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Analytical, Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry
The doctoral program in chemistry is designed to provide students with a background in advanced course work and chemical laboratory techniques that will prepare them to carry out, under the guidance of experienced scientists, an original, independent investigation that will lead to an acceptable contribution to the body of contemporary knowledge.
Plan of Program
The doctoral degree normally requires four years of study beyond the bachelor's degree or a minimum of two to three years beyond the master's degree. The plan of study pursued by each student is dependent on individual requirements and is developed through a conference with the Advisory Committee (or with his or her temporary advisor). The initial part of the student's program, normally completed at the end of two years of study, is devoted to formal course work. The first year is usually given to subjects in the major branches of chemistry in preparation for area (candidacy) examinations. The second year is devoted primarily to advanced subjects in a special field of concentration. The second and final part of the program is devoted principally to research leading to the doctoral thesis. However, the student is encouraged to begin research as early as possible in the program of study.
Research Tools Requirements
These research tools may be a second foreign language, a computer language, a statistics course or another skill acceptable to both the Graduate Coordinator and the research advisor of the student. The language(s) selected may not include the native language of a student's country of origin. Students in all Ph.D. programs may fulfill this requirement by 1) two foreign language courses; 2) one foreign language and a research skill course or 3) two research skill courses. The Language Requirement may be met by completion of a two-semester undergraduate course sequence in French, German, Japanese or Russian with an average grade of B or better. The Research skill requirement may be met by taking courses in programming and/or Statistics.
Of the 45 minimum credit requirements, a minimum of 27 credits in course work, exclusive of thesis and seminar, is required with at least 18 to be taken in chemistry. The remaining course credits (9 or more, with a student's Advisory Committee having the authority to add 6 additional credits to the minimum in special situations) may be taken in chemistry or in a related field such as biology, physics, mathematics or engineering. Credit is not normally allowed for undergraduate subjects in chemistry except for those so designated in the catalog. Research credits would then make up the remainder of the 45 credit requirements. Planning the program of courses with the student is the responsibility of a student's Advisory Committee.
Each student in any of the Ph.D. programs in Chemistry shall take both an advanced course in Physical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry and two courses from Advanced Inorganic, Advanced Analytical, Biochemistry, or Polymer Chemistry unless such requirements have been met previously. Since each division (Analytical, Biochemistry, Organic and Physical) has its own specific course requirements, a student intending to specialize in one of these areas is encouraged to meet with the coordinator of that program.
A. Course Requirements (Ph.D.): Analytical Chemistry Specialization
27 Credits in course work are required. They are:
Note: With the exception of CHEM.5140, Advanced Analytical Chemistry, one of the following courses may be substituted but only with the permission of the student's faculty advisor and the analytical coordinator. Of the remaining 15 credits at least 6 must be in chemistry. The approval of the advisor and analytical coordinator are required for non-chemistry courses. Such courses must be justified as being relevant to the student's course of study.
Course Requirement (Ph.D.): Organic Chemistry Specialization
The remaining course requirements may be fulfilled by selecting courses from the following list or from graduate courses offered by other departments.
Additionally, at least three courses shall be selected from subject areas such as Materials Chemistry, Polymer Sciences, Biochemistry, Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, unless such requirements have been met previously.
The remaining course requirements may be fulfilled by selecting courses from the list above or from graduate courses offered by other departments at UML.
C. Course Requirements (Ph.D.): Physical Chemistry Specialization
Written Area Examinations
Upon admission to the Ph.D. program the student must pass exams in his/her major area of specialization. The method of conducting these area exams is designated by the staff in each field of specialization, as follows:
The area examinations for analytical chemistry will consist of a series of six (6) examinations. The first will be a qualifying examination used to test the student’s general knowledge of Analytical Chemistry. The student will have two opportunities to pass the qualifying examination with a score of 5.0 out of 10.0 points This qualifying exam will be administered at the beginning and end of the area exams. The area examinations will be offered annually, commencing in October and administered at monthly intervals. A minimum of 6.0 out of a possible 10.0 points is required for each individual examination and a total of at least 30.0 out of a possible 50.0 points is required for the successful completion of the Written Area Examination. Failure to perform adequately may resulting the student being required to complete a master's degree. Continuation towards the Ph.D. degree will be considered on a Case-by-case basis.
