar instrumentation that is beyond the scope of support of individual labs, 2) provide the necessary infrastructure to perform cutting-edge research projects at UM, and 3) enable researchers to develop their biomaterials from initial physicochemical characterization all the way through to preclinical efficacy testing. The two core suites (i.e., Biomaterials Characterization and Biomolecular Analysis) are outfitted with major instrumentation.  

    Faculty and students have free access to the facilities of the Mississippi Center for Supercomputing Research which includes several supercomputing platforms.

    Ryan Clifton Fortenberry

    We’re Here to Help!

    If you have any questions about the Ph.D. in Chemistry, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

    Ryan Clifton Fortenberry

    Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    DIRECT Program

    The Diversifying Interdisciplinary Research Expertise through Community Building and Training (DIRECT) Program is a National Institutes of Health funded program offering financial, technical, operational, and professional resources for Ph.D. students interested in careers in the biomedical field. DIRECT trainees receive annual stipends, fully paid tuition, health insurance, conference travel support, and childcare cost reimbursement. The program emphasizes cohort building, mentoring, networking, and skill development.

    Next Steps

    Explore Affordability

    We have a variety of scholarships and financial aid options to help make college more affordable for you and your family.

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