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Ph.D. in Chemistry

The Ph.D. program has a much wider scope than the M.S. program. Ph.D. students are expected to take a broad range of advanced coursework, within and outside of the major area of interest. There are no specific required courses or credit hour requirements, but the student is required to take three graduate-level courses in areas outside of their research area. 

The major emphasis of the Ph.D. program is on research. The Ph.D. program culminates in the preparation and defense of the Ph.D. dissertation before the student’s graduate research committee.

To ensure students are well-versed in the advanced concepts of chemistry related to their discipline, a series of examinations (cumulative exams and a candidacy exam) must be passed during the course of study. The cumulative exams start in the second year and are administered once a month in the fall and spring semesters with each division (analytical, inorganic, organic and physical) providing an exam to students in their own division. The exams are graded pass/fail. A student must pass six exams in 16 attempts to complete the cumulative examinations. After completion of these exams, the student submits an original research proposal to their graduate research committee and defends the proposal in the oral candidacy exam.

Following the successful completion of these exams, the student needs to complete the body of research, prepare a dissertation, defend the dissertation before their graduate research committee and submit the dissertation to the WVU Libraries.

The graduate research committee includes the advisor and four additional faculty. One of the faculty members must be from outside the chemistry department.

Course Descriptions