Organic students take comprehensive examination consisting of consist of a written and an oral component, taken at the beginning of the second academic year of study (third semester). The exam will focus on the student's own research. The written document should include the following sections: abstract, comprehensive literature review, experimental design and methods, results to date, future plans, and references, following the style and format of ACS publications. The oral exam will consist of a presentation by the student, followed by examination by the committee members. The questions raised by the committee members can be related to the student's research, and can also be general chemistry and organic chemistry knowledge that are expected from the student. the oral exam is closed to the public. The student must pass both the written and the oral parts of the cumulative examinations in order to advance to the Ph.D candidacy.
By the third year of graduate study, a Ph.D. student in physical chemistry must take a comprehensive examination. This is an all day written examination with questions designed to test the student's physical chemistry background, and ability to set up models and solve them mathematically. The student has two chances to pass the comprehensive examination.
As part of the area examination(s) a Ph.D. candidate must present an oral defense of an original research proposal within 3 months of completing the written area examinations although a specific program may require the proposal to be presented at an earlier date. With the aid and advice of the Advisory Committee the student selects a suitable subject for investigation, completes a literature survey, outlines the method of approach, and suggests possible results and conclusions. The oral defense of this proposal is conducted by the student's Advisory Committee with other faculty members in attendance. The proposal is defended by the end of the semester following completion of area exams. The topic of the proposal cannot be closely related to or contained within the thesis project.
During each year of residence the student is required to attend and participate in CHEM.6010,6020, Chemistry Seminar, and CHEM.6030,6040, Chemistry Colloquium. Each doctoral student is required to present two seminars.
Candidacy for the Doctorate in Chemistry
To be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate, a student must:
This program provides chemistry graduate students with both in-breadth class work in BioChemistry and in-depth thesis research. Emphasis is on the application of modern techniques and concepts of physical and chemical science to the solution of problems of current interest in biology and medicine.
Admission Requirements and Removal of Undergraduate Deficiencies
Admission to the program requires demonstration of an acceptable B.S., B.A., or M.S. degree in chemistry, biology, biochemistry or other related science. Students will be expected to have completed two semesters each of general, organic and physical chemistry as well as introductory biology. Deficiencies must be removed by enrolling in the corresponding undergraduate course during the first year in the program.
Academic Standards for Retention in the Biochemistry Program
The graduate student is expected to maintain an average of 3.0 or better in all his/her graduate-level courses. All other department requirements must also be met.
Research Tools Requirement
These requirements have been described above.
There are 45 credits required for the Ph.D. in Chemistry, Biochemistry Option. A total of 27 of these must be in formal courses while the remaining 18 will be accrued in Doctoral Dissertation. Of the 27 required hours of graduate course work, the Biochemistry Program requires that 15 hours are in the specific courses delineated below:
12 credits of approved (5000-7000 level courses that support the student's research focus from approved graduate courses in the Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, or Chemical Engineering Departments. Course selection should b made in consultation with the student's research advisor. Below is a list of possible course elective courses.
During each semester in residence all full-time students must participate in a seminar course and attend one seminar each week, as required by the Chemistry Department. The student is required to present two one-hour presentations during his/her residence.
A. Initiation of Research and Research Advisor Selection Procedure
The dissertation research of each graduate student may be initiated at any time but not later than the end of the second semester in the program. The student is advised to make serious efforts, prior to the summer following his/her first entrance to the program, to initiate faculty research interviews and attempt to identify the area of his/her research interest and particular research group which may be suitable for pursuing his/her research goals.
B. Examination Committee
The examination committee will be composed of four faculty members chosen after consultation by the student with his/her research advisor at least two of these members must be from the Department of Chemistry faculty.
A. Comprehensive Exam
Students are required to successfully complete a Comprehensive Exam based on the 5 core courses by the end of their second year in the program. This exam consists of two parts and students are expected to have satisfactory performance on both sections. Section I consists of a series of questions derived from their course material. Section II is based on current literature and is focused on a particular series of papers that are provided to the students a month before the exam.
B. Oral Research Proposal must be presented during their 5th semester. This proposal based on their dissertation work and is to follow the format outlined in the proposal guidelines. A written copy of the proposal must be submitted to their dissertation committee one week prior to their public examination. Examination committees for the ORP consist of four full-time faculty or professionals. Two members of the committee must be members of the Chemistry department and the other two members of the committee must have a Ph.D. in Biochemistry or the equivalent. Successful completion of the Original Research Proposal defense will advance students to candidacy in the Biochemistry Ph.D. Program. Students will have two opportunities to complete this exam. IF the the combination of the written and oral presentation is not at the level of a Ph.D. candidate, as judged by the committee, a student will be provided a second opportunity to satisfactorily complete the exam. At the committee's discretion, a student may be asked to only repeat the written or oral portion of the exam. This must be done by the student's sixth semester or they will not be advanced to Ph.D. candidacy.
Admission to Candidacy for the Doctorate
To be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate, a student must:
This graduate program is designed as an optional course of study to the traditional Ph.D. in Chemistry for students with backgrounds in engineering (civil, environmental and chemical engineering) and other sciences (physics, biology, etc.) as well as chemistry. Candidates will be exposed to advanced course work in chemistry and environmental engineering and will be able to choose an area of specialization that best suits their interests and previous experience. A combination of faculty from Chemistry, Work Environment and Civil Engineering with a variety of research expertise gives this program unique characteristics and affords the student the opportunity to perform practical interdisciplinary research. It is expected that most students will require at least four years beyond the Bachelor's degree and two years past the Master's degree.
In addition to the requirements for admission listed in this catalog, applicant will have an earned bachelor's degree in one of the following fields: chemistry, chemical or civil engineering, biology, environmental sciences, geology or physics. Students will be expected to have satisfactorily completed undergraduate courses in analytical, organic, and physical chemistry, physics and calculus. However, applicants who have not completed courses in these areas may remedy their deficiencies while in the program and, therefore, are encouraged to apply. Admissions will be determined by a committee consisting of faculty active in the program.
A total of 48 credits are required for the Ph.D. program. Of these, at least 30 credits must be in course work exclusive of seminar and the rest is usually in thesis research. Courses shown below are divided into three categories:
Additional elective courses from other departments may be substituted with the approval of the student's Advisory Committee.
In addition, full-time students must register for CHEM.601/CHEM.602 or ENVE.502 Environmental/Analytical seminar every semester.
Each student will be required to give two seminars on current research topics during their graduate career. Students in the Environmental program must select a thesis advisor by the end of the second semester. At this time, an Advisory Committee is appointed and a plan of study is established. The Advisory Committee must consist of at least four members, including the thesis advisor. A minimum of two Chemistry Department faculty are required to be on the committee with two other members from any participating department. An additional member from another department may also be added if agreed upon by the student and thesis advisor. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative average in order to continue in the program.
Required Courses (21 credits):
I. Core Courses (9 credits)
II. Areas of Specialization (12 credits)
a. Analytical /Environment
b. Water Environment
c. Air Environment
III. Elective Courses (9 credits)
Written Area Examinations (Cumulative Examinations)
Beginning in the second year of study, the student must pass examinations in their major area of specialization. The faculty associated with the program administer examinations that are based on course work either completed or in progress as well as seminars, scientific literature and accepted theory in the field of study. Environmental studies students take six cumulative examinations each of which focuses on a different area of environmental science and analytical chemistry. Students must take the examinations consecutively in a given academic year. The topic, date, time and faculty member in charge of a particular exam in the cumulative examination series will be given to the student prior to the first cumulative exam. Students taking cumulative exams are urged to meet with the individual faculty member preparing an exam for more specific information. If a student misses a cumulative exam a grade of zero will be assigned. There are no makeup cumulative exams.
A Ph.D. candidate must submit an original research proposal and successfully pass an oral defense of that proposal in their second or third year of study. After consulting with their Advisory Committee, the student selects a suitable subject for investigation, completes a literature survey, outlines the method of approach, and suggests possible results and conclusions. The oral defense of this proposal is conducted by the student's Advisory Committee with other faculty in attendance. The proposal must be defended within three months following completion of the cumulative examinations.
The Department of Chemistry offers a Ph.D in Polymer Science and the Polymer Science/Plastics Engineering Option. The Polymer Science/Plastics Engineering Option doctoral program is organized jointly with the Department of Plastics Engineering. The program is designed to provide students with a background in advanced course work and laboratory techniques that will prepare them to carry out an original investigation leading to an acceptable contribution to the body of contemporary knowledge in the fields of macromolecules or plastics.
Plan of Program
The doctoral degree normally requires four years of full-time study beyond the bachelor's degree or a minimum of two to three years of full-time study beyond the master's degree. The plan of study pursued by each student is dependent on individual requirements and is developed through a conference with his/her Advisory Committee (or temporary advisor).
Requirements for Admission
Requirements for admission into the program are the same as those for students entering other Ph.D. programs in Chemistry. It is the student's responsibility to satisfy any admission requirements stipulated for the Ph.D. in Chemistry.
Undergraduate deficiencies in the student's background must be remedied promptly, usually by the end of the student's second semester. During this period, the student must also successfully complete graduate courses appropriate to his/her background. Students will not be formally admitted to the Ph.D. program if their grade point average is below B.
Upon admission the student will be assigned a temporary adviser by the Coordinator of the Graduate Polymer Program. The student's major thesis adviser will become the chairperson of the permanent Advisory Committee.
The Advisory Committee will meet at least once each semester to monitor the progress of the student's research.
The initial part of the program is devoted to formal course work. The first year usually is devoted to subjects in major branches of chemistry, polymers, and plastics in preparation for the student's area (cumulative) examinations. The student must choose a research adviser before the end of the second semester and is normally expected to start research during the first summer.
Written Area Examinations
Upon formal admission to the Ph.D. program the student is required to pass a series of consecutive cumulative area examinations. Policy and grading underlying each examination will be announced at the beginning of each academic year.
Each student must also present an oral defense of an original research proposal within six months after the completion of the last area exam.
Of the 45 minimum credit requirements a minimum of 27 credits in course work, exclusive of thesis and seminar, is required with at least 18 to be taken in chemistry and polymer science (CHEM and POLY prefixes). The remaining course credits (nine or more, with a student's Advisory Committee having the authority to add six additional credits to the minimum in special situations) may be taken in chemistry or in a related field such as biology, physics, mathematics or engineering. Credit normally is not allowed for undergraduate subjects in chemistry except for those so designated in the catalog. Research credits would then make up the remainder of the 45 credit requirement. The program of courses is the responsibility of a student's Advisory Committee and must include advanced subjects in the appropriate areas of chemistry, polymers, and plastics. When it is necessary to carry less then the normal credit load of 9 per semester, the student must consult the chair of his/her Advisory Committee to initiate the approval process.
Required Courses: The student must take the following core courses:
a. Polymer Science:
The following course schedule is suggested to prepare the students for the cumulative examinations:
The remaining required courses may be taken in the following semesters. In addition, the student must register for Polymer Seminar POLY.6010/6020 and POLY.6030/6040 Polymer Science Colloquium each semester.
b. Polymer Science/Plastics Engineering Option:
The following course schedule is suggested to prepare the students electing the Polymer Science/Plastics Engineering option for the cumulative examinations:
Candidacy for Ph.D. Polymer Science, and Polymer Science/Plastics Engineering Option
To be advanced to candidacy for the doctorate, a student must:
Advancement to candidacy in no way guarantees the granting of the degree